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The bustling North Island city of Auckland serves as a fantastic introduction to all that New Zealand offers. Combining the country’s love of outdoor pursuits with the cosmopolitan vibe of the city, it’s impossible to get bored in the City of Sails. From volcanoes to art, wine tasting to bungy jumping, the sheer variety of activities and trips in and around the city can be overwhelming. Which is why we thought we’d give you a hand by picking our favourite things to do in this vibrant city.
The youngest and by far the biggest volcano in the Auckland Volcanic Field, Rangitoto Island can be seen from most points across the city, making it an iconic landmark and an unmissable day trip. A short 25 minute ferry ride from Auckland takes you from the hustle and bustle of the city to a stunning volcanic landscape that is home to over 200 species of moss, plants and trees (including the world’s largest Pohutukawa forest). Bring a packed lunch and enjoy one of the many hikes on the island, either up to the summit for spectacular views across to the city and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf (making sure to explore the lava caves along the way), or on a track skirting the coastline and stopping at sandy coves.
Sail in Waitemata Harbour
In a city dubbed the City of Sails, it would be churlish not to take to the water on a yacht yourself. Numerous companies offer boat tours, lessons, or the ability to skipper your own yacht for the day. Choose between sailing or even racing a retired America’s Cup yacht, learning to be part of a crew manning a magnificent tallship (or simply sitting back and letting someone else do it for you for the day!), or helping to sail a traditional Polynesian sailing canoe. Alternatively, take to the water in a kayak, jet boat, or windsurf.
Jump from the Sky Tower
New Zealand attracts adrenaline junkies from all over the world and it doesn’t get much more heart-pounding than the SkyJump. At a dizzying 630 feet, it is New Zealand’s highest jump but the leap from the city’s SkyTower is a smoother ride than a bungy - you wear a streamlined flying suit and don’t dangle or plummet to the ground upside down. The feeling is more akin to sky diving, without the parachute - you feel like you’re flying. Still, if that sounds too terrifying for you, simply take the glass lifts to the viewing platforms to marvel at the 360° breathtaking views.
Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World
Explore the frosty wilds of Antarctica and the depths of the Pacific and Southern oceans without leaving Auckland at this famous attraction. Encounter giant stingrays in Stingray Bay, seahorses from around the globe in Seahorse Kingdom, and endangered turtles, ferocious sharks and thousands of colourful fish in New Zealand’s largest aquarium. The brilliant Antarctic Encounter takes you on a journey through sub-zero Antarctica, zipping around on a heated Snow Cat past King and Gentoo penguins and through a polar sea aquarium.
Article by Go Rentals
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