NORTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
The North Island is the smallest of the two main islands of New Zealand, and as its name indicates, is the northern-most of the two islands. Its northern location means it enjoys a warmer, more temperate climate than much of the South Island, and is much more vastly populated.
The northern areas of the North Island enjoy a sub-tropical climate. The centre of the island is primarily a volcanic landscape with vast forests, volcanic peaks, and picturesque lakes. The eastern side of the island is covered with vineyards.
The North Island is home to the largest city in New Zealand—Auckland, also known as the 'City of Sails', and the Capital City of New Zealand—Wellington.
As of the 2006 census, the North Island held a resident population of approximately 3,059,420, or approximately three quarters of the entire population of New Zealand.
Situated in the Hauraki Gulf, Great Barrier Island has unspoiled beaches, native bushland and is home to several unique plant and bird species. The kind of rugged untouched beauty that you'll see here is getting harder and harder to find on this planet. The native bush is laced with walking tracks, which lead to secluded natural hot springs and historic Kauri dams.
White Island, a still active volcano, is one of the most amazing natural experiences in New Zealand. The vent is below sea level but shielded from the sea by high crater walls. Although surrounded by sea water, the vent is chemically sealed from it. This sealed zone traps an acid hot water system, which is derived from rainwater. As the island is also very accessible, it is internationally important for scientists and vulcanologists.
Rotorua is a place that provides an entirely different experience. Sneaky threads of steam issue from parks, pathways and streets and the occasional scent of sulphur wafts through the air—a hint of the geothermal activity found just minutes from the city centre.
Geysers of steaming water roar from the ground. Pools of bubbling mud gurgle and belch. In geothermal fields around Rotorua, steam rises from placid lakes and flowing streams. Dazzling silica terraces display a kaleidoscope of colour. Towering volcanoes, now sleeping giants, are unmistakable reminders of the landscape's turbulent past. Extinct volcanic craters provide the vessels for Rotorua's crystal lakes.
MAIN REGIONS OF THE NORTH ISLAND
Northland - a gold, green and blue world of beaches, bays and subtropical pleasures
Bay of Islands - an aquatic playground with 144 islands
Auckland - largest city in New Zealand
Coromandel - one of New Zealand's best-loved holiday destinations
Bay of Plenty - a land of beautiful harbours and long white surf beaches
Waikato - massive subterranean caverns found underground
Rotorua - a region of fascinating geothermal activity
Eastland - the first mainland place in the world to see the sun each day
Taupo - boasts Lake Taupo New Zealand's largest lake
Ruapehu - huge volcanoes and majestic National Parks
Taranaki - boasts Mount Taranaki a huge, dramatic volcanic cone with a snowy top.
Napier & Hawke's Bay - loved for its sunny climate, fabulous beaches, sheltered coastal plains and long-established vineyards
Wanganui - known for maori culture, heritage, the Whanganui National Park and the Whanganui River
Manawatu - green beauty of heartland New Zealand
Wairarapa - embrace the pleasures of fine wine and good food
Wellington - capital city of New Zealand