While the North Island of New Zealand is slightly smaller than its southern sibling, it accounts for 4/5 of New Zealand’s 5 million population. The nation’s capital, Wellington sits at the southern tip of the island and is a vibrant blend of cosmopolitan arts, music and culture. While Auckland in the North is the country’s largest city surrounded by a beautiful harbour and a charming skyline of city skyscrapers.

The centre is home to a volcanic hotbed of activity, from Lake Taupo, the remains of a super volcanic eruption to the thermal activity and hot pools of Rotorua. However, no trip would be complete without undertaking one of the world’s best day hikes, the Tongariro Crossing. Whereby one is quite literally transported to another planet as you hike passed acidic emerald, blue lakes and accident lava flows.

Mt Taranaki in the east can be seen for miles around and a hike to Pouakai Hut to take in its beauty up close is thoroughly recommended. Additional travel up the east coast to sample the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Or head west to Napier and Hawks Bay. For those after relaxing beaches, a trip to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsular and Waiheke Island is a must. As well as venturing north from Auckland to Paihia and the Bay of Islands.

Included amongst all these natural wonders is the rich heritage of the Māori. Who called Aotearoa home long before the historic explorers brought with them a European influence.

When to Visit

As with all of the southern hemisphere it’s essential to remember the seasons are in reverse compared to those in the northern hemisphere. The next thing to be mindful of is that being an island nation surrounded by ocean, New Zealand has a maritime climate, meaning it’s not unusual to experience four seasons in one day. Due to the North Islands higher latitude, the weather variations aren’t quite as extreme compared to that of the south. Although that being said, the further north one ventures the more tropical the climate does become.  

Spring is a great time to visit with warm sunny days and a countryside bursting into life. The summer months of December to February offer the best weather but equally busier footfall and higher prices. While Autumn is often considered the best time to visit with many long sunny days still on offer and few crowds to contend with. For those after some winter snow, the months of June to August give rise to snow coverage on the high peaks, leading to skiing and beautiful crisp winter days.

Average monthly high and low temperatures, plus average monthly rainfall and days with rain can be seen below for Auckland & Wellington.

Graph showing average high and low temperature by month for Auckland, New Zealand
Graph showing average rainfall and days with rain by month for Auckland, New Zealand
Graph showing average high and low temperature by month for Wellington, New Zealand
Graph showing average rainfall and days with rain by month for Wellington, New Zealand