New Zealand's biggest and most populated city (although, perhaps surprisingly to some, not its capital) has a delightful balance of bustling urban atmosphere paired with open green spaces and scenic walks and beaches just a stone's throw away. Auckland is small enough to be explored on foot, and it's one of the best ways to discover this diverse city. If you are searching for a cultural experience, there are a whole host of art galleries and museums to explore and navigate, and afterwards you'll be rewarded with an array of cosmopolitan cafes, restaurants and bars. Let us not forget the icon of Auckland's skyline – the Sky Tower,
the tallest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It should be on everyone's list to visit, whether you are looking to Sky Walk around its perimeter, bungee jump off the side, tuck into to dinner with a view in its cafe or simply take in the best view of the city.
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Heading out of the city centre, if you want another amazing view of the city you can walk up Auckland's highest natural point – Mt Eden – a dormant volcanic cone. Once you reach the summit you will be able to take in the spectacular 360-degree view of the city. There are also islands and beaches dotted around the coast which make for great day trips or a couple of days exploration.
Just a hop across the water from Auckland is Waiheke Island, known as 'the island of wine', where you can enjoy boutique wineries and award-winning restaurants scattered around a pretty landscape. Only a 40-minute ferry ride away from downtown Auckland, you can easily see the highlights of the island within a day, or stay for longer and explore further afield. There are a handful of walking trails to enjoy, which wonder along cliff tops, down to beaches and then into native forests. Although you'll be able to see Auckland, you will feel worlds away amongst the vineyards and beaches.