These 20 days are a backpacker’s dream – cramming in so many unique parts of the Kiwi culture as well as plenty of ways to play. Starting in New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland, you’ll take a North Island circuit that includes adventures like blackwater rafting beneath glow worms in the Waitomo Caves, a visit to a marae (Maori meeting house), and tons of geothermal wonders like bubbling mud pools, volcanoes and natural hot springs. Along the way you’ll meet friendly locals and launch into heaps of fun activities like Blokarting, whitewater rafting, surfing, jet boating and trout fishing. Or just take some time to relax on one of New Zealand’s gorgeous beaches.
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You can hike up to the top of Rangitoto, a volcano that emerged just off the coast only 600 years ago. Or grab a ferry for a day trip to Waiheke Island, known for its chilled atmosphere and numerous vineyards you can visit for wine tastings and gorgeous food.
Tamkai Hikoi offer guided walks to Auckland hotspots with cultural significance to the Maori people, like Mt Eden (Maungawhau), Bastion Point and Puke Hill in the Domain. The Domain is also home to the beautiful Auckland Museum, full of interactive exhibits.
If you’re ready for a night on the town before you leave Auckland, the areas of Britomart, the Viaduct, or Wynyard Quarter have great bars and restaurants – they’re all downtown. K Rd has a more indie vibe with lots of gigs and exhibitions, while Ponsonby Rd always brings the party.
This is the heart of Auckland, with a relaxed coastal living vibe by day and a night-time energy shared by the inner-city suburbs that surrounds it.
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