Okay, here goes for an impossible task; summarizing all the North Island of New Zealand has to offer to compliment your time on the slopes. The weather up here may not be scorching, but the sun certainly will shine and it can be 'pleasant' - like a nice Spring day in the UK.
Options are endless, the landscape is hugely varied and heading out with a hire car, beyond Auckland, the only problem you’ll have is deciding in which direction to point it. We know New Zealand very well at Different Snow so what we’d do is weigh up the time available, listen intently to your likes / dislikes, keep a keen eye on your interests, be mindful of the budget and create a tailor-made itinerary for you to follow. We’ve done the drives, know the hotels and have experienced most of the activities first-hand – so you find yourself in knowledgeable hands.
Some selected highlights, from top to bottom:
Bay of Islands - small townships steeped in colonial history, and set against a patchwork of gently rolling farmland, white sand beaches and ancient forests of venerable kauri trees. The 144 islands are scattered in the clear Pacific waters, which are abundant with marine wildlife. In the countless secluded bays, seals, dolphins and whales are often sighted. The average winter temp at the Bay of Islands is 16 degrees. That’s a balmy British summer day at the best of times.
Coromandel – As the Kiwi (doesn’t) fly, it’s only a short distance across the gulf from Auckland. But this is the antithesis to a big city - cloaked in native rainforest with dazzling white sand beaches, it is rustic, unspoiled and relaxed. Head to hot water beach, where two springs create a natural spa - constantly busy over the summer, gloriously empty (and better) during the winter.
Taupo – The largest lake in New Zealand and the epicentre for some world-renowned outdoor activities including bungy jumping, white-water rafting, skydiving, mountain biking, fishing and more.
Rotorua - The heart of New Zealand’s geothermal activity and a major focus for Maori culture. Throughout and around the town steamy mineral lakes, bursting geysers and bubbling mud pools release a pungent smell as hydrogen sulphide gas pours out of countless bores and ground fissures. The town also has a large Maori population, whose cultural activities are among the most interesting and accessible in all New Zealand.
Waitomo – home of underground adventures. Go black water rafting through a labyrinth of subterranean caves, underwater rivers, to be amazed by the millions of glow worms that light up the caves like a galaxy. Or abseil into the caves Indiana Jones-style on the amazing Lost World adventure.
Bay of Plenty - A region known for it’s sunshine and beaches, even in the winter! Walks, hot pools, jet boating and volcanic islands await.
Wellington - The nation’s capital and the home of New Zealand’s parliament, Wellington is gloriously set beside its magnificent harbour with some stunning modern buildings surrounded by quaint wooden Victorian houses, often beautifully painted in primary colours, dotting its steep, hilly suburbs.