Student Trips Destinations

Northland, Bay of Islands

The subtropical Northland region stretches upward from Auckland. Often dubbed the winterless north  it is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Situated on the East coast of the North Island the Bay of Islands offers both a rich history of culture, beautiful beaches and many tourist activities that will ensure a lot of excitement. Used as a hub Paihia is the perfect stepping stone to reach the very top of the north island Cape Reinga and Ninety mile beach via the twin coast discovery highway. This must see destination is a favourite among tourists and locals alike.

Must dos in the region include The hole in the rock and dolphin cruise in the Bay of Islands. Tour many of the 144 islands in the Bay, learn the history of the area and even swim with the dolphins. Venturing up the coast you can visit the tip of the country and see two oceans collide by a spectacular lighthouse. Huge Kauri forests are a must see and these can be seen in the region as well.

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Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand and is home to 1.3 million people roughly. With this size brings shopping and dining experiences like no other city in New Zealand. Take a stroll down the lower CBD to see the shops on offer. Also be sure to visit the Britomart and North wharf precincts for your dose of dining and nightlife. With Auckland International Airport it is knows as a transport hub ensures ease of renting Cars and Campers or catching a bus tour. However on top of this with-in a hour’s drive Auckland plays host to some amazing scenery and wildlife.

Must dos in Auckland include visiting the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere aptly named the Sky Tower to get your bearings of this sprawling metropolis. Visiting the islands gems in the Waitamata harbour will show you a side of Auckland rarely seen by locals. Vineyards and beaches of Waiheke are rated some of the best in the world while the rugged walk up to the summit of Aucklands youngest volcano offer spectacular views over the surrounding harbour. West coast black sand beaches are also a must see. Surf with the pros or soak in the sun out at any of Aucklands west coast beaches before venturing through the Waitakeri ranges for your dose of Walks and Hiking options. A trip up to Goat Island will offer world class snorkelling and Diving options.

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Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty offers a rich mixture of thrill seeking adventure activities to Culture and History. Found by Europeans in the mid 1800s this area was already buzzing with Maori culture. Sitting on a section called the Pacific Rim of Fire the area was popular with early Maori due to its natural hot springs that offered good cooking facilities and bathing practices. Playing host to the now destroyed Pink and White Terraces tourism has been set around this geothermal activity for hundreds of years. Boiling Mud pools and Geysers offer good viewing on a daily basis and Maori cultural activities can still be seen today. Many other adrenaline attractions have now been built upon this rich history of tourism and include the likes of Luging, Ogo balling, mountain biking and rafting.

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Coromandel is a holiday destination home to many pristine white sandy beaches, native flora and fauna, hikes and walks and a laid back attitude and culture. Just two hours south east of Auckland this peninsular is a great place for locals and tourists to escape. Highlights of this destination include the must see Hot Water beach. With boiling water bubbling through the sand here it is possible to dig your own private Jacuzzi. Just around the corner you will find the beautiful Cathedral cove beach. A short walk from the car park you will arrive in a location strikingly beautiful. Walk through the cave to a private beach, swim in the crystal waters or Kayak around the rocks. Coromandel has many fruit orchards and vineyards as well that would make for a perfect lunch break whilst travelling to your next destination.

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Dubbed ‘The coolest little capital in the world’, Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Wellington is situated at the bottom of the North island and is New Zealand’s third biggest city. It boasts a arty/ alternative culture that is easily noticeable, simply walk down the quirky Cuba street and visit some of the shops along the way. Busking on the streets are common place and this fun atmosphere is definitely one to experience. Alternatively spy on the policy makers in the Beehive, New Zealand’s premier building. With car ferry connections to the South Island most road trips will pass this city. Must dos in the City include visiting Te Papa, New Zealand’s best interactive museums, or the botanical gardens via the cities only Cable car, Weta workshops the creators of most of the Lord of the Rings special effects are also here and worth a visit.

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Queenstown (Photos)

Queenstown is located in the central Otago and is known as the tourist capital of the world. On the shores of Lake Wakatipu this metropolis is one of the fastest growing regions of New Zealand and once there you can see why. A new international airport is the main factor behind this growth offering direct international flights to and from Australia. Tourism in the region is based around the world class snow /ski-fields and Queenstown is alive in winter months. However with no shortage of other adrenaline activities there is something here for everyone. Alternatively visit one of the main Vineyards in the area or simply walk around Queenstown Botanical gardens. Queenstown also plays host to some of the best golfing in the world with 3 amazing golf courses in the area. Just don’t succumb to the Queenstown Bubble effect and never leave.

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