Mix outdoor adventure with metropolitan leisure
At the high end of New Zealand's North Island you will find Auckland skirted by bays, harbours and rivers, as though the ocean has crept in on the mainland and filled as many nooks as it could. For this reason, Auckland is colloquially known as the City of Sails, embracing its water-abundant surrounds with cruises, fishing charters, kayaking and surfing on the activities agenda. On a weekend trip to Auckland you will find it difficult to stray far from the water's edge, whether you are heading to sea for dolphin spotting or enjoying an al fresco meal by the harbour.
If you like to indulge a bit of retail therapy you're in luck! Being New Zealand's largest city (and the largest in Polynesia), Auckland's shopping scene is thriving. From local labels to big names on the international fashion circuit there are plenty of chances for bargain hunting. Spend your long weekend in Auckland exploring the three popular city precincts – wine and dine in Viaduct Harbour, explore the open-air markets of Britomart and savour the urban playground of Wynyard Quarter with a taste of contemporary Maori culture thrown into the mix.
Auckland has something for everyone with spectacular natural sights right at the city's doorstep. Some say Auckland should be known as the city of volcanoes as it is built on a field of nearly 50 extinct volcanoes. Consider hiring a car or lacing up your walking shoes for panoramic city views at Mount Eden, or catch a ferry to Rangitoto or Motutapu islands for a daytrip of bushwalking, picnicking, beachcombing and caving. Adventurous travellers might consider climbing the Auckland Harbour Bridge or leaping off the Sky Tower with an adrenaline-pumping SkyJump. Mixing outdoor adventure with metropolitan leisure, a weekend getaway to Auckland will certainly satisfy your thirst for travel.