Wellington’s central district has a range of good accommodation that places you easily within walking distance of its heritage, cultural and entertainment attractions. The convenience of being close to all the action makes it worthwhile to book well in advance and secure a bed in the downtown area.
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city. It is a complete contrast to the sprawling urban mass that constitutes Auckland. Wellington New Zealand Wellington - New Zealand's Capital CityWellington is a visitor-friendly, upbeat, compact city, which can claim to be the world’s southernmost capital. It offers the visitor far more than a look at New Zealand’s parliamentary democracy in action.
The City of Sails is also a city of parks, gardens, walkways, bush reserves, museums, markets, wineries, adventure activities, beaches and islands. Auckland’s spectacular scenery and varied landscape from volcanoes to rainforest, is matched by its huge diversity of things to do.
As the major New Zealand gateway Auckland receives some 70% of our 2 million international visitors each year. Auckland International Airport is 20km from the city centre. Domestic airlines operate from here to all main cities and towns through two domestic terminals (Air New Zealand and Qantas)
Auckland is a happening place with the most vibrant theatre, arts and club scene in the country. With a million residents to entertain and even more overseas visitors arriving each year, Auckland has a great diversity of nightlife. It reaches a climax on Friday and Saturday nights.
Auckland city offers a range of culinary delights to satisfy even the most discerning palate. The Downtown area has a generous sprinkling of finger food outlets including sushi and kebab bars and trendy cafes offering good value specialty dishes and snacks.
The welcome mat is always out in New Zealand’s largest city with a diverse range of accommodation to suit every visitor. It is wise to book ahead for the summer peak period of December to February. At other times you are usually free to pick and choose.
North of Auckland there is a wonderful playground of rolling green pastures, attractive beaches and peaceful rural retreats. Rodney District embraces a fascinating variety of landscapes from the wild west coast surf beaches flanking the Kaipara Harbour to the golden sand beaches of the Hibiscus and Kowhai Coasts.
Across Auckland’s Harbour Bridge is a city that proudly boasts of its peace, prosperity and plenty. North Shore City has it all in abundance. A unique relaxed lifestyle that provides superb harbour views, sandy swimming beaches, countless bush reserves and parks and fine shops.
This clean, green, bush-fringed city lies due west of Auckland, nestled in the enveloping folds of the Waitakere Ranges. It's citizens know nothing of grid patterned streets in high-density conurbations. They enjoy a lifestyle that offers the best of both worlds - access to the facilities of metropolitan Auckland.
Kia Ora, welcome to Manukau, the vibrant, diverse and unique regional hub south of Auckland city. This rapidly expanding multicultural city calls itself ‘The Face of the Future’ celebrating youth and vitality and the 55 ethnic groups that call Manukau home. The city centre is very close to Auckland International Airport.
Drive over the Rimutaka Hill from Wellington and you enter a different world as the Wairarapa Valley opens up before you. This is still 'Capital Country' but without the stress. Here you can enjoy a slower pace - a happy blend of latté and lifestyle, wine and wilderness.
Castlepoint, 65 km east of Masterton, is a summer retreat amidst dramatic lagoon and lighthouse scenery where soul-uplifting and mind-clearing walks are de rigueur. The sandy beaches and craggy headlands, mark the only significant break in 300 km of desolate, wind-battered coastline from Cape Palliser to Cape Kidnappers in Hawke's Bay.
Masterton promotes itself as being a 'World Away Over the Hill' but still offers all the amenities for a perfect holiday retreat. The 32 hectare Queen Elizabeth Park is perhaps its most endearing asset for families. Attractions include a superbly designed lake, an aviary, children's playground, mini-golf, swing bridge, glorious gardens and a deer park.
Masterton's commercial centre is strung along three parallel roads - Chapel, Queen and Dixon Streets. The wining and dining scene is excellent with modern restaurants, cafes and bars. The superb Aratoi Art and History Museum has a pleasant cafe. Cafe Solway, behind the Copthorne Resort, is fully licensed with a blackboard menu.
Surrounding Districts If you and your friends are up for real adventure then take a ¾ hour drive out of town to Waitomo Caves. Surrounded by picturesque native bush, here is where you can take on more courageous pursuits.