New Zealand is full of wonderful scenery, adventures and experiences, it can be difficult to choose what to do!

No matter whether you are planning an adventure-packed holiday, or a more beachy and relaxing getaway, New Zealand’s North Island has something for you. There are many places to explore across the island, so if you are short on time, we have collated our top 5 favourite places to visit in the North Island!

Family Parks has holiday parks across New Zealand to suit all types of campers. Over 75% of our parks are pet friendly, too!

  1. Northland.

    Cape Reinga

The Northland region of the North Island is one of the most breathtaking parts of the country. Northland is well known for its golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, Māori culture, and fresh local food.

A guided tour through the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds is a must when visiting Northland. You will learn about the history of New Zealand and gain a deeper appreciation for Māori culture through tours and cultural performances.

Something to tick off your bucket list is a drive to the very top of New Zealand! Take a scenic drive to Cape Reinga and enjoy beautiful views of where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. On the way back, stop for some sandboarding down the giant Te Paki sand dunes.

Paihia is a popular tourist spot in the Bay of Islands for recreational activities. Partake in jet skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking and more while you enjoy the stunning views this town has to offer. Take a short boat ride across to Russell, the first permanent European settlement and seaport in New Zealand!

Base yourself at Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park for a few nights and you will be within a few hours’ drive of these amazing Northland gems.

  1. The Coromandel

    Cathedral Cove

    Cathedral Cove

Located on the Pacific Coast Highway, The Coromandel is world-renowned for its stunning golden beaches, coastal walks, beautiful rainforests and relaxing, laid-back vibe.

Hot Water Beach is a popular tourist location offering a truly unique experience. As the name suggests, you can dig your very own hot pool in the sand, thanks to the natural spring that runs deep beneath the beach!

One of the Coromandel’s most photographed spots is Cathedral Cove; a beautiful cove accessed only by boat or foot. The beautiful sandy beach is perfect for some sunbathing and relaxation.

At the base of the Coromandel Range is Karangahake Gorge, a sharp winding canyon offering a range of walks and hikes. Many describe these as some of the most beautiful walks in NZ. The area is rich with history, and you may spot old mining relics throughout the gorge.

Miranda Holiday Park is located 20 minutes from Thames, and just a 50-minute drive from Auckland. With family and pet-friendly accommodation, Miranda Holiday Park is within easy driving distance to the Coromandel areas greatest sights.

  1. Rotorua

Rotorua may be known for its distinct Sulphur smell, thanks to its many geothermal hot spots, but once you look past the smell, the district has lots to offer!

A visit to Te Puia will give you a taste of what Rotorua has to offer. Explore the 60-hectare geothermal landscape, come face to face with the Southern Hemisphere’s largest geyser, visit the kiwi sanctuary, and learn about Māori history & culture. Te Puia is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm during Summer, with a variety of different experiences on offer.

Redwoods Treewalk is a must-do activity in Rotorua. Available for either daytime or nighttime experiences, walk across the eco-suspended bridges, high above the forest floor, and admire the 75-metre-tall redwoods. Thrill-seekers can partake in a separate guided experience even higher up amongst the trees, complete with 25 jungle bridges, 3 zip lines and one big jump!

Adventure Playground Rotorua offers thrill-seeking activities for every member of the family. With stunning views over Lake Rotorua, Adventure Playground is set on 750 acres of native bushland. Try horse trekking, clay bird shooting, or a buggy tour – you can even choose to drive your own 4×4 buggy!

All Seasons Holiday Park is a pet-friendly holiday park located just 8 minutes from downtown Rotorua. You’ll be far enough to avoid the sulphur smell, but close enough to enjoy Rotorua’s many attractions.

  1. New Plymouth

Situated on the west coast of the North Island, New Plymouth is the major city within the Taranaki region. Known for beautiful coastal walkways, family-friendly fun and sunny weather, New Plymouth is bustling with activity.

Taranaki Maunga (Mount Taranaki) provides a stunning backdrop for the city, and it’s only a short drive to the base of the mountain.  Deemed as one of NZ’s most walked mountains, the climb to the top takes around 8-10 hours return. For an easier stroll, there are a variety of short walks around the base of the mountain.

Art galleries are plentiful in this vibrant city. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is New Zealand’s first art gallery dedicated to just one artist – Len Lye. Len Lye’s contemporary style is recognised throughout the world, and this gallery is a must-visit for art lovers.

Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park is located right on Fitzroy Beach, a coastal suburb of New Plymouth. Only a short drive from the city, the holiday park is New Plymouth’s only beachfront holiday park!

  1. Mount Maunganui

    Mount Maunganui

    View from the top of Mauao (Mount Maunganui).

Home of the extinct Mount Maunganui volcano, this laid back, beachy suburb in Tauranga is popular for surfers and beachgoers.

You can’t visit Mount Maunganui without summiting the famous Mauao! It’s a steep 45-minute climb to the top, but worth it once you’re up there. The 360degree views across the Western Bay of Plenty are well photographed and for good reason!

After a climb up the Mount, you’ll be ready for a swim. The main beach at Mount Maunganui provides excellent swimming and surfing for keen surfers.

Foodies will love the array of restaurants, cafes and bars on offer. The main street is bustling with options to match any craving. Take a walk and see what catches your interest!

Cosy Corner Holiday Park operates as a summer-only park, open between December 20th and April 20th. You will be 80metres from the white sands of Mount Maunganui Beach and close to all that the area has to offer.



One of the hardest parts about travelling around New Zealand is figuring out where to visit. Our list of the top 5 places to visit in the North Island only touches on just a few of the beautiful cities and towns.

Family Parks has holiday parks in some of New Zealand’s most popular regions. Check out our full list of NZ parks, and don’t forget we offer pet-friendly parks, too!