4/5 - Good
Sofia SofiaOct 20, 2019
Very good hotel and people
Auckland is as much a gateway to a natural playground as it is an urban paradise, with museums, shopping and fine dining. The biggest city on New Zealand’s North Island has coast on one side and mountains on the other. Manukau Harbour is to the southwest, the Hauraki Gulf and its islands to the east, and the rain forest-covered Waitakere Ranges to the west. Take the glass elevator at the Sky Tower in downtown Auckland for a spectacular view of the cityscape, mountains and harbor from a height of 722 feet (220 meters).
Auckland is built on and around several extinct volcanoes. The suburb of Mount Eden is built on the side of a cinder-cone volcano. Climb to the top to look into the 164-foot (50-meter) deep crater. The gardens in Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, flourish in the volcanic soil and natural springs of the Pukekawa volcano. Learn about Auckland’s natural history, the culture of the Maori people, and local art and crafts in the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which is located on the highest point of the Domain.
Navigating Auckland is easy, with buses, trains and ferries servicing the downtown area. You can take the hop-on, hop-off Explorer Bus for commentary and sightseeing. Rent a car to venture out of the city.
There are 138 species of wildlife housed in the award-winning habitats of the Auckland Zoo. Catch a glimpse of the iconic kiwi and get up-close to rhinos, elephants, lions, cheetahs and primates.
Sailing boats and super yachts moor in Viaduct Harbour, home to the maritime museum and more than 30 bars and restaurants that line the water. Ferries leave from here for the islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Waiheke Island, a 40-minute ferry trip away, is a great place to hike, sample gourmet food and see stunning beaches.
Head to the hills behind Auckland to hike and camp in the wilderness. Many miles of trails wind through the rain forest and along the coast in the Waitakere Ranges. For serious “trampers,” as hikers are known in New Zealand, there’s the challenging 46-mile (75-kilometer) Hillary Trail, which includes three nights camping and four days tramping. Many visitors go for a day trip through the ranges by rental car or tour bus.
Shopping, Dining and Skyscrapers
Enjoy fine dining in a rotating restaurant, dive off the tower on a cable-controlled jump or simply enjoy the views from New Zealand’s tallest tower.
Take a walking trail that visits a volcano crater, a 19th-century prison and the historic buildings of this quaint village.
Encounter rare and endangered species from New Zealand and across the globe, including the pygmy marmoset and the huge white rhino.
Clear waters, rolling surf and black sand shores are surrounded by emerald cliffs and sub-tropical rain forest at this remote beach.
This park was once an active volcano, and today it features exotic trees, sculptural artworks and a museum.
You can browse for souvenirs when you visit Queen Street Shopping District, a popular shopping spot in Auckland. While in this walkable area, you can savor the top-notch restaurants.
Step into the world of Middle-earth, the Shire, and Hobbiton as you head to the movie set where acclaimed director Peter Jackson brought J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved books to life. Find out how this once-sleepy sheep farm was turned into a movie set and take an up-close look at real sets and props.
Venture inside the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and enter a magical world shimmering with thousands of tiny glowworms. After discovering the incredible acoustic properties of the chamber known as the Cathedral, board a boat and glide beneath a dazzling ceiling illuminated by living lights.
Explore Auckland in a day at your own leisure with a 24-hour hop on hop off pass. Climb aboard your Auckland sightseeing bus, cruising through downtown districts and quaint suburbs as you listen to informative commentary about Auckland history and culture from your knowledgeable driver guide.
Connect with the underwater world at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium featuring 13-themed zones, 30 live animal displays, and more than 80 marine species. Designed by renowned diver and all-around adventurer, Kelly Tarlton.
A fantastical world of wonder awaits at the filming site of HobbitonTM Shire. Nestled within the verdant farmland south of Auckland, this authentic recreation of Bilbo Baggins' Middle Earth village immerses you in all the magic and adventure of the Lord of the Rings.
Combine your ferry travel to Waiheke Island with this popular tour. Enjoy a day of wine and olive tasting at 3 vineyards and an olive grove. Indulge in locally produced foods such as mouthwatering preserves and world class olive oils, and have a light lunch at Stonyridge Vineyard.
AnnieOct 4, 2019
Beautiful city but be sure to venture out to all the wonderful islands and hikes.