7-Day Honeymoon and Couples Itinerary for the North Island
If we can’t convince you to at least spend two weeks exploring the North Island for your once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon (or romantic getaway), then we can at least help you make the most of one week. Cue this North Island honeymoon and romance itinerary for one week, which features volcanic landscapes, geothermal wonders, vibrant cities, expansive lakes and much more. Add a romantic flair to your road trip by staying in the endearing accommodations and activities ideal for couples. It’s all here in this North Island honeymoon itinerary for 7 days.
Before we get started, be sure to bookmark The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to New Zealand for even more honeymoon tips.
7-Day North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Overview
- Day 1 – Auckland Airport to Waitomo
- Day 2 – Waitomo to Rotorua
- Day 3 – Explore Rotorua
- Day 4 – Rotorua to Ohakune
- Day 5 – Explore Ohakune
- Day 6 – Ohakune to Wellington
- Day 7 – Explore Wellington
How to Get Around the North Island in One Week
This is a self-drive one-week honeymoon and romance itinerary for the North Island. We give tips on hiring a vehicle below, as well as additional (and alternative) transport methods to use for travelling one week around the North Island on your honeymoon.
- Rental car or campervan – The first tool you’ll need for this honeymoon itinerary is a rental vehicle. Use a rental company that has depots in Auckland and Wellington. Start your research with The Guide to Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand.
- Train – As this itinerary starts in Auckland and ends in Wellington, you may need to return to Auckland to catch a flight off the North Island. A special way to travel back up the North Island is via the Northern Explorer train journey, which you can learn more about in the Train Network in New Zealand.
- Domestic flights – An alternative to getting between Wellington and Auckland, if needed, is by taking a flight from Wellington Airport to Auckland Airport. Find out more in our guide to Domestic Flights in New Zealand.
- Escorted tours – Alternatively, if you would rather not drive yourselves around the North Island, escorted bus tours provide an effortless option. However, these tours follow their own set itinerary; not the one listed below. Check out a range of tours in The Best 7-Day Tours of the North Island.
Day 1 – Auckland Airport to Waitomo
Travel time: 2 hours
Welcome to the North Island of New Zealand! With only one week to explore, you have no time to lose. So, pick up your rental vehicle and get on the road to Waitomo.
If you’re setting off in the morning, you’ll have a little time to spice up your drive with a 20-minute detour to the Pirongia Forest Park for an excellent bush walk or a 25-minute detour to the gorgeous Hamilton Gardens.
Once you arrive in Waitomo, you’ll have the chance to hop on one of the exciting glowworm tours there. It could be a walking tour through the candlelit caverns of the Footwhistle Cave (on Viator and Tripadvisor), a private cave tour with Glowing Adventures (on Viator and Tripadvisor), or an epic caving adventure with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook). Compare all of your options in the 8 Best Waitomo Cave Tours.
Romantic Activities in Waitomo
- Delve into the candlelit caverns of the Footwhistle Cave with Cave World Waitomo (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Embark on a private glowworm cave tour with Glowing Adventures (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Take on a caving adventure with the Black Water Rafting Co. (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
- Walk to amazing limestone formations on Waitomo’s walking trails
- Tackle the Timber Trail cycle journey together (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
For more explanation, take a look at the 8 Romantic Activities in Waitomo for Couples.
Romantic Accommodation in Waitomo
Check out the 5 Best Romantic Accommodations in Waitomo for more information on these romantic stays.
Day 2 – Waitomo to Rotorua
Travel time: 1h50mins
If your honeymoon/romantic getaway isn’t complete without Hobbits then take a 20-minute detour to Matamata on your way to Rotorua today. Check out the Hobbiton Movie Set tour on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday. Otherwise, head directly to Rotorua where you’ll pass through Putaruru. Here, take a 10-minute detour to the Blue Spring/Te Waihou Walkway for its fairytale-like setting of clear water moving through verdant reeds.
Once you reach Rotorua, check-in at your accommodation and experience some of the evening activities, such as seeing the beautiful light decorations of the Redwoods Treewalk or kayaking under glowworms of Lake Rotoiti (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). We’ll go into more things to do in Rotorua tomorrow.
Romantic Accommodation in Rotorua
- VR Rotorua Lake Resort
- Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort
- Treetops Lodge & Estate
- Solitaire Lodge
- Hamurana Lodge
For more information on our top recommended accommodation, check out the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Rotorua.
Day 3 – Explore Rotorua
There’s so much to do in Rotorua so just take your pick between soaking in natural mineral hot pools, doing a forest ziplining course (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday), or a helicopter landing on a volcano (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook).
Romantic Activities in Rotorua
- Paddle in a kayak or on a SUP board through a cave of glowworms (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Enjoy the views and the ride of a guided horse trek (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Walk hand-in-hand on Rotorua’s picture-perfect walks
- Unwind in a natural mineral hot pool (on Klook, KKday, Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Roll down a hill in a giant hamster ball together (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook).
For more information on each activity, check out the 10 Romantic Activities in Rotorua for Couples.
Day 4 – Rotorua to Ohakune
Travel time: 2h30mins
Crossing the centre of the North Island is quite the journey, so let’s get into it! First, the road between Rotorua and Taupo is full of geothermal wonders. Take your pick from Wai-O-Tapu (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), Waimangu Volcanic Valley (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook) or Orakei Korako (on Viator or Tripadvisor). Some of the free hot pools are also quick detours off this route, as listed in the 5 Free Natural Hot Pools in Rotorua.
Keep your fingers crossed for a clear day to soak in the magnificent views of three dramatic volcanoes. Take a 15-minute detour to Whakapapa Village where you’ll find short walks like that to Tawhai Falls, as well as the 2-hour Taranaki Falls Track.
Finally, you’ll reach Ohakune which is your base for exploring the volcanic landscape of the Tongariro National Park. Get yourselves a bit to eat using the recommendations in The Honeymoon Guide to Ohakune.
Romantic Accommodation in Ohakune
For elaboration on each accommodation, check out the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Ohakune.
Day 5 – Explore Ohakune
If the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is on your honeymoon must-do list, today is your chance to do it with shuttles providing access to the Crossing from Ohakune. Check out the Tongariro Crossing Accommodation and Transport: A Practical Guide to plan your hike.
Other highlights of the area include the awesome cycle trail of the Ohakune Old Coach Road, as well as the multi-day canoe trip known as the Whanganui Journey. If you don’t have the time for a multi-day trip, however, day trips on the Whanganui River to the Bridge to Nowhere are worth it.
Romantic Activities in Ohakune
- Tackle the Tongariro Crossing together
- Test your teamwork in a canoe on the Whanganui Journey
- Experience the Ruapehu scenery on a horse trek
- Cycle the Ohakune Old Coach Road
- Learn to ski together on Mt Ruapehu.
For more details on each experience, check out the 7 Romantic Activities in Ohakune for Couples.
Day 6 – Ohakune to Wellington
Travel time: 3h40mins
Set your sights on the capital city of New Zealand, Wellington. But first, you have a long drive ahead, which you can break up by stopping by a few quirky towns, such as Taihape with its giant gumboot sculpture and Bulls with its many “bull” puns. Stop for a stroll hand-in-hand along the beaches of Queen Elizabeth Park in Paraparaumu before finally reaching Wellington.
You might have time to enjoy some of the free stuff like wandering around the romantic Botanic Garden or visiting the national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa. Check-in at your hotel and treat yourselves to dinner following the recommendations in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Wellington.
Romantic Accommodation in Wellington
- Copthorne Hotel Wellington
- Rydges Wellington
- Naumi Studio Wellington
- Quest on Johnston
- Grand Mercure Wellington
For more information on each accommodation, see our 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Wellington.
Day 7 – Explore Wellington
It’s your last day on the North Island and your final chance to explore Wellington. Of course, what you can do depends on what time you need to leave, but we’ve listed some ideas below.
Romantic Activities in Wellington
- Walk hand-in-hand through the Botanic Garden
- Join the love birds in the Zealandia Ecosanctuary (more info on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Learn something new together in the city’s museums
- Be whisked away in the romantic helicopter tour with champagne (on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Join a foodie tour, whether it’s a chocolate factory tour or cocktail tasting.
For more information on each activity, see 10 Romantic Activities in Wellington for Couples.
Either fly back up to Auckland if you’re leaving the North Island via Auckland International Airport. Alternatively, spend the whole day getting back up to Auckland on a romantic train journey on the Northern Explorer. Find out more on Viator or Tripadvisor.
More About a North Island Honeymoon and Romance Itinerary for One Week / 7 Days
That’s it for our North Island honeymoon and romance itinerary for 7 days. If that wasn’t the itinerary you were looking for, check out these alternative 7-day itineraries:
- South Island Honeymoon Itinerary: One Week / 7 Days
- North Island in One Week: New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary
- North Island Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: One Week / 7 Days
- North Island Luxury Itinerary: One Week / 7 Days
- North Island Foodie Itinerary: One Week / 7 Days
- How to Create the Perfect New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary
Finally, get more advice on planning more of your couples’ trip to New Zealand with The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to New Zealand.