This eclectic and epic itinerary has you visiting the awesome cities of Auckland and Wellington in the North Island, and Christchurch and Queenstown in the South. The variety of things you’ll experience on your gap adventures are amazing, from beautiful food and cool bars to world-class shopping from Kiwi designers. But what really sets these New Zealand cities apart is how close to nature, water and wildlife they are – you’re constantly surrounded by an abundance of outdoor activities to choose from, like hopping to an island for wine tasting, relaxing on a stunning beach, jet boating or whitewater rafting or biking along the waterfront. It’s not about finding things to do, but about choosing what to do first!
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Welcome to New Zealand’s largest city! To get in as much Auckland shopping, cafés, restaurants and bars as you can in one place, wander along High St to the Britomart area, swing past the bars along the waterfront of the Vidaduct and onto Wynyard Quarter. All of these areas are in the central city and downtown, and there’s loads to explore.
The iconic White Lady food caravan is right in amongst it, and has been feeding the late night crowd (or the hungover one) for generations, so when you’re bar-hopping past make sure you grab a burger or something tasty.
From the downtown area you can also grab a ferry to Waiheke Island, a great place for a daytrip to relax on the beach or tour some of the excellent vineyards, like Mudbrick or Cable Bay. Another perfect daytrip is to Piha beach, hidden in the Waitakere Ranges nearby.
Saturday mornings you’ll find delicious French markets going on in Parnell, or if you’re visiting in summer you might come across the Auckland Seafood Festival, or the Laneway music festival.
Don’t forget to pop over to Ponsonby for more shopping and places to party, or to the more indie Karangahape Rd (known as K Rd) for the best op shops in the city. The City Works Depot is also a cool redeveloped area, housed in a converted warehouse.
...you know how water can be turquoise, greenstone greens, light blue, deep blue but always clear…the water in new Zealand is sort of, well… ‘milky’ it offsets the sea and rivers against the dark green foliage to give the water this almost jewel-y character. It's beautiful.