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The Perfect Week on New Zealand's North Island

New Zealand's North Island is home to volcanoes, beaches, movie scene locations, stellar dining options, and cosmpolitan (but always friendly) cities. Easy to travel around in, you'll find that you're not far from anything including friendly North Island locals willing to personally point you in the right direction and show you what 'secret places' not to miss out on. Your best route: Start in Auckland, rent a car, and head south to settle in at Rotorua and Taupo. Enjoy the capital Wellington before heading home or, better idea, making your way to the South Island.
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126 Broadway, Matamata 3400, New Zealand
Welcome to Middle Earth in the South Pacific, and an ideal stop for traveling fans of the author J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies. Near the rural town of Matamata—itself a destination for its LOTR-inspired...
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Mt. Taranaki, Taranaki 4391, New Zealand
Lesser-known ski fields are often run by clubs and have the benefit of thinner crowds and the opportunity for skiers and boarders to glide and carve where others haven’t. Rainbow Ski Area near Nelson on the South Island is great for boarders and...
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2 High St, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
This funky boutique hotel on the edge of the Britomart shopping district goes way back in Auckland history. Built in 1841 as The Commercial Hotel, the DeBrett building survived two fires and two rebuilds plus a stint as a hostel before becoming...
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271 Huka Falls Rd, Taupo 3377, New Zealand
The most exclusive lodge in New Zealand, having hosted everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to the late Robin Williams, Huka Lodge feels like a refined country getaway set on the banks of the Waikato River near the North Island resort town of Taupo....
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262 Wakefield St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
There's no shortage of great eateries in the New Zealand capital—reputedly Wellington has more cafés and restaurants per person than New York City—and Field & Green is a popular option for the city's discerning diners. With...
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17 Grantham St, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand
Snaga shadyoutdoor table overlooking the slow-moving Waikato River and enjoy excellent tapas at one of regional New Zealand's best restaurants. Expandingfrom a smaller, cozier location on nearby Hood Street, Gothenburg is popular for shared plates...
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Auckland 1021, New Zealand
Just a short walk from Auckland's Eden Park, home of big rugby games in the city, the funkyand bohemian Kingsland neighborhood is also developing a reputation as an eating and drinking destination. Some of the city's best coffee is served at...
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1234 Fenton St, Cbd, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Known to New Zealand's indigenous Maori people as pounamu, jade or greenstone is treasured throughout the country, and in the North Island city of Rotorua, Rakai Jade provides travelers with the opportunity to craft a special memento of their...
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Newbury Street, Manukau, Auckland 2023, New Zealand
Saturday morning and this is the place to be to get a true slice of the Pacific. The Otara Flea Markets have rows and rows of fresh fruit, clothing, bric-a-brac and of course food, but it's the Polynesian colour and music that makes it so special....