5 Excellent Reasons To Visit New Zealand’s North Island
From geothermal spectacles and secluded vineyards.
New Zealand’s North Island offers everything from geothermal spectacles and secluded vineyards to the world’s highest water-touch bungy jump.
Here are five unmissable highlights for your North Island adventure.
#1 Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
A trip to the otherworldly geothermal playground that is Rotorua’s Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland is a must. A favourite attraction is the Champagne Pool, an enchanting orange-and-blue spring that emits a constant plume of steam. There are also pools of boiling, bubbling mud and a daily eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser, where water spurts water up to 20m high.
You can take in the surreal environment on a self-guided tour. Adult passes cost NZ$32.50 (AU$30) per person.
#2 Natural Hot Springs
What do you get when a pristine freshwater stream and hot spring meet? One of the most epic swimming holes in the world, that’s what.
The blissful place known as Kerosene Creek is tucked away down a gravel track just south of Rotorua. Its natural geothermal heating means you can safely take a dip all year ’round.
Surrounded by thick forest and complete with a waterfall, Kerosene Creek is nature’s answer to a luxury day spa. Oh, and best of all, it’s free to visit.
#3 Wine-Tasting On Waiheke Island
Excellent New Zealand wine can be found on the small island of Waiheke, which is just a 35 minute ferry ride from Auckland.
The relaxed island has at least two dozen vineyards and is surrounded by untouched beaches. Its warm, dry climate sees it produce some of New Zealand’s finest reds, particularly those made with Bordeaux-style grapes.
One of the best vineyards to visit is Stonyridge, where you can enjoy wine-tasting and a gourmet food platter on the deck overlooking the vines. If you’re a beer-drinker, stop by Wild on Waiheke to try the additive-free craft beers brewed on site.
#4 Wellington’s Foodie Scene
Wellington is more than just the country’s capital city, it’s also the culinary, cafe and coffee capital. The city is packed with quirky eateries, hidden bars and craft-beer breweries.
To fully appreciate all Wellington’s tasty offerings, visit in August, during the annual Visa Wellington on a Plate festival, where there are hundreds of food-focused events and special set menus at many of the city’s best cafes and restaurants.
Zest Food Tours are a great way to get a full foodie perspective of the city, as are regular food markets like the Wellington Night Market on Cuba Street every Friday and Saturday.
#5 Taupo Bungy
If you’ve got the taste for adrenaline from Queenstown, continue the rush with most scenic bungee jumps in the world. Taupo Bungy hangs 47m above the vibrant blue Waikato River, making it New Zealand’s highest water-touch bungy jump. You can choose from a simple water touch or a refreshing full body dunk in the river, and opt for a tandem jump if you’d prefer not to go it alone.
If that doesn’t appeal, Taupo also boasts a giant swing that travels up to 70km/h. Good luck!
(Lead image: Dan Freeman)