North Island

The smaller of the two main islands, the North Island is home to New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, and New Zealand's capital city, Wellington – both abounding in charm, history and the attractions of ultra-modern world cities. The gateway to New Zealand, Auckland is a vibrant city with a pulse that moves with fashion, the arts and its reputation as a force in sailing and watersports. Other North Island highlights include geothermal Rotorua, the Bay of Islands, Lake Taupo and many landmarks that evoke the country's inherent Maori character.

Rotorua is a region of chocolate-box scenery, and with 18 sparkling lakes and three major rivers dotted around the area there are plenty of fun things to see and do. It’s the adventure capital of the North, a geothermal wonderland, a region steeped in Maori culture, and home to New Zealand’s most visited archaeological site, the buried village of Te Wairoa.

The picturesque village of Martinborough oozes rural sophistication and is one of New Zealand’s most significant wine regions. Famous for its award-winning pinot noir, the 30 local vineyards are close enough for a walking wine tour experience, and gourmet delights can be sampled at an abundance of restaurants, cafes, pubs and wineries.