So why is it that a lot of people find it hard to leave the shelter of the Sky Tower? With so much to see and do in the surrounding areas of the city, you’d be silly not to make like Dora and get your explore on. If you think you’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt, think again.
This Auckland gem is a mere one-hour drive from the CBD. However, with its rolling pastures, historic past and beaches that go as far as the eye can see, it feels like a true escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Enjoy leisurely walks amongst the hills, soak in the panoramic sights from the lighthouse and dodge waves on the b-e-a-utiful beach.
After a mind-blowing beach to get you in the summer spirit? Look no further than Tawharanui. Complete with its very own set of semi-secret Mermaid Pool—that’s right, Mermaid Pools!—you won’t wanna leave until you’ve made friends with Ariel herself. These are crystal-clear waters set amongst (hopefully!) blue skies, and is definitely Insta shot fo sho!
Spanning nearly 400km, there such is so much to explore in the Hunua Ranges. One of the most popular parts of this pristine piece of paradise, is Hunua Falls. Cascading down amongst some of the nearly 450 species of plant life, it makes for one hell of a photo/Boomerang!
Tay Tay said it was the most beautiful beach she has ever been to and we have to agree with Miss Swift on this one. On a sun-filled day, watch as the sea glistens from every angle you point your camera. Stroll down to the cave for incredible views of the area and, if you have the time, stay for the sunset. Trust us.
Grab your snorkel, don your goggles and squeeze into those speedos as you’ll be seeing a lot of Goat Island under water. With so much marine life and snorkeling spots to see, you’ll be growing a pair of fins in no time. Once sufficiently wrinkled, head over the water to Leigh for an afternoon of leisurely exploring.
Matakana is a top contender as one of the best places to visit in greater Auckland. With a number of boutique wineries and vineyards, fantastic eateries and markets to explore, it’s perfect for a weekend roadie. Treat yourself to hand-crafted goods and gifts at the vintage markets before making your way to the sculpture walk for plenty of distinctly different photo ops!
What will it be? Body boarding down the sand dunes? Exploring LOTR territory? Or taking part in a spot of fishing? Follow it all up with a bigger than average ice-cream in nearby town, Pokeno, and you’ve got yourself a pretty stellar day, we’d say!
Known predominantly for its killer bike tracks and trails, there is more to Woodhill Forest than you may think. With a wide range of walking tracks for those who prefer feet to wheels, a kick ass tree top adventure park, as well as horse trekking, it’s a forest laden with activities for all. Stick around to watch the sun set through the trees to make for a gorgeous end to your day.
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Image credit: Russell Street