About the North Island

The North Island, also officially named Te Ika-a-Māui is the smaller of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area, but it is much more populous; around 76% of New Zealand’s population lives in the North Island.

The North Island covers 113,729km2 and consists of 9 states: Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui, Hawke’s Bay and Wellington. There are three National Parks in the North Island, as well as twelve monitored active volcanos spread across the mainland and Kermadec Islands. It boasts around 200 caves including the famous Waitomo caves, a maze of limestone caves lined with stalagmites, stalactites and galaxies of glow-worms. 

North Island Must See Activities:

  • Go kayaking on the Whanganui Journey
  • Learn all about the Mauri culture at the Tamaki Maori Village
  • Visit the Te Papa Museum
  • Watch the sunset in Auckland from a dormant volcano
  • Explore the craters on the Moon Geothermal Walk
  • Complete one of the world’s best walks: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Dig a hot pool at Hot Water Beach
  • Surf in Raglan
  • Walk the base of The Lord of The Rings’ “Mt Doom”
  • Jet boat around Auckland
  • Sky Diving and bungy jumping!
  • Sail the Bay of Islands

North Island Tours & Bus Passes in New Zealand

When it comes to travelling around New Zealand, taking a hop-on hop-off bus is a very popular option thanks to the flexibility, guidance, ease and sociability they offer. A Hop-on Hop off bus visits a large section of New Zealand and is great for those who want a little more flexibility for their New Zealand adventure!

With the bus passes, you get a driver who is also your guide; instead of just taking you from A to B, your driver will inform, enthral and entertain you with facts, stories and give you important insight into the local culture. The drivers of both bus companies are consistently highly-rated, they will become a good friend and recommend top notch things to do every step of the way.

Hop-on Hop-off Tours offer the flexibility of a bus pass, but also the advantages of a guided tour – the majority do not include accommodation for you and you can either organise this yourself as you go or you can take advantage of the “reserved spots” the Hop-on hop-off bus has made at various accommodations. You get this accommodation at a slightly cheaper rate and you stay with the group then! It is also possible to add in activities while you are travelling around.

The two main bus operators that offer the Hop-on Hop-off bus services are Stray and Kiwi Experience. They differ in the route they take, where they stop overnight, price and your fellow passengers.

New Zealand - North Island Hop-on Hop-off passes can be tailored according to your needs


Do you want a 6 Day minimum Auckland Flexible Pass- Kiwi Experience? Or maybe a 2 Day/ 2 Night Blue Duck Station Tour- Stray with food, activities and accommodation included? With so many beautiful places to choose from, we know that exploring New Zealand can be confusing for some, which is why we offer various buss pass options for travelling convenience. For example, one of our most popular passes is the Super Funky New Zealand Flexible Bus Pass-Kiwi Experience; start anywhere you like and finish where you began. The journey includes a visit to New Zealand’s most historical location Waitangi- the “birthplace of the Nation”, a day-trip to the very top of the island, the sacred Cape Reigna. Dunk in New Zealand’s biggest lake and visit the country’s biggest geyser at Taupo and be dazzled by the stunning free walks through the native bush and dramatic waterfalls of Tongariro National Park. Contact us now to plan your perfect North Island Hop-on Hop-off experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hop-on Hop-off Tours


Is a Hop-on Hop-off Buss Pass expensive?

Both Stray and Kiwi Experience offer fantastic bundle prices on their trips ensuring they remain competitive options with regards to price. 

I’m a solo traveller, is this the right option for me?

This is the best option for you! The Hop-on Hop-off bus passes are geared towards the backpacker community, so if you’re looking to find other like-minded individuals, you will find a bus load here!

I’m travelling within a group; will we be able to stay within the same accommodation and do our activities together?

No problem at all!

I’ve decided I want to stay somewhere longer than originally planned, is that OK?

Provided you have given the bus company notice that they no longer need to hold your seat there is not fee.

Aren’t convinced yet? See our South South Island Tours!

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