North Island

Population: Circa 3.7 million

Just over three-quarters of the New Zealand population live in the North Island. The island is made up of 28 main urban areas.

Regions: Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui,

Hawkes Bay, Wellington


Climate: Plenty of sunshine during the warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters

Great for: Concerts and festivals, eating out at the Viaduct Harbour, shopping and sailing


Climate: Known as ‘the Winterless North’, Northland is the warmest region of North Island with 2000 hours of sunshine a year, but it can also get wet.

Great for: surfing, diving, golfing and big game fishing.


The capital city and second largest urban area of New Zealand and amongst the cheapest cities in the world to live.

Climate: Marine, very moderate all year round with plenty of sunshine.

Great for Festivals, arts, exploring the city’s café culture (they say there are more cafes in Wellington per head than New York City!)

East Coast

North Island’s East Coast is home to some of New Zealand best beaches. Towns such as Mount Maunganui and Whakatane are popular holiday destinations for locals and holidaymakers alike. The area has something to cater for all, from chilled out beaches to adventure sports to some of New Zealand’s very best food and wine.

The main towns on the East Coast are:

Tauranga – 6th largest city in New Zealand.

Rotorua – The iconic tourist capital of NZ, steeped in Maori myth and legend. It has numerous beautiful lakes to sail and kayak, where many Kiwis have holiday homes and enjoy summer holidays.

Gisborne – Known it’s fantastic wineries and stunning surf beaches.

Central North Island & West Coast

Climate: Moderate with plenty of sunshine; a region of green, rolling farmland

Great for: Activities for all the family, skiing, snowboarding, walking and skydiving


Coromandel Peninsula

From white sandy beaches to tropical rainforest – the Coromandel is unspoiled New Zealand at its best. This is one of the top holiday spots in the summertime, lots of kiwis have a ‘bach’ (holiday home) up here and they go back year after year to really relax and enjoy the summer holidays.

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake and a centre of geothermal activity, with its hot springs and volcanic plateau. Soak in the relaxing natural hot pools after a day on the ski slopes at Whakapapa.

Surf Highway 45

The ‘Naki’, as the locals call the Taranaki region, is fantastic if you love to surf and ski. Surf Highway 45 has some of the best surf breaks and wildly rugged coastlines in NZ. Head on down to the ‘Kumara Patch’ to find the perfect wave.

Waitomo Caves

Explore the subterranean grotto of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. You won’t find glowworms anywhere else, they are beautifully luminescent and an underground boat tour to see this extraordinary sight is simply breathtaking.



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