The South Island experiences four seasons in the classical way: It can get very hot in Summer (especially in the Otago region) and very cold in Winter, with your typical Spring and Autumn colours. New Zealand North Island must do – read on. Walk around Miramar Peninsula to find a giant green screen and the Weta Cave, a souvenir shop where you get to pose with Gollum and marvel at original movie props. However, New Zealand is actually quite a large country. Auckland is often the first touch point visitors have with New Zealand. Regarding fitting your road trip in your schedule, it is a tie. And although you can do the same on the Tasman Glacier, this one’s better known for its glacier-lake and floating ice that’s broken off of the glacier. About a million people visit Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound every year and marvel at its majesty. Today there’s a museum in its place. Visit the West Coast's black-sand beaches, explore one of the 48 volcanic cones or sip wine on Waiheke Island. Read about the best things to do in Auckland here. The contest Of course, the main city rivalry in New Zealand exists between Auckland and Wellington (à la Sydney and Melbourne) but this is a contest between North and South… In Spring, this picture is rounded out by the pretty Lupin flowers, which, in reality, are a weed (that doesn’t make the flowers any less lovely, though). So, it might be time to make some tough choices. Because I know my way around the country and have decades of experience creating bespoke itineraries! It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. Perfect! This volcanic zone spans from White Island in the Bay of Plenty southwards past Taupo to Tongariro National Park, the absolute hotspot being Rotorua. But the best time to see the Southern Lights is on a clear Winter’s night. New Zealand’s South Island hosts the purest natural landscapes you’ll ever experience. I honestly love both islands, but am a little biased towards North Island, since this is where we live. Obviously, if you do have the time, explore both islands, they are both so very special. Aptly named artist’s palette and champagne pools in the back, wai-o-tapu thermal wonderland in rotorua. From wildlife to wineries, glacial valleys to star-filled skies, the South Island offers adventure in all its forms. There’s no bad weather in New zealand, just bad equipment ;-). You won’t be disappointed either way. The most famous of them is Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel Peninsula, where during low tide you get to dig your own hot pool in the sand. However, if you want to go to the South Island, be aware that getting there by car will take you a couple of days (including the ferry crossing of Cook Strait between the North and South Islands). There’s rich wildlife in Fjordland and the chances are high you’ll see dolphins playing in the water and seals sitting on the rocks. Then again, there’s Abel Tasman National Park with the calmest and best-sheltered bays and the most sunshine hours in all of New Zealand… so yeah...beaches are amazing everywhere, that’s one I can’t tell you whether you should rather visit the North Island or South Island New Zealand. 1 Week North Island. Whether you're planning a North Island fly fishing tour, a South Island wilderness honeymoon, a New Zealand family adventure or a luxury Queenstown golfing escape, we aim to make visiting our beautiful land effortless. New Zealand is one of those places, split by a strip of water, whose north-south divide makes it easy to play favourites with. Major wine regions in the North Island are Hawke’s Bay in the east, Waiheke Island off Auckland (also known as the wine island) and Kumeu also in Auckland, Wairarapa Valley near Wellington and Gisborne, which is often forgotten on the list of wine regions in New Zealand. The North Island is milder over all. hot water river kerosene creek in rotorua. Vibrant Cities Winner: North Island. The South Island experiences four seasons in the classical way: It can get very hot in Summer (especially in the Otago region) and very cold in Winter, with your typical Spring and Autumn colours. However, the winter can be rather different between the islands. These can be very cheap (from as little as $49 per person one way) and quick. That’s definitely not the case. In fact, you might be forgiven for thinking you are in different countries! Compared to the number of wine regions in the country, New Zealand’s not a huge player in exporting the delicious grape juice. Looking for a New Zealand group tour which covers the very best of both the North and South islands? It has an area of 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 square miles), and is bordered by the Cook Strait to the north, the Tasman Sea … North Island It’s ultra delicious and has a lovely rose colour, even though it’s a white wine. The South Island, also officially named Te Waipounamu, is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area, the other being the smaller but more populous North Island. By far the better option, if you arrive in Auckland and want to explore the South Island, is to take an ​internal flight to Christchurch. New Zealand is known for those once-in-a-lifetime kind of experiences. As a result, boiling water, sulphur and mud bubble to the surface, while chemical reactions create silica formations and colourful pools. The cheeky Kea can only be found in the alpine area on the South Island, stealing your car’s windscreen wipers and window seals. North Island vs South Island New Zealand: Which Is Better? New Zealand Regions. New Zealand is comprised of two main islands: the North and South Islands. You could say, every inch of New Zealand that isn’t bush or farmland is a vineyard. Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford & Doubtful Sounds, Dunedin, Stewart Island, Mt Cook National Park, Christchurch, Akaroa and Kaikoura we have a New Zealand South Island … Why? While both islands have a significant amount of coastline, farmland, and high terrain, the North and South Island are not identical. Follow this same itinerary but start on Day 4. That said, the West Coast and Southland are the areas with the most rain in New Zealand, Nelson one of the sunniest. You can happily come to the South Island and base yourself in Queenstown for days of skiing, snowboarding. If you are going to be here for only one or two weeks and want to see both islands you are going to be spending a lot of your time traveling and what you get to see will be quite limited. We are living and working in Auckland but in our spare time you can often find us discovering beautiful New Zealand (also known by its Maori name Aotearoa). What’s the best New Zealand SIM card for tourists (and locals)? The lights happen all year round, as long as the sun winds are strong. There are many, but the ones you’ll hear of will be Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier on the West Coast, Hooker Glacier and Tasman Glacier in the Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park, as those are the ones you’re likely to visit. Discover Aotearoa - New Zealand from N to Z. As the larger landmass of the two major islands in New Zealand, the South Island (Te Waipounamu) is highly renowned for its majestic natural landscapes given its number of breathtaking glaciers, mountains and lakes. Most international visitors arrive in Auckland in the North Island. And this is awesome. It has a population of 3,896,200 (June 2020), accounting for approximately 77% of the total residents of New Zealand. 10 Days North Island. The North Island, also officially named Te Ika-a-Māui, is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the larger but much less populous South Island by the Cook Strait. Beaches, mountains and volcanoes, hike and bike trails, real life Hobbits... Travelling in New Zealand is incredibly versatile. Covering a total area of 268,021 sq.km (103,483 sq mi), New Zealand is comprised of two large islands that can be observed on the physical map of the country above - the North Island and South Island (which are separated by the Cook Strait), as well as Stewart Island, hundreds of coastal islands and about 600 small regional islands.. From north to south, New Zealand is a country of … Don’t forget to book your accommodation in New Zealand. Have a look at our New Zealand itineraries for an idea on how long you could spend in each destination. It's actually not an easy question to answer as each has so much to offer. Kayak Donut Island (Whenuakura): A Mystical Wonderland. You can find geothermal activity all over the North Island, but the most activity happens in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. While it’s not a problem to arrive at a destination without a booking during low season, you will need to pre-book your hotels from approximately November to April. just one of many volcanoes: Mt Ngauruhoe (aka mt doom) on tongariro crossing. get a tan at the gate to narnia: cathedral cove, coromandel. First the roads into Wellington converge whether you are approaching on either State Highway 1 or State Highway 2. We are Alex the Swiss Miss and Chris the South African Kiwi. Northland, being the closest to the equator, is the warmest. You will not get spammed by us, promise! If you're coming to New Zealand on a ski holiday, the South Island has more ski fields to choose from. Overall, you could describe North Island’s landscape as sweet and lovely, while the inhospitable volcanic areas are fascinating and rough. Our wildlife consists mainly of the Kiwi bird, Kea and other birds, cute little Blue Penguins, dolphins and seals. providing information for driving into the Wellington area from the north in order to get on the Cook Strait Ferry and, time permitting, also to enjoy the wonderful city of Wellington. However, Rotorua is the Maori hotspot when it comes to tourism. While greater Auckland is huge and difficult to explore without a car, it’s easy to get around the centre by public transport or walking. A long time ago, ancient glaciers carved deep, steep valleys into Southland’s landscape as they reclined, leaving behind the breathtaking landscape of Fjordland we know today. There are so many restaurants to choose from it’s not even funny, an abundance of them are lined up at Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter. Auckland is the largest city in the North Island (and in the country), and Christchurch is largest city in the South Island. With itineraries from 8 to 25 days that deliver the right balance between sightseeing, activities and free time and ensure that all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the journey. The Earth’s crust there is only thin, compared to the normal. You will rent a car in Auckland and drop it in Queenstown. New Zealand travel blog, unique discoveries and inspiration. New Zealand is one big beautiful country filled with lovely people, countless wine regions, majestic mountains, stunning countryside and surrounded by beaches. If you are going to be in New Zealand in the spring, summer, or autumn (fall) months (from September to May), both islands offer good weather and you will enjoy time in the outdoors. Since 2001 we’ve been helping visitors plan their dream New Zealand holiday. 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