It’s no wonder why New Zealand ranks among one of the finest travel destinations in the world. A compact little nation set in the Pacific that offers visitors endless beauty and adventure. To help make the most of your travels, we have put together this ultimate New Zealand bucket list of the spectacular North Island.
The beauty of the North is the amount of diversity you can experience all within a short trip. Our ‘Up the Guts’ road trip, for example, is only a 10-day journey but it sure does pack a punch! With the car at your disposal, you can comfortably see the highlights of 7 incredibly diverse destinations – Auckland, Raglan, Waitomo, Rotorua, Taupo, Ohakune, and Wellington – without feeling rushed or driving for hours and hours on end.
In this ultimate New Zealand bucket list, we focus on the essential experiences that sum up the character of the central North Island. We hope to inspire budding travellers to take on these incredible Kiwi experiences while travelling independently or on a Roady!
Drink Wine on Waiheke Island
Lazy days, stunning vineyards, and beautiful beaches await your arrival on Waiheke Island. Wander along the white sandy beaches at Onetangi and Palm Beach and sip some of the world’s best wine at Cable Bay, Mudbrick, Stonyridge, and Man O’ War vineyards, among others. Take the ferry from Britomart which is just a short 40-minute trip!
Learn how to Surf in Raglan
Raglan Surfing School provides the best 3-hour surfing lessons in Raglan because you get the most optimal student to instructor ratio. Beginners are taken through the fundamentals of surfing down at the stunning Ngarunui beach. This includes ocean awareness, etiquette, and surf technique. Cowabunga dude!
Float through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves with Legendary Black Water Rafting
The classic Black Labyrinth adventure run by the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co is an original favourite featuring black water tubing, climbing, and leaping through Ruakuri Cave. Over 3 hours of fun, you’ll take leaps of faith over cascading waterfalls and float serenely down an underground river as you enjoy the glowworm show up above.
Legendary Black Water Rafting Discount: Use promo code ‘Roady’ for phone bookings and walk ups.
Sink a Drink at the Green Dragon Inn – Hobbiton
Tick off another item on your New Zealand bucket list with this incredible journey into the real Middle-Earth! Get lost among the hobbit holes, take a look at Bag End – where Frodo and Bilbo’s adventures began – and sink a drink at the Green Dragon Inn, all while learning spellbinding tales of how Hobbiton came to be!
Bathe in the Natural Hot Springs of Kerosene Creek
Relax in the naturally warm waters of Kerosene Creek, where hot spring and freshwater stream meet. Set amongst the lush native bush, Kerosene Creek offers a natural bathing experience like no other.
Roll Down a Hill in a Giant Ball – OGO
It’s hard to know what to expect when you hop into a giant ball perched on a hill. But as you start rolling down you won’t be able to contain your laughter! Ogo Downhill Ball Rolling is one of the most fabulous activities going around and best experienced with a mate or two.
OGO Discount: Use the promo code ‘ROADY10′ when booking online to get 10% off!
Survive the Worlds Highest Rafted Waterfall – Rotorua
Rotorua Rafting is home to the largest commercially rafted waterfall in the world – Tutea Falls. But don’t be scared. Anyone can do it! With New Zealand native scenery and Māori history lining the gorge of the beautiful Kaituna River, let Rotorua Rafting show you their amazing backyard.
Rotorua Rafting Discount: Use the promo code ‘ROADY10′ when booking online to get $10 off!
Sail to the Māori Rock Carvings in Taupo
The Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo are celebrated as one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary artworks. Sail Barbary provides a unique 2 ½ hour sailing journey out to the carvings on their awesome electric yacht. Help hoist the sails, take the wheel, or sit back with a couple of beers and enjoy the sun!
Jump 15,000 ft from a plane over Lake Taupo
Taupo Tandem Skydiving has helped over 200,000 people conquer their fears and skydive out of a plane! With HD footage, free USBs, YouTube uploads and incredible views, your skydive will be unforgettable. Jump from 9,000, 12,000, or 15,000 ft!
Taupo Tandem Skydive Discount: Use the promo code ‘ROADY5’ when booking online to get 5% off!
Complete the Tongariro Crossing
Where else in the world can you experience an active crater, steam vents, emerald-coloured lakes, and absolutely magnificent views? The Tongariro Crossing is New Zealand’s greatest day walk and one of the major highlights on any New Zealand bucket list!
Ride along the Wellington Waterfront on a Croc Bike
There is no experience more quintessential to Wellington than exploring the attractions of the Waterfront on a quirky Croc-Bike! Hire a small 3 seater or large 6 seater quadricycle and take your mates on a discovery of Wellington.
Drink coffee down Cuba St (Wellington)
Join the caffeinated crowds and get your fix at one of Wellington’s great Coffee houses! Fidel’s Cafe serves the delicious Havana Cuban coffee, Raglan Roast offer $3 flat whites and $2.50 long blacks, and Caffe L’affare is a popular coffee destination for all city-dwellers!