New Zealand’s North Island may be the smaller of the two islands but it is blessed with huge diversity and packed with adventure ready to be discovered on your very own New Zealand self-drive tour. From beautiful white sandy beaches in the far north to the black sandy beaches on the wild west coast. Bubbling Geothermal pools, award-winning wine tasting islands and home to famous alpine crossings the North Island definitely has a more local vibe packed with plenty of culture.
Here are ten of the best adventure activities not to be missed on New Zealand’s North Island.
1.Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Around a three hour drive from the capital, you will find one of New Zealand’s great walks. Maybe the most popular hiking spots on the island, this hike offers stunning views of inactive volcanoes, glaciers and crater lakes. This hike is not one of the easiest hikes and can take between 6-8 hours to complete, you can also complete the circuit over a few days, adding in the extra trails to link through to backcountry huts. All worth it for those spectacular views.
Famous for housing New Zealand’s glow worms, popular little glowing bugs that illuminate our cave networks blue. You can abseil, zip line and blackwater raft all into the abyss. That’s right, you will do all of the above in the dark, but don’t worry the glow worms will lead you out of the cave.
White Island or Whakaari is an active volcano. Situated 48km away from the East Coast of New Zealand, in the Bay of Plenty. White Island is arguably the world’s most accessible active marine volcano, attracting all from around the world to take a guided walking tour up and over the Volcano, you will be met with breath-taking views and plenty of steaming vents and craters.
This is New Zealand’s largest lake and a popular spot for those road tripping around the country. Lake Taupo has more than a few hidden gems and one of them is the awe-inspiring Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay. There are plenty of hikes around the area, including a hike to Mount Ngauruhoe, famously known as Mount Doom from the Lord of The Rings franchise. You can get your adrenaline fix at one of the skydiving sites and be sure to make the trip to Huka Falls.
Full to the brim with action, culture, relaxation, and nature, this geothermal wonderland is in the center of the North Island. From White water rafting, skydiving, hiking Mount Tarawera and hot pools to be discovered. Rotorua is also the hub for travelers to experience the Maori culture first hand, the Maori cultural evenings are an amazing way to learn about the history of the country.
6.Auckland Harbor Bridge Jumping.
New Zealand is the home of Bungy jumping, dating back to 1988 when AJ Hacket decided to jump from the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown. Now the largest bridge in the North Island is home to one of AJ Hackett’s sites. You can also opt to climb up the bridge to see amazing views of that iconic Auckland skyline.
7.Mount Ruapehu for skiing and snowboarding.
In the Winter months, people flock to the South Island for snow sports. But, the North has it’s very own Ski and Snowboard Resort. Mount Ruapehu hosts Whakapapa and Turoa, the best ski fields in the area, also the home to Tongariro National Park
This spot should be on everyone’s list. Famously used in the Narnia films this beach is a Kiwi favorite in the summer months. The beautiful marine reserve hosts visitors all year round and when you go you will know why. The walk is relatively short and if you visit at Sunset you will get some awesome photographs. Be sure to visit the neighbouring Hot Water beach and dig your own geothermal hot pool in the sand.
A beautiful track located in the Ruahine Forest Park in Hawke’s Bay. Popular with the locals, but one that tourists should take the time to complete if you find yourself in the area. A fairly easy half day tramp will lead you through the forest. This is a well-graded track that is also a great overnight tramp for families with children, or if you’re new to tramping a great intro hike.
10.Te Urewera National Park.
Here you will find the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk. A 44km long track that will take a few days to complete. There are five huts and five campsites on the track that will need to be booked in advance. The track follows the Southern and Western coast of Lake Waikaremoana passing through beautiful native forest and grassland, the track provides epic views over the lake and you will see some of New Zealand’s native Birds, Bats and Fauna.
For more information about booking a New Zealand self-drive tour & awesome activities in the North Island check this link