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NZ wellington cable car
NZ - Christchurch
A multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts and culture

Cities in New Zealand

New Zealand is renowned for its breathtaking nature, unique flora and fauna, Maori culture and friendly locals. However, did you know that it also features vibrant cities? New Zealand's largest cities are Auckland and Wellington on the North Island, and Christchurch on the South Island. Discover Auckland's relaxed coastal living vibe, Wellington's award-winning restaurants and Christchurch's beautiful parks and gardens.

Which New Zealand cities should you visit?

A white seaplane flying over blue water with a city landscape in the background
Take a scenic flight to get a bird's eye view of the city
Visit one of the beautiful museums in Auckland | New Zealand holiday
Get your cultural fix at the beautiful museums

Auckland

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and a vibrant, multicultural hotspot. The ‘City of Sails’ is surrounded by the Hauraki Gulf, Waitemata and Manukau Harbours and has over 40 extinct volcanoes in the region. The highest volcano is Mount Eden which offers 360-degree views over Auckland City and the Hauraki Gulf.

From the rugged coastline, easily accessible islands, diverse food and culture scene and rugby matches at Eden Park, there is much to see and do.

Art gallery Auckland | New Zealand holiday
Discover trendy art galleries in the city
© TravelEssence
Table of food and wine
Take a ferry to Waiheke Island and enjoy the exceptional Tantalus restaurant
© Camilla Rutherford

Wellington

Wellington is a vibrant and compact city, bursting with an array of things to see and do. It is located at the bottom of the North Island, overlooking Cook Strait, and the spectacular hills and valleys of the South Island. Despite its size, Wellington has the highest ratio of cafes per person in the world. Pop by Wellington’s bohemian Cuba Street for a superb range of cafes, vintage shopping and a local weekly market (Friday nights).

Visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum and gallery, and soak up Maori culture, art heritage and fascinating history. Or take the cable car to the botanical gardens for a cosy picnic. Take a stroll along Wellington’s waterfront and Oriental Bay. Climb Mount Victoria for views over the city, or check out the parliament building - The Beehive.

Dining in Wellington | New Zealand holiday
Dining out is a culinary treat in Wellington
© TravelEssence
Te Papa Museum Wellington | New Zealand holiday
Visit Te Papa museum to learn about Maori traditions
© TravelEssence

Christchurch

Christchurch is one of the world’s most unique destinations. It has found a balance between mixing modern innovation with history and heritage. Discover street art, a diverse culinary scene and lush green spaces.

Christchurch is the ideal base for South Island exploration, with the Banks Peninsula within reach, as well as the stunning Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains. The Canterbury region offers a journey into quaint towns, luxurious retreats and thrill-seeking adventures. Pamper yourself with a thermal soak at Hanmer Springs, or head to Kaikoura to spot whales and indulge in the freshest seafood.

A man on a gondola floating down a river in a beautiful green park
Stroll through stunning urban green spaces
© Graeme Murray
A woman on a bike cycling past an alice in wonderland mural in the city
Take a bicycle tour to appreciate all that Christchurch has to offer

Dunedin

Dunedin (pronounced "duh nee den") is the second-largest city on the South Island of New Zealand (after Christchurch), and the main city of the Otago region. It's known for its Scottish and Maori heritage and Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Hiking and cycling trails zigzag across the breathtaking landscape of the neighbouring Otago Peninsula which is home to colonies of albatross, sea lions and rare yellow-eyed penguins.

Explore hills, harbours and stretches of rugged coastline

In and around the central city there are plenty of scenic gems to discover amongst the grand heritage buildings. Stroll through the Dunedin Botanic Gardens or drive to the Signal Hill Lookout with panoramic views over the city and the ocean beyond.

Aerial view of the turquoise waters and green cliff of Tunnel Beach
Discover the sea-carved sandstone cliffs, rock arches and caves of Tunnel Beach
Discover sea lions, yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and little blue penguins
© Miles Holden

Where to stay?

Make your trip extra special by experiencing a unique stay from our large collection of hand-selected accommodations located in New Zealand. Your travel specialist will match you with accommodation that suits your wants and needs. A journey where your accommodation is an experience in itself.

Enjoy small scale accommodations with friendly local hosts
Te Anau accommodation with lake views | New Zealand holiday
Wake up to lake views and tranquility

Far away from the crowds, in the midst of the Waihopai Valley is a place like no other. Offering absolute silence… read more

Located 25 minutes from Rotorua, a geothermal wonderland with natural hot springs, bubbling mud pools and… read more

Discover more about New Zealand

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A land of diverse culture and nature

Regions of New Zealand

New Zealand is a relatively small country, but with huge diversity. From lush rolling hills, glacial lakes,… read more

Would you love to visit some of the South Island's highlights at a relaxed pace? During this journey, you will see… read more

New Zealand is a paradise for varied nature. With no less than 13 national parks spread over the North and South… read more

Why book with us?

  • A well-designed holiday, just for you
  • Small-scale accommodations run by friendly local hosts
  • Carefully recommended activities based on your interests
  • A travel tempo and driving distances that match your needs
  • Ingrained sustainability in all facets of your holiday
  • 30 years of experience in travel to New Zealand

Let's design your holiday together

We'll take the time to get to know you to match your fully bespoke holiday with your pace, your interests, and anything you desire. Combined with first-hand, local knowledge, you'll receive a mapped-out itinerary from us - but the process isn't done until you are 100% satisfied. We take care of every detail, so you can focus on relaxing, rejuvenating and reconnecting with yourself and the world around you. Get in touch to get started now.

All the things you love

and none of the things you don't

Our local knowledge makes the difference for your bespoke holiday through New Zealand or Australia. Your journey Down Under starts here.