From the energetic up-tempo of Central Auckland to the serenity of Waiheke Island, a mere 30-minute boat-hop away, the region provides the perfect retreat destination. There is omnipresent beauty, including landscapes peppered with olive groves and vineyards, rugged seashores, and lush sub-tropical forests; its appeal is further enhanced by a culturally eclectic vibe, an intriguing, age-old heritage and fantastic restaurants.
Here we share our 5 favourite things to do during your getaway:
1. Take a step back from the rushed pace of life and surrender yourself to the healing spa treatments available at the Chaun Day Spa. In a peaceful, oriental-inspired environment, designed following the principles of Feng-shui, you can replenish your soul, shake off the stress, and indulge in a tri-bathing ritual, a signature massage or a replenishing exfoliation. Sheer bliss!
2. There are two things that Waiheke Island does exceptionally: food and wine. Dubbed The Island of Wine, it boasts boutique wineries at every turn, with a microclimate that helps produce a variety of award-winning artisan beverages. To add to the experience, most are situated in stunning locales, feature cellar doors and delicious wine-tasting opportunities; some even include fine dining establishments. The perfect combination of both is found at Mudbrick, a celebrated wedding venue, with its unmistakable air of romance, exquisite food and world-class wines.
3. In contrast to the sedate and tranquil feel of Waiheke Island, the central region of Auckland, with its bustling streets, and energetic ambience, make it the perfect spot for a shopping adventure. You’ll find sprawling precincts alongside craft shops; chic boutiques nestled together with farmers’ markets, and everything in between. If you’re looking for the perfect souvenir, head to The Elephant House, a celebration of exquisite New Zealand hand-crafted products.
4. Nature is spectacular in the region, none more so than the Waitakere Ranges on Auckland’s west coast. From the haunting, isolated beauty of Bethells Beach, with its turbulent surf fringed by dramatic black sand, to the raw magnificence of the ancient mountains bestowing lush forests and crashing waterfalls. For the adventurous, soak up the awe-inspiring views on offer in spectacular style, and dare to join AWOL Canyoning for an unrivalled adventure experience.
5. There is a strong cultural presence in the region, with an intrinsic mix of ancient Maori heritage, stunning public gardens, fascinating museums, and an assorted mix of galleries showcasing ceramics, paintings, crafts and many other artistic delights. For a truly unique experience, visit Connells Bay Sculpture Park on Waiheke Island, and prepare to be blown away by the inimitable creations proudly exhibited.
Between them, Auckland and Waiheke Island have everything you might need for the perfect breakaway; top off the experience by staying somewhere special, and check out our range of stunning luxury accommodation in the region.
Image Credits: Chris McClennan, Amos Chapple, Scott Venning