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.