Auckland attractions things to do & see on holiday
The pulsating heart of Auckland city, a chilled relaxing inner-city feel by day transforms into an exciting and vibrant night-time atmosphere when the sun goes down, restaurants, bars and cafes come alive with the throng of visitors, both local and international.
Queen Street is Auckland's main strip, cafes and high-end shops selling luxury brand names and designer goods.
In close locality to Queen Street is the iconic Sky Tower - a dominating feature of Auckland's skyline, 328 metres high, the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand, its observation deck offering stunning 360 degree views right across the city.
Head to Viaduct Harbour for a diverse and fantastic selection of bars, pubs and restaurants encompassed in its stunning waterfront location. A fantastic place to eat, drink or simply unwind and watch the world go by.
The gulf is part of the Pacific Ocean, In the west of the gulf lie a string of beautiful emerald islands protecting the entrance to Waitemata Harbour.
These include Waiheke Island ( the second-largest and most populated island in the gulf, wineries, olive-groves, breathtaking beaches), Great Barrier Island ( a tranquil and unspoilt paradise, golden beaches and pristine, crystal clear waters . This remote and beautiful island was the setting for BBC's Castaway series ), Ponui Island (also known as Chamberlin's Island, the home of New Zealand's only feral donkey breed, the Ponui donkey), Tiritiri Matangian ( a nature reserve, noted for its diverse and wonderful bird life, including kiwi, tui, silvereye and takahe ), Browns Island, and Rakino Island.
Devonport is a quaint and charming seaside village just 12 minutes ferry ride across Waitemata harbour from Auckland.
Home to the Royal New Zealand Navy, it also houses the Victoria Picture Palace & Theatre which is the earliest purpose-built cinema still in existence in the Southern Hemisphere.
Just an hour's drive from Auckland you'll find Matakana, a picturesque country village with galleries, gift stores, and eateries that are renowned for their delicious home produced delicacies and award-winning local wines.
Drive through the lush green valleys and visit local vineyards or drive along the Matakana Coast which is littered with deserted picturesque bays and islands their chardonnay, pinot gris and classic red varieties.
Primarily a fishing vilage, Goat Island is a marine reserve, scenic reserve and a scientific reserve.
The shallow and sheltered conditions make it the ideal setting for a spot of snorkelling or swimming, catch a glimpse of snapper, blue maomao, stingrays and a fascinating and colourful array of other sea creatures in the clear inviting waters.
Piha (black sandy beaches great for surfing ), Helensville (A picturesque area dotted with historical buildings, antique shops and cafes, soak in hot natural thermal pools ), Titirangi ( the gateway to the Waitakere Ranges, renowned for its world class golf course), Howick (historical Village which houses New Zealand's second oldest church, All Saints Church, built in 1847) , Clevedon ( surrounded by boutique vineyards and rolling verdant hills, emerging as a region of outstanding gastronomic produce), Manukau (the second largest harbour in New Zealand, it home to the largest Polynesian community in the world, botanic gardens, New Zealand's premier theme park ).Auckland Harbour Bridge: Climb the summit of Auckland Harbour Bridge for breathtaking 360 degree views of this beautiful city and it's magnificent ocean setting.
Jet boating: Invented in New Zealand , jetboating is a must-do experience for adrenaline junkies, combining high-speed manoeuvres set in stunning locations.
Sky Jump: Do a 192m cable controlled base jump from the Sky Tower.
Sailing: Auckland is the ultimate sailing destination. Charter luxurious yachts, or even help-sail traditional Maori sailing waka (canoes).
The Pohutukawa Coast: A drive along this stunning coastline offers fantastic views of Waiheke, Ponui and Pakihi islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Swim in pristine crystal-clear waters at Maraetai beach or enjoy a casual stroll through the native bush of Omana Regional Park.
Waitakere Ranges: Just 40 minutes from Aucklands city centre lies the Waikatere Ranges. Lush green subtropical rainforest, black sand beaches, dramatic landscapes featuring cascading waterfalls, streams and native flora and fauna.
Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum: Located in Auckland's thriving Viaduct Harbour the museum tells the fascinating stories of New Zealand's rich maritime heritage.
Snowplanet: New Zealand's only all-year indoor snow resort, visitors can experience the excitement of skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. Lessons available.
Stardome observatory & Planetarium: Constallations of the Southern Hemisphere are projected onto the domed ceiling of the planetarium, whilst presenters explain the wonders of New Zealand's night sky.
Other options include: Horse trekking (along Aucklands stunning beaches or picturesque farmland), Golf, Kayaking, Canyoning (abseiling waterfalls, cave exploration), Quad Biking, Whale & Dolphin safari, Fishing, Surfing, Sea Life Aquarium ( sharks, stingray, jellyfish, seahorses), Eden Park ( take a tour around the legendary and historic NZ sporting arena ).
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