14 Off The Beaten Track Places On New Zealand’s North Island

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Volcano White Island
Volcano White Island

New Zealand is a friendly country full of popular attractions for tourists and locals.  While many are drawn to the South Island for its skiing and adventure sports, visitors to the quieter North Island will fall in love with its natural beauty.

These 14 places on New Zealand’s North Island will leave you speechless:

1. WHITE ISLAND

White Island is New Zealand’s only active marine volcano and looks like the setting of a James Bond movie, or somewhere you might see dinosaurs roam.  Travel there by boat, take a tour, and see its inner workings.

Volcano White Island
                                                                                           explore.gorentals.co.nz

2. WAITOMO’S OTHER CAVES

Waitomo Caves are a popular tourist destination, but many only visit the main caves.  Take the Ruakuri Bushwalk track where you’ll come across many more small caves, waterfalls, and walking outcrops.

Ruakuri Bridge
                                                                                                                     waitomo.com

3. WAITAKERE RANGES

The Waitakere Ranges, near Piha on the West Coast, are famous for their astounding natural beauty including black sand beaches, waterfalls, forests, and meandering waterways.

waitakere ranges
                                                                                                        aucklandnz.com

4. KARANGAHAKE GORGE

This former gold mining location is still home to several railway tunnels. Walking and cycling is highly recommended to make the most of the scenery.

karangahake gorge
                                                                                                                              doc.govt.nz

5. VOLKNER ROCKS

These 3 huge rocks are close to White Island.  We recommend scuba diving, or at the very least a boat trip.

volkner
                                                                                                            backpackerguide.nz

6. TIRITIRI MATANGI ISLAND

Tiritiri Matangi island is New Zealand coastline at its picturesque best. Perfect for fishing, boating, and splashing about with the kids.

matangi island beach
                                                                                                                              aucklandnz.com

7. TE UREWERA

Tongariro, Fiordland and Aoraki Mt. Cook are popular, but few know about the hidden wonder that is Te Urewera with its incredible parks, waterfalls, and lakes.

te urewera
                                                                                         newzealand.com

8. RERE FALLS

A waterfall and rockslide all-in-one, Rere Falls is a great place to get the board and start sliding.

RERE FALLS
                                                                                                              jaguardriversbop.co.nz

9. DOUBTLESS BAY

Crowd-free and safe for swimming, Doubtless Bay is an idyllic location for swimming, spotting dolphins, and relaxing.

Bay
                                                                                                           doubtlessbay.co.nz

10. MOKOIA ISLAND

The serene and sacred Mokoia Island offers a wonderful cultural experience. Take a boat tour and discover the amazing wildlife.

Mokoia Island
                                                                                        bookme.co.nz

11. MT HIKURANGI

An important cultural site, Maori legend says that Mount Hikurangi was the first part of the North Island to emerge from the ocean when the demigod Maui fished it into being. The mountain is also believed to be the resting place of Maui’s waka (canoe).  Explore on foot or by 4 x 4.

hikurangi
                                                                                                       vagabond-celeste.com

12. AORANGI FOREST

If you have seen The Lord of the Rings, you will recognise Aorangi Forest’s staggeringly beautiful stone pillars.

Aorangi
                                                                                                        trover.com

13. CAPE PALLISER

Cape Palliser is the home of a lighthouse reached by climbing 250 steps. It’s also the home of the North Island’s biggest fur seal colony.

Cape Palliser
                                                                                                       wairarapanz.com

14. PAIHIA’S MANGROVE FOREST

This stunning floating forest is a world of its own. Hire kayaks and paddle through it, wondering at the wildlife activity all around you.

Mangrove forest
                                                                                        backpackerguide.nz

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