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10 Days on North Island

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific 10 Days on North Island

1. Posted by jla (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

I am going to be spending 10 days in the North Island region at the end of March 2006. I've been reading a lot of the discussion threads and most have been centered around South Island. Any thoughts on North Island though? I want to thoroughly explore the North Island. So far, the sites I have on my list are: : Tongariro NP; Auckland; Rotorua area, Bay of Islands. Are there any other sites you would recommend that I should make an effort to explore if time allows? Thanks much!

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 10y

From the Bay of Islands (or ideally a destination further north, like Kaitaia), make certain to go up to Cape Reinga - it's gorgeous up there. Also, try to go there with your own transport, or at least not to do that with a tour which gives you only 15 minutes and spends the rest of the time sliding down sanddunes and eating "fush 'n chups". Those things are nice and all, but I at least wish I could've spent more time exploring there by myself.

If you're a LotR fan, Matamata is a must do stop for the Hobbiton tour, showing you the only remaining LotR set. $50 seems steep for it, but I've done it twice, and considered it absolutely worth the money both times.

3. Posted by jla (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

Thanks Sander! I will definitely add Cape Reinga as a place to explore.

On a separate question, does anyone have an opinion on Fox Glacier or Franz Joseph? If you only had one day for the glacier hiking, which site would you visit? Thanks!

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 10y

Haven't done glacier hiking myself, but at the bottom of the glaciers, Franz Josef definitely wins by having Peter's Pool and the subsequent track to Robert's Point. Most gorgeous bit of rainforest I've ever seen.

5. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 10y

Quoting jla

Thanks Sander! I will definitely add Cape Reinga as a place to explore.

On a separate question, does anyone have an opinion on Fox Glacier or Franz Joseph? If you only had one day for the glacier hiking, which site would you visit? Thanks!

I was at Franz Josef the other week and i have to say i preferred the Fox Glacier to Franz Josef but thats just to look at as i didnt hike them.Having said that alot of people i spoke to said its not worth doing the half day hike and the full day is around $130-$150 thats New Zealand dollars.

Go to Pahia and take a boat trip over to the Bay Of Islands it cost us $65 and we got the chance to swim with dolphins to at no extra cost.Ive got some photos of New Zealand on my blog and hope to update it soon so you can have a look for yourself.

6. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 10y

Re North Island - I really enjoyed visiting Napier, but I'm a bit of an art deco freak and it's probably only really interesting if you're into the architecture.

Also I really enjoyed caving at waitomo.

Re Franz Josef Glacier - the full-day glacier hike is really spectacular and well worth the money and effort.

7. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Quoting magykal1

Also I really enjoyed caving at waitomo.

I second that! The highlight of my trip was blackwater rafting in Waitomo. Somewhere near the end of the run, they have everyone turn off their caving helmets, and you look up to the cave ceiling to see it covered in glow-worms, like stars. It was fantastic.

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