The smaller of NZ’s two main islands may not be as well known, but it has enough geothermal and watery wonders to sate adventure-seekers.
Urbanites can find respite in capital city, Wellington, or largest city, Auckland. Tip: Avoid January’s heat and school-holiday crowds.
Where To Eat & Drink
Head to NZ’s gourmet centre Auckland for a meal at the top: The Sugar Club serves up dishes showcasing seasonal ingredients from up on Sky Tower. Artisanal Giapo Haute Ice Cream specialises in an Ice Cream Experience, with 14-plus unique icey creations.
What To Do
Brave of heart? Embark on a tour of White Island, NZ’s most active volcano, or a 15-kilometre trek across bushland around large Lake Tarawera. City-lovers can check out Britomart, downtown Auckland’s ultra-modern retail and entertainment waterfront precinct.
Where To Shop
Have your small human pick out a book at the famous Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop. Then, take a 15-minute morning drive from Auckland to North Shore’s Takapuna to pop into its markets for speciality foods and bargains.
Where To Stay
Rest at The Great Ponsonby Arthotel (from $125 a night), a converted colonial villa. Willing to pay top dollar? Solitaire Lodge has suites (from $1,689 a night) with panoramic views of Lake Tarawera and a helicopter pad so you can visit White Island on a whirlybird.
Getting There + Around
Two airlines operate 10-hour direct flights daily from SG to Auckland International: Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand. Off the plane, consider an AT HOP card to take public buses, trains and ferries, but if you are venturing out or exploring, it’s best to rent a car. Get credible options on the official NZ tourism site.
Some text adapted from www.straitstimes.com, www.thepeakmagazine.com.sg
Additional Reporting: Joshua Tan
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