New Zealand and its largest city, Auckland, may seem on the other side of the world for most people, but it is worth the trip. It is a beautiful city, celebrating a mix of Western/British culture and Polynesian/Maori culture. It celebrates a balance between city life and nature, as there are beautiful beaches, forests, islands, and hiking trails within a short distance of the city centre. When you book a hotel in Auckland you will enter a unique world of modern urban living and stunning natural wonders.
If you make it to Auckland, there are many beautiful locations that can’t be missed. You not only have to leave the world of hotels to see them, but you also have to go outside the city a bit as well. The natural wonders outside the city are worth the trip, though. Beaches, islands, volcanoes, mountains, parks, and forests surround the city, making it an excellent spot to explore nature and this unique city. For a relaxing break at the beach, Bethells Beach and Takapuna Beach are beautiful options. The entire Hauraki Gulf region is a wonderful break from city life. From here you can see many of the surrounding islands, enjoy some sports, or take a cruise and spot some dolphins. For a more adventurous experience, you can travel to Tiritiri Matangi Island, Rangitoto Island, or Waiheke Island. Hopefully, you do not get seasick because an up-close view of a volcano on Rangitoto and lovely wines and vineyards on Waiheke are must-sees. Back on the mainland, Mount Eden, a completely dormant volcano, and the Waitakere Ranges Park are great for a day of hiking.
Auckland and New Zealand have a long and interesting history, one that many people might not know about. While you are here you can catch up on your history of this region of the world. One stop along your walk-through history could be the Howick Historical Village. There you can experience life like one of the early settlers to the area. The New Zealand Maritime Museum, Auckland War Memorial Museum, and the Museum of Transport and Technology all provide more information about the important parts of history in New Zealand. The Auckland War Memorial Museum, also known simply as the Auckland Museum, not only tells the story of Auckland’s war history but it also teaches you about the flora and fauna of the area. The lives of the indigenous people, the Maori, are also explored. The New Zealand Maritime Museum spans the entire maritime history of New Zealand, spanning the time from the first Polynesian settlers to modern day yachting. For a different part of the area’s history, you can visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral to learn more about religion's role in Auckland and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki to experience the history of New Zealand art.
If you are like other visitors to the city, you will love it here. Not only is it beautiful in terms of nature, but also in terms of how people live. You may not know this about Auckland, but it is known by some for its excellent shopping and dining. Visiting areas like Ponsonby, Queen Street, Wynyard Quarter, Britomart, and City Works Depot provide a wide range of shopping experiences; from high-end shops like Gucci and Prada to markets where you can buy various types of food and other items. While you are shopping, you can also eat in world-class restaurants specialising in cuisines from all over the world. Auckland is worth seeing from the sky and the sea. If you visit Viaduct Harbour you can sit and have a meal or a drink while you watch the boats come and go through the harbour. If the sky is more your style, you can visit one of the most well-known buildings in Auckland, the Sky Tower. Standing at 1,076 feet, it is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the 50 tallest towers in the world. Going to the top offers a breath-taking 360-degree view of the city and surrounding area.
Part of life in Auckland is that you not only have wonderful natural elements outside the city, but nature is right in the heart of the city as well. Cornwall Park sits near the centre of Auckland and occupies about 670 acres. It might remind some people of Central Park in New York, but it has some uniquely New Zealand elements like the remains of a Maori fort, amazing flora that you will find nowhere else in the world, and a great lookout spot called One Tree Hill. For more planned gardens and paths, a trip to quiet Albert Park may be just what you need. Another large park in the city is Auckland Domain. At 185 acres, it is one of Auckland’s largest, but also oldest parks. It still contains the explosion crater and the tuff ring of the Pukekawa volcano. The park is also the site of Albert Barracks, one of Auckland’s early European military forts. A park of another kind is the Auckland Zoo, which has the most animals of any zoo in New Zealand. Auckland has so much natural beauty that your hotel is bound to be near some of it.