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How to Explore Auckland and Wider New Zealand

How to Explore Auckland and Wider New Zealand

The capital city of Wellington, other endearing cities such as Auckland and Christchurch, the Indigenous Māori culture, unique wildlife and the geographical diversity, the national rugby team, and the affable New Zealanders themselves…. There’s a whole host of reasons to love New Zealand and travel across the world to explore it. If you’re an Australian, you also have the bonus and incentive of having this fantastic country almost right on your doorstep. Depending on where you can be on Kiwi terrain in just three hours or more.

If you’re thinking of visiting New Zealand, you might wish to start off in the North Island city of Auckland and then explore wider New Zealand. Not sure what to see or do? Here are some suggestions.

Exploring Auckland

Auckland is one of New Zealand’s main cities and spoils you with activities to try out.

Visit the Sky Tower

You’ll be the laughingstock of all your buddies if you travel all the way to Auckland and don’t visit this attraction. This distinctive feature dominates the Auckland skyline and rewards you with a panoramic view of the city and the harbour. The tower places you 186 metres high above street level and you’ll be able to see 80 kilometres in every direction.

Explore the night markets

The night markets open in different locations around Auckland and are something that little bit different in the city. They’re busy, and vibrant and food is the main attraction in these social hubs, so you might want to go easy on your meals during the day and then try the rich offering available at night. Cultural diversity is another big part of the night market experience and you’ll see live music and cultural displays and performances.

Walk up a volcano on Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island is a much-loved destination for hikers and day trippers and is reachable by a short ferry journey from downtown Auckland. The island is home to New Zealand’s youngest, largest volcanic cone. The good news is that walking up it isn’t too strenuous. You can be up at the top, enjoying the view of the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, of the Waitakere Ranges in the west and of the Huna Ranges in the east, after just an hour. The way back down will also take you roughly an hour.

How to Explore Auckland and Wider New Zealand

Exploring Wider New Zealand

Once you’ve had your fill of Auckland and want to move on, more rural New Zealand offers you plenty more to satisfy your travellers’ curiosity. During the journey from place to place, you’ll need to keep yourself entertained, especially to avoid the obligatory bore on the bus or train (there’s always one when you go travelling!). One of the simplest ways is through playing games, and New Zealand is no stranger to this. While few triple-A studios are based in the country, some more niche games like Blood Drive, Before We Leave and Jackass the Game were all developed in New Zealand. Moreover, you can now jump into an online casino in New Zealand, due to their regulation changes, meaning there’s something for everyone, and making your journey just that little bit easier.

Stargazing at Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park

Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park is the place to go if you’re an alpine lover and spoils you with numerous peaks of more than 3,000 metres. Some have used Mount Cook, the country’s tallest mountain, to prepare for climbing Everest. Mountaineers consider the region to be the best in Australasia for mountain climbing, but even if you’re less accomplished, you’ll still love the mountain walks and glaciers and the stargazing.

Whangārei Falls

Whangārei Falls, also known as ‘Otuihau Whangārei Falls,’ is one of the most photogenic areas in New Zealand. Understandably so, thanks to the 26-metre waterfall cascading over a basalt cliff with a pool at the base. You can look out from a special viewing spot, one of three, at the top and take a walk down to the base, where you can then have a picnic. This beautiful location is north of Whangārei City and is a nice little spot to stop off at if you’re driving from Auckland to Northland.

Manea Footprints of Kupe

The Manea Footprints of Kupe take you deep into the heart of Māori history. A thousand years ago, the legendary explorer Kupe first crossed into the harbour of the region of Hokianga, leaving his footprints in the soft clay which, along with those of his trusty dog, hardened and turned into stone. Before returning to his homeland, he settled there for a time. Generations later, Kupe’s descendants returned. In his honour, they created this multisensory experience, which features immersive performance, film and digital interaction, telling his story. Not only is the purpose of the experience to tell Kupe’s story, however, but also to create jobs for the local community and a legacy for future generations.

The above is just a selection of the things you can do in Auckland and the mesmerising wider New Zealand. If you’re looking for further options, you may wish to spend some time in the capital, Wellington, or conduct the Tongariro Alpine Crossing trek, which takes just a day.

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