Get your picnic mats out, the sun is coming in the coming days!
As the sun emerges from its slumber and the days stretch out longer, New Zealand is gearing up to embrace the much-awaited summer season. With its stunning landscapes, lush greenery, and vibrant culture, this island nation has a plethora of delightful spots to explore during this season.
Let's go on a journey through two of New Zealand's most exciting cities, Auckland and Christchurch, and share the best places to visit to make your Kiwi summer unforgettable.
Auckland: The City of Sails
Piha Beach: Start your summer adventure with a visit to Piha Beach. Located on the rugged west coast of Auckland, this iconic black sand beach is a surfer's paradise. Its impressive Lion Rock formation and roaring waves make it a perfect spot to soak up the sun!
Waiheke Island: Just a short ferry ride away from Auckland's bustling downtown, Waiheke Island is a haven for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With its numerous vineyards, stunning beaches, and hiking trails, you can spend the whole day (or more!) exploring the island's charms.
Auckland Botanic Gardens: For a tranquil escape within the city, head to the Auckland Botanic Gardens. The summer season brings an explosion of colors to this botanical wonderland. Stroll through themed gardens, have a picnic, or simply relax amidst the vibrant flora.
Auckland War Memorial Museum: Immerse yourself in New Zealand's rich history and Māori culture at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The beautiful neoclassical building houses an impressive collection of artifacts and offers insightful exhibitions.
Sky Tower: For panoramic views of the Auckland skyline and beyond, head to the iconic Sky Tower. You can even take the plunge with a thrilling Sky Jump or simply enjoy a meal at one of the tower's restaurants while watching the sun set over the city.
Rangitoto Island: Take a short ferry ride to Rangitoto Island, Auckland’s iconic dormant volcano that offers excellent hiking opportunities. The summit rewards you with panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, and beyond.
Christchurch: The Garden City
Christchurch Tram: Hop on the Christchurch Tram for a historic tour of the city. The tram offers a convenient way to see Christchurch's key attractions, including the Botanic Gardens, Canterbury Museum, and the Arts Centre.
Akaroa: Take a scenic drive to Akaroa, a charming French-inspired coastal town nestled in the heart of the Banks Peninsula. Here, you can explore the historic streets, go on harbour cruises to spot dolphins, and indulge in fresh seafood.
Arthurs Pass National Park: If you're a fan of adventure and breathtaking alpine landscapes, Arthurs Pass National Park is a must-visit. Hike through pristine trails, witness cascading waterfalls, and be prepared to be awestruck by the majestic Southern Alps.
Willowbank Nature Reserve: Willowbank Nature Reserve is an excellent place to see New Zealand's native wildlife, including kiwi birds, tuataras, and eels. They offer informative guided tours and conservation insights.
Sumner Beach: A short drive from the city center, Sumner Beach is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beachside dining. The beach's relaxed atmosphere and stunning coastal views make it a perfect summer destination.
Gondola: Soar high above the city by taking a ride on the Christchurch Gondola. This scenic cable car ride offers breathtaking views of Christchurch, the Canterbury Plains, and the Southern Alps. At the summit, there's a cafe, walking tracks, and a Time Tunnel ride that takes you through the region's history and geology.
Whether you find yourself in the vibrant city of Auckland or the serene beauty of Christchurch, there's no shortage of incredible places to explore and enjoy. From golden beaches to lush gardens, New Zealand has it all. So, pack your bags, soak up the sun, and let the Kiwi summer adventures begin!