New Zealand is an iconic destination that offers some of the best experiences to travelers in terms of scenic places, adventure sports, nature and diversity along with a fantastic climate all year round. There are many world famous spots that are often visited by travelers, but here we are targeting those places which are less known yet, simply incredible and unique along the North Island.
The best way to explore some of these destinations and enjoy a relaxing vacation is by choosing the service of private tour operators as they possess good local knowledge of the places. Most of them offer guided private tours with customized services that can make your sightseeing a more pleasant and enjoyable experience.
About North Island
The North Island is among the two major islands located in New Zealand which is separated from the Cook Strait and slightly smaller than the South Island. It is best known for its vibrant cities, national parks and volcanic spots which are quite popular among worldwide travelers.
Here is the list of some of the most interesting and unique places that you must visit in the North Island:
-White Island, Bay Of Plenty
White Island is truly a nature’s wonder, and offers some of the most incredible views of the active marine volcano in the world. Located around 50 kms from Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, this place provides a remarkable view of the geothermal activities and the landscape with boiling mud pools that can be explored easily through private guided tours. It has a rich marine life that offers abundant activities for divers with dolphin and seal swimming encounters. Enjoy the Whirinaki rainforest walkway experience which is known for its spectacular natural scenery.
-Ruakari Cave And Aranui Caves, Waitomo
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are one of the world famous attractions in North Island and is on the wish list of most of the travelers. But don’t forget to explore the other beautiful and mesmerizing Ruakari Cave in Waitomo that offers one of the longest underground walking tours. You can get a view of the limestone formations, spectacular waterfalls and enjoy close encounters with the glowworms here. The Aranui Caves are a dry cave which is the smallest and most fragile of all the other three caves in Waitomo.
Inside the cave, you can explore the native New Zealand cave wetas (large insects) and find some of the most awesome collection of stalactites and stalagmites with many other fascinating cave formations.
-Aorangi Forest Park, Wairarapa
This park offers some of the most spectacular attractions, including the landforms such as the Putangirua Pinnacles (this was also the same location were some scenes in the movie-Lord Of The Rings, The Return of the Kings were shot). You can also explore the historic lighthouse, fur seal colony in Cape Palliser, Whatarangi Bluff and Kupe’s sail.
Castlepoint is one of the off the beaten track spot that is secluded and offers some of the most scenic views along the beachside. It can be reached through a one hour’s drive from Masterton and is located along the East coast of Wairapapa in the North Island. This iconic castle point stands 162 meters high and gives magnificent views of the limestone reef with a lagoon and long stretches of beach that can be enjoyed by travelers looking for some leisure activities.
The coastal town of Kawhia offers some unique experience to travelers with its fishing tours that are available throughout the year. This quiet and peaceful town can be reached with a one hour’s drive from Hamilton in the North Island. The hot water spring is yet another attraction of this town that offers geothermal heated water that comes through the black sand to provide a unique spa pool experience. Kawhia also offers bush walks and trekking with deep water fishing and heritage cruises that allows you to explore the rich coastal life in this region.
-Kororipo-Kerikeri Basin, Bay Of Islands
This place located about 30 mins from Paihia near Kerikeri, Bay of Islands offers interesting historical sites, numerous walkways, river tracks. If you are fascinated by history, then a visit to Kororipo-Kerikeri basin could be a great adventure to gather some interesting facts about this region. Explore the Rewa’s Village to see the traditional Maori village and get to know about its fascinating culture. See the coastal village along the 800 m track to the Kororipo Pa Historic Walk. Along the north side of the basin, there are many picnic sites available for enjoying with the group.
-Morere Hot Springs, Gisborne
The Morere Springs Scenic Reserve is located across State Highway 2 in the North Island, which is around 60 kms from the south-west of Gisborne. This place provides a unique opportunity for travelers to enjoy the natural hot mineral pools for a relaxing bathing experience. There are numerous walking tracks that can be taken here, especially the Nikau loop track which is a 20 minute track suitable for families and other groups. There are other tramping tracks that can be more challenging for more adventurous travelers, including the Mangakawa track and the Ridge Track that allows them to explore the diverse rainforest of this region.
-Rangitikei River, Manawatu-Whanganui
Located in the middle of the North Island, the Rangitikei region offers a glimpse of the beautiful landscape along its Rangitikei River surrounded by deep gorges and offers a plethora of adventure activities for the travelers. Enjoy some of the best river rafting experiences here or bungee jumping along the Mokai Gravity Canyon for some thrill and adventure activities. Explore the beautiful hill country farms and its surroundings through the Kawhatau Valley Walks for some memorable experiences in this region. The National Army Museum is also one of the must visit places for the travelers in this region.
Visit the historic homes that were privately owned and designed by English Architects with the Homestead Architecture tours.
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