At the north end of the North Island of New Zealand is a delightful gem: Auckland. The charming city is the perfect place to stay over and enjoy some of NZ’s highlights. The surrounding areas are a dazzling mix of beach and bush; natural attractions abound around Auckland.
Slap bang in the centre of the city is Queen Street, where the major cosmopolitan attractions are found; shopping, eating, drinking and dancing. For the fashion conscious, there is a wide range of choice from the high street favourites to top designer brands. There’s plenty of chances to show off the new outfit in the evening, whether it’s at the theatre, comedy club, a flash restaurant, or nightclub. The city has an amazing waterfront, down by Wynyard Quarter, where there are boats galore, and a fantastic range of restaurants; why not try some fresh seafood along the harbour-front?
While the city is full of many more sights, it would be a shame to visit the area and not take a trip outside the city because nearby are some of New Zealand’s most beautiful natural attractions. Waiheke Island is only a quick ferry hop away. To experience the island fully, a stayover is recommended but if that’s not possible it’s still worth a day visit to take in the sights. Soft, sandy beaches and azure blue waters are the main attraction, dotted along the coastline with quaint little beach towns. Stonyridge vineyards offers tours where you can sample the goods and enjoy the scenery.
Climb above the city skyline
The Auckland area is made up of a number of volcanic cones, now considered to be extinct. The cones make for a distinctively stunning landscape and afford some great views of the area. If staying in Auckland city, you don’t even have to go far to get to one, as Mount Eden is right in the city suburbs. You can walk, cycle or drive up the cone for free and look down onto the city skyline a sight that is well worth the effort. Mt Eden has a well preserved crater, which is grassed over now, so you can walk over and imagine the lava spewing forth thousands of years ago.
Away from it all
On the west coast from Auckland, lies Piha beach, which is a gem in its own right but combined with the drive from the city, is a day chock full of breathtaking scenery. The beach is particularly breathtaking because the volcanic activity in the region has created dramatic a dramatic black sand shore. Lapped with turquoise waters, bordered against the lush green of Auckland Centennial Park, the beach is perfect to dip your toes, kick back and relax.
There’s so much to see and do; this is just a small taster selection of the attractions that await you in Auckland. All you need is your suitcase, passport, holiday insurance cover and a sense of adventure and the trip of a lifetime can be had!