Auckland is the main gateway in and out of North Island, New Zealand. It is located on a thin isthmus that separates the Pacific waters of Waitemata Harbor and Manukau Harbor. Here, visitors will find a refreshing tourist destination filled with a zest for life in a cultural melting pot. You will find beaches, vineyards, museums, casinos, shopping districts, thermal spa resorts, and just about anything a tourist could possibly need or want. Get a car for hire in Auckland so that you can set your own itinerary.
In a city this big, with so much to see and do, you have to do some sorting out, to limit the places of interest in your itinerary. Get a car for rent in Auckland and start with the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Despite its name, this museum has nothing much to do with wars. It does offer an inside look at Maori culture and arts. Next up is the famed Auckland Zoo, followed by Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World, and then the MOTAT – the Museum of Transport and Technology. Do not miss a foray into the SKYCITY casino and entertainment complex. It is a world by itself, where you could easily get lost for a day or two. There is a revolving restaurant at the top, and you could go even higher for a breathtaking view from the Sky Tower. If you are the adventurous sort, you can sky dive off the top.
There is a good reason why Auckland, sandwiched between two harbors, is known as the “City of Sails.” Apart from an endless row of beaches on the eastern side and the west coast, you also get to enjoy the beaches on Waiheke Island and on the North Shore. The golden sands of Oneroa on Waiheke Island deserve a special mention. The waters on the east are rather gentle, while the west coast is more suited for surfing on black sand beaches. The most popular and safe beaches in Central Auckland when you head out east on Tamaki Drive, include Mission Bay, St Heliers, and Kohimarama. On the west coast, the most famous black sand beach is Piha. Other west coast beaches include Muriwai, Whatipu, Te Henga, and Karekare.
This does not have to be a proper guided tour. Wine connoisseurs can just compile a list of all the wineries nearby, and head out to these places and get a taste of the fine wine at a few chosen vineyards. The top locations on the wine trail are Kumeu, Henderson, and Waiheke Island. Do not miss the Stonyridge Vineyard on Waiheke Island, or the Soljans Estate Winery in Kumeu.
No doubt you could live in Auckland forever. But if you are a tourist visiting New Zealand for a once in a lifetime trip, you might want to expand your horizons a bit to include other North Island tourist hotspots in between Auckland and Wellington. Book your car rental in Auckland right now and plan a road trip that takes you zig-zagging across North Island, from Auckland to Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, and then Taupo.
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