NZ spending a week in the North Island - what to do?

Heading to NZ- North Island for a week at the end of the month.

flying in and out of auckland.

travelling with my family (2 adults + 3 children) so no wild adventures.

Just looking to chill out a bit.

rotorua, snow are some of things we are looking at doing.

places to stay?

any suggestions?

thanks muchly.


  • +1

    I like Polynesian spa in rotorua
    Nice for winter time

  • +1

    1 week = head south (winter) or head north (summer) from Auckland.

    In Auckland - North Head on the North Shore has historic gun emplacements with tunnels and big gun mounts etc.
    Great fun for kids 10-15

    Skypoint tower has views.

    MOTAT museum (west Auckland) has great hands on exhibits for kids, planes, army vehicles, steam engines.
    Zoo is next door and features on TV series here.

    2x ski fields on Mt Ruhapeahu in North Island .
    Tongariero National Park is on north side (closest to Auckland 4-5hrs drive) and Turoa is on south side and better. The mountain is active with recent small eruptions.

    Book an overnight or 2 in Rotorua to ski and spa then back to Auck.

    • cool. thanks

  • Take a ferry across to Waiheke Island - 30 minutes from downtown Auckland. It has a very relaxed culture, great beaches & winery cellar doors, and the old bus is great for exploring the island. Consider an overnight stay. One of our favourite places to chill out.
    Take the kids down to Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula 2 hours from Auckland. Stay in the camping ground in a cabin and dig holes in the sand and sit in the warm mineral water after a beach walk. Drive a little further down the coast to Hahei, and walk down to Cathedral Cove.
    Rotorua and Taupo are tourist centres with lots of activities and sightseeing. Ohakune is where to head for snow activities - access to Turoa ski fields on Ruapehu.
    The Auckland Museum has a great multimedia show and is an interesting collection of Maori, Pacific and early european settlement. Getting to Te Papa Museum in Wellington will actually prove a longer drive than you think, as NZ roads are very twisty and can be challenging.
    I agree with MITM, in winter there is relatively little to do north of Auckland, but there is Snow Planet on the North Shore (an indoor ski field), and the Waiwera Hot Pools 45mins north of Auckland.

    enjoy :)

    • awesome thanks

  • +1

    See whats on at the Civic Theatre in Auckland. We saw Mary Poppins for $50 NZ each. The Hungi/Cultural night shows in Rotorua, while not cheap, are great fun and great value. The maori owned thermal areas put on a fun entertainment show. We love the Sheep Show in Rotorua too. My kids loved luging and quad bike riding, paintball, zorb. Not sure of their ages but you may be able to share a luge etc with younger kids. Keep the kids busy- if they're happy you'll be happy. YHA and BBH are great value in NZ, many have family rooms and inroom showers. Other kids are often there with their families and having other travellers/locals to talk to make it a memorable holiday. Give Rotorua a few days. Heaps to do.

  • also.. do check for a what's on guide.

    If I was to be in Auckland later this month you would find me at the "City of Ales" beer event

  • It is the moral responsibility of all Australians when in New Zealand to spy on the All Blacks in order to learn their secrets. Don't let us down.

    • +1

      Shame it doesn't help aye… ;)

    • I'm from melbourne. grown men groping each other doesn't interest me.

      • How does being from m(M)elbourne have anything remotely to do with Tas' comment?

        • rugby is traditionally not supported/followed by melbournians.

  • +3

    Go to burger fuel
    Amazing burgers! Much better than grilld.

    • +1

      Wish they would have a bigger presence in Australia.

    • Yes!

  • Love Rotorua, there is so much to do.

    If the kids are younger, there is a duck tour which they would find fun, and you get some good facts & history of the area from the commentary.

    The Redwood forests are impressive too (despite not being native)

    We did a breakfast cruise on lake Rotorua on a paddleboat steamer thing. Quite scenic and a good buffet!

    Went to the Te Puia Maori center which wasn't super awesome, but the geyser is spectacular, and they have Kiwis which the kids would probably be excited about.

    Taupo is less kid-friendly I would say, but the Huka falls is worth a visit, as is the Craters of the Moon gethermal area… less than an hour from Rotorua anyway.

    In Auckland, we caught a ferry across to Devonport, which is a cheap way to get views from the harbour. D3evonport is a nice little village and the view from Mt Victoria is spectacular.

    Otherwise, Auckland is a typical city, with typical city things to do.

    I rekon Wellington is much more interesting and fun than Auckland, but probably a bit too far to drive for only a week holiday with the kids.

  • Just got this in my mailbox. Jetstar $46 Auk to Wellington if dates/budget suit.
    I agree that Wellington is well worth the trip.

    Just noticed op has prob been and gone but this may help someone.

  • +1

    If you got some time to spare, Waitomo Glowworm Cave is an interesting place to go. It's about 1.5 hrs drive from Rotorua.

    Make sure that you pick up the official guide for visitors in the NZ airport. Inside which you will find some discount vouchers to some of the places of interest.

  • Grabone website has awesome discounts. We got all day 90 miles beach tour for NZ40 ish. Kiwi version of Groupon.

  • Any tips for renting a car for a week ? Just a standard sedan. Thanks

  • Rent a dent were good. Small station wagons.