Hauraki Gulf Islands
The Hauraki Gulf, stretching between Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, is dotted with motu (islands) and gives the Bay of Islands stiff competition in the beauty stakes. Some islands are only minutes from the city and make excellent day trips. Wine-soaked Waiheke and volcanic Rangitoto really shouldn’t be missed.
Tantalisingly close to Auckland and blessed with its own warm, dry microclimate, blissful Waiheke Island has long been a favourite escape for city dwellers and visitors alike. On the island’s landward side, emerald waters lap at rocky bays, while its ocean flank has some of the region’s best sandy beaches. While beaches are Waiheke’s biggest drawcard, wine is a close second.