AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO NEW ZEALAND
When planning our trip to New Zealand, we heard from many that the South Island was the preferred vacation spot, so we decided to plan a month-long trip to truly explore all the regions of New Zealand. We spent a week in the North Island and wished we would have stayed longer. There was so much to do and see, from the great vineyards to the museums in Auckland and lots of delicious food.
If you don’t want to venture too far from the major cities, There are plenty of options near Wellington and Auckland. I suggest making it a day of water and wine and check out the vineyards on Waiheke Island, which are just a ferry ride from Auckland. Martinborough, in the Wairarapa region, is about an hour’s drive from Wellington. Rent some bikes or explore the art in between vineyards. We really enjoyed the vineyards in the Hawke’s Bay area too. Napier’s art deco buildings will intrigue architecture aficionados. Travel back in time to the 1930 during their art deco festival! Nature lovers can also enjoy the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. There is also an incredible 5-star luxury property of the same name if you’re looking to stay in style (I’ve got connections when booking there so don’t forget to reach out).
A visit to Rotorua is a must. While the town can start to smell of the sulfur hot springs, it didn’t bother us. You can pamper yourself with a day at the spa and a soak in the hot springs. The geothermal wonderland of Waiotapu is an incredible site to explore that reminds me of Yellowstone. Rotorua is also the best place for experiencing Maori culture. You can see traditional dances and dress or eat in the homes of a modern Maori family.