5 hidden gems on New Zealand’s  North Island!

Since I recently finished my travels on the North Island, I thought it would be handy for the one or another to know about my top 5 places, that are rather not part of the typical tourist route.

1. White Island 

White Island is a must to anyone, who wants to experience, what it feels like to stand on an active volcano. And by that, I mean a volcano, that could erupt any second. You’re surrounded by sulfur, steaming vents and smoking hot pools! For safety reasons, it’s only accessible on a guided tour. But it’s worth it, for sure! It’s not the cheapest activity, but you can find good and discounted deals on bookme, using this link:

http://www.bookme.co.nz/bookings/tauranga/home#bb2b2

 
2. Te Mata Peak

In beautiful Hawkes Bay, Te Mata Peak is the perfect destination for anyone, that loves hiking, nature and breatgtaking views! You can also drive to the top, but I can recommend to do the 5km return hike, taking you along cliffs, through a forest and of course to the top of the mountain, where 360 degree views of the wine-region are awaiting you! To anyone, who loves adrenaline, I’d suggest to hike the full loop, at some points, the path ges extremely narrow. One wrong step and you might slide down a cliff!

3. Castlepoint

The perfect spot to break a long drive between Taupo and Wellington down. It’s only a 65km detour, along a windy road, to get to this little paradise. Perfect beaches, crystal-clear water and a lighthouse, that offers an amazing view over Castlepoint, when you reach the top! Definitely a must-do!

4. Raglan

Whether you wanna catch the next wave just relax or explore, Raglan has a lot to offer. But what makes it truly special, is its black-sand-beach, which gives you a feeling of walking on millions of diamonds, since it sparkles in the sun! If you’re not the beach-type, Raglan still has you covered. Its close-by “Braidal Veil Falls” are no to be missed. Three different viewing points from three different angles, cover all levels of fitness and mobility!

5. Feed wild stingrays in Gisborne

This is one out of only a few places in the world, where you can encounter wild stingrays. Together with a guide, you walk a few metres into the sea, where you get the chance to pet and feed the stingrays and eventually even wild crayfish. It all is dependent on whether or not they want to show up, obviously, but you are usually lucky. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Stingrays are nothing to be feared.

I hope these recommendations are helpful to any of you! Feedback is always welcome!

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Safe travels!

Dani

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