The surroundings of Auckland are often overlooked by tourists because they want to get to the "beautiful" places as fast as possible. Their bad. Auckland area has so much more to offer than just the CBD, and everything is only about an hours' drive away.
The northern tip of New Zealand is known for its year-round warm temperatures. It's all about beach life, not only because of the famous 90 Mile beach (which in reality is only 55 miles long) but also because you can actually go and swim (!) with the dolphins in Bay of Island. Northland is also an important for Aotearoa's history as the treaty with the Maori has been signed in Waitangi in 1840.
The sunny and warm climate makes the Coromandel Peninsula a all-year destination. The most famous attraction is the popular Hot Water Beach, with Cathedral Cove being a close runner-up. But there is a lot more to see and do.
Bay of Plenty
There really is plenty to see and do in this huge bay. Favourite bathing and tanning spot is definitely the beach in Mount Manganui, generally known as "The Mount". A little bit further along the coast lies Whakatane, which is the starting point for tours to the only active marine volcano in New Zealand, White Island.
Central North Island, the volcanic Plateau
The central north island covers a huge area with some of the most famous tourist attactions of New Zealand. There is Raglan, a surfers mecca, the Waitomo Caves and the volcanic plateau with the bubbling and steaming Rotorua, Taupo and it's hidden supervolcano (hint: it's the giant lake) and National Park, where you find the most popular day hike of New Zealand: Tongariro Crossing. Hiking, biking, surfing, skiing....You name it, central north island has it!
Southern North Island and east coast
This area covers everything from the Eastern Cape, Gisborne, along the coast to the vineyards of Napier. Further south west, there is majestic Mount Taranaki and on the southern-most tip of New Zealands North Island lies windy Wellington, the capital of this beautiful country.