Known For : Sky Tower Cornwall Park Rangitoto Island
Auckland is one of New Zealand's oldest and most historic cities, and also its largest and most populous. It also serves as one of the most important tourist hubs of the country. Situated by 2 large harbours, this vibrant city combines natural beauty and city flamboyance, drawing in visitors for leisure and business alike all year round. Auckland has a plethora of activities and attractions on offer for the every kind of traveller, leaving you lost as to where to begin your magical journey in this wondrous city.
Best Time: Summer months from December to February
Known For : Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Mount Victoria Wellington Botanic Gardens
Known for its vibrant creative culture that is intensified by the sumptuous cuisine, delicious wine, world class craft beer and kicking coffee, Wellington is the capital city and the most populous urban town in New Zealand. Guarded by majestic mountains and snuggled between cosy hills, the city also has a flat waterfront downtown and a hooked shaped harbour to accentuate its beauty further. Other than the pleasant climate, beaches and the lively culture, the town resonates with the celebrations and festivities of several events, carnivals, festivals and fairs that are frequently held here.
Known For : Christchurch Botanic Gardens Avon River Christchurch Gondola
Christchurch is New Zealand's third largest city and the largest city of the South Island. It is a hub for English culture and heritage in New Zealand, combined with some of the best gardens in the world, earning it international acclaim as the 'Garden City'. The modern buildings of the city, blended with the Gothic architecture of remnants of the Victorian era heritage of Christchurch and the Canterbury region. Before the English influence over New Zealand, Christchurch was historically called Otautahi, the Maori word signifying the place of Tautahi.
Best Time: November to April
Known For : White Island Tours Waihi Beach White Island Tours
Situated in the north-western corner of the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is the most populous city in the region and the fifth largest urban area in New Zealand. Circumscribed by Auckland, Rotorua and Hamilton, Tauranga is home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches, the majestic Mount Maunganui and the gorgeous views it offers and of course the most picturesque and scenic landscape that it has got. Thronged by hundreds of tourists every year, the coastal town also boasts of a waterfront area that is peppered with cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and bars.
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Known For : Pania of the Reef Napier Centennial Gardens Napier Municipal Theatre
Burrowed into Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island, Napier is the country’s 6th largest urban area. A romantically evocative city replete with buildings that ooze old-world charm and aesthetic, this port-city hugging the North Island’s east coast, lies 300 km away from the capital Wellington. Heritage buildings rebuilt in the Art Deco styles of the 1930s, after the devastating Hawke’s Bay earthquake that crushed most of the surrounding area, point to the resilience of Napier and the collective Kiwi spirit.
Known For : Tunnel Beach Speights Brewery Otago Peninsula
Cosily tucked up in the steep hills of the Otago region in the South Island area, Dunedin is the best-kept secret of New Zealand. Named so because of the Gaelic name for Edingburgh, Dun Eidann, the city is also popularly known as the “Edinburgh of New Zealand” and identifies strongly with its Scottish heritage. Punctuated by classical 19th century Victorian and Edwardian architecture, Dunedin is majorly compact and can be best explored on foot.
Known For : Lake Wakatipu The Remarkables Coronet Peak
This little town in the Southern Island is not for the faint hearted! With a plethora of activities for the thrill seeker, coupled with some marvellous and picturesque attractions make Queenstown quite a memorable visit. Situated in the southern island, with a backdrop of the southern alps and the Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a mesmeric location. Queenstown might not be the most commercial and industrial city in New Zealand, but it's know very well among adventure activists all over the world.
Best Time: December to February (summers) or June to July (winters)
Known For : Orakei Korako Blue Baths Pool Kerosene Creek
Considered to be an epitome of the flourishing Maori culture, the tinsel town is set on volcanic landscape and enveloped in stunning mountain peaks, meandering streams, dense woods, mesmerizing waterfalls and several gorgeous fresh water lakes. Popularly known as a ‘geothermal wonderland’, it is home to several bubbling mud pools, steamy hot water springs, smoky white clouds and an overall breathtaking scenery. These natural hot springs are perfect for bathing and relaxing in and are the highlight of the town.