We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Two-week trip around North Island

Wellington, New...
Level Contributor
6 posts
4 reviews
8 helpful votes
Two-week trip around North Island
Save

Hi guys,

I am a Wellingtonian but haven't really explored the North Island (since I was a small child anyway!).

We recently had to cancel an exciting family trip overseas we had planned for July, so now are planing to do two weeks in the North Island instead. Of course this is all contingent on local travel still being viable then. We want to stay a week or so in Ohakune and then probably in Turangi for another week or so.

Firstly I wanted to ask your advice about Ohakune. Our kids are 6 and 3. We're wondering if a whole week is too long to stay with kids in Ohakune. We aren't skiers but will play in the snow. Other than that and the carrot playground, is there much to keep younger kids occupied? They'll be keen to do walks and that sort of thing. We also want to have some nice dinners out.

Secondly, should we stay another week in just Turangi (friend has a bach there) and do all the trout fishing stuff and some walks etc, or should we just stay there a couple of days and then hit up Rotorua?

Has anyone done a longer spell of a full week in either place, in the Winter, with kids and what would your advice be for kids' stuff to do and how to split this time (two weeks) between towns?

Thanks and stay safe everyone.

8 replies to this topic
Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
17,316 posts
214 reviews
106 helpful votes
1. Re: Two-week trip around North Island
Save

Rotarua is a place all Kiwi should visit at least once. There are not many places you can see those colours and bubbling mud.

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
2,147 posts
25 reviews
34 helpful votes
2. Re: Two-week trip around North Island
Save

We've been Skiers for years and there isn't much in Ohakune , there is a Library, a few cafe's, but you are better round the National Park side for seeing the snow. At the Whakapapa Ski Area there is now the Gondola that takes you up to the Cafe, much more scenic and get to see a bot more of the Mountain. There are also so tracks off the side of the road.

Rather than Turangi, look at Taupo, and also if looking at Rotorua, there is a great drive through to Kawerau that takes you past Blue and Green Lakes, both beautiful spots, nothing Kaerau, so just drive past Whakatane which is a bit of interesting place.

From Whakatane head up the coast to Tauranga and the Mount.

Or the other option from Taupo, is head in the opposite direction to Napier, also an interesting city, bit of Art Deco, then drive back through the countryside via Dannevirke, Masterton, and bit of Wine Country in Martinborough.

New Zealand
Level Contributor
2,778 posts
58 reviews
25 helpful votes
3. Re: Two-week trip around North Island
Save

Kia ora,

another vote for Rotorua. In my experience with kids, I reckon it is the best, with heaps to do. If you stay in a place with a thermal source and pools eg Aura it is good.

We use to go skiing with ours and enjoy a few nights stay in Ohakune, but 3 yrs is too young.

Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
1,464 posts
445 reviews
196 helpful votes
4. Re: Two-week trip around North Island
Save

Ah but now we're not meant to move around NZ either....I too had been thinking what a great time to do some domestic travel without all the foreign tourists...but no. This latest directive by the government is partly to reduce spread and partly to make contact tracing easier I think.

Falkland Islands
Level Contributor
659 posts
5. Re: Two-week trip around North Island
Save

Poster 4 the OP was asking about July!

Trying to look on the positive side of life rather than dwell on the negativity of now.

However there are some local murmurs that because of a shortage of staff that RAL (the ski area company) are only planning to open Whakapapa Ski Area! this winter. Completion of work on the Ohakune Mountain road may also play strongly into this. So Ohakune may be less of an option to Turangi because of this.

Anyways dont under rate Ohakune! having raised a Child there its safer than Turangi in some ways. Also they have the Dinosaur House out in Raetihi which keep the kids amused for a day.

Keep positive focus one never knows.

Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
1,464 posts
445 reviews
196 helpful votes
6. Re: Two-week trip around North Island
Save

Saw that it was July but doubt things will be better by then unfortunately. May seem negative but is probably just realistic😥

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Christchurch, South Island, Akaroa
Level Contributor
51,115 posts
576 reviews
231 helpful votes
7. Re: Two-week trip around North Island
Save

>>doubt things will be better by then <<

China is now reporting virtually zero new cases and are talking of re-opening schools next Monday, after around 2 months of shut down, so effective measures might have things back to normal by June/July?? Here's hoping!

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
17,316 posts
214 reviews
106 helpful votes
8. Re: Two-week trip around North Island
Save

If its crossible, cross it!

Reply to: Two-week trip around North Island
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Taupo
© 2024 Tripadvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in New Zealand. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.