Stretching from the sparse, coastal Northlands to the lush pastural land in the south, New Zealand’s North Island is home to more places and experiences than anyone can fit into a single vacation. Why do you need to go? Here are our top 5 reasons (but seriously, there are sooo many more).
If beautiful beaches and jaw-dropping coastlines are on your check list for visiting a destination, the North Island does not disappoint. How about deep blue inland lakes, thermal pools, rivers and waterfalls? You can check those off too! A spectacular subtropical micro-region of the North Island, The Bay of Islands is a must-see, filled with sheltered beaches and coves perfect for kayaking, sailing tours, biking and hiking. It’s more than enough reason to stay in Paihia and explore the surrounding historic towns of Russell and Kerikeri while you are there. Keep your camera charged, you are going to need it.
Lake Taupo is another natural icon not to miss. Stretching 46km long (that’s 28 miles), fishing, boating and watersport enthusiasts flock to this inland paradise for year-round fun. You’ll also find plenty to do around the water’s edge with great golf courses, bars, restaurants and a lively calendar of events making Taupo one of the North Island’s top destinations to visit. On the southern shore of the lake, Turangi offers a more relaxed pace. With streams, rivers and gorges to explore, it’s the perfect outdoor playground for nature lovers.
Maori culture runs deep in many aspects of daily life in New Zealand. At the tip of the North Island at Cape Reinga, you can witness the meeting point of two oceans. Dubbed the ‘Place of Leaping’, Maori culture believes deceased spirits leap from the 800 year old Pohutukawa tree that stands here and into the ocean to return to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki. If you’re in the Bay of Islands, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is one of the most historically significant locations in the country. Step back in time in the museum, watch traditional Maori performances or test your skills paddling in a Maori canoe.
Need we say more? It’s like a spa in the ground, and you’ll find them all over the North Island. The geothermal areas are arguably one of New Zealand’s most famous attractions. These natural wonders are a result of heat produced from the Earth’s mantle, warming the deep underground springs. Perhaps the most well-known is the North Island town of Rotorua, but if you are staying in Turangi, don’t miss the chance to visit the Tokaanu Thermal area for a soak to remember.
Guys, in case you didn’t already have enough reasons to visit the North Island – this is the homeland of the Hobbits! If you’re looking for the ideal day trip anywhere from your accommodation, it doesn’t get much better than a tour of Hobbiton (especially great if you find yourself in Tauranga or Mount Maunganui, as it is less than an hour’s drive inland from the coast). Soak in the picturesque views of the New Zealand countryside and imagine yourself in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world as you explore The Shire on the Lord of the Rings movie set.
Big fish, dramatic coastline and magnificent food! That's the North Island. Bishop Selwyn Resort overlooks Paihia and offers easy access to the rolling, rugged countryside, stunning tidal estuaries, mangroves and long silvery beaches of New Zealand's Northland and Bay of Islands. The Bay's 144 islands are renowned as an aquatic playground.<br /><br />The spacious and modern resort is within easy reach of the beach, the boutique shops and superb restaurants of Paihia. Take a refreshing dip in the pool or relax in one of the spas, either way you'll emerge ready to explore what is, without question, an area of outstanding natural beauty.<br /><br />The Bay of Islands is a feast of activities for lovers of water sports, where kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing and, of course, deep-sea fishing are all on the menu, Hopefully the latter provides something sumptuous for a BBQ back at the resort! The Bay also boasts many historical sites and incredible walking tracks through some of the most spectacular countryside in the world. The cathedral-like forests north of Dargaville are home to the Kauri, one of the oldest and largest trees in the world. To stand beneath the canopy of these giants of nature is truly humbling. But nothing compares to an audience with 'Tane Mahuta' - the Lord of the Forest. This 1,200 year-old bad boy is over 50 metres tall!<br /><br />For memories that last longer than your suntan, it's got to be Bishop Selwyn Resort. Come see for yourself.
Busby Manor, in New Zealand's historic Bay of Islands, is on the foreshore of the picturesque seaside town of Paihia. The comfortable, fully self-contained motel-style rooms are a scenic five-minute walk along the gorgeous coastline to the heart of the town's tempting restaurants and coffee shops, quaint boutiques and craft shops, and marina complex.<br /><br />Sheltered sandy beaches are ideal for swimming and the grassy banks encourage relaxation. The fishing is excellent. Hire a mountain bike and discover the natural beauty of the ancient kauri forests, or swim with the dolphins. Unforgettable! Not far away, there are spectacular glow-worm caves and golf courses. Get fresh local produce at the farmer's market, wine from the cellar doors and boutique cheeses and chocolate from the makers on your way home from the oldest and second oldest houses in NZ. Returning to the resort laden with goodies, you'll probably be ready to relax by the pool with a good book and a cold drink, or simply lay back and soak up the ocean views.<br /><br />The geothermal hot pools are a definite 'must do' and Waitangi is more than just the site of the signing of the 1840 Treaty; it also has beautiful gardens and stunning views. Later on, relax in the guest lounge with a coffee and plan tomorrow's thrilling adventure.<br /><br />For a holiday that offers you a taste of everything, it's got to be Busby Manor.
In the beautiful seaside town of Mount Maunganui on New Zealand's beautiful North Island, Fairway Lodge is surrounded by lush unspoilt rainforest and sub-tropical farmland, bound by the clear blue waters of the Bay of Plenty. With the Bay's temperate climate and abundance of sunshine, it feels like the fun never stops, regardless of the season.<br /><br />The resort is a comfortable oasis where you can relax by the pool with your favourite book one minute and the next head off to Ocean Beach and feel the sand between your toes. The swimming, surfing, and diving are excellent, while the fishing is exceptional. No wonder it's called the 'Bay of Plenty'.<br /><br />One of the area's most popular walks winds up and around the sentinel-like Mount Maunganui and offers spectacular views at almost every turn of the track. Let's face it; you don't get to walk in the shadow of an extinct volcano very often. Truly awesome! At low tide, the locals gather on the beach to dig for Tua Tua, a succulent shellfish - it's heaps of fun and a great way to make new friends. Tua Tua fritters with fresh wasabi and basil mayo are simply mouth-watering. Alternatively, you can hop on a boat to Moturiki Island to see the blowholes in all their spuming glory. Spectacular! You can't stay in Mount Maunganui without experiencing the only naturally heated seawater hot pools in New Zealand. It is seriously one of the most relaxing experiences ever. Having a bath will never be the same again. <br /><br />Fairway Lodge. It's an old favourite for many.
You'll find Kaimanawa Lodge in the town of Turangi at the southern end of Great Lake Taupo. The town is nestled in the bend of the mighty Tongariro River, bounded by the majestic mountains and the expansive lake. Moody. Powerful. Elemental. Breathtakingly beautiful! It is a place that eases itself into your soul and never leaves.<br /><br />Modern and comfortable, the resort is perfect for those wanting to make the most out of their New Zealand escape. During the winter months, the towering snow-capped mountains are a haven for winter sports and the air reverberates with the gentle whisper of skis on fresh fallen snow.<br /><br />In the warmer months, the mirror-like surface of the lake gets whipped into a frenzy of activity. There's everything from swimming, water skiing and paddle boarding to kayaking. While the adventurous can throw on a life vest and get an adrenaline hit with a little white-water rafting or jet boating in the nearby rivers. Brilliant fun! For those that prefer to keep their clothes on, there are plenty of bushwalks through spectacular countryside and, of course, you can always give trout fishing a go.<br /><br />A trip into Turangi is a must. It has a number of excellent restaurants serving fresh local cuisine, and cafés serve a mean espresso. A tour of a Turangi vineyard is a definite too. But whatever you do, make sure you take time to relax in one of the famous thermal pools. You'll feel the stress gently melt away. Exquisite! <br /><br />For a holiday with more, visit Kaimanawa Lodge.
On the shores of picturesque Lake Taupo, Lakeside Villas Apartments is just a ten-minute stroll from Taupo's town centre. Supremely comfortable units offer a wide range of configurations to suit all needs and feature fully-equipped kitchens, laundry facilities and patios with fabulous scenic views. There are enjoyable organised activities onsite, including tennis and mini-golf tournaments, and heaps of other activities for kids. Talk to the folks at our helpful Tour Desk. We'll be happy to organise trout-fishing trips, arrange discounted golf green fees, advise you about the best things to do around Lake Taupo - even make dinner bookings. You'll never run out of fantastic things to see and do. Take in a Maori Cultural performance. Experience some of the best trout fishing in the world. Try your hand at water-skiing or parasailing. Scuba dive, sky dive or try bungy jumping. Go white water rafting. Soak away your worries in thermal pools. Go tramping (that's Kiwi for hiking). There's great skiing nearby in winter. Visit Deerworld. Organise a hunting trip or charter a flight for an eagle's-eye view of the spectacular terrain. You'll be within short driving distance to many of New Zealand's top tourist locations like Rotorua, Hawkes Bay and Tongariro National Park. Taupo epitomises clean, green New Zealand at it's very best. Come to Lakeside Villas and find yourself perfectly positioned between clear lake waters and jaw-dropping scenery. Welcome to New Zealand's natural holiday paradise.
Club Paihia is poised upon a leafy and scenic hillside on six-and-a-half acres of native North Island bushland. This is the ideal location for making the most of the awe-inspiring beauty of the magnificent Bay of Islands. Even at the busiest of times, the wealth of secluded coves and quiet island walks will have you feeling like you're the only ones enjoying the serenity of this seemingly endless maritime playground. After a day of exploration, make the most of excellent resort amenities that include three swimming pools, spa pools, barbeques, a gymnasium, tennis court, petanque, outdoor chess and bicycles. The Club even has its own private bushwalk, incorporating a magnificent orchid house. In the building housing the owners lounge, you will find the library, pool table and table tennis. Here, the booking kiosk will organise tours and help you make the very most of this aquatic wonderland. In the town of Paihia, you'll find everything from fine art to fine wine and a selection of world-class restaurants. Enjoy a little recreational boating and then, having got your sea legs, tackle up for an unforgettable deep-sea charter in the game-fish-rich waters of the Bay. Visit fascinating historic sites. Revitalise and recharge on one of the many unspoiled beaches. Play a round of golf on world-class local courses. Have a tramp along the Northland's most spectacular bushwalks. Watch the whales. Swim with the dolphins. Dive the Rainbow Warrior. Discover a holiday you'll treasure for years - at Club Paihia.