Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland
Known as “The City of Sails”, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is a multi-cultural city offering world-class shopping, an impressive variety of award-winning restaurants and a plethora of incredible experiences in and around the city, something for everybody.
You’ll find the best of both worlds in Auckland, with beautiful rainforests, parks and beaches all so close to the city centre. The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park west of the city centre has more than 250 kilometres of walking and hiking tracks through lush native rainforest, past cascading waterfalls and along a magnificent coastline. Walk through the region’s largest native forest in the Hunua Ranges or explore the striking landscapes of some of Auckland’s 26 regional parks, such as Duder, Shakespear, Tapapakanga or Awhitu.
You’re never far from the sea in Auckland. Bring your board to one of the black-sand surf beaches on the wild west coast – Karekare, Piha, Te Henga (Bethells), Muriwai and more. Head north to the expansive golden sands and clear waters of Tāwharanui and Pakiri. Closer to the city centre, and just a 15-minute drive from downtown Auckland, visit Mission Bay, Kohimarama or St Heliers. Enjoy a stroll along the promenade, hire a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, and refuel with some fresh fish and chips by the seaside.
Nestled on the banks of the mighty Waikato River, Hamilton and the wider Waikato area are renowned for their natural beauty and powerful history. Outdoor enthusiasts are spoilt for choice with world-class attractions such as Waitomo Caves and New Zealand’s longest river providing ample water activity options. Not to mention, the magic of Hobbiton in Middle Earth and a region full of organic produce at your doorstep.
Explore the lush pastures of The Shire in the heart of Middle Earth with a guided tour of Hobbiton, the world-famous enchanting village featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. Journey through the stunning 12-acre movie set and its green rolling paddocks, Hobbit Holes, and finish off with a refreshing drink at the world-famous Green Dragon Inn.
Just a one-hour drive from Hamilton, lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkhole and underground rivers – called the Waitomo Caves. For the adrenaline junkies, look no further than the Black Labyrinth tour – abseil into the Ruakuri Cave to begin your journey by zipline through a glow worm studded wonderland.
If you’d prefer to stay above ground, close by is Ōtorohonga, home to Ōtorohonga Kiwi House, the best place to get close to Aotearoa New Zealand’s national icon.
Te Whanganui a Tara, Wellington
Named by Lonely Planet as “the coolest little capital in the world”, Te Whanganui a Tara Wellington sure lives up to its reputation. Surrounded by hills and a sparkling harbour, Wellington offers its visitors a mix of its pulsing cultural scene, incredible nature experiences, and world-class cuisine.
Wander through hidden laneways to discover street art and follow the sculpture walks along Wellington’s waterfront. Discover the stories of Aotearoa New Zealand in world-class museums and galleries – the interactive and immersive national museum, Te Papa(opens in new window), is a must-visit. Ride the iconic Wellington Cable Car for amazing views of the city while you enjoy an ice cream at the top.
Immerse yourself in nature and explore by bike, foot, kayak, or ferry. Relax at Oriental Bay, Wellington’s golden-sand inner-city beach, before walking the Southern Walkway trail to Wellington’s rugged south coast. Venture north to explore the Remutaka Cycle Trail, one of New Zealand’s Great Rides, or the Escarpment Track, where you can experience spectacular views of the Kāpiti Coast as you scale steep steps, ridgelines, and swing bridges.
Ōtepoti Dunedin is located on the lower east coast of the South Island. On Ōtepoti Dunedin’s doorstep, you’ll find everything from unique landscapes and beautiful heritage buildings to a fascinating mix of rich history and urban culture, not to mention it’s famous for its rare and wonderful wildlife and exceptional local cuisine.
Known as the Wildlife Capital of New Zealand, Dunedin prides itself on its beautiful built heritage, stunning scenery, and unique biodiversity. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.
There is much to see and do in Ōtepoti Dunedin from rare wildlife and spectacular landscapes to heritage buildings and cultural sites. All within close proximity.
Globally renowned as a wildlife and eco-tourism destination, the spectacular Otago Peninsula and is an area of outstanding biodiversity. Visit the Royal Albatross Centre(opens in new window), the only mainland location in the world where you can view northern royal albatross in their natural habitat. Local tours will help you view the world’s smallest penguins, and the rarest, as well as fur seals and sea lions, among other native marine and birdlife.
Dunedin’s collection of beautiful heritage buildings includes Larnach Castle, the only historic castle in the country, and the fascinating Olveston Historic Home.
In Dunedin you can also visit the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street and natural wonders such as the Pyramids at Okia Reserve or Tunnel Beach, which features a spectacular sandstone sea arch jutting out into the Pacific Ocean and a hand-carved tunnel leading down to a secluded beach.