New Zealand consists of two main Islands, the North and the South Island. The North Island is known for is volcanic activity, beautiful bays, island sanctuaries, geothermal spas, Hobbiton and magnificent nature. I travelled the North Island and spent a week discovering amazing sights on my road trip.
First stop Auckland, the country’s largest city and well know for its harbours often referred to as the “City of Sails”. Only a short ferry ride from the CBD is Waiheke Island, home to some phenomenal vineyards, wines, beaches and olive groves. You are going to love the beautiful sights, the green lush wineries and best of all the amazing wine.
Roughly a 3h drive from Auckland, towards south, was my next stop Rotorua – also know as RotoVegas! A city that is renowned for it’s geothermal spas, bubbling mud pools and the 30m tall Pohutu Geyser, which erupts many times daily. You can relax at the Polynesian spa, where you can soak your body in the mineral rich sulfur pools.
Approximately an hour east by car, lies the Bay of Plenty – home to an Island sanctuary with the most breathtaking water to snorkel in. You can also spot dolphins in the wild and if you’re brave enough swim with them. It is a fantastic experience spotting and swing with the dolphins. I also got to snorkel in Tuhua, a dormant shield volcano and wild life sanctuary.
In the same region you can visit Mount Maunganui, a chilled beach town with white sand surf beaches. You will love the relaxing vibes, delicious seafood and stunning scenery. Make sure you hike to the top of the Mauao – which rises to 230 metres above sea level, for stunning views.
One of the most interesting stops on the road trip was Matamata. It is a rural town with thriving farmland and of course home to Hobbiton. Surrounded by panoramic and grand rolling green hills, it is no wonder Peter Jackson chose this farm land to film Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The tour of Hobbiton is packed in the summer months so make sure you book ahead so you don’t miss out. The tour is really intriguing and it is pretty amazing to see how things were filmed, created and how the set is maintained.
That is my visit in a nutshell exploring the North Island of New Zealand. I am in awe of the nature and beautiful scenery, an amazing trip that has left me craving to go back and explore more of NZ.