The North Island of New Zealand has the capital city of Wellington along with the nation’s biggest city, Auckland. Nevertheless, the island is covered in great natural areas. Visit kauri forests in Northland, beautiful coastline on the Coromandel Peninsula, and geothermal attractions near Rotorua. The North Island has four national parks, Te Urewera, Tongariro, Whanganui, and Egmont. Tongariro National Park is home to Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a truly exceptional day hike.
Tracks on the North Island
This collection of walking tracks (hiking trails) on the North Island of New Zealand is listed from north to south and west to east. The table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next outing. Each track links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these hikes.
|030||Watkin Powell Track|
This short track crosses through bush to reach a secluded beach in Tauwhara Bay where you can continue walking up the coast.
This trek combines picturesque tracks around the base and up to the summit of a peninsula-topping peak in the Bay of Plenty Region of New Zealand.
|3.4 - 7.3 km|
20 - 230 meters
This trek in Kakepuku Mountain Historic Reserve near Te Awamutu ascends to a 449-meter summit with a lookout tower boasting panoramic views.
|130||Okere Falls Track|
This scenic walk through Okere Falls Scenic Reserve has views of multiple waterfalls, cascades, and pools on the Okere River near Rotorua.
This circuit near Rotorua provides a pleasant loop across lakeside beaches and forests, rising to a lookout over Blue Lake and nearby Green Lake.
|138||Waimangu Volcanic Valley|
This route descends through a landscape of spectacular geothermal features like Frying Pan Lake, the largest hot spring in the world, and can be paired with Lake Rotomahana Boat Cruise for a memorable geothermal experience in Rotorua.
This short walk in Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve goes to an overlook with views of a turquoise pool below vibrant cliffs.
This short walk follows Kerosene Creek down to a hot pool below a crescent-shaped waterfall. Bring your bathing suit and wade into warm, welcoming waters.
|145||Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland|
This thermal area full of hot pools, geysers, fumaroles, and mud pots can be explored on three successive loops.
|1.35 - 3.05 km|
|160||Spa Thermal Park - Huka Falls Walkway|
This walk follows the Waikato River from hot springs at Spa Thermal Park to the rapids and waterfall at Huka Falls in New Zealand's most visited scenic reserve.
This lollipop loop visits tranquil beaches on a forest-wrapped lake in Tongariro National Park.
|180||Tongariro Alpine Crossing|
This through-hike ventures across dynamic volcanic landscapes in Tongariro National Park and ranks among the world's greatest day hikes.
This out and back return hike visits a short but enticing single-drop waterfall near Whakapapa Village in Tongariro National Park.
This loop crosses a variety of volcano-influenced landscapes to reach a beautiful 20-meter tall waterfall in Tongariro National Park.
This track leaves from Whakapapa Village in Tongariro National Park and crosses alpine bogs, forests, streams, and ridges of volcanic rock to reach creamy cascades on silica terraces.
|5.15 - 7.15 km|
This short, easy hike leads to a viewpoint for a 25-meter tall waterfall below Mount Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park.
This out and back return hike reaches Tongariro National Park's tallest waterfall and passes through an alpine wetland that reflect views of Mount Ruapehu.
This short, level walk explores a Rimu forest along the Mangawhero River near the town of Ohakune at the south end of Tongariro National Park.
This out and back return hike reaches a peaceful blue lake that reflects a view of Mount Ruapehu, the tallest mountain on the North Island.
This walk goes through sheep pastures and down cliffs by the Rangitikei River to a small forest filled with large spherical boulders that are quite unique.
More outdoor fun
|Hobbiton Movie Set Tourist Farm|
Fantasy becomes reality when you visit the filming location for Hobbiton from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. See Bag End, get a drink at Green Dragon Inn, and walk past hobbit hole after colorful hobbit hole on a tour through Hobbiton Movie Set.
|Kaituna River Whitewater Rafting|
Take a memorable trip down the Kaituna River (Okere River) through Okere Falls Scenic Reserve that includes a thrilling plunge over Tutea Falls, the tallest commercially rafted waterfall in the world!
|Lake Rotomoahana Boat Cruise|
Take a boat tour over the lake at the bottom of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, getting close to steaming vents and geysers right along the lakeshore for a unique on-the-water experience. The cruise is reachable by bus or a hike down Waimangu Volcanic Valley.
Camping on the North Island
Places to camp can be found all over New Zealand, including Department of Conservation campgrounds and holiday parks that are usually run privately. Holiday Parks offer powered sites where campervans and RVs can plug in. They also offer kitchens and dining areas, bathrooms with showers, and other amenities. Most Department of Conservation campgrounds are fairly basic, but some offer extra amenities as well. There are also huts for backpacks throughout New Zealand’s parks. Pricing in New Zealand is done per person and not per site. Checkout time is typically 10 a.m. and you can check in in the afternoon.
This campground in Tongariro National Park near Ohakuna, New Zealand has twelves sites on two loops with views of Mount Ruapehu.
|Otamure Bay Campground|
This 131-site campground lies between farm-covered hills and a charming beach framed by rocky points.
|Papamoa Beach Resort|
This oceanfront holiday park offers scenic lodging and campsites on grass-covered dunes above a beautiful beach on the Bay of Plenty near Tauranga.
|Rawene Holiday Park|
This holiday park offers tent sites, campervan sites, and cabins on a hill on a peninsula jutting into Hokianga Harbour in Northland, NZ.
|Rotorua Top 10|
This holiday park has campsites, cabins, and motel accommodations in a fun setting near the center of Rotorua with amenities that include mineral hot pools.
|Whakapapa Holiday Park|
This holiday park in Whakapapa Village offers tent sites, campervan sites, cabins, and a backpackers lodge along a stream below Mount Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park.
Lodging on the North Island
|Matariki Motor Lodge|
This motor lodge in the town of Te Awamutu is halfway between Hobbiton and Waitomo with studio and one-bedroom units with lots of conveniences for travelers.
|Murupara Motor Camp|
Set in a small town in the Bay of Plenty Region of New Zealand, this motor camp is half holiday park and half motor lodge, offering a variety of accommodations in a location that is both removed from busy tourist centers and close to lots of fun outdoor activities.
This lodge along the Rangitikei River is in a beautiful country setting that is private, elegant, and comfortable. Relax in and around the lodge, go for a swim, or tackle one of the area’s adventures.
This lodge near Lake Taupo blends comfort with luxury and has welcoming owners who can help you take advantage of the area’s abundant outdoor opportunities.