NEW ZEALAND A TALE OF TWO CITIES
and Wellington are vibrant North Island cities with excitingly different
landscapes on their doorsteps and challenging adventures to be experienced
in signature Kiwi style.
Aucklands Maori name, Tamaki-Makau-Rau, means maiden with
a hundred lovers, so-called because its location was coveted by
many tribes in the surrounding areas.
Wherever you are staying in and around the city today you will see why
this was so as magnificent beaches, coastal hiking/biking trails and fabulous
sailing in the Hauraki Gulf are all within easy reach.
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Gulf is particularly loved for sailing and cruising as it is dotted with
many islands offering great daytime destinations as well as shelter in
their bays. Yachting experiences are a highlight of a visit whether for
a few days or for an afternoons race on the harbour.
If it has more than its fair share of natural attractions, Auckland also
has plenty of urban chic from the shopping to the dining and clubbing
scene. High Street and the Chancery are the home of hip designer stores
including Karen Walker while Parnell Village, five minutes east of the
city, is the place for boutique shopping, cafes and galleries.
Ponsonby Road, west of the central city is famous for contemporary shopping
and excellent dining while the cafes, clubs, pubs and restaurants of the
Viaduct Harbour waterfront complex include successful Soul Restaurant
with open-air dining and fresh seafood on the menu. Match on the corner
of Hopetoun and Pitt Streets is an intimate and groovy cocktail bar.
has vineyards within easy reach and Waiheke Island is a top destination
for day-trips to visit the island wineries. From Auckland you can also
go rainforest trekking, sea kayaking, picnic on a volcano, take a thrilling
scenic flight, or bungy off Auckland Harbour Bridge (40 metres with water
Due to its location between the harbour and the hills, Wellington is a
compact city which means that it is very easy to find your way around,
especially as it is divided into four separate quarters.
Zealands administrative capital, it also claims its place as the
arts and culture capital. The national Te Papa Tongarewa cultural museum
is a must-see for an understanding of Maori culture and heritage of the
country and for some fabulous pieces of artwork and sculpture. Te Papa
as it is known, is famous around the globe for its innovative and interactive
Wellington has a dynamic and distinctive personality with regard to fashion
and food and theres a lively entertainment scene, too. Here you
can be shopping and dining in stylish surroundings one minute and experiencing
gorgeous countryside the next as walking and biking trails are right on
Mountain biking through the native bush of Makara Peak or biking through
the Hutt Valley are two options and there are many exciting adventure
tours and experiences available while the famous vineyards of Martinborough
in the Wairarapa Region are a scenic hours drive away.
Separated from Wellington by the rugged Rimutaka Range, the historic villages
and vineyards of the Wairarapa include Featherston, Greytown, Masterton
and Martinborough, the boutique-style centre of the wine growing area
and especially famous for its internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir. Naturally
with the vineyards comes other excellent local produce available every
Saturday at the local Growers Market.
Wherever you are in New Zealand theres always someone on hand to
whisk thrill-seekers up a mountain, organise quad-biking over farmland,
canoeing or jet-boating down a wild river or trekking or four-wheel driving
through some of the most wonderful countryside on (Middle) earth, so conferences
and events here are always dynamic and different.
Latest NZ craze? The Blokart, a three-wheeled land yacht that folds up
into a suitcase-sized bag once you have finished speeding along suitable
terrain at up to 90 km an hour!