North Island Part I

From Auckland up to the north and back down to Wellington along the East coast.

WHAT WE DID

Cape Reinga

A LONG drive up to the top northern point of the island to be reward with some stunning views of the coast, where the two seas meet and a traditional lighthouse. 

Auckland

By far the largest built up area in the whole of New Zealand. A lovely city definitely worth giving at least a day to explore.


Rotorua

A small town right in the middle of some geothermal activity. Only a small drive through and a short hike in the Rotorua redwoods for us but worth seeing if wanting something different!

Lake Taupo

A beautiful place to stop for a while. Incredible freedom camping spot right on the lake with mountain views behind. A short drive / longer walk into the town itself.


Hawkes Bay Area + Cape Kidnappers

Again - a quick stop off for us which we didn’t particularly enjoy. We personally didn’t find too much to explore along this stretch. For a spectacular view over the bay drive up Te Mata peak south of Hastings.

Castlepoint

Another great free camping spot with a lovely castle and beach area to see. Be aware of these guys though! They may block your pathway.


WHAT WE LIKED MOST

Lake Taupo

Best spot along the way – definitely worth stopping the night on the lake. We loved it so much we stayed for an extra night!

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

Rotorua

Most geothermal activities cost money so deterred us a little. Also free camping is near impossible so we had to move on quickly to find somewhere to stay!

Cape Reinga

Don’t get us wrong it was beautiful, but it is SO far up north with not much along the way! It added 3 days and a hell of a lot of petrol onto our journey. Sadly, it’s the point we would have missed off if we’d known.