Beautifully situated on a narrow piece of land nestled between two harbours, Auckland has been given the affectionate nickname, the “City of Sails”. The city is surrounded by breath-taking natural beauty, such as rainforests, lakes, islands and coastline. The idyllic location combined with a bustling, culturally diverse and dynamic city centre means that Auckland has something for everyone. Whether you are feeling adventurous or would rather simply relax and enjoy the shopping, great local cuisine and vibrant nightlife, this is a great holiday destination for families, couples or young-free-and-singles alike. And with readily available cheap flights from the UK, as well as great offers on budget accommodation, and luxury hotels from Hotels.com, a trip to Auckland is not to be missed.
Britomart Precinct in downtown Auckland is the place to go for the trendiest cafes, bars and restaurants. Paint the town red or at least enjoy a meal and some cocktails at some of New Zealand’s highest rated establishments. If it’s retail therapy you're after, High Street and Chancery are the best spots for shopping in Auckland. Here you will find everything from designer chic to bargain rail goodies. The older heritage buildings and cobblestoned plaza of Chancery give the area a charming, quaint ambiance which contrasts beautifully with the sleek restaurants and fashion boutiques. Be sure to explore the winding streets and indulge in some people-watching from the comfort of a hidden cafe.
Another must-see is New Zealand’s tallest building – the Sky Tower. Overlooking Auckland at 328 metres high, the best views of the city and the surrounding area can be enjoyed from the top. The tower is open Sunday to Thursday from 8.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m., closing an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays. Soar to the peak in one of the glass elevators; enjoy refreshments in the Sky Lounge or something more substantial in Orbit – Auckland’s only rotating restaurant and, if you're feeling really bold, why not sign up for the Sky Jump, a 192-metre controlled base jump from this impressive structure; or the Sky Walk, a secured walk around the Sky Tower’s pergola, at 192 metres above the city streets.
For other alternative views of Auckland, why not feel the wind in your hair with a trip around Waitemata Harbour and its islands in a speed boat, climb the harbour bridge for some fresh air and exercise, or take a day trip to the nearby Waitomo Caves? The latter is a great day out for the whole family. Waitomo Caves are famous for their stalactites and glow-worms and guided tours are available from Auckland city centre. Along the way be sure to visit other tourist attractions such as geysers, mud pools and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.
After all this activity you deserve a relaxing day at the beach. Check out Mission Bay, just a short, scenic journey from Auckland city centre, and a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. Sample some fresh seafood in one of the popular beachside cafes, go for a refreshing swim or take the kids kayaking in these safe waters. Mission Bay is a lovely family-friendly day out and, along the lively promenade, you will find some of the best bars and restaurants that Auckland has to offer. Definitely not to be missed!