Destination Discovery: Exploring Auckland and New Zealand”™s Northland

by Janis on November 28, 2012

This guest post is by Brenda Richman, a Kansas City-based small business consultant.

 Auckland Waterfront at night


Auckland is New Zealand’s largest urban area with 1,377,200 residents.  Auckland is often ranked as one of the top places in the world to live.

It’s a fun city for visitors as well.

Auckland, New Zealand — City of Sails.                          Photo taken by JosephWatkins

Auckland is one of the few cities in the world to have harbors on two separate major bodies of water.   Popularly known as the “City of Sails”, Auckland’s harbors are often dotted with hundreds of yachts.  About one in three Auckland households own a boat, making the city have a higher per capita of boat ownership than any other city in the world.

Things to See and Do While Visiting Auckland

Auckland Museum seen from Mt Eden.                               Photo by Jubal John
  • Explore the history of New Zealand. The Auckland (War Memorial) Museum contains the world’s finest collection of exhibits on New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.  The museum is spread over three floors, each telling a significant New Zealand story.  Maori cultural performances and gallery tours are three times daily.
  • Browse in historic Parnell, one of Auckland’s oldest districts, which Victorian buildings have been restored to create a fashionable shopping area of boutiques, antique, craft and specialty shops in the quaint charm of a small town. There’s also a lovely rose garden in Sir Dove-Myer Robinson Park with hundreds of roses in peak blooms from Nov to March.
  • Experience an incredible view from the Sky Tower.  At 328m in height, the Sky Tower is the tallest free standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Take in the 360 degree views from the top.  For the truly adventurous, you can take the Sky Walk or the Sky Jump off the outside of the tower. Or, watch others  jump off the tower like the Jones did in this video:

  • Explore Auckland’s Waitemata Harbor, which has great produce markets and seafood bazaar for early risers from 6-10 am.  You can also watch ocean-going ships, fishing boats, yachts and other small boats sail across the broad harbor.  Take one of the variety of boat cruises available – the ferry to Devonport on the North Shore, a sailboat cruise and lunch, or a trip to the Hauraki Golf Islands.
  • Take the ferry to  Waiheke Island from Auckland. Once in Waiheke,  stroll the wharf, and taste the many varieties of wines and lunch at Mudbrick and Cable Bay vineyards.  The panoramic views of the city skyline to the Hauraki Gulf are outstanding.

North of Auckland: New Zealand’s Northland

North of Auckland is the area of New Zealand known as the Northland. 

Here the thriving port city of Whangarei is the region’s commercial and industrial hub.  Northwest of Whangarei,  a string of beautiful bays and beaches along the Pacific shore are known as the Tutukaka coast.  This coast extends from Ngunguru eight miles north to Sandy Bay.

Bay of Islands                                                                          Photo by Fuadounet

Next is the lovely Bay of Islands, a collection of over 140 islands reachable only by boat.  They are known for their scenic vistas of sky, sea and wooded islands.  The climate is balmy, and the setting is serene.  It is one of the most popular fishing, sailing and tourist destinations in the country, and has been renowned internationally for its big-game fishing.

Take time to explore the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds, symbol of New Zealand’s birth as a nation.  Then plan to cruise on a boat or ferry amid the wooded islets and explore the sparsely populated shores to fully appreciate the beauty of this island-strewn bay.  Best known of the boat excursions is the Cream Trip named for the route of the 1920’s boat that collected cream and delivered mail and supplies to scattered dairy farms.

Coming back to Auckland from the Bay of Islands, go over to the west coast, stopping at the giant kauri forest near Waipoua Forest or at the kauri museum at Matakohe for a glimpse into the region’s history with these magnificent trees.  They rival California’s redwoods in age, height and girth.

For more information on New Zealand visit Destination New Zealand.  

Which is more intriguing to you, visiting one of the top rated places in the world to live, or cruising the wooded islets through the Bay of Islands?

Entrepreneur Brenda Richman has a passion for experiencing the world through travel adventures.

Learn more about Brenda’s travel experiences here, and her consulting work helping businesses increase market penetration and enhance the quality of their client experiences here.


Other posts on New Zealand that you might enjoy…….

There’s Still One More Thank-A-Reader Give Away

November isn’t over yet and there is still one more give away for a lucky reader of this blog:

A $75 Amazon Gift Card will be given away on Saturday December 1st.

Entering the random drawing is simple: just comment on this blog post or on any new post made on this blog between November 26 and 30th, 2012.   Please limit comments to one per blog post, and be sure to answer the question in the post.

This give away is sponsored by TravelingWithTheJones and is open to residents of the United States only.  Comments identified as SPAM will not be included in the entries.

To enter for your chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card, answer this question:

Which is more intriguing to you, visiting one of the top rated places in the world to live, or cruising the wooded islets through the Bay of Islands?


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