Whether you’re looking to go trekking, sailing and kayaking or to take in the peace and serenity of beautiful natural panoramas, New Zealand is the perfect holiday destination. Although every visitor to New Zealand should consider visiting both the North and the South Islands, here are some of the highlights from the North Island.
One of the most fascinating features of the North Island is the significant geothermal activity. The intense geothermal activity raging underneath the city of Rotorua, for example, makes it an interesting place to visit. In Rotorua, visitors can take a scenic helicopter ride to view the steaming geysers and the crater of nearby MtTaraweras from above or simply enjoy bathing in the natural hot springs.
Hot Water Beach is another unique natural attraction created by geothermal activity. At Hot Water Beach, the water heated by volcanic activity rises to the surface of the water just off the shoreline. Unlike other hot springs in the area, the heated water is just offshore thereby creating a hot spring that is also a beach.
Tongariro National Park, both the oldest national park in New Zealand and a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site, is also home to significant geothermal activity. The southern end of the park is dominated by three active volcanoes, Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a trekking route that will take you past many features of volcanic activity including the crater of an active volcano, steam vents and flowing lava.
Lake Taupo is another highlight of the North Island. It is an ideal location to launch a sea-kayaking expedition. Make sure to paddle out to Whakamoega Point to see the Maori stone carvings that cannot be seen from land. The towering cliffs of Waikarariki Point are also well worth seeing. The clear waters, white sand beaches and views of the three volcanoes in Tongario National Park make Lake Taupo an exceptionally beautiful natural attraction.
Bay of Islands is a scenic area near the northern tip of the North Island. The extensive white sand beaches, big-game fishing and facilities for sailing have earned it a reputation as a holiday destination. Visitors can take a boat trip around the bay to begin to discover the 144 islands that make up the bay, go on a dolphin-watching cruise or go trekking in the native Kauri forest nearby.
Even though the North Island has significantly more public transportation than the South Island, being able to control your own transportation will add to your enjoyment as you explore this fascinating island. Campervan hire is the ideal solution to both your transportation and lodging needs. Explore the island at your own pace without worrying about hotel reservations and bus schedules. The freedom provided by a campervan will allow you to stop and enjoy a beautiful panorama when you spot one from the road or spend extra time at a site you’re particularly enjoying.