Whether you prefer to spend your time bird watching or bush walking; shopping or surfing, the diversity of Auckland guarantees that any break here will be spent doing something you love. The region’s main draw has to be its spectacular natural beauty – the deserted islands and beaches, the cinematic Waitakere Ranges – but Auckland’s archeological sites, lush vineyards and city sophistication make it a must-visit destination.
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.
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.
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.
From the luxury hotels of Downtown Auckland to the welcoming beachfront motels of Orewa, you’ll find the region offers plenty of diversity when it comes to accommodation. Luxury retreats, resorts and private apartments are available for those looking to splurge, while a generous spread of city hostels, simple motels and beach campsites takes care of the lower budgets.
Pick almost any area of Auckland and you’re guaranteed to find a quirky little boutique or a weekly market. But there are certain spots that shopaholics head to, such as Britomart for cutting-edge fashion or Karangahape Road for alternative souvenirs. The region is also pleasantly rife with farmer’s markets and fresh seafood stalls, plus quaint country towns offering local wine, honey and handmade crafts.
You might find it hard to choose your favourite place to dine in Auckland – there’s definitely no shortage of culinary corners here. For outstanding seafood, head to the waterfront, with both Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Harbour boasting more than their fair share of quality fish restaurants. Away from the water, supplement your meal with a splash of cabaret on Karangahape Road or dine and shop in Ponsonby or Parnell.
Covering such a vast area, it’s not surprising Auckland offers a huge range of things to see and do. From hiking through scenic regional parks and trekking up volcanoes for panoramic views of the city, to sailing, jet boating and island-hopping in the Hauraki Gulf, the region provides endless entertainment. Cultural days out are also in plentiful supply – head to colonial towns brimming with history, independent art galleries, award-winning wineries and thriving farmers’ markets.
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.
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.
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.