An idyllic subtropical area north of Auckland where you’ll discover intriguing history amidst spectacular landscapes and 144 islands. Teeming with marine wildlife and unique experiences, this remote destination is about half a day’s drive from Auckland.
New Zealand’s largest city is set amidst a varied landscape of stunning beaches, extinct volcanoes and two harbours. The city is known for its great lifestyle, mild climate and for catering very well for those who enjoy food, wine and shopping!
Just a 45-minute ferry ride off the coast of Auckland and the perfect destination for a quick overnight stay if you have the time, Waiheke Island is a paradise of white sand beaches and rolling hills festooned with grapevines.
White-sand beaches and intriguing coastal rock formations characterise this favourite Kiwi holiday destination. Cinematic Cathedral Cove is a perfect spot to try a bit of sea kayaking, while Hot Water Beach is where you can soak in warm geothermal spring water while the ocean waves crash nearby.
Once upon a time, a large farm in New Zealand’s Waikato district was home mostly to sheep. Thanks to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, this movie set location has been transformed into one of New Zealand’s most visited attractions. You don’t need to be a Middle Earth fan to enjoy visiting these picturesque hobbit holes.
Waitomo is famous world-wide thanks to its magnificent caves lit by thousands of glowworms. You can explore the caves in a guided tour by foot, or take on the adventure of an underground rafting experience.
This remarkable geothermal area is home to geysers, boiling mud pools, steaming hot water springs and is a significant Māori cultural centre. A visit to Rotorua is not complete without tasting a traditional hangi meal, or enjoying a relaxing thermal mud pool experience.
Over 2000 years ago, a mega volcano in the centre of the North Island erupted spewing out ash and volcanic rock and leaving only its crater – the beautiful and sedate Lake Taupō. It is said that the fresh-water lake is equivalent in size to SIngapore and is known to be a trout-fishing mecca.
With its outstanding volcanic features, New Zealand’s first National Park also holds dual World Heritage status which recognises the park’s significance to Māori as well as its unique landscape. Lord of the Rings fans will recognise some of the scenery as being reminiscent of Mordor. One of the most popular activities in this region is the Tongariro Crossing – a one day hike across a volcanic landscape including steaming lakes.
The east coast of the North Island is off the beaten-track for most tourists, but is worth exploring for its world-class Chardonnays and the art deco architecture of Napier.
Quaint townships, rugged coastline and a wine area of fine repute, this picturesque area is a nice day-trip from Wellington and worth exploring if you have some time.
New Zealand’s capital city is packed with character – art, cafe culture, and a beautiful harbour setting combine to make a delightful destination to explore for one or two days. Film buffs should set aside some time to visit Weta Workshop to get a behind-the-scenes look at how movie magic is made.