Central and Lower North Island
New Zealand is renowned for its diversity of scenery, and the
central North Island is perhaps the most diverse region of all.
From active volcanoes to hillsides covered in grapevines, rolling
surf and high-altitude ski fields, its many contrasts lend
themselves to rich and refreshing experiences.
Rotorua is one of the original tourist destinations in New
Zealand. At the geothermal hotspots, there are spouting geysers,
boiling mud pools and warm geothermal springs. It is a prime trout
fishing spot, with many of the volcanic crater lakes containing a
plentiful stock of trophy-sized rainbow trout.
New Zealand's largest lake and formed by one of the world's
greatest volcanic eruptions, about 25,000 years ago, Lake Taupo is
in the centre of the North Island. A great destination, it is one
of the last true wild trout fisheries in the world, and the lake is
popular for swimming, boating and water skiing.
Hawke's Bay is one of New Zealand's leading food and wine
regions, and with over 2200 hours of sunshine is a year-round
holiday and lifestyle destination. Located on the sunny east
coast, the landscape is comprised of beautiful mountain ranges,
sweeping down towards the coast, while the city of Napier
encompasses some of the worlds finest art deco buildings.
Stretching from Mahia Peninsula in the south to east of Opotiki
in the north, the Poverty Bay area is anything but what its name
implies. It's famous for its beautiful coastline where surfers
devour the rugged conditions and its rivers, where fly fishing,
canoeing and white-water rafting are some of the other water-based
activities on offer. The Mahia Peninsula is awash with black and
white sandy beaches. Perfect for fishing, diving, kayaking and
Wairarapa is a region of big skies, wide valleys and small
towns, full of character. With three major forest parks and a wild
stretch of coast it offers endless possibilities for outdoor
adventures or just getting away from it all.
It's also one of New Zealand's top food and wine destinations
offering some of the country's premium wines and cuisine in the
many cafes, vineyards and restaurants, all within an hour's drive
The dramatic, snow-topped volcanic cone of Mount Taranaki is a
spiritual and physical force in this region. The mountain is the
source of over fifty rivers and streams, the home of many
botanically unique plants, and the subject of many stories and
The mountain and the Tasman Sea, provide a natural playground
for travellers who enjoy outdoor adventures. The close proximity of
the mountain to the sea is one of Taranaki's special features. It
takes only 30 minutes to drive from mountain plateau to beach -
making it possible to ski and surf in the same day.
The Rangitikei district is in the lower half of the North Island
of New Zealand. The Rangitikei district is part of New Zealand's
so-called "River Region" as are Manawatu, Horowhenua and Wanganui.
The Rangitikei River provides the backdrop for many outdoor
pursuits such as kayaking and white water rafting.
On the enchanting Kapiti coastline, Waikanae Beach is a popular
choice for retirees as well as Wellington commuters seeking the
beach existence. Including the ever-popular Paraparaumu, Raumati,
Raumati South and Paekakariki beaches, the area is again spoiled