Ultimate urban guide to New Zealand

So you’ve cruised the eighth wonder of the world and gotten up close to playful dolphins.

Why not try something new and uncover the best-kept city secrets this summer? We’ve rounded up a list of top urban things to see, do, eat and stay in Aotearoa for inspiration.


See > Auckland War Memorial Museum

See the world's largest collection of Māori taonga (treasures) at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, housing more than 1000 taonga that paint a vivid picture of the history and culture of Māori people.

Do > K Road

Explore the famous K Road in central Auckland. Home to a diverse and creative rainbow community, K Road is a colourful string of vintage and second-hand clothing stores, art galleries, hole-in-the-wall cafes, and lively wine bars.

Eat > Cassia

For a taste of Auckland’s innovative food scene, book a table at Cassia in the centre of the city. A restaurant by the locally famous Sid Sahrawat, Cassia offers a unique take on modern Indian cuisine in the heart of Auckland city.

Stay > Fossil Bay Lodge

Set amidst lush greenery on Waiheke Island, Fossil Bay Lodge offers a night to remember with their lotus belle glamping tents – outfitted with everything from a queen bed to a luxurious rain shower for a comfortable night’s stay.


See > Street arts scene

Take in the city’s vibrant and growing street art scene on foot or by bicycle. See works such as Irish artist Fin DAC’s mural Kaitiaki (the Māori word for ‘guardian') symbolising protection for the city.

Do > Punting 

Try the city's most loved attractions - relax and admire the beautiful Botanic Gardens as you drift along the Avon River guided by a skilled punter in Edwardian gear.

Eat > Riverside Market

Let your tastebuds be spoilt for choice at Riverside Market, where a smorgasbord of the freshest and most unique fares awaits. 

Stay > SiloStay

Offering a unique experience, these sustainably sourced grain silos have been converted into uniquely modern serviced apartments, located in the heart of Little River – gateway to the beautiful Banks Peninsula.


See > Hamilton Gardens

The gardens showcase different types of garden design through themed collections including the Fantasy and the Paradise collection.

Do > Good George Dining Hall

Go on a pilgrimage to the old St George's Church and learn about the origin story behind their award-winning beer and see how all their beer, cider and gin are made.

Eat > Duck Island Icecream

With its beginnings in Hamilton, visit Duck Island's flagship parlour and excite the tastebuds with flavours ranging from the kiwi favourites to bold combinations.

Stay > Ramada by Wyndham

Enjoy a relaxing retreat in the middle of the city and check out the newly refurbished cafe and bar, Sisterfields.


See > Te Papa

Explore six levels of stories and treasures of New Zealand, including the Gallipoli exhibition, a Wētā Workshop creation telling the stories of World War 1, and the Nature exhibition, a hands-on exhibition of mammals, birds and prehistoric creatures.


The world’s first fully-fenced, pest-free ecosanctuary where plenty of native birds and reptiles flourish. Keep an eye out during the day for cheeky kākā, plump takahe, saddlebacks and even tuatara.

Eat > Crab Shack

Order Marlborough green-lipped mussels, Cloudy Bay clams and tua tua by the scoop at Crab Shack, Wellington. Feast on crabs fresh from the pot and grab some friends to share a seafood platter with or try the huge Antarctic Chilean King Crab claws!

Stay > The Lighthouse

Head to Island Bay, just 10 mins drive from Wellington Airport and climb the stairs of The Light House and enjoy epic views, swimming and snorkelling at the Taputeranga Marine Reserve and boutique cafes on your doorstep.


See > Larnach Castle

Built in 1871 by William Larnach, this carefully restored Victorian grandeur boasts a 3,000 square foot ballroom, which hosts a delicious daily high tea, and a tower commanding sweeping views of the Otago Peninsula.

Do > Lan Yuan Garden

Find a little piece of Asia in Dunedin and take a relaxing stroll at “Lan Yuan”, New Zealand’s first authentic Chinese Garden (only the third outside of China).

Drink > Emerson's craft brewery

Get cosy in one of the city's many pubs and enjoy a local beer. To go one step further, indulge in a tour and tasting at Emerson's craft brewery and learn about their state-of-the-art 5000L brewery and 1200L workshop.

Stay > Distinction Hotel

Have a stylish stay at Distinction Dunedin Hotel, a subtly art-deco styled building that hints at its charming history having once served as the city’s chief post office.

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