My Top 5 Experiences in North Island New Zealand
A sleepy farm country with endless green pastures and farm animals, New Zealand provides the ultimate setting for a great road trip. Check out my New Zealand highlights in my vlog, or continue reading for my Top 5 North Island experiences.
1. Blue Springs, Te Waihou Walkway
The Blue Springs’ river supplies 70% of New Zealands bottled water. A track follows alongside the Waihou River, starting from White Road (State Highway 28), near Putaruru. The walk is about 1.5hrs each way, or alternatively, a shorter walk (15 minutes each way) can be accessed via Leslie Road. Swimming is prohibited in order to protect the plantation that are important to the river’s ecosystem. For more information on how to get to the Blue Springs, visit here.
2. Visit the Glow Worms in Waikato
If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘glow worms’ and what they are, you might falsely believe that they’re the same as fire flies. The glow worms look exactly like what their name might suggest: glowing insect larvae.
To experience the magic of thousands of glow worms, it is best to take an underground boat ride. Out of all the guided tours operating in Waitomo, Spellbound Glow Worm Tours is the best option. I’ve heard raving reviews on countless forums, and my own experience with the tour was truly astounding!
We spent a night in the Waitomo area, where we stayed at the Woodlyn Park Motel. Known for its hobbit themed hotels, it is located only a few minutes from the glow worm tours. The rooms are clean, and has all the amenities you might need for a comfortable stay.
3. Skydive/bungy jump, or relax and unwind in Lake Taupo
From crystal clear waters, to thermal hot springs and natural lush landscape, the Lake Taupo region has something for everybody. For thrill seekers, skydiving, and bungy jumping are highly recommended activities. If the thought of jumping off a plane, or hanging from a cord strapped to your ankles is a bit daunting for you, then perhaps parasailing, and stand up paddle boarding may be more suited to your tastes.
For those wanting a little more “me” time, head on down to one of the many geothermal spa’s available in one of the several hotels in the area. Alternatively, a jet boat ride upstream towards the Huka Falls is another fun activity for the family.
4. Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Any fan of the LOTR series should put the Alpine Crossing in the top 5 attractions to experience in the North Island. Located in the Tongariro National Park, the track is 19.4km long, and takes you through a waterfall, blue emerald lakes, and Mount Doom. You would require a moderate amount of fitness to complete this track, although my mum did manage to complete the walk (it took us 9 hours).
5. Spend A Day at Piha Beach, off the West Coast of Auckland
Piha Beach is one of several many black sand beaches that scatter across Auckland’s shores and surrounds. The beach gets it black sand due to volcanic sand and iron. The easiest way to get there is to drive since public transport is not available. Note: the road does get a little windy at times.