The logical starting point or conclusion to a holiday in New Zealand, Auckland has the cosmopolitan vibe that you would expect from any country's largest city but this is a city with a difference - it's all about the water. Set between the sparkling waters of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours and a previous host to sailing's blue riband event The America's Cup, the sobriquet of 'City of Sails' is apt.

Aucklanders are passionate about getting out on the water and there are many ways to join them; ranging from a short ferry ride over to the quaint artists' haunt of devonport to a day's cruise on a fully crewed, luxurious motor launch. You can enjoy calm seas and white sand beaches on the islands of the Hauraki Gulf including idyllic Waiheke Island which is becoming increasingly famed for its excellent wines and cuisine as well as its stunning natural beauty. In addition for something a little more unusual, drive an hour west to discover thundering surf and black sand.

The bigger of the two islands, the North Island is also home to the country’s largest city; Auckland. Known as the ‘City of the Sails’ due to its location between the waters of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, you’ll find that Aucklanders are passionate about getting out on the water and there are many ways to join them; from a short ferry ride over to the quaint artists’ haunt of Devonport to a day’s cruise on a fully crewed, luxurious motor launch.

You can enjoy calm seas and white sandy beaches on the islands of the Hauraki Gulf including idyllic Waiheke island, famed for its stunning natural beauty. The Bay of Islands boasts gorgeous coastal scenery too but is also home to some of the country’s most important history. Rotorua lays claim to being at both the thermal and Maori heart of the country, a fascinating combination of geysers, boiling mud pools and cultural experiences, while nearby Lake Taupo is ideal for those wishing to indulge in a spot of trout fishing. The Hawke’s Bay region’s boutique vineyards and abundant local produce combine to create a gastronome’s delight. At the foot of the North Island lies Wellington, where you’ll find an array of fascinating galleries and museums, with superb dining to boot.

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Where to go in North Island

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Wharekauhau Country Estate strikes the perfect balance between authenticity and contemporary luxury, celebrating its 19th-century heritage while providing modern creature comforts in a seamless fusion of the two. Their 3,000 private acres spread out towards 12 miles of coastline in the south of New Zealand’s North Island, with rippling mountains rising to the west and glassy Lake Oneke to the east...

Treetops Lodge & Estate
Hotel

Treetops Lodge & Estate

New Zealand
North Island
Rotorua

A sanctuary and haven with scenic views set in 2,500 acres of secluded, 800-year old virgin forest and game reserve, Treetops offers a ‘sophisticated safari’. With an unparalleled range of activities and exhilarating experiences at the doorstep, including 7 trout streams, 4 lakes, 70 kilometres of hiking, mountain bike and horse riding trails for guests to enjoy whilst amongst the tranquillity an...

Greenhill Lodge
Hotel

Greenhill Lodge

New Zealand
North Island
Hawke’s Bay

Set within acres of vineyards, farmland and countryside, the view is what makes this luxury lodge so very special. As you can well imagine, it proves a fantastic spot from which to explore New Zealand’s famed food and wine country, with the wide, private verandahs looking out over pristine lawns and manicured gardens if simply relaxing and enjoying the vista is more up your street. A maximum of j...

Solitaire Lodge
Hotel

Solitaire Lodge

New Zealand
North Island
Rotorua

An intimate property set on the edge of Lake Tarawera in a quiet secluded location, Solitaire Lodge is ideally situated for exploring nearby Rotorua and this geothermal wonderland of steaming lakes and bubbling hot pools, which is also the heartland of Maori culture. The luxury property has only 10 luxury suites all with sweeping views of the lake and nearby volcano through the large lake view win...

With an ideal location in between the stylish Wynyard Quarter and Auckland’s famous Viaduct Harbour, this hotel offers chic accommodation, incredibly attentive service and plenty of top-class amenities. The perfect base for exploring the city, you’ll find Auckland’s main Queen Street just a 20-minute walk away, and the fascinating Maritime Museum just a stroll along the waterfront. The hotel itse...

Hilton Auckland
Hotel

Hilton Auckland

New Zealand
North Island
Auckland

The Hilton Auckland is a stylish hotel ideally located right on the harbour. This waterfront location and the city’s sailing heritage – Auckland is known as the City of Sails and is famous for hosting the America’s Cup – is reflected in the hotel’s nautically themed modern décor. The entire hotel is light and airy thanks to an abundance of window walls, which also make the most of the fantastic ...

SkyCity Grand Hotel
Hotel

SkyCity Grand Hotel

New Zealand
North Island
Auckland

The SkyCity Grand Hotel is part of Auckland’s SkyCity complex, which means guests have an array of top-class dining and entertainment options on their doorstep, including 15 restaurants, 8 bars and the SkyCity Casino. Next door, the monumental Sky Tower offers spectacular views over the city. The hotel’s location means guests will find Auckland’s art and culture venue, the Aotea Centre, nearby, a...

This boutique hotel offers a range of high-quality facilities in the heart of Rotorua, conveniently located for exploring the city’s attractions. Alongside the heated outdoor pool, guests can also relax in the thermal mineral pool or work out in the mini-gym. The Regent Room Restaurant & Wine Bar offers a sophisticated à la carte menu and a range of tapas style sharing plates in contemporary and ...

Hilton Lake Taupo
Hotel

Hilton Lake Taupo

New Zealand
North Island
Taupo

Hilton Lake Taupo provides great views over the lake and Tongariro National Park, as well as a range of onsite amenities including an outdoor heated pool, separate kids’ pool, fitness centre and thermal spa pool, tennis court, concierge desk and even mountain bike hire. Bistro Lago serves an international menu created by celebrity chef Gareth Stewart, and the Bistro’s bar also serves a fine select...

QT Wellington
Hotel

QT Wellington

New Zealand
North Island
Wellington

One of the most stylish hotels in New Zealand, the QT Wellington features chic accommodation, a magnificent art collection and an award-winning restaurant, all within easy reach of the city. Dotted across the building you’ll find an astonishing collection of art that lends the entire property an atmosphere of cool sophistication that never feels too forced; indeed, the eclectic art and friendly se...

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