The city which you will probably have heard the most about is Auckland. It is New Zealand’s largest and busiest city. It is well known for its English heritage, vineyards, parks, and natural landscapes. It is set on the eastern side of New Zealand, making it the ideal base from which to explore the rest of New Zealand. This guide looks at five of the best day trips from Auckland.
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1. Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is off the coast of Auckland, right between Auckland and the Southern tip of the Coromandel. The island is just under 5 km long and just over 1 km wide, meaning you can easily get around it in a day.
There are loads of great things to do on Waiheke Island. It can be broken up into two areas, Oneroa and The Farm.
The Farm is where you will find wineries and vineyards as well as great restaurants. A fun thing to do during the day is to take one of the free tours which take you to a number of the vineyards and the history behind the development of the industry.
Oneroa is located on the western side of the island. There are loads of beaches, many of which are equipped with cafes. The most popular beaches are Matakana, which has one of the best cafes on the island and is a great place to relax, especially during the summer.
The historical part of Oneroa is home to the Oneroa Wharf. It is here that visitors can explore the Islands history and culture. The wharf has historic restored buildings which once were important in creating New Zealand’s export industry. The buildings are now home to shops and cafes. You can take a walk along the beach or up to the lighthouse.
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Raglan is a relaxed town with a laid-back attitude. There is lots of open space and there is plenty of trees which make the town feel lovely and pretty.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy. Golfing is a major attraction in the town. There is also a great surfing community which makes it a great place to learn to surf.
To get to Raglan, you can fly into Auckland, then take the ferry. The ferry trip to Raglan is only an hour. The trips run from around 7 am until 8 pm so you can enjoy a day in Raglan even on the return journey.
3. Mount Maunganui
Mount Maunganui is located on the west coast of Auckland. It has one of New Zealand’s most beautiful beaches, as well as an array of restaurants and cafés.
During the summer season, there is a beachside market and events that take place on the beach at night.
One of the most popular things to do in the area is walking the Coastal Walkway. This walkway runs through Mount Maunganui, the neighboring town of Papamoa, and down the coast towards Tauranga. If you fancy a round, you can even walk all the way south to Kawhia. This walk takes around 3 hours to complete.
The walk is a great workout and great to do on a warm sunny day. It is sure to put a smile on your face. The walk takes about 2 hours to complete one way.
Mount Maunganui is popular with the locals in the summer and can get busy. It is a great place to go in summer to get good weather and avoid the crowds of tourists.
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Hamilton is known for its culture. It has one of the best arts and cultural festivals in the country.
The city has also recently won the Best in Tourism competition. It won the Best in Sports Tourism, as well as Arts and Heritage.
The city center is easy to get around and there is plenty of parking, making it a great option for car lovers.
Many of the attractions are indoors, so no matter if you are enjoying a rainy day or the weather is less than ideal, you can still have fun.
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Waitomo is one of the most beautiful places in the whole country. It is well known for being the home of the famous glow worms.
They are actually a type of luminescent fungus and are attracted to waterfalls.