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North Island, New Zealand

90 Mile Beach. The beach isn’t really 90 miles, but it is quite long nonetheless.  If you have a four-wheel-drive and a full tank of petrol, then you’re allowed to drive right on the beach.  Be sure to check a tide schedule before you attempt this!

Auckland is NZ’s largest city.  More than likely, you’ll wind up flying into Auckland.  The cheapest way to get from the airport to the city center is via bus which is $16.  Yes, this is the cheapest way into the city without hitchhiking out the airport terminal.

Matamata. Hobbiton [where the hobbits live in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit] is located near the real town Matamata [in the middle of the North Island]. Take a tour of Hobbiton for NZ$65 per adult and see the actual movie set of Hobbit holes and learn interesting filming facts.  To schedule a tour, visit the information center in Matamata or drive to Hobbiton yourself which is about 20 minutes out of Matamata.  Whether you drive there yourself or take the tour bus from Matamata, it’s exactly the same price of NZ$65. Lion Rock. West of Auckland is a beach with a large hill that, from the side, looks like a resting lion.  I loved this beach.  Click HERE to see pictures, videos and more!

Lake Taupo. Gorgeous picturesque scenery and a good stop on long drives going across the island.

Wellington. You’ll go through Wellington to catch the ferry to the South Island… so, lucky you because it’s a wonderful city.  Read more and view my pictures of Wellington HERE.

Advice: The North Island is great and better than a lot of places I’ve been to but if you have a limited amount of time in New Zealand and want to make the most of your trip, I would go to the South Island for the majority of your time.  Read more about the South Island and why I couldn’t get enough HERE!

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