The capital of New Zealand is Wellington, which is at the southern end of North Island. You may have also heard of Auckland, which is also on the North Island but on the northern tip.
South Island's largest city is Christchurch...I think they are religious there, but that's just a guess...It's ironic because the national anthem is either: God Defend New Zealand or God Save the Queen.
If you're in Wellington (I always think of those cute rain boots), there are so many different things you can do:
1. Visit the cute animals at Wellington Zoo.
2. Take a day trip to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa.
3. Experience a ride in the famous Wellington Cable Car.
4. Wait all day then go see the stars at the Carter Observatory.
5. Go to the Beehive.
6. Visit the Zealandia.
7. Read a book at the numerous Wellington libraries.
8. Smell the flowers at Wellington Botanical Garden.
9. Treat your eyes to art at the Adam Art Gallery or City Gallery Wellington.
10. Breathe in nature at the Rimutaka Range.
11. Go religious at the St. Mary of Angels, Wellington.
12. Sick of the North Island? Go to another island: Matiu/Somes Island.
13. Wellywood--> Go explore the Weta Cave in Miramar.
14. Take a stroll down Cuba Street for a Bohemian feel, shopping and fantastic coffee.
15. Go out for a night on the town and experience various bars and cafes that NZ has to offer...for all you New Yorkers out there, apparently Wellington beats you guys in terms of numbers!
For everything Wellington, you can check out their website.
For those travelling to the northern part of the North Island, to Auckland, here's a list of things to do:
1. Give oogly eyes to the cute animals in the Auckland Zoo.
2. See amazing views of the city in the Sky Tower.
3. Take a walk in Eden Park.
4. Take a blast to the past in the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
5. Visit Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
6. As Nicki Minaj would say, in the island(s) of...Waiheke...(or Brown's Island or Ponui Island or Motuihe Island or Rakino Island or Puketutu Island or Pakatoa Island or Motutapu Island or Rotoroa Island or Rangitoto Island...phew, that was a lot of 'ors')- there are about 50 smaller islands surrounding Auckland.
7. Look for a pot of gold at Rainbow's End.
8. Attempt to climb Mount Wellington (it's in Auckland).
9. See the northern part of the island's night sky at the Stardome Observatory.
10. Drive across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
11. Spend a day inside at the Auckland Art Gallery; Auckland Civic Theatre; Museum of Transport and Technology; National Maritime Museum (of New Zealand); Auckland Town Hall; Gus Fisher Gallery or Fo Guang Shan Temple (of Auckland) .
12. Explore nature in the various nature areas/parks: Duder Regional Park; Panmure Basin; Mangere Mountain; Myers Park; Albert Park Auckland; Omana Regional Park; Karekare; Waitemata Harbour or Lake Pupuke.
13. Smell the flowers at Auckland Botanic Gardens.
14. Get holy at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Auckland; City Impact Church New Zealand; Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland.
15. Smell the nature and get a refreshing spray at Kitekite Falls.
16. Visit Aotea Square for the afternoon.
17. Build up your adrenaline at Ellerslie Racecourse.
18. For all those One Tree Hill fans, there's a One Tree Hill (of New Zealand) in Auckland. Now, I don't think Chad Michael Murry will be there, but hey, you never know!
19. Avoid lava while climbing one of Auckland's volcanoes. Some of these volcanoes include: Rangitoto - Te Rangi-i-totongia-a-Tama-te-kapua; Mt. Eden-Maungawhau; One Tree Hill; North Head and Mangere Mountain.
For everything Auckland, New Zealand you can check out their website.
For the foodies out there going to Auckland: The Grill Auckland won 'Restaurant of the Year' in 2012, with Roxy and Depot as a runner-up. Several other amazing restaurants include: The Grove, The French Cafe, Ponsonby Road Bistro, Cocoro and Antoine's.
For the foodies out there going to Wellington, it's recommended to try: Taste Restaurant, Kazu Japanese Restaurant, NAM Restaurant, 3C Bar & Restaurant, Fratelli, Chow Tory and The White House Restaurant.
For you partiers out there (I love a good party in a new place): Hope Bros, Mighty Mighty, Motel, Sandwiches, San Francisco Bath House, Good Luck and Havana Bar, all in Wellington. In Auckland, Club Deluxe, Ibiza, Fu Bar, Twentyone, Met & Code, Asta and Club 324.
Going to the South Island? In Christchurch, one can:
1. Visit the famous Christchurch Cathedral.
2. Spend a few hours in the Canterbury Museum or the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.
3. Go to the wild side at the Orana Wildlife Park or at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.
4. Smell some more flowers at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
5. Get even more holy at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament or the Church of St. Michael and All Angels.
6. Tell time at the Victoria Clock Tower.
7. Let the wind blow in your hair...or in your face...at Port Hills.
8. Gamble all your money at the Christchurch Casino.
9. Gander at the sights in Cathedral Square.
10. Get artsy-fartsy at Christchurch Arts Centre.
11. Take a stroll in Ferrymead Heritage Park or at Mount Cavendish.
Christchurch's South of Moorhouse Ave, or SoMo, is where food, shopping and coffee all come together for the tourists and the locals. For the food and coffee lovers visiting Christchurch, try a cup of joe at either Addington Coffee Co-op, Black Betty or Beat Street Cafe. When hunger sets in, you can try either Simo's Deli, Honeypot Cafe, Chirstchurch Farmer's Market, The Bodhi Tree, Chingwag Eathai, The Lotus Heart or Burgers and Beer (I think they serve burgers and beer?)
I must say, that was one of my favorite posts thus far. I think I need to make a trip to New Zealand soon... looking at tickets now :)
P.S. I am composing a post to have live next week on some major decisions I've been making lately, all travel of course. So, keep an eye out for that!
P.S.S. Did you know today is Deep Dish Pizza Day? The things I would do for a delicious deep dish pizza right now...yum! I only know this because my dad is the creator of a website called 'Desktoppers' where you can save backgrounds on the site and make them your desktop background. Pretty cool and you learn about all the different days of the month. For example, this month there is: Poem in Your Pocket Day, Scrabble Day, National Pet Day, Save The Frogs Day, Talk Like Shakespeare Day, National Honesty Day and so on.