Grab your girls and whisk them away for a weekend of girlie fun, far away from the daily grind. A weekend of laughter, relaxing and exploring and, probably, one or the other vino.
Spending quality time with your besties is important and should be an annual ritual. But where to go and what to do once you’re there?
We’ve compiled what we think are the best places for a girls’ weekend away in the North Island:
The best North Island girls’ weekend away
Rotorua – Hot pools and adventure
Hot pools galore! Rotorua is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend getaway with the girls! There are so many hot pools in Rotorua, the hardest part is deciding which ones to soak in! Let me give you a quick rundown of your choices:
Polynesian Spa – The original:
One of the oldest and biggest hot pools in Rotorua, Polynesian Spa is perfectly located on Lake Rotorua and within walking distance from the town centre. You have the choice between two different pool areas: The Pavillion Pools are for adults over 12 years only while the Deluxe Lake Pools are for everyone but look more natural. When you book a spa treatment, entry to the Deluxe Lake Pools is included.
Hell’s Gate – Mud & Sulphur pools:
A special experience, especially when paired with a guided geothermal walk before your soaking session. Hell’s Gate Rotorua is the only place in New Zealand where you get to play in healing mud. Round off your muddy soak with a swim in one of sulphur pools and your skin will feel like a baby’s bum.
Or are you just after an entry to Hell’s Gate without accommodation? Click here to grab a 10% discount off your next visit to Hell’s Gate
By the way: Rotorua Ziplines and rafting is just around the corner from Hell’s Gate and makes an awesome combo!
Secret Spot Rotorua – Licensed hot tubs:
The only place where your bathing suits won’t smell of sulphur after your soaking session is at Secret Spot Rotorua. The water is coming directly from a freshwater spring, hidden in Whakarewarewa Forest.
The wooden hot tubs with iconic kiwi names (like O For Awesome) look into the lush green forest. The best, though: Order your (alcoholic) drinks right to your tubs by the push of a button! Pretty O-some indeed!
Groups of up to six ladies can share a private tub for 45 minutes.
Or click here for a 10% discount off your next visit to Secret Spot Rotorua (without the accommodation)
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools – Off the beaten path:
What started off a bit of a hidden gem is becoming more and more known now. Waikite Valley is not only a campsite outside of Rotorua (near Wai-o-tapu and Waimangu Valley) but a campsite with its own, very lush and beautiful hot pools. Go try it out!
Lake Rotoiti Hot Pools – only accessible by boat or plane:
The Lake Rotoiti Hot Pools are a great spot to soak in summer as well as in winter! Sit in the pools overlooking the water, swim in the lake or sip a coffee in the waterfront cafe. The pools are only accessible by boat or by water plane.
In addition to the relaxing hot pools, Rotorua also offers a lot of action-packed adventures. How about a race down the luge (I promise it’s also tons of fun for adults), in combination with a delicious dinner buffet and/or wine tasting on top of the Skyline Gondola? Or downhill ball rolling at ZORB, driving a 4WD car through the forest, soaring over the canopy with a zipline and more? Rotorua has it all!
Waiheke Island – Wine, dining and beaches
Just a short ferry ride from Auckland city and you’ll feel like a world away. Waiheke Island is the perfect destination for a ladies’ weekend away!
Either jump on the hop-on/hop-off bus for a self-guided tour of Waiheke’s most popular wineries or join one of the guided tours. Especially if you’ve been before and would like discover some other, smaller wineries, we recommend a tour. You can also add a scenic flight to your getaway or zipline over the vines.
For bigger groups (eg a hen’s weekend), we can organise a fun mix of wine tour and a scavenger hunt. Build the biggest sand castle, guess the wine, dress up with items from the second-hand store and see Waiheke Island at the same time. Message us for an enquiry.
Some must-visit restaurants and wineries you might not know yet and we can recommend are Jurassic Ridge (a small, vegan wine cellar), Casita Miro winery and VinoVino restaurant.
Castaways Resort Karioitahi – Off-grid hideaway
About an hour south of Auckland city lies this gem perched on top of a cliff, overlooking a black beach and the open ocean with the most stunning sunset! Castaways Resort is perfect if you’re looking for a relaxing ladies’ weekend away.
Anywhere you go at Castaways Resort, your room, the restaurant, the spa, you’ll always have the most amazing view over the ocean! And no phone reception, perfect for completely unplugging from the modern world.
The hotel has rooms in various sizes, able to fit a getaway with the BFF (studio) or with all the girls (2- and 3-bedroom chalets and villas).
The restaurant caters to your every need with delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Or you can go into nearby Waiuku, grab some takeout and eat it picnic-style in the sand dunes while watching the sunset.
Taupo – Hot pools and bike trails
Even though Taupo is slightly less popular when it comes to hot pools and spas, it’s just as great for a mix of a relaxing and active girls’ weekend away. Wairakei terraces are a small but wonderful hot pool complex that’s built with the famous Pink and White Terraces in mind (these were destroyed by the eruption of Mt Tarawera back in 1886).
Wairakei Terraces are for adults over 12 years only to ensure a relaxing experience. They also offer spa treatments.
Those who are looking for an activity before or after relaxing in the hot tubs should check out the many many bike trails in and around Taupo. You can find biking (and walking) trails for all levels and distances. Some of the trails need a bus and/or boat shuttle which can easily be arranged, as well as the (e-)bikes.
Waitomo Caves – Exciting underground adventures
Waitomo Caves are the best place in New Zealand to see the glowworms. But did you know that the Waitomo Caves are a massive caves system and that the glowworms can be seen just as stunningly in less crowded parts of the caves than where everyone is going?
Experience glowworms, abseiling and caving on one of our more adventurous weekend getaways. The knowledgeable guides make sure you’ll be safe at all times. But nevertheless, you will get wet, and you will get muddy, you will see glowworms and, most of all, you and your girls will have heaps of fun along the way!
At night, you’ll stay at a lovely bed and breakfast in the heart of Waitomo, within walking distance to restaurants and cafes. Or, if you prefer to cook your own dinner, at a cabin at Waitomo Top10.
Whitianga – Tropical hot pools and beaches
Famous for its white beaches, the Coromandel feels even more tropical at Lost Springs. Entering the hot pools in Whitianga, you’ll feel like on holiday on a South Pacific Island. Lush greenery surrounds the two lagoon pools, the lounger chairs and hut bars add to the feeling. Lost Spring is one of the only hot pools on the North Island with an alcohol license. Sip a delicious cocktail and munch your nibbles right in the hot pool. If you book far enough ahead, you can treat yourself to a massage in the separate spa cabanas.
Lost Springs only admit a certain number of people to the pools per slot, so it never feels crowded, despite only having two pools.
Stay in one of the many hotels in Whitianga (for example, Albert No 6), stroll along the beach and dine in one of the many restaurants in town.
Napier – Wine, Art Deco and bike trails
Napier is, next to Waiheke Island, the most popular and definitely the biggest wine region on the North Island. Anywhere you go in Napier, you’ll stumble upon a vineyard. Add Art Deco buildings to the mix and a massive network of (flat) bike trails, many of them going past wineries, and you have hit the girls’ getaway jackpot!
Dress up in your favourite flapper outfit for a city tour in authentic cars of the decade, looking out for Al Capone while admiring the Art Deco buildings. On your next day, hire e-bikes to explore the region and visit some of the many wineries in the region.
Are we missing an awesome spot for a girls’ trip on the North Island? Or what would you like to do when you and your girls get away for a weekend? We want to know! Tell us in the comments below or send us a message!