North or South Island in New Zealand?

When I started planning my visit to New Zealand, I wasn’t sure where to go due to limitations of travel days! I was traveling with my friends, and both had limited vacation days from work, so we needed to limit our days to the duration they were able to do so figured lets plan this wisely.

My main goal, and top of my bucket list is to visit Bora Bora! The closest point to Bora Bora is Auckland, and the best rate for the flight traveling from where I live was also to Auckland so this gave me the OK to start planning my trip to and from Auckland.

For me, this put the North Island on my map for sure. Then, it all went back to what do we really want to see? Do we want to take flights between the two islands to see the must see spots? Or enjoy a relaxed roadtrip in New Zealand and make it to Bora Bora? The latter, after careful thought was much needed and agreed on finally.

Fatima, why are you telling us this story? I’m telling you this story to tell you there’s no right or wrong. There’s what fits your mood, travel style, travel conditions and make things work.

Now, which one should YOU choose?

From my understanding, the North Island is the more relaxed/chilled areas and stops. I loved going around it on a roadtrip, I loved the scenery and I absolutely loved how relaxed it was. On my bucket list were the Hobbiton, Lake Taupo and ofcourse to go to Bora Bora from Auckland so it was just perfect.

Everyone told me South Island is heavily, better sceneries and nature and more adventure stuff to do. To be honest, I wasn’t looking for adventure. So, you should basically choose what you feel is more. suitable for you and your route.

In terms of landscape, the North Island is known for its gorgeous coastline and geothermal hotspots. You’ll find incredible beaches in Northland, the Bay of Islands, and around the Coromandel Peninsula, while the central region of the island around Rotorua is known for the hot springs and bubbling mud pools that come with intense geothermal activity. In the island’s south, you’ll find volcanoes around Tongariro National Park. While both islands have beaches, the North Island has more of the traditional white-sand beaches that are perfect for swimming.

If you plan to do both, I recommend you at least 4 weeks. The country is big!

The North Island has 4 of New Zealand’s 7 international airports, including the one in Auckland, which handles most of the country’s arrivals. Wellington, too, has a large airport that handles a lot of domestic and international flights. 

On the South Island, the biggest airport is in Christchurch, which, while sizable, doesn’t handle nearly as many international flights as Auckland. I found the cheaper flights to be to Auckland for some reason.

On the South Island, the cultural focus is different. The South is home to the rugged “Southern Man,” and the cultural offering of choice down here is either sheep farming or rugby.

And to be honest, Auckland didn’t have ALOT to see. My 2 nights there were comfortable enough to relax and rest-ish.

So.. what is your choice? Haha 🙂


  1. Lovely post 💕! Although I’m not the adventurous type, and I like to have chill vacations, I chose the southern island. Mainly because of the nature/scene ray. And then I went back a second time to the southern island as well haha. Queenstown stole my heart ❤️! You have to visit it in the future 💜!

    1. Heard sooo much about the south island & specially queenstown! Hopefully in my next visit! Thanks for sharing 😍👏🏽

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