Full of nature based activities and things to do outdoors, the North Island of New Zealand has plenty of things in the fresh air to keep the family entertained.
Fancy a hike up a mountain?
Rangitoto Island, located in the Auckland Harbour, is a volcanic island that from the top has spectacular views over the city. To get there you need to take a short ferry from downtown Auckland. When you get there you have the difficult decision, if you want to walk to the top (approx. 1 hour each way) or catch a ride on a 4WD train.
One Tree Hill, located in Cornwall Park, has a nice leisurely walk up to the top. It takes around 40 minutes and when you get to the top, the view over the park and onto the city is reason enough to walk it.
Mangere Mountain, located in Mangere Bridge, has a 1.6km loop, that offers scenic views and is relatively easy for all levels of fitness. Taking around 1 hour to get to the top, Mangere Mountain is perfect for families.
Mauao has to be one of the most famous mountains on the North Island. Mauao, in Mount Maunganui, stands tall at the end of the town looking out over the water. The walk up Mauao takes 40 minutes, but it takes a good level of fitness. Choose from two scenic tracks, to reach the 232 summit. The view from the top is worth the climb!
Outdoor activities, but make it underwater? Goat Island Marine Reserve, located 1hr 20min from Auckland is perfect for families, with a range of activities to keep everyone entertained. Grab a snorkel and swim with fishes and marine life or paddle a kayak or clearboard with a glass bottom to see the underwater life.
EcoZip Waiheke is an outdoor activity like no other. Experience flying fox ziplines and stunning views throughout the treetops. Located on Waiheke Island, it is a short ferry ride from Auckland CBD.
Rotorua Canopy Tours take you on a journey through prehistoric native forest. Fly on a network of ziplines, swing bridges and treetop platforms.
If ziplining through the treetops are not necessarily your thing, but you still want to be high in the trees, then Redwoods Forest in downtown Rotorua will give you that experience. Enjoy a treetop walk amongst the majestic and magical 75-metre-tall redwoods as you walk across eco-suspended bridges and platforms. Discover it by day or by night.
In the heart of the Mighty Waikato region, explore the lush pastures of the Shire™ with a guided walking tour of Hobbiton (as featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies). Pass the hobbit holes, the mill and the famous Green Dragon Inn.
Head down a Cave and explore some of the most amazing adventures in Waitomo, with Waitomo Adventures. Go absailing, black water rafting or try your luck at escaping the Troll Cave. This fun activity relies on participants using their stealth; cunning and survival instincts to navigate Tom’s underground lair and complete their mission.
Lake District Adventures offer twilight kayak glow worm tours, daytime kayak tours and mountain bike tours along with mountain bike, kayak and SUP hire. Something for everyone.
If white water rafting is more for you, Tongariro Rafting and River Rats take you on an awesome adventure crashing through the white water as you paddle.
Experience 30 minutes of awesome jet boating on the Waikato River, with Huka Falls Jet. View the majestic Huka Falls from the base of the falls. Or, if the thrill is too much, get onboard with Chris Jolly Outdoors. Take a scenic cruises on Lake Taupō out to the Maori Rock Carvings and learn the history.
With so many outdoor activities throughout the North Island, the hardest decision will be where to start!