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Auckland tours and excursions

Auckland tours

Wine tours

New Zealand makes some of the best wine in the world, especially Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Auckland has several good vineyards to the west of the city, notably in the Henderson and Kumeu areas. Several tour companies organise day trips, which normally include visits to at least four vineyards and lunch at one of them. Some tours require a minimum number of passengers. Auckland Wine Trail Tours runs half-day winery tours that include sightseeing.

Tel: +63 9 630 1540.
Website: http://www.winetrailtours.co.nz

Walking tours

The two Auckland Visitor Centres provide leaflets giving details of the many marked trails around the city. These include heritage walks that visit historic buildings in the city's various suburbs, as well as nature walks near the city and way out in the ‘back-blocks' (more remote areas).

Auckland City Walks runs guided walking tours of the city centre, departing daily at 1000 from the Harbour Information Centre, 99 Quay Street.

Tel: 0800 300 100.
Website: http://www.aucklandwalks.co.nz

Auckland excursions

Rangitoto Island

The volcanic island of Rangitoto is one of the most popular islands and is the largest volcanic cone in Auckland. There are several ferries per day from Auckland's ferry building; the trip takes 25 minutes. Large and circular-shaped, the island has a wonderful volcanic landscape that supports over 200 species of moss, plants and trees including the largest Pohutukawa forest in the world. Around 10 hikes are possible around the island and from the summit (and take about an hour); they offer fabulous views of Hauraki Gulf, Waitemata Harbour and Auckland city.

Website: http://www.rangitoto.org

Hauraki Gulf Islands

The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park contains more than 50 islands, some just a few minutes' sail away from Auckland. Not all can be visited, as they are nature reserves closed to the general public, although others are devoted to human pleasures and have all the usual holiday facilities. The islands which can be visited include: Beehive, Motutara, Motuora, Saddle, Tiritiri Matangi, Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe, Motukorea (Browns), Motutapere in the Coromandel Harbour and Mahurangi, off the Coromandel peninsular. Parts of Great Barrier, Kawau and Waiheke are also open to the public. The waters around the islands are replete with different whale species such as humpbacks and orcas, as well as common and bottlenose dolphins. You can view these by boat, or go diving, snorkelling or swimming.

Tel: +64 9 379 6476.
Website: http://www.doc.govt.nz

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The Langham

Oozing classic style, the Langham is one of Auckland's top hotels and offers all the creature comforts that go with the luxury tag, including a spa and fine dining options. Rooms are elegantly furnished and spacious, and service is meticulously attentive. Ideally situated in the city centre, the hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle bus to and from Custom Street, near the waterfront.

ibis Budget Auckland Airport

Located just metres away from the airport, ibis Budget offers 198 rooms designed for both families and individual travellers. Rooms come with the bare necessities: beds, television and an en-suite bathroom; Wi-Fi is extra. The hotel is within walking distance to nearby shops, cafes and restaurants.

Peace & Plenty Inn

Without exaggeration this is one of the finest B&Bs in the entire country with sumptuous restored kauri-timber floors that feel like silk beneath bare feet leading to exquisite en-suite rooms filled with fresh flowers antique furniture and sherry or port decanters. There is a delightful verandah for breakfast (weather permitting) and the meal itself is an event of major proportions with large healthy and hearty portions.

Kiwi International Hotel

This modest but decent hotel is located in the middle of the city and is only a 25-minute drive from the airport. Rooms are functional and offer en suite facilities; some budget rooms with shared bathrooms are available. Amenities include a bar, a restaurant and laundry services, as well as 24-hour reception and off-street parking. It's a little shabby and age-worn in places, but is overall a good-value place with a friendly reputation, and in a handy location.

Jucy Snooze Hotel

This oddly-named but friendly budget hotel features bright, simple rooms with flat-screen TVs and en-suite bathrooms; there are also cheaper, more basic, hostel-style rooms. As well as an on-site coffee shop, the hotel offers a lounge and shared kitchen facilities. The hotel is a short walk from the waterfront, with its vibrant nightlife and restaurants.

City Lodge

It won't win any design awards, but City Lodge offers central accommodation that is secure, comfortable and great value. Small, simple rooms come with tiny en-suite bathrooms, minifridges, TVs and biggish windows. There's also Wi-Fi (additional charge), a shared kitchen and quiet reading room. A great backpackers' option in Auckland's overcrowded budget market.