Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne, Wellington.

Editor's Picks: the top 5 things to do in the Central and Lower North Island


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Check out our AA Traveller Guides Editor's picks of the top 5 experiences not to be missed in the Central and Lower North Island!

1. Coromandel Town

The main street was made for ambling. Stroll from art gallery to art gallery, admire the restored Victorian buildings and top in at various cafés. Coromandel is linked to downtown Auckland by a two-hour seasonal ferry which docks at Hannaford’s Wharf; a complimentary bus transfers passengers into Coromandel Town.

2. Sanctuary Mountain, Maungatautari

The 47km-long predator-proof fence at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari encircles the mountain, allowing endangered native species to flourish and thrive. There are tours available, or wander the forest paths at your own pace. 

3. Waitomo Glowworm Caves

The Waitomo Caves have been entertaining guests for over 100 years; they’re among the most-visited tourist attraction in the country. Tours include time on a boat that silently glides through a glittering glowworm grotto. 

4. Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne, Wellington

This spot is such a surprise. Take the cable car from the city centre then walk or grab a shuttle to Karori to discover Zealandia, a truly incredible pest-proof urban island, fully fenced to keep a multitude of native creatures, including 140 little spotted kiwi, safe. Top tip: take a tour.

5. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery | Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth

Pay a visit to this internationally renowned, contemporary art museum. Alongside the main gallery, the cutting-edge architecture of the Len Lye Centre sets a precedent for what you'll find inside; genius creations will impress.

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The Coromandel means beaches to many people but there’s a lot more to do than just jump in the surf. While we absolutely recommend you hit the water, there’s plenty to do here whether you’ve got a spare hour or two, or you fancy putting your feet up for a bit.   Read the story . . . 

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Zealandia: the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary

Explore the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with more than 30 kilometres of walking tracks and ample opportunities to spot tuatara, kiwi, hihi, saddleback and tūī. Read the story . . . 

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Waitomo Glowworm Caves: a cave aglow with lights

Glide along the Waitomo River under a magical, breathtaking canopy of thousands of glowworms. Read the story . . . 

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Len Lye Centre: a remarkable building for a remarkable artist

Celebrate Modernist filmmaker, sculptor, painter and poet Len Lye in this striking single-artist gallery in New Plymouth's art and cultural precinct. Read the story . . . 

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