New Zealand is regarded across the globe as one of the most desirable destinations for holiday makers. The country’s natural beauty and its variety of attractions ensure that it justifies this reputation. One of New Zealand’s most prized assets is Auckland. This is reflected in its Māori name Tāmaki Makaurau meaning “the maiden sought by a hundred lovers” which comes from the sheer beauty of the area. But what is it that gives this place such a description? It’s certainly not hard to find places which confirm it so this article will pick out a few of the surrounding area’s real gems.
One of the region’s most iconic locations is the youngest of Auckland’s volcanoes. It sits within the inner harbour area and only came into existence 600 years ago. Its’ almost perfectly symmetrical shape makes it a photographer’s dream and is one of Auckland’s must see places. Now extinct the volcano offers fantastic views of the Hauraki Gulf and it is possible to take a train or even walk up to the summit.
This is the highest volcano in Auckland and treks to its peak reveal views of the whole isthmus including both of the harbours. It is 196m tall and boasts a very well preserved crater measuring 50 metres deep which is thought of as highly sacred. It sits right alongside Auckland City and is only a 5 minute drive from downtown.
Tiri Tiri Matangi Island
What was once a desolate farmland, this island has been turned into an area of conservation. The native predators were removed and millions of trees native to the island were planted and have thrived. The iconic kiwi bird flourishes here along with other endangered animals such as the takahē. You can arrange guided tours of the island and it is somewhere not to be missed.
Mahurangi Regional Park
Renowned as an incredible location for boating this area spans 3 peninsulas at the mouth of Mahurangi harbour. Perfect for secluded beach walks and water activities it provides incredible views and a great number of walking paths allow you to explore the area taking in the views.
Accessed by a short ferry journey this island is a mixture of natural sights and modern amenities. Famous for its wine industry the vineyards are a popular attraction alongside the numerous art studios which have come about due to the island becoming a home to some of the most acknowledged artists in New Zealand.
Great Barrier Island
Sitting at the edge of the Hauraki Gulf, Great Barrier Island is one of the places which remains the most unscathed by modern life. Teeming with hot springs, Kauri dams and mountain views this destination is just begging to be explored. It is well known for its fishing, diving and surfing and some of the finest Auckland fishing trips make use of the island as an overnight stop over. If you haven’t written this location into your schedule then make sure to amend it.