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WINE TOUR. Insider Touring
New Zealand produces some of the best wines of the world. That is why a tour visiting some vineyards is a must do in the trip. There are a lot of interesting wine zones; in both North and South Islands and a guided
tour with someone that knows about the subject is very advisable.
Philip Parker, wine expert and author of books about this subject, offers interesting tours around the Auckland area. Highly recommended is the Matakana full day tour which includes visits to 3 excellent Vineyards and beautiful coast ride with a complete gourmet lunch with exquisite wines at a great winery’s restaurant. www.insidertouring.co.nz
BUSH AND BEACH, West Coast Tours
The early hours of the morning are the best time for doing this ecologic tour of the west coast of Auckland.
The trip includes the breathtaking Waitakere Ranges (amazing subtropical and native forests) walk, and the long and famous Piha Beach, a black hot sand Beach. They go to Piha and Karekare Beach. Karekare is the location for "The Piano".The trip is very informative and fun. Even if it is wet they provide wet weather gear and it is still enjoyable. www.bushandbeach.co.nz
HARBOUR CRUISE. Sail New Zealand
Sunset is just the right time to sail onboard the Pride Of Auckland harbor cruise, by the company Sailing New Zealand. This trip takes an hour and half and draws an wonderful panoramic of the city as seen from the sea. You’ll be able to see everything, from the bridge where bungee jumpers met to Devonport, luxury suburb that was founded on the year 1840. www.sailnewzealand.co.nz
AUCKLAND WAR MEMORIAL MUSEUM
Established in 1929 on a dormant volcano, at the centre of the Domain, this museum is the best way to learn about Maori culture and New Zealand as well, both natural and war history. Three times a day the museum has a Maori performance, a show of dances and chants highly recommended.
After leaving the museum building it’s good to stop at the Winter Gardens next to it, where a fantastic collection of gigantic ferns, lotus and tropical flowers grow in two beautiful Victorian glass houses.
Just 40 minutes from downtown Auckland is the Takapu (gannet) sea-bird colony. This is a world-famous attraction, seeing 1.2 million [human] visitors each year! One of only a few places in the world where these birds nest on the mainland. Unfortunately, there isn't any public transport out to the region, so one must travel of their own accord, or it is very advisable to take a tour with an operator that knows about the area, for example Auckland 's ECO-tour and FARM visit 'Coast to Coast Tours ', that is locally based and showcases this region. Gentle walking tracks take you out to viewing decks where you overlook the colony. Updrafts lift the birds so close that you can almost touch them!
Spectacular views of this wild west coastline are reported to be like those seen in National Geographic and unique black iron-sands will enthral...
Please take care swimming on all west coast beaches, in-experienced swimmers can get into very serious difficulty as there are rips and strong under currents. You may see fishermen fishing off the flat rock at Muriwai beach...(also not a safe thing to do!). You may also see the blowhole in action...but this is only during certain weather patterns and tides.
There is a cafe at the beach.