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What Auckland lacks in natural wonder tourist attractions — no small feat in nature-rich New Zealand — it more than makes up for with man made sightseeing attractions and a truly vibrant sense of life that illuminates many of the city's interesting spaces.
An Auckland city break combines urban style, Polynesian culture and on-the-edge activities. Book an Auckland hotel to discover New Zealand’s ‘other’ capital city.
As far as spread of attractions and entertainment options, Wellington is about the best city in New Zealand for the enjoyment factor. It is beautifully laid out, with busy city thoroughfares, a delectable waterfront and lush hills all within the city, making it an ideal destination for walkers.
The capital of New Zealand is a fantastic city to spend time in. It has bags of character and allure, with distinct districts going from the hills to the sea to downtown, and it also boasts many classy museums and landmarks.
Unlike Auckland, Wellington is compact and easy to navigate for shoppers and there area all kinds of shopping options, from top-end designer gear and crafts to secondhand goods. There are also some excellent markets in Wellington and it is fun to shop any time of year.
Christchurch is a compact city with much to offer. Parks and gardens provide tranquility while the cosmopolitan restaurant scene buzzes with happy crowds seven nights a week. The city's great arts scene means that a diverse range of people live and work here and a sense of tolerance and festivity hangs in the air.
Wellington has a huge number of snack bars, cafés, coffee shops, restaurants and food courts per head, and the best thing is that most of it is all within the city center. You can get everything from traditional Maori fare and the best New Zealand venison and lamb, to top quality seafood and a variety of ethnic cuisines.
Locals in Christchurch love to go out at night and the bar and restaurant scene here easily holds its own with that of larger places like Auckland and Wellington. Some people claim the nightlife in Christchurch is the best in the country certainly it is the most eclectic and diverse.
Like so much of New Zealand, Christchurch is blessed with access to the finest and freshest natural produce. The red meats here are treated with justified care while dairy products and wines are world class. Locals here love to eat out and the choices are wide, from à la carte fine dining to fish and chip shops that provide quick service with a smile.
Possum fur gloves are as warm and cozy as they are unique and they make for a real conversation point when brought back home. They are just part of the array of wonderful things to buy in Christchurch which also includes sheep and lamb wool sweaters and bat leather key rings.
Beautiful Christchurch is the unassuming jewel of New Zealand's South Island. Built around English university towns like Oxford, Christchurch comes replete with a river called the Avon and weekend punting under willow trees. It is a warm and inviting place that is a compact and cosmopolitan contrast to brassy adventure sports capital Queenstown, the other major South Island destination.
Christchurch combines its Gothic architecture, sedate gardens and parks with an exciting sense of the urban. While the sightseeing here is tranquil and old world, the arts and cultural scene in Christchurch is cutting edge and vibrant and there are dozens of outstanding restaurants offering South Pacific and fusion cuisine.
The New Zealand capital is in-keeping with most of the rest of the country, in that it is safe and has little in the way of violent crime. Petty theft will always be a worry no matter where you go and bear in mind that New Zealand's summers and winters are switched with those of the northern hemisphere.
The New Zealand capital has a wealth of heritage preserved in its ancient buildings and streets, more so than any other city in the country. A combination of its setting on a hillside overlooking the water and profusion of high profile government buildings and museums has led to this status.
Situated in the verdant southwest of the South Island, Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand. It sits on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, one of New Zealand's largest bodies of water, and provides access to the country's best national parks and stunning wine and ski regions.
Like any medium-sized New Zealand town, Queenstown is nice and compact and all shopping areas are readily accessible on foot. Most of the action is downtown, which is charming and nice for ambling about. The shopping here can be quite pricy; a testament of the quality as opposed to taking advantage of tourists.
Queenstown is largely devoid of traditional landmarks and period buildings, with most of the allure coming from the beautiful natural surroundings and the genuine feel of the place. Although not right in the town, Bob's Peak and The Remarkables mountain ranges are musts to gain a perspective over the town.
The ‘Adventure Capital of the World' is all about the outdoors and, more specifically, extreme sports. AJ Hackett set up the world's first bungee jump in Queenstown and the place has continued the theme to also offer whitewater rafting, jet-boating, hiking, mountain biking, and so-called Fly By Wire.
Queenstown is well turned out with an excellent tourist infrastructure and hospitality, good transport options, and some of the most accessible, high quality shopping and dining in the country. It is also a safe town, save the extreme sports, yet reading up on the place for tips on weather and transport will make your stay more rewarding.
Queenstown has a fantastic selection of restaurants for such a small town and every where is virtually within walking distance. There are well over 100 eateries here with choice of food going from the very best New Zealand lamb and seafood, to Pan-Asian cuisine, Middle Eastern snacks, fine French and Italian food, and the best of British.
With one and a half million residents, Auckland is easily the largest urban area in the New Zealand. One in three New Zealanders lives in the Auckland metropolitan area, which nestles in a bay on the North Island and boasts two sparkling harbors. Auckland faces the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other.
Shopping in Auckland is a real treat and can be an experience that sums up today's New Zealand. Eccentric local fashion designers run funky boutiques right across the road from outdoor markets serving up simple barbecue foods and traditional community handicrafts while fast food chains and 24-hour supermarkets can be found on every other corner of town.
The Auckland dining scene is similar to Sydney's with an abundance of dining options based on fresh produce and seafood, but without Sydney's top end of ultra-expensive restaurants. Like most cities in the South Pacific, Auckland restaurants tend to specialize in fusion cooking with an Asian flavor, though all cuisines are represented.
Auckland has a thriving restaurant scene with diners enjoying fresh seafood and world-beating New Zealand white wines well into the wee hours seven nights a week. Elsewhere, live hip-hop bands are all the rage while nightclubs, discos and New Zealand's busiest gay scene light up the night.
Auckland is an easy city to visit as the pace of life here is decidedly egalitarian and laidback. A multi-cultural but decidedly modern city, Auckland offers visitors friendly hospitality, high-tech conveniences and plenty of diverse recreational options.
New Zealand holidays take you hiking across fjords, jet-boating down rivers and smooth sailing on pristine lakes mirroring the sky. From the North Island to the South, book a New Zealand hotel and discover a country of extremes.