Hit the road this weekend.
Auckland is a fantastic city, but for those of us who see it endlessly, we crave something new and exciting. Wonderfully, the North Island offers some iconic experiences, especially on a boring winter weekend. Taking advantage of one of these experiences could be the pick-me-up you need this month. From bathing in natural hot pools to indulging in the finest New Zealand cuisine, we’ve found something for everyone to enjoy. Here are eight exciting North Island experiences to beat the winter blues.
Hit the road for a ski weekend, just four hours drive, to experience New Zealand’s highest dining experience in Whakapapa. First, take the Sky Waka gondola to 2020m above sea level which offers majestic views all year around. Indulge on a variety of snacks and coffees in the award-winning sky-high café, snuggly hidden behind large glass windows. After, head skiing or snowboarding on the Mt Ruapehu slopes. Additionally, Tongariro National Park is a prime outdoor destination for a winter hike.
📍 Whakapapa Ski Area, 4691, New Zealand
2. Hot Pools
Kiwi’s just adore their hot pools. So why not take advantage of Kiwi culture and unwind after a long week in one of the greatest North Island hot pools. Some options include The Lost Spring in the Coromandel region, Polynesian Spa in Lake Rotorua, Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve & Mud Spa, just to name a few. Indeed, one dip in one of these pools and you’ll feel all your troubles wash away.
📍 Various Locations
3. Hawke’s Bay
Winter is the perfect excuse to explore new places and indulge on all our foodie impulses. Hawke’s Bay offers stunning winery adventures, delicious grub from Farmers Markets, and plenty to explore. The picturesque town of Napier has carefully preserved world-class 1930s architecture and is a must-see in this region. You’ll get all the Great Gatsby vibes through its art deco facades, vintage cars and streetscapes. Course, you won’t be short of budget-friendly places to stay.
Drive three hours to discover the natural wonders and take in the stunning views of Lake Taupo. Indeed, this tranquil haven is the best place to sooth your tensions in rare hot pools, embark on various cycling routes and partake in terrific adrenaline activities. Photographers and influencers will adore this picturesque place. Visit their Instagram feed for more information.
This spot is the perfect North Island weekend adventure for adrenaline junkies. Just two hours from Auckland, an exciting experience awaits you, from taking a guided boat tour through the epic underground glow worm caves and limestone caverns to black water rafting on underground rivers and abseiling 100m into Lost World to explore the Mangapu Streamway. Certainly, you won’t get bored. For further excursion information, visit the Waitomo website.
6. Unusual Staycations
Check out our list of unique and bizarre North Island accommodations which offers the perfect new experience.
7. Cape Reinga
See the Tasman Sea collide with the Pacific Ocean at one of the most breathtaking coasts in New Zealand. Dipped in a rich history, the Māori believe an ancient Pohutukawa tree and the lighthouse mark the spot after death where spirits travel for their final journey. Be sure to drive along the spectacular 90 mile beach that is a must-visit in Cape Reing. Likewise, you can opt to stay the night with an array of Airbnbs on offer in the area. Indeed, one of the best North Island experiences this winter.
8. Wellington Foodie Adventure
Opt to fly, drive or take the train to this wonderful city where you can immerse yourself in endless culture, visit chocolate museums, and anything else you wish to do. Be sure to visit Hannah’s Laneway which is a foodies dreamland where you can gorge on delicious cookies pizza and more while sipping a cocktail or having a few too many beers. In August, you could go on a culinary adventure at VISA Wellington On A Plate event with hundreds of pop-ups, interactive themed bars and plenty of fun.