Auckland is regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world, with the cosmopolitan city centre complemented by great escapes within half an hour of downtown. Indulge in Auckland's shopping, nightlife and unrivalled cuisine and experience some of the many attractions and adventure activities on offer. There is never a shortage of things to do in the City of Sails. Sights to see include Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Zoo, and Museum of Transport and Technology.
Christchurch was founded in 1850 by members of the Church of England, who wanted a little bit of heaven on earth. They succeeded, and today the city takes great pride in its spacious layout and distinctive English-style buildings in elegant grey stone. The River Avon winds through Christchurch, along parks and gardens that cover one-third of the city.
Soak up Sydney’s gorgeous harbour, seductive outdoor lifestyle and great natural beauty. Kayak under the Sydney Harbour Bridge or wave at the Opera House as you ride a ferry across the harbour to Manly. Learn to surf at Bondi Beach or swim in the calm waters of Coogee. Lose yourself in the cobblestone cul-de-sacs of The Rocks or in the markets, boutiques, cafes and pubs of Paddington. As well as a world-famous harbour and more than 70 sparkling beaches, Sydney offers fabulous food, festivals and 24-7 fun.
Five Sydney Experiences Not to Miss:
1. Explore the historic Rocks
Discover Sydney’s colorful convict history in the harbourside quarter where it all began. Just five minutes from Circular Quay, you can hear stories of hangings and hauntings on a ghost tour, wander the weekend markets or climb the span of the Harbour Bridge. In amongst the maze of sandstone lanes and courtyards, you’ll find historic workman’s cottages and elegant terraces, art galleries, hotels with harbour views and Sydney’s oldest pubs. See people spill out of them onto a party on the cobblestone streets when The Rocks celebrates Australia Day on January 26th, Anzac Day on April 25th and New Years Eve.
2. Hit the world-famous harbour
Sail past the Opera House on a chartered yacht or paddle from Rose Bay in a kayak. Take a scenic cruise from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour, past waterfront mansions, national parks and Shark, Clark, Rodd and Goat islands. Tour historic Fort Denison or learn about the life of Sydney’s first inhabitants, the Gadigal people, on an Aboriginal cultural cruise. Watch the harbour glitter from the green parklands of the Royal Botanic Gardens, which curves around its edge. Or take in the view from a waterfront restaurant in Mosman, on the northern side of the bridge, or Watsons Bay at South Head. Walk from Rose Bay to Vaucluse or Cremorne Point to Mosman Bay, on just some of the 16 spectacular routes hugging the harbour foreshore.
3. Visit Manly on the ferry
Travel across Sydney Harbour on a ferry to Manly, which sits between beaches of ocean surf and tranquil inner harbour. Wander through native bushland on the scenic Manly to Spit Bridge walk, learn to scuba-dive at Cabbage Tree Bay or ride a bike to Fairy Bower. Picnic at Shelly Beach on the ocean and sail or kayak from Manly Wharf round the harbour. Hire a scooter and do a round trip of northern beaches such as Narrabeen and Palm Beach. Explore the shops, bars and cafes along the bustling pine tree-lined Corso and dine at world-class restaurants with water views.
4. Enjoy café culture and top shopping in Paddington
Meander through the Saturday markets, browse fashion boutiques on bustling Oxford Street or discover the antique shops and art galleries in upmarket Woollahra. Visit the 1840s Victoria Barracks Army base, open to the public once a week, and see restored Victorian terraces on wide, leafy streets. Ride or roller-blade in huge Centennial Park, then stop for coffee and lunch on Oxford St or in the mini-village of Five Ways. Catch a movie at an art-house cinema or leaf through a novel at midnight in one of the huge bookstores. Crawl between the lively, historic pubs. They hum even more after a game at the nearby stadium or a race day, when girls and guys arrive in their crumpled trackside finery.
5. Walk from Bondi to Coogee
Take in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean as you walk the winding, sea-sculpted sandstone cliffs between Bondi and Coogee. Swim in the famous Bondi Icebergs rock pool or just watch the swimmers with a sunset cocktail from the restaurant above. See wild waves in Tamarama, nicknamed Glamarama for the beautiful people who lie on its golden sand. From mid-October to November, the stretch from here to Bondi is transformed into an outdoor gallery for the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition. You can surf, picnic on the grass or stop for a coffee at family-friendly Bronte. Or swim, snorkel or scuba dive in Clovelly and tranquil Gordon’s Bay. See the graves of poets Henry Lawson, Dorothea Mackellar and aviator Lawrence Hargrave in Waverley Cemetery, on the edge of the cliffs. Finish your tour in the scenic, backpacker haven of Coogee.
New Zealand's premier destination on the edge of beautiful Lake Rotorua offers visitors so much to see and do the trouble is deciding what to do. From a quiet stroll through the magnificent Redwood Forest to an adrenaline rafting plunge over one of the world's highest commercially rafted waterfalls or an entertaining view of life on the farm at one of our award winning farmshows - Rotorua has it all. Famous for awesome geological forces, Rotorua has hundreds of gentle plopping mud pools, powerful erupting geysers, and intriguing geothermal lakes. Maori Culture is another unique facet to Rotorua's popularity. For more action try hiking down Mt Ngongatah, fishing for trophy-sized trout on one of Rotorua's many lakes, tandem skydiving, horse trekking, or off-road driving. Or just sit back, watch the world go by and enjoy the fresh, clean, picturesque atmosphere from one of many sidewalk cafes and bars. To end the day, soak away ailments in one of many thermally heated natural mineral spas.
Queenstown hosts an outstanding collection of adrenaline inducing activities and spectacular scenery. From jumping from tall bridges or quiet fishing, this is New Zealand's number one adventure destination. Lake and river join towering mountain ranges to make Queenstown as popular in the winter as it is in the summer.
At the heart of the action are cafes, the entire spectrum of accommodation, boutique shopping, restaurants and the visitor services expected in a small town with a big reputation.
Franz Josef Glacier
The South Island's most renowned explorer and geologist, Julius von Haast, named Franz Josef Glacier after the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Franz Josef Glacier is a remnant of a much older, larger glacier which flowed from the alpine snowfields right to the sea. The glacier is over 7.5 miles long extending into the rainforest just 3 miles from the Franz Josef township, making it easy to visit. Walk to viewpoints and the terminal face or, for a close-up view of the spectacular ice formations, take a guided glacier walk, helihike or scenic flight.
Bay of Islands
Rich in legend and history, the Bay of Islands is New Zealand's cradle of European civilization, with many points of interest relating to early European and Maori settlement. There are many "firsts" associated with the Bay of Islands, such as the first European community, the oldest home and church in the country and the first capital of New Zealand, among others. Reserves have been established to protect what is left of the once vast native kauri forests with magnificent trees rivaling California's redwoods. Major sites in the Islands include historical Waitangi, Paihia, a subtropical marine resort popular as a starting point for bay cruises and fishing excursions, and Russell, one of the oldest towns in New Zealand known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific”. Anglers still regard the Bay of Islands as a top fishing area, while residents cherish its unhurried pace, balmy climate and serenity. Other sights include Motukako Island, Kawhiti Caves, Maori Meeting House, and the Bay of Islands Maritime and Historic Park.
Located at southwestern North Island, New Zealand’s capital city derives its character and charm from the wooded hills that curve like a green amphitheater around Wellington’s harbor. Commercial and government buildings rim the waterfront; nostalgic Victorian buildings mingle pleasantly with more modern structures and above the business district, dwellings precariously cling to steep slopes.
Wellington was the first settlement organized by the London-based New Zealand Company. Other sights include Kelburn Cable Car, Museum of Wellington, City and Sea, and National Museum and Art Gallery (Te Papa).