How to spend a day on Waiheke Island. New Zealand

10 Most Beautiful Places in the North Island of New Zealand.

10 of the most beautiful places to visit in North Island, New Zealand

New Zealand is sure to capture your attention. First, you will see some of the most unusual places in the world, such as the Waitomo Caves with shimmering glowing worms. You’ll taste some of the best wines you can imagine on a tour of the island of Ouaiheke. Then you’ll smell the volcanic gases in Rotorua. You’ll hear birds chirping and the sound of water during a picnic in Karangake . And when you grab onto the cold cliffs and climb to the top of the cliff at Castlepoint, you’ll feel stunned as you look out over the sea below from the top. Want to experience this adventure? Here’s a list of the 10 most beautiful places to visit on New Zealand’s North Island:

1 Waiheke Island, map

Waiheke Island

With phenomenal views of the island and sea, waves of green hills and more than 20 vineyards to choose from, Waiheke Island is one of the most scenic places in New Zealand. Spend the day moving from one vineyard (or brewery) to another tasting wines. Visit Mad Brick Vineyard in the style of a British country house, see its amazing topiary sculptured gardens of lavender and other flowering plants. Not to mention other exquisite views! Or visit Cable Bay Vineyard with its more modern, upscale, decadent development. This vineyard restaurant has gorgeous views of natural beauty, with views of the bay and Oakland. With no traffic lights, freeways or fast food joints, and with only nine thousand residents, Waikkee is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day.

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2 Karangahake, map

The abandoned gold mining town is a perfect, small, hidden gem for the traveler! Stop here for a break for hiking trails or just for a bite to eat. There’s a small cafe, still preserved in the original wooden building, or you can picnic and sit quietly enjoying the scenery. You’ll be surrounded by a palette of trees, daisies growing in the grass, birds chirping, and the sounds of the Oainmeri River flowing among the rocks. Hiking trails take you through abandoned mine buildings and the mines themselves, or, you can walk through the river gorge. Walk along the old suspension bridges and climb the hill for a scenic view of the grassy cliff tops. The tiny abandoned town of Carangahake is something you’re sure to remember.

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3 Hobbiton (Hobbition), map

Hobbiton

Created at Alexander Farm in Matamata, Hobbiton is the place to visit the Shire from the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. Great attention to detail is paid here. Washed clothes are dried on ropes, pots and pans hang in the huts, and there is smoke coming from the chimney. The hobbit dwellings are built right into the hills overlooking the lake. This is where the locations from the movies were filmed, such as the homes of Bilbo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee and the Green Dragon Pub. This really working pub offers refreshing, cold drinks after the tour. I also recommend trying their delicious pies! Seeing the cute little houses above the lake, surrounded by huge trees and a fiddle playing in the background will really make you feel transported to the world of Middle-earth.

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4 Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland (Wai-O-Tapu), map

Wai-O-Tapu

The first thing you’ll notice about these thermal lakes and bubbling geysers is their beauty. The second thing you’ll notice is the smell, the smell of rotten eggs left in the sun! Nevertheless, visit the amazing Ouai-O-Tapu country to see the kaleidoscope of color and geysers from under the ground, it’s like walking in a painting. With silver cliffs, huge craters and lime green lakes. The colors are created by chemicals in the water that react with the rocks and the heat from the magma. “Champagne Pool”, with its bright orange ledge in front of the green depths, is the largest with a diameter of 65 meters. This park, with its many geothermal objects, resembles a Martian landscape.

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5 Lake Taupo, map

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo is the world’s largest crater lake, with an area of 640 sq. km, and can hold the entire Singapore! The lake is surrounded by beautiful scenery and the water is so clear you can drink it. On a clear day, you can see the three mountain peaks, which are snow-capped in winter and spring. The highest mountain is Mount Tongariro, the “Mountain of Fire” in Lord of the Rings. The lake is also famous for the Maori patterns carved right into the rock. These huge and beautiful patterns tell the story of the artists and look like a face. Each face line has a different meaning, for example, the spirals on the forehead represent male and female ancestors. The nearby town of Taupo is quite rich, with many expensive homes, fenced communities of residents, and even helipads! There’s plenty to see here, but a visit to Lake Taupo is a must.

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6 Napier, map.

Napier

Like a page out of The Great Gatsby, Napier is full of Art Deco buildings and vintage cars. After the 1931 earthquake much of the city needed rebuilding, at a time when Art Deco was at its peak. Symmetry, geometric shapes and pastel colors stand out against the blue skyline. Old cars and vintage stores line the streets, and you can even dress in 1930s costumes for a walking tour of the city. Along with the amazing Art Deco buildings, modern murals adorn the city in a splash of color. These giant murals are part of the SeaWalls project, drawing attention to the beauty and destructive nature of the seas. Napier is a unique, colorful and creative, small town.

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7 Castlepoint, map

Castlepoint

At the top of the hill is a century-old lighthouse, with a grassy cliff top to your left. Directly in front of you is a stunning view of the sea, the beach and the coast of New Zealand. Castlepoint is definitely worth a visit. Walking at the foot of the lighthouse with a 360-degree view of the ocean, you might be able to see seals looking for food. Other wildlife enter these seas too, dolphins, killer whales and even sperm whales! Walk 1.5 hours up the cliff top to see green hills stretching along the shoreline. But if you want to reach the top, be careful, there are some very steep slopes. You need good shoes, a decent level of fitness and lots of courage. It can be windy! Spend the night at Castlepoint Campground to see the phenomenal colors of the sunset against the lighthouse. And when night falls, you’ll be dazzled by the endless number of stars in the sky.

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8 Waitomo Firefly Caves, map

Waitomo Caves

Like the New Zealand sky on a clear night, the Waitomo Fireflies look like sparkling constellations of stars. Or, as Rihanna sings, “diamonds in the sky. In caves, thousands of New Zealand fireflies dot the cave ceiling, glowing very brightly in the dark black surroundings. They glow to attract insects, which then get stuck in their sticky trap. Take a quiet boat ride through the cave tunnels to see these tiny insects. Such caves make you stare at them with your mouth “open,” and you realize how incredible nature is.

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9 Russell, map

Russell

Visit this town, the first European settlement in New Zealand. Russell is full of beautiful historic buildings, expensive homes and spectacular walks. Climb up to Flagman’s Hill and even higher on the Tapeca Point Trail, where you can get a great view of the entire bay area. At the top, you can see the bright, turquoise sea with crashing waves and green mountains and hills on the horizon. Stop at the perfect spot for a picnic on the beach and listen to the sounds of the sea. It’s also the only place on the trip where you can see kiwi birds hopping in the woods in the wild.

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10 Brick Bay Wines, map

Brick Bay Wines

As their tagline says, Brick Bay is “intertwined art and wine.” Not only is it a beautiful vineyard, but it’s also a fantastic sculpture garden, as well as a farm and restaurant! For art lovers, explore the nature of the two-kilometer trail with a mix of decorative and interactive sculptures that relate to their natural environment. You’ll also hear beautiful sound bites that create a magical feeling, like when you’re admiring the forest. For wine lovers, try the wine tasting menu of delicious New Zealand berry flavors that will surprise your taste buds. And if none of them will sell it to you, you can always just sit on your wooden deck overlooking the soothing, lily-filled lake, with sheep and lambs playing in the distance.

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