North in a Nutshell- New Zealand

After spending five months in the North Island of New Zealand, here are my top tips and recommendations. Feel free to ask any further questions, I will be happy to help 🙂


  • Hobbiton- (MataMata, Waikato). Home to Middle-Earth and home of the Hobbits. Book a tour and feel nostalgic as you walk round a life size set of The Shire.
  • Weta Workshop/Weta Cave- (Wellington). Immerse yourself in the world of Weta Studios and learn how the fantastic props and sets you see on the big screen and made in New Zealand. Fantastic tour.


  • Kaiate Falls- (Tauranga). Stunning waterfall, gorgeous walk and when the water is warm enough you can jump in.
  • Owharoa Falls- (Between Paeroa and Waihi). Park up and walk five minutes down to the waterfalls- they are beautiful.


  • The Mount– (Mount Maunganui, Tauranga). Climb to the top of the summit. The views are spectacular, the walk is hard work but is so rewarding. One of the most stunning places I have ever seen.
  • Cathedral Cove- (Coromandel Peninsula). One of New Zealand’s most beautiful natural spots.
  • Te Rewa Rewa Bridge- (New Plymouth, Taranaki). Walk along the Coastal Walkway which leads to this bridge. On a clear day, you can see Mount Taranaki in the far background. Perfect picture moment.
  • Mount Eden- (Auckland). It’s a free walk to the top of Mount Eden and the views from the top are stunning. On a clear day you will see Auckland’s full skyline.


  • Tony’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant- (Auckland) The perfect steak and wine.
  • Sauce- (New Plymouth, Taranaki) Build your own pizza.
  • Little India- (More than one location) Delicious curry.
  • The Coffee Club- (More than one location) Selection of foods.
  • Pizza Hut Delivery- (More than one location) $5 pizzas.

Petrol Stations

  • Gull, G.A.S and Waitamo- The three cheapest petrol stations.


  • Pak n Save– cheapest.
  • New World– reasonable.
  • Countdown– most expensive.

Read and Remember

  • New Zealand is slow and relaxed, but the lifestyle is expensive.
  • WiFi isn’t fantastic.
  • Kiwi’s walk around bare foot.
  • The weather can be unpredictable.
  • You pay for your bill in a restaurant at the front desk, not at the table.
  • Kiwi’s love to say “Sweet As”.
  • Some places are difficult to pronounce.
  • Coffee shops are everywhere.

New Zealand is one of the most beautiful Countries I have visited and the local Kiwis are incredibly kind and generous. Be kind, be caring, be respectful and be excited. There is so much to see and I’m only half way exploring. That’s it for now, my tips and recommendations of the North Island. It’s time to see the South. Bye for now, thank you 🙂

More posts coming soon, enjoy.

Sadie Chillingworth









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