North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days
North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days

North Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days

© NZPocketGuide.com

14-Day Honeymoon and Couples Itinerary for the North Island

Two weeks is more than enough time to explore more of the North Island than the average traveller, making your honeymoon or romantic getaway to New Zealand’s North Island all the more special. This North Island honeymoon and romance itinerary for two weeks encapsulates glorious beaches, off-the-beaten-track destinations, geothermal oddities, mountains, volcanos, as well as some must-visit locations you probably already have on your agenda. Start planning your two-week honeymoon on the North Island with this specially curated itinerary.

Before we get started, be sure to bookmark The Honeymoon Guide to New Zealand for even more honeymoon tips.

14-Day North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Overview

  • Day 1 – Auckland Airport to Waitomo
  • Day 2 – Waitomo to Rotorua
  • Day 3 – Rotorua to Whakatane
  • Day 4 – Whakatane to the East Cape
  • Day 5 – The East Cape to Gisborne
  • Day 6 – Explore Gisborne
  • Day 7 – Gisborne to Napier
  • Day 8 – Explore Napier
  • Day 9 – Napier to Taupo
  • Day 10 – Taupo to Ohakune
  • Day 11 – Explore Ohakune
  • Day 12 – Ohakune to the Ruahine Forest Park
  • Day 13 – Ruahine Forest Park to Wellington
  • Day 14 – Wellington to Wellington Airport (or Train Station)

How to Get Around the North Island in Two Weeks

Follow the exact route of this two-week honeymoon and romance itinerary by self-driving. We give tips on hiring a vehicle below, as well as additional (and alternative) transport methods to use for travelling for two weeks around the North Island on your honeymoon.

  • Rental car or campervan – Your second most important road trip companion (after your other half, of course), a rental vehicle gives you full freedom to explore all of the destinations mentioned in this itinerary. Use a rental company that has depots in Auckland and Wellington where this itinerary begins and ends. Start your research with The Guide to Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand.
  • Train – Speaking of this itinerary starting in Auckland and ending in Wellington, you may need to return to Auckland to catch a flight off the North Island. A special way to do that is via the Northern Explorer train journey, which you can learn more about in the Train Network in New Zealand.
  • Domestic flights – An alternative way to get 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 – 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 10-12-Day Tours of the North Island.
North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Shaun Jeffers - THL

Day 1 – Auckland Airport to Waitomo

Travel time: 2 hours

Welcome to the North Island of New Zealand! We hope you got some rest on the plane because we’re making sure you waste no time in picking up your rental vehicle and getting out of Auckland to discover the real New Zealand. Your first destination is 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 its excellent bush walks or a 25-minute detour to the gorgeous Hamilton Gardens. You can learn more about the latter, as well as other things to do in the city, in the 10 Romantic Activities in Hamilton for Couples.

Once you arrive in Waitomo, you’ll have the chance to hop on one of its exciting glowworm tours. It could be a walking tour through the candlelit caverns of the Footwhistle Cave (on Viator and Tripadvisor), a private cave tour with (on Viator and Tripadvisor), or an epic caving and tubing adventure (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook). Compare all of your options in the 8 Best Waitomo Cave Tours.

Romantic Activities in Waitomo

Take a look at the 8 Romantic Activities in Waitomo for Couples for more explanation on each experience.

Romantic Accommodation in Waitomo

See the 5 Best Romantic Accommodations in Waitomo for more information on these romantic stays.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Julian Apse & Destination Rotorua - Tourism New Zealand

Day 2 – Waitomo to Rotorua

Travel time: 1h50mins

If your honeymoon isn’t complete without Hobbits then take a 20-minute detour to Matamata on your way to Rotorua today. Learn more about the Hobbiton Movie Set tour on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKdayOtherwise, the most direct route to Rotorua has you passing nearby the Putaruru Blue Spring/Te Waihou Walkway. You might as well take a 10-minute detour for its fairytale-like setting of clear water moving through verdant reeds. Take a picnic for a romantic touch.

Once you reach Rotorua, check-in at your accommodation and experience some of the evening activities the tourist hub has to offer, such as seeing the beautiful light displays of the Redwoods Treewalk or kayaking under glowworms of Lake Rotoiti (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).

Romantic Activities in Rotorua

For more information on each activity, check out the 10 Romantic Activities in Rotorua for Couples.

Romantic Accommodation in Rotorua

For more information on our top recommended accommodation, check out the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Rotorua.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Tourism Bay of Plenty

Day 3 – Rotorua to Whakatane

Travel time: 1h10mins

Today, you make your way to Whakatane and the Bay of Plenty to start your road trip with beautiful beaches and stunning coastline.

While a worthy thing to do in Whakatane is to seek out the spectacular Otarawairere Bay and Ohope Beach, a must-do is a trip to the island sanctuary of Moutohora Eco Sanctuary. You can get there by sailing with ProSail or an eco-tour with White Island Tours.

Romantic Activities in Whakatane for Couples

For more information on each experience, check out the 8 Romantic Activities in Whakatane for Couples.

Romantic Accommodation in Whakatane

For more information on our top picks, take a look a the 9 Best Romantic Accommodations in Whakatane.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 4 – Whakatane to the East Cape

Travel time: 1h35mins to 4 hours depending on East Cape accommodation

Your East Cape road trip begins today, where you can follow a more detailed itinerary in our Eastland Road Trip Itinerary: Gisborne to Opotiki, following it in reverse.

In short, stop by beaches in Torere, enjoy some breathtaking coastal scenery between Opotiki and Maraehako Bay, climb the steps to the East Cape Lighthouse, take a snap of the Maori church at Tikitiki, hike up Mt Hikurangi, visit Tolaga Bay Wharf, walk the Cooks Cove Walkway and more. Of course, you may do some of these activities tomorrow, depending on where you choose to stay, as accommodation is scattered across the Pacific Coast Highway.

Romantic Activities on the East Cape

  • Watch the first coastal place in New Zealand to see the new day with the sunrise at the East Cape Lighthouse
  • Hike up the culturally significant Mt Hikurangi
  • Admire the East Cape’s beautiful churches like Tikitiki Church and Raukokore Church
  • Enjoy a scenic walk together on the Cooks Cove Walkway
  • Cycle the Dunes Trail in Opotiki.

Learn more about these activities and their locations in the Eastland Road Trip Itinerary: Gisborne to Opotiki and the 9 Pacific Coast Highway Walks You Can’t Miss.

Romantic Accommodation on the East Cape

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 5 – The East Cape to Gisborne

Travel time: 1h25mins to 3h50mins depending on East Cape accommodation

You’ll notice that the East Cape has a more relaxing pace of life, so embrace it by spending some time revelling in the tranquillity of your coastal accommodation this morning.

It’s also likely that you still have some of the East Cape activities ahead of you so take your time today hitting some of the highlights before arriving in Gisborne.

Once you arrive in the main hub of the region, you can spend it watching the stars on a special tour with Gisborne Astro Tours or snuggling up in the cutest darn cinema you ever did see at the Dome Cinema. You have more time to experience Gisborne’s more extravagant activities tomorrow.

Romantic Accommodation in Gisborne

For more information on our top recommendations, check out the 5 Best Romantic Accommodations in Gisborne.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Ray Sheldrake - Tourism New Zealand

Day 6 – Explore Gisborne

Perhaps after watching the sunrise from Waikanae Beach (or shamelessly enjoying a lie-in), you can go on a mini road trip together to the Rere Waterfall, Rere Rockslide and Eastwoodhill Arboretum. On your way back, stop by the romantic wineries, like the Millton Vineyards & Winery. Alternatively, learn something new together like surfing on Waikanae Beach.

Romantic Activities in Gisborne

  • Learn to surf together
  • Snuggle up in a beanbag while watching a movie at the Dome Cinema
  • Visit the romantic Rere Waterfall and Eastwoodhill Arboretum
  • Do some stargazing on a special astronomy tour
  • Taste Gisborne’s wines, craft beers and ciders
  • Smell the flowers at the Botanical Garden.

For elaboration on each experience, take a look at the 10 Romantic Activities in Gisborne for Couples.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Hawke's Bay

Day 7 – Gisborne to Napier

Travel time: 3 hours

You have an exciting road trip ahead today, so get started early! On your way out of Gisborne, consider stopping by Gisborne Railbike Adventure for their unique way to see the stunning coastline.

The next worthy stop is Morere with its off-the-beaten-track hot pools hidden among New Zealand’s very own native palm trees called nikau. There are also some short walks to enjoy between delving into caves and walking among verdant coastal forest. Check out the walks on the Department of Conservation website.

After a quick pitstop in Wairoa for brunch or lunch, adventurous couples can take a mesmerising and adrenaline-fuelled journey down the Mohaka River with Mohaka Rafting. Check out Viator and Tripadvisor for more information on this white water rafting trip.

Finally, you’ll reach Napier where you can be forgiven for wanting to just collapse on the bed of our hotel or lodge suite. No worries, as you have plenty of time to explore tomorrow. If you need dinner recommendations, check out The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Napier and The Foodie Guide to Napier.

Romantic Accommodation in Napier

For more details on our top recommendations, take a look at the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Napier.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Arataki Honey - Hawke's Bay

Day 8 – Explore Napier

A romantic day in Napier can go either one of two ways; both are amazing for couples. One way, you could cycle between the wineries of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s oldest wine region. Bikes, transport and everything you need can be provided by City Bike Hire & Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or Tākaro Trails Cycle Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Another way is an adventure to see majestic seabirds nesting at the Cape Kidnappers gannet colony. Either get there on a free day walk at low tide or with Gannet Safaris Overland.

Romantic Activities in Napier

For more information on each experience, as well as locations, see the 10 Romantic Activities in Napier for Couples.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© www.lovetaupo.com

Day 9 – Napier to Taupo

Travel time: 1h50mins

Head over the hill today to Taupo, a town on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake. There are plenty of ways to spend your time here together, whether it’s paddling in a double kayak on Lake Taupo (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or doing something insane like a tandem bungy jump. The list of activities is extensive, so take a look at the 20 Amazing Things to Do in Taupo, as well as the 10 Romantic Activities in Taupo for Couples for inspiration.

Romantic Activities in Taupo

  • Cruise Lake Taupo at sunset (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
  • Team up in a double kayak and paddle to the Maori Rock Carvings (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Sooth the senses with a soak in the hot pools (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Conquer the fear together in a tandem bungy jump
  • Explore the steaming and colourful landscapes of the geothermal park, Orakei Korako (on Viator and Tripadvisor).

For elaboration on each experience, see the 10 Romantic Activities in Taupo for Couples.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Visit Ruapehu

Day 10 – Taupo to Ohakune

Travel time: 1h45mins

Crossing the centre of the North Island is quite the journey, so let’s get into it by starting with a super scenic drive alongside New Zealand’s largest lake.

After the town of Turangi, stop by Lake Rotopounamu for its lush native forest and gorgeous lake views. Take a picnic to have on one of the lake’s three beaches.

As you reach the Tongariro National Park, 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 bite to eat using the recommendations in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Ohakune.

Romantic Accommodation in Ohakune

For elaboration on each accommodation, check out the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Ohakune.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Mt Ruapehu - Visit Ruapehu

Day 11 – Explore Ohakune

If the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is on your honeymoon/romantic getaway 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

For more details on each experience, check out the 7 Romantic Activities in Ohakune for Couples.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 12 – Ohakune to the Ruahine Forest Park

Travel time: 1h10mins to 1h45mins depending on Ruahine accommodation

Today you escape to your own piece of North Island wilderness in/on the edge of the Ruahine Forest Park. The journey there takes you through towns with themes not quite associated with honeymoon romance; Waiouru is the base of the New Zealand Army and home to the National Army Museum while Taihape is the “Gumboot Capital of New Zealand”… Fun to check out nonetheless!

The Ruahine Forest Park has a wealth of attractions, including white water rafting (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), horse trekking (on Viator and Tripadvisor), the Limestone Creek Reserve Glow Worm Caves and walks in the Ruahine Ranges.

Romantic Activities in the Ruahine Forest Park

Romantic Accommodation in the Ruahine Forest Park

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Nicola Edmonds - WellingtonNZ

Day 13 – Ruahine Forest Park to Wellington

Travel time: 2h50mins to 3h40mins depending on Ruahine accommodation

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 charming rural towns like Mangawekawith its charming cafe and gallery, Bulls with its many “bull” puns, Feilding with its must-visit farmers market, and more. Stop for a stroll 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

For more information on each accommodation, see our 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Wellington.

North Island Honeymoon Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© JUCY Group

Day 14 – Wellington to Wellington Airport (or Train Station)

It’s your last day on the North Island and your final chance to explore Wellington. Of course, what you are able to do depends on what time you need to leave, but we’ve listed a few 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.

One option is to 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 Two Weeks / 14 Days

That’s it for our North Island honeymoon and romance itinerary for 14 days. If that wasn’t the itinerary you were looking for, check out these alternative 14-day itineraries:

Finally, get more advice on planning more of your couples’ trip to New Zealand with The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to New Zealand.

Author

Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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