The Perfect 5-Day Travel Itinerary to Auckland, New Zealand
We loved Auckland so much we named our first dog after our trip there. My husband studied abroad in the area for 10 months a few years ago. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places we have visited and I hope to make your experience as wonderful as mine was!
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Where to stay
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sleek, cosmopolitan hotel with French heritage offering special spa and romance packages.
Nautical-inspired style with panoramic sea views just steps away from a variety of fine shops, restaurants and bars.
Paihia Beach Resort & Spa
Mid-century hotel located in the idyllic seaside town of Paihia in the Bay Of Islands with an array of plunge pools and swoon-worthy views.
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Day 1: Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve
Although it is two hours outside of Auckland, Cathedral Cove is worth the drive and the relaxing scenery. This beautiful part of New Zealand was made famous from the movie Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. On your visit, be sure to walk through the rock formation to get to the beach where the famous scene from the movie was filmed.
Day 2: Free walking tour around Auckland
Auckland city offers a free walking tour to learn about the short history of New Zealand. Visit the war museum to discover the culture of the Māori people and ancient artifacts. Lastly, hike up to Mount Eden with a bottle of wine for a relaxing evening and watch the sunset overlooking the city.
Day 3: Exploring Rotorua
Rotorua is known for its geothermal nature in New Zealand and authentic Māori experiences. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are underground caves in which you can walk through or repel into to see glowworms.
Alternatively, I suggest taking one of the Hobbiton Tours. As the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed in this town, the tours offer a complete picture of how the movies were filmed. Grab a beer at The Green Dragon at the end of your tour for the full Hobbiton experience.
Day 4: Take the ferry from Auckland to Waiheke Island
Grab a ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus to tour different wineries. Check out Cable Bay Vineyards or Tantalus Estate before finishing off the day with some yard games at Wild on Waiheke for some delicious food and fun!
Day 5: Travel to Bay of Islands
If there are a few extra days on your itinerary, drive up to Bay of Islands for a stay at Paihia Beach Resort & Spa or The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, where you can play golf or go to the spa. However, it is worth just visiting for the pure beauty of Kauri Cliffs alone. Kayak down Waitangi River and visit Rainbow Falls for some additional beautiful scenery.
Need to Know
Looking to explore more of New Zealand? Check out Caitlyn's write up on "What to do Outdoors in Christchurch, New Zealand: 4-Day Itinerary".
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