Auckland truly is the heartbeat of New Zealand. There’s so much to do, see and explore; there are natural and man-made wonders in this land of the kiwis that will make you feel like you’ve experienced paradise. Well, where better to spend your time honeymooning with the love of your life. So let’s dig into what New Zealand’s dreamland is all about.
Let’s start with the most obvious. No trip to Auckland is complete without a trip to Waiheke Island. This breathtaking isle is just a ferry ride, or 17.7 km, from Auckland and is home to some of the best beaches and wineries in the world. This piece of land is also inhabited by some of the oldest Maori tribes in New Zealand, so it’s brimming with local culture. Lounge on a beach, take a tour of the wineries (enjoy tasting some award-winning wines and fresh olives), take a charter to go sailing or fishing, go kayaking, visit one of the many spas to rejuvenate, and enjoy a meal at one of its many gourmet restaurants. Then, repeat as needed!
Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum
This museum is located on the Hobson Wharf in Auckland, which is adjacent to the Viaduct Harbour. It provides a fascinating crash course on New Zealand’s maritime history, right from the first Polynesian explorers to modern-day victories at the America’s Cup, and has some of the most distinguished sea vessels on display. It is an ode to the island’s long relationship with the sea, and you can better explore this with a sailing tour aboard one of New Zealand’s finest heritage vessels. A visit to this historical storehouse will be a day well spent for all culture buffs.
Rangitoto Island is the youngest and most breathtaking volcano cone in Auckland. Born from the sea just 600 years ago, this extinct volcano is the largest Auckland has to offer. But, that’s not all about Rangitoto Island. This wondrous piece of land has a wealth of lava flows, caves, giant boulders and the world’s largest pohutukawa forest. This beautiful reserve provides natural protection and safeguard to New Zealand’s historical and cultural heritage and biodiversity. The trek up to the summit of this volcanic peak is the stuff of dreams for nature lovers, but you can enjoy the beautiful trip up to the summit even if you’re a non-walker, by taking a train. Whatever you do to get there, know this that the view from the top is well worth the journey.
Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium
This fascinating underwater park, set on the waterfront of Auckland City on Okahu Bay, is the brainchild of marine biologist and diver, Kelly Tarlton. This park is home to New Zealand’s finest marine life, over 30 live animal exhibits and 80 different species in eight themed zones. What’s mindboggling is that the aquarium was built in disused sewage storage tanks. Talk about resourcefulness! It’s a truly superior and fulfilling experience to observe the different species of seahorses, sharks, stingrays and other incredible sea creatures in their naturally recreated habitats. But, above all this, the Antarctic fantasyland gives you the chance to get up close and personal with New Zealand’s only colony of king and gentoo penguins. It’s intriguing to behold the underwater, frozen world where these wonders from the South Pole thrive. Watch them as they waddle about on the ice and play underwater; it’s an absolute overdose of cuteness!
Never has a visit to a man-made building been more thrilling since the Eiffel Tower. Auckland’s Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower situated in the heart of the city and is an absolute delight to tourists. It’s the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and offers an amazing view of the city’s bounds for 80 km all around. But, what makes this a truly exhilarating experience is the SkyWalk and SkyJump, two insane activities that you can take full advantage of. In SkyWalk, you can take in the spectacular view of the city by walking around the tower’s 192 metre high platform (suspended on a harness, of course!). SkyJump, as the name suggests, is for those daredevils who wish to bungee jump off this towering giant (not for the faint of heart!). Then, once you feel you’ve had enough adventure, have a romantic meal as you unwind at Auckland’s only revolving restaurant, Orbit. What an experience!
Auckland has so much more to offer, such as the Waitemata Harbour, the Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari, the Auckland Zoo, the Waitakere Ranges, the hot springs of Rotorua, the pristine beaches of North Island’s twin coasts and hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline, the award-winning restaurants, the thriving nightlife, the classic cocktail bars, the cruise dinners, the charming coffee shops, and the incredible shopping destinations. New Zealand may not be as big on the map, but it has a big, magnanimous heart and magnificent topography, the kind that’ll surely keep you coming back for more. Have a great holiday!