Review: North Island
The North Island, New Zealand
45 people found this review helpful
I was joining a coach tour of New Zealand so I flew to Auckland to meet my group. The Copthorne in Auckland was a nice hotel, the staff were very friendly and helpful and I spent the two days I was there exploring the city. I visited the Sky Tower and sat sipping a glass of wine as the sun went down giving me great views of an illuminated city. I ate a pizza down at the harbour side , Viaduct Basin and watched a yacht race on the water nearby. The next day we left for The Bay of Islands, what a fabulous spot that is. I had imagined New Zealand to be a little like Canada with many waterfalls and mountains but it is not quite like that, it has some absolutely beautiful spots and The Bay of Islands is one of them. We stayed in The Paihia Pacific Resort in Paihia, right in the town. Just a short distance away is the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and the sea views are just stunning. Whilst there we went on a boat trip to Cape Brett. We had expected to spot dolphins but were actually delighted when we also saw a pod of Orcas (Killer Whales). They were hunting stingrays in the bay and moved slowly past our boat as they swam up and down. The boat pulled into an island called Otehei for lunch and I climbed the hill and could see all the islands around about from there.
Then we were off to Rotorua. What an interesting place that is. The Te Puia Thermal Reserve was great for seeing the hot geysers and bubbling mud pools. There was also a Maori show and an exhibition of Maori art. We also visited The Agrodome. This is a show put on for tourists which has sheep shearing demonstrations and I had been a little sceptical that it would be too "touristy" but in fact the sheep shearing was only a tiny part of the show. The main part was introducing us to all the different kinds of New Zealand sheep. Seeing these animals up close and trained to walk onto their podium made for a very unusual show. Well worth a visit. The next day was free and I discovered the Polynesian Spa, right in the city centre, and spent the day lazing in their hot pools. I spent most of the time between the Priest Spring (supposed to help arthritis) and the Rachel Springs (for rejuvenation! Unfortunately I came out looking the same age as when I went in!).
Our next, and last stop on the North Island was Wellington. Wellington has everything, a beach area,a lively harbour area and a cable car (well they call it a cable car but it is more of a funicular) which takes you up to the top of the town and offers wonderful views. Walking back down through the Botanic Gardens I noticed hundreds of people in fancy dress. We had arrived during The Rugby 7's and nearly everyone going to the games was dressed in fancy dress. Walking around the harbour area I ran into Batman, Spider Man, Mario and Luigi and the Invisible Man! (Literally in the later's case!!) Wellington is definitely a must for anyone visiting New Zealand's North Island.
I was sorry to leave but the ferry ride from Wellington to Picton on the South Island was breath taking. The water was such a beautiful shade of blue and we left as the sun was rising-just incredible. I would definitely recommend the North Island to anyone, it has something for everyone and is stunning in its beauty (and it does have the best chips in the world!).
45 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.