My sponsored post today from Wotif, takes us on a tour of some of some favourite spots in New Zealand, and not surprisingly, for a country with such a stunning coastline, many of them are close to the water.
Surrounded by ocean waters, from the sub-tropical to the sub-Antarctic, New Zealand is a stunning destination, even if it does take some time reach its beautiful shores. Protecting the countryside are over 15,000 kms of coastline with large numbers of bays, islands, towering cliffs, sandy beaches, harbours and fjords dotted along the rocky shoreline.
Whether it’s the salty ocean waters, surging rivers, bubbling brooks or tranquil lakes – it doesn’t matter; I love the water. For this reason, I want to share with you my top five destinations in New Zealand, which unsurprisingly, are all near vast expanses of water!
Far North – Cape Reinga
Cape Reinga is the north westernmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula on the North Island. What I find fascinating about this peninsula is that it’s the meeting point of the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. Its lighthouse, built in 1941, guards the wild and unpredictable northern most reaches where you have seas swirling and clashing together. The views are spectacular and you’ll feel like you’re at the end of the world! Check out this Far North Accommodation
Bay of Islands
Discovered by legendary Maori navigator Kupe, the Bay of Islands is an amazing area of rocky shorelines and 144 islands. The area is a fusion of Maori and European culture, once a bustling seafaring region; it’s now home to the historic site of Waitangi, where Maori representatives and European representatives signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. A day trip on a yacht is a must in this region. Explore the bays, inlets, islands and beaches, and if the seas are calm you might make it through Hole in the Rock; you’ll also be able to see dolphins, seals, penguins and during the migration season – whales. Watching these majestic mammals playing in the waters will make your day. Try these Bay of Islands Hotels
Auckland – Rangitoto Island
What I love about Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’ is that you nearly always have views across the water. There is however a destination that gives you the reverse views, that is, one from the water looking back on the city. It’s great every now and then to get a different perspective of the city. Take a ferry to Rangitoto Island – the largest, youngest and now extinct volcano – in the Auckland region. Your walk to the crater top will take you over the lava flow and through native trees and flowering plants; you’ll be rewarded at the summit with fabulous 360 degree views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. Try these Auckland hotels.
Amongst the rainforests, beaches and hideaways you’ll find three fantastic destinations on the Coromandel Peninsular: Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach and the Kauri Grove. For two hours either side of low tide, hot water bubbles out on to the beach through the fine sands. You’ll have plenty of time to dig your very own spa pool, sit back and then relax. An hour’s long coastal walk will take you into Cathedral Cove; white sands, blue seas, sheer limestone cliffs and a sea cove await you. Finally, visit the Kauri Grove with its beautiful 13 towering Kauri trees, just off the 309 Road, it’s not hard to find. Try these Coromandel hotels.
The adventure capital of New Zealand has never failed to disappoint me. Every season in this region has something special to offer, the vistas always change as the seasons roll in. New Zealand’s longest lake – Lake Waktipu – its crystal clear waters shimmer in the sunlight and then become incredibly mysterious when shrouded in fog. I love the vivid colours of the autumn foliage; Queenstown’s backdrop will be shades red, orange and yellow with touches of gold. Queenstown’s the perfect spot for a little kayaking or sailing on the lake, and of course, skiing on the surrounding ski slopes! Check out these Queenstown hotels.
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