Based around two large harbours and encompassing 48 volcanic cones, Auckland is located in the North Island and is the largest city in New Zealand with a population of 1.6 million. You will find the best of both worlds in Auckland, with beautiful rainforest, parks and beaches all so close to the city centre.
The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is only a short drive west of the city with great walking and hiking tracks to explore the native forest and beautiful waterfalls and the wild west coast black-sand beaches of Piha, Muriwai, Bethells and Karekare. With a 10-minute drive from the city, you can take a stroll along the waterfront and visit Mission Bay, Kohimarama or St Heliers and enjoy some fish and chips or a coffee with a view out to Rangitoto Island, the volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf. Only a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland will take you to Waiheke Island, known as the island of wine, located in the Hauraki Gulf. Explore the white sandy beaches or take a tour to one of the world class vineyards where you can enjoy the superb wine and fine dining. Travel over Auckland’s Harbour Bridge to the North Shore region and visit the golden sandy beaches, often in the settling of a regional park, perfect on a summer’s day for a swim in the clear waters and a packed picnic.
Auckland is spoilt for choice when it comes to dining. There is a wide variety of restaurants, cafes and bars to suit every taste and budget. Enjoy dinner and drinks or a casual bite to eat down at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter with views of the beautiful waterfront. Situated high above the city, you will discover Orbit, located at the top of New Zealand’s tallest building, Auckland’s Sky Tower with amazing 360-degree panoramas of the city, the Hauraki Gulf and beyond whilst enjoying food to match. The dining room rotates once every hour providing a truly unique experience. Just a short taxi ride 2kms from the city centre, Ponsonby is packed with boutique fashion stores, independent bookshops, trendy cafes, bars and restaurants. Ponsonby is certainly one of Auckland’s best and busiest dining spots where you will find dishes from all corners of the globe with options from award winning chefs to pop up stalls and street food. In the evening, you will find the street lights up and the bars are buzzing with live music
Auckland is a city with a sub-tropical climate which means any time of year can be a great time to travel if the timing is right for the traveller. With plenty of beaches to visit and the beautiful parks with walking tracks, December to February is Auckland’s busiest period. Over the winter months, June to August, the temperatures are cooler and there will be more rain but if you are prepared, then Auckland can be visited year-round.
Auckland offers a wealth of wonderful sights and experiences. What better way to explore them than on a Wendy Wu tour?
We all enjoy a good fact or two - here are a few useful ones about Auckland:
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