Are you in New Zealand for a short period of time and want a lot to do then this is the blog for you.
these are routes throughout New Zealand both the South and the North island.
Northland the top of the north island a beautiful place with lots of nature and things to do like hikes, swimming at lovely beaches, sand boarding and many many more.
Underneath I have made two itinerary's which you can mix and mash or combine.
The first trip the trip takes about 2days and will start in Auckland. You will begin with a drive to Mangawhai, enjoy a peaceful swim or go fishing in the harbor. Mangawhai is also home to some of our most endangered shorebirds. The drive is around 1 and a half hour and you can enjoy the beach with a nice view.
After you finished visiting this peaceful place you hop in the car again and drive of to the amazing Whangarei these beautiful lakes are surrounded by mountains with a ton of greenery, most of these mountains have hike tracks which reach to the top of these mountains which have gorgeous views. the two most famous tracks are the mount Manaia track and the te Whara track.
The mount Manaia track is an easier track in which you climb the 400-meter high mount Manaia in around 2hours. A tip if you are gonna do the Manaia track at three-quarter of the way you can go of track to the right where you have an amazing view of the lake and your surroundings.
The other beautiful track is the te Whara walkway which is a bit more challenging but equally beautiful, it has a bit more variety in the landscape you have three options from an easy a medium and a harder track. The easy track is around half an hour one way, the medium track is one and a half hour one way, the hardest one is 3 hours one way, of course, these are just estimated it all depends on what your pace is, or if you want to rest/lunch there.
After these activities, you are probably want to have a rest on one of the many campsites around preferably in the north to the next drive on the list so it will be shorter. Because the next trip on the itinerary is to Cape Reinga, the drive from te Whara to Cape Reinga is four hours. Cape Reinga is the most northern part of New Zealand it has a lighthouse at the peak and lots of viewpoints and nice walks in the region.
If you are not keen for Cape Reinga or still have time and energy left you can go to the sand dunes and go sand-boarding it is 10 minutes from Cape Reinga and is a blast.
The dunes reach heights of 200 meters and it is a pretty hard climb but on top of the dunes, you have an amazing view and a fun activity ahead of you. Tips for when going sand-boarding, start by taking your shoes of it will not be full of sand afterward and it is much easier to climb the dune with bare feet. After you have taken off your shoes go lie on your board with your elbow tucked and on the board and slide down the sand when you want to stop or slow down dig your feet in the sand which will gradually slow you down after you are down get up again and walk up the mountain and repeat.
The second itinerary is to the east-coast of the north land.
You starts in Auckland and the first stop is at Thames, a historical cozy little town with a lot of history behind it from the goldrush day. It is now filled with charming boutiques and small shops and it is only an 1,5 hour drive from Auckland, the perfect place for a stop to explore the town or to get a drink or brunch.
After Thames hop in your car again for your next destination, which is the beautiful hot water beach and Cathedral Cove. An hour of driving and you already arrive at this beautiful beach which is heated by natural heat from the ground. The beach is the place to make a warm natural bath which can be achieved on low tide which occurs about every 6 hours so I recommend checking a Water&Tide(<--link here) list with tide schedules. At The beach, there are some great surf spots, cruisy cafés, and art galleries. After you have explored the hot water beach it is only a 5-minute drive to Cathedral Cove which is a nice beach with an amazing view and a nice place to rest for a bit.
the last place of the first day to visit is Coromandel town an hour away from the hot water beach and Cathedral Cove. It is a historic town with lots of reminiscence of the past. In the 1860s there was a gold rush in New Zealand with many people traveling to look for gold. This small town almost tripled their population when the gold prices where rising.
Last but certainly not least is the Pinnacle hike one and a half hour drive from Coromandel town you find an incredible hiking trail which takes you to the top of the mountain where you have a stunning view of the surrounding area, it is a four hour one way track so it will fill up your whole day with eight hours of nature and peace surrounding you.
With endless hikes, nature, and activities to see, there is no end to the wonders of New Zealand, these are just our favorite short itinerary's close to Auckland