Leaving the South Island and Heading North? These are the Places of Interest that we discovered during our own travels and we just want to spread the word. Feel free to have a browse and hopefully there will be something here that you didn’t know about.
If you’ve discovered something else that is off the beaten track then please send us an email with links to the appropriate webpage and if suitable, we’ll add it here too.
A recognised world-leader in interactive and visitor focused museum experiences, Te Papa lets you experience the nation’s art, culture and science – all in one breathtaking waterfront location. Better still, general admission is free!
Set around a picturesque reservoir, Zealandia is home to some of New Zealand’s most rare and extraordinary wildlife – all thriving wild in a world-first protected sanctuary valley.
Walk to the spectacular Putangirua Pinnacles or further for excellent views of Palliser Bay and Lake Onoke – the shorter options are suitable for kids.
Take a step back in time through the Museum’s new Entrance Building to the pioneering days of the Wairarapa.
A full-scale working adaptation of Stonehenge has been built right here in Aotearoa, allowing all New Zealanders to experience the wonders of stone circles for themselves. Situated in the Wairarapa countryside, a short distance from Wellington.
Castlepoint has been voted one of the country’s top 10 most loved beaches. Just an hour from Masterton, it’s the perfect getaway, with swimming, surfing, walking trails galore and a rugged east coast vibe.
You can see conservation in action at the Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre just north of Masterton in the Wairarapa.
Tuatara, kokako, kiwi and takahe are some of the species to be found here.
Take some time to visit, Manukura, the unique white Kiwi.
An Art Deco city in Wine Country. Rebuilt after a 1931 earthquake, the city is known for its many art deco landmarks.
This road connects the Hawkes Bay with central North Island (Napier and Taihape). It is supposed to be a very quiet road with very little traffic and great scenery. It is sealed all the way and suitable for cars, bikes and campervans.
Tongariro National Park is New Zealand’s oldest national park and consists of dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. A very popular and often crowded day walk, you need to plan for both weather and a multitude of other hikers. The smart money says that you want to be on one of the first shuttles each morning.
Ahhhhhh… the bliss of sliding down into the natural mineral pools of the Taupo DeBretts hot springs. With two huge mineral pools set amongst beautiful landscaped resort surroundings, it’s the perfect spot to relax and soothe tired, aching muscles.
Although it is getting a bit touristy, there are private pools on offer too.
– is arguably the best thermal area left in New Zealand
Lonely Planet Guide
Hukafalls Jet in Taupo is the only jet boat company permitted to take you to the base of the mighty Huka Falls.
How does A Fun, Safe but Exhilarating jet boating experience through world famous block buster film locations sound to you? Follow in the footsteps of The Hobbit, Yogi Bear and Mr Pip.
Blue and Green Lakes, Rotorua – These two lakes sit side by side and yes, one is blue and the other is green. How weird is that?
You’ll go on an adventure like no other, exploring our native forest on a 1.2km network of ziplines, swingbridges and treetop platforms where your safety is the number one focus.
Cruise across the Bay of Plenty and explore the inner crater of New Zealand’s most active volcano, White Island.
This is one of those trips that you will probably never get to do anywhere else in the world. It’s on my bucket list, it should be on yours as well.
On the most picturesque private farmland you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies in a fascinating two-hour guided tour.
All the signs in town are made from corrugated iron. A local artist, who I think now lives in Marlborough, has created signs for nearly every business in town from roofing iron – basically two dimensional sculptures. Worth a visit if you’re heading anywhere near Hobbiton.
Wairere Falls Track weaves its way through moss covered rocks and tree roots. Large round boulders form natural pools and cascading waterfalls. The falls drop 153 m over the steep escarpment, which is part of the Okauia fault line.
Massive opencast gold mine in the centre of town. Check it out by taking the hour long walk around its circumference. Information boards around the fences reveal all sorts of interesting info.
Many Kiwi’s will have driven through the breathtaking Karangahake Gorge but few will have ventured into the walkways, old tunnels, discovered the rich history hidden in the gorge or cycled the Hauraki Rail Trail. Not only is this one of the most stunning stretches of river in the country it is home to one of the busiest and most lucrative gold strikes in the country.
Walks include the “Windows Walk” and the “Karangahake Tunnel Walk”
The 1 hour return trip on our innovative designed trains takes you through replanted native kauri forest and includes 2 spirals, 3 short tunnels, 5 reversing points and several large viaducts as it climbs up to the mountain-top terminus.
A total Marine Reserve and Nature Reserve – and pending World Heritage Site – the 11 million year old Islands’ volcanic origins provide myriad spectacular drop offs, walls, caves, arches and tunnels.
Above and below water, the Islands are abundantly populated with unique and incredibly varied plant, animal and fish life.
Harrison’s Cape Runner is an exciting & informative informal tour with personal service and is locally owned & operated.
Except from a Tripadvisor review : “This museum is big! It took us over two hours to make our way through the complete history of this mighty tree’s demise and later conservation, proving to take us on a roller coaster of emotions, from sadness and depression through to hope. It’s an honest appraisal of foresting history, showcasing this magnificent tree, its majesty and sheer magnitude….”