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.
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.
At the heart of the volcanic plateau in the North Island lies Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake and popular destination for water sports, fishing, relaxing, soaking in hot pools and skiing during the winter months.
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.
This is a provincial town with a difference. A city center long ago claimed from a wayward river has resulted in a street layout with spirit and character abounding with quirky lanes and sunny gathering places. On the clear, spring-fed Taylor River sightseeing riverboats retrace the route of steamboats that once carried produce. A miniature railway runs alongside the river to Brayshaw Park. Central focus of Blenheim is The Forum, with its historic bandstand watching over the shops and street markets below. The Forum also provides an occasional amphitheatre for the performing arts. The modern shops and cafés that surround The Forum are a sample of a town deserving of praise it receives from visitors. Blenheim is blessed with many attractive parks, such as Seymour Square and Pollard Park. On the outskirts of town, Brayshow Historic Park preserves the province's pioneering endeavour. Relocated colonial buildings in a recreated turn-of-the-century street keep company with a modern building housing archives and a vintage farm machinery museum.