Hit the road this weekend.
Wellington 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 seven 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 a hot pool and you’ll feel all your troubles melt away.
📍 Various Locations
3. Hawke’s Bay
Winter is the perfect excuse to explore new places and indulge on all our foodie impulses. Just four hours drive, 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.
Get up at the crack of dawn and drive the well-worth-it five hours to discover 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. Here, an exciting experience waits 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. We totally think it’s worth the five hours and 50 minute drive. 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.
Sometimes it’s nice to get out of your own city and experience a new one. Grab your mates, partner or family and head for an exciting weekend away in Auckland. Opt to fly, drive or take the train, the choice is totally yours. Immerse yourself in endless culture, visit iconic landmarks and happily take advantage of the winter food scene. In fact, Auckland’s Fried Chicken Festival is coming up in August, and it will make a great boozy day out gorging on some of the best fried chicken around.