• New Zealand Regions
      • Hawke's Bay
      • Bay of Plenty
      • Waikato
      • Whanganui
      • Manawatu
      • Northland
      • Auckland
      • Gisborne
      • Taranaki
      • Wellington
      • West Coast
      • Nelson
      • Canterbury
      • Otago
      • Marlborough
      • Southland
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      Hawke's Bay

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      Beaches, wineries and Art Deco. The Hawke's Bay has a diverse economy, including business services that support its sectors to be the second largest contributor to regional GDP in the country. A popular tourist destination, the region has some of the countries best restaurants as well as stunning scenery, markets and festivals.

      Districts

      HastingsNapier

      Bay of Plenty

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      The Bay of Plenty is officially New Zealand's sunniest destination, enjoying short-lived winters and long summer days. The Region offers some of the country's most spectacular views and many ways to enjoy the pristine scenery and natural wonders. Visitors also enjoy exploring the Bay's Māori heritage and pre-European roots.

      Districts

      OpotikiOpotiki iSiteKawerauWhakatane

      Waikato

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      The Waikato is known for its rolling plains, fertile land and the mighty Waikato River. The region is the fourth largest regional economy in New Zealand, with a strong focus on primary production and associated manufacturing.

      Districts

      South WaikatoWaikato District

      Whanganui

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      Welcome to Whanganui. This is our place; where history is full of stories, legends and rich legacy. Where a thriving arts scene, creativity and evolving culture inspire our modern lives. Where breath-taking natural landscapes capture imaginations at every turn.

      Manawatu

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      Located in the lower North Island, Manawatu is heartland New Zealand, offering an authentic Kiwi experience.

      The main in the region are Palmerston North, most notable for Massey University. Palmerston has a vibrant, arts and culture scene.

      The region's economy is based on food production and processing, research and education. The region is also home for the New Zealand defence force.

      Northland

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      Northland was originally home to some of our country's first human inhabitants. Today, it is one of the fastest growing regions in New Zealand and home to nearly 189,000 people. Rich in culture and history, the region boasts a stunning natural environment.

      Auckland

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      Auckland Region stretches from the the beaches of the Pacific Ocean in the east to the expansive beaches of the rugged west coast of the Tasman Sea. Auckland City, the largest urban area in New Zealand is considered the main economic center of New Zealand and a popular destination for international students and travellers.

      Gisborne

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      Gisborne is a Region on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. It's known for wineries and surf beaches such as Makorori. The region has maintained a strong Maori heritage. The region's economy is made up mainly of agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

      Taranaki

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      Taranaki is a coastal and mountainous region on the western side of New Zealand's North Island. Its landscape is dominated by Mount Taranaki, its namesake volcano, which lies within the rainforested Egmont National Park.

      The port city of New Plymouth is the area's cultural and commercial hub. Taranaki's economy is diverse and includes dairy, oil and gas. The region is the highest contributor or national GDP per capita. 

      Wellington

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      The Wellington Region covers Wellington city in the south, Upper and Lower Hutt valleys to the north-east, and Porirua to the north-west. The region takes its name from Wellington, New Zealand's capital city.

      Wellington is famous for its arts and culture scene and is also the centre of New Zealand's film industry.

      West Coast

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      The West Coast, or as some locals call it, the "Wild West", is a long thin region that runs down the South Island's west coast.

      The region has the lowest population in all of New Zealand. It is famous for its rugged natural scenery such as the Pancake Rocks, the Blue Pools of Haast, and the glaciers.

      The main industries in the region are dairy farming and mining. Tourism also plays an important role.

      Nelson – Tasman

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      Nelson Tasman is an extraordinary, vibrant region where art and businesses thrive together among a stunning natural landscape. With one in five people internationally born, Nelson Tasman has 48 different cultures living in its environs.

      The region prides its self on being New Zealand’s leading Research and Development areas, with the highest proportion of people working in the research, science and tech sectors out of anywhere in New Zealand.

      Canterbury

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      Canterbury is a region on New Zealand’s South Island marked by grassy plains, clear lakes and snow-capped mountains. Its largest city, Christchurch, is famed for its art scene and green spaces.

      Otago

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      There are few places in the world which will leave you with a lasting sense of difference. Central Otago is undoubtedly one of them from its landscapes, its seasons, its people, its products and experiences.

      Marlborough

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      Marlborough Region is on the north-eastern corner of the South Island. The region is well known for its winemaking industry, and the Marlborough Sounds, an extensive network of coastal waterways, peninsulas and islands.

      Apart from the wine industry, aquaculture, agriculture and tourism play an important role in the local economy.

      Southland

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      Southland is New Zealand’s most southerly region and includes the World Heritage ranked Fiordland National Park.

      The region's only city Invercargill offers a relaxed pace of life with wide streets, little traffic, spacious parks and gardens, striking Victorian and Edwardian architecture and impressive sporting facilities including New Zealand’s first indoor velodrome. Southland's location is such that views of Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights are common.

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Ferries

Ferry travel between the North Island and the South Island

New Zealand’s most famous and beautiful ferry route is between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island. The journey between the two islands is commonly referred to as ‘crossing the Cook Strait’. The sailing time is around 3.5 hours (weather dependent).

 

Ferry companies

Bluebridge and the Interislander ferries travel regularly between the two islands and are able to transfer vehicles, motorcycles and pets. Comfortable seating, lounges with Wi-Fi and dining options are available onboard, so are private cabins.

Sailings start in the morning and run through into the evening with increased sailings in summer.

Take advantage of Bluebridge’s overnight sailing with their private sleeper cabins when sailing from Wellington to Picton, this is an economical and comfortable way to travel and is suitable for families. There are also accessible sleeper cabins onboard.

 

Wellington ferry terminals

Bluebridge Wellington terminal is in Wellington central city, opposite the Wellington Railway Station, near Waterloo Quay and it is walkable from the city.

The Interislander Wellington passenger terminal is located in the Wellington city on Aotea Quay, Pipitea and the Interislander Wellington vehicle terminal is a short drive or bus trip from Wellington’s central city and not far from the passenger terminal. Walking from Wellington city isn’t advised as it requires crossing a busy road on the motorway and there is no pedestrian crossing, so take the Interislander complimentary shuttle bus from platform 9 at Wellington Railway Station.

 

Picton ferry terminals

Bluebridge Picton terminal is located less than one kilometre from the waterfront in Picton. A complimentary shuttle is available and picks up and drops off from Picton i-SITE, the Interislander bus shelter and Oxleys Tavern. Interislander Picton terminal for passengers is on the waterfront at 1 Auckland Street, Picton. In the same area and a very short walk, you’ll find the vehicle terminal.

 

Sailing the Cook Strait

Said to be one of the most beautiful sailing journeys in the world, crossing the Cook Strait is more than just a ferry ride.

Nature lovers will be pleased to know there are high chances to see the many species of native dolphins, whales, albatross, orca (killer whales), and New Zealand fur seals. Large pods up to 300 humpback whales migrate across the Cook Strait between June and September so keep your eyes peeled.

Departing the Wellington(opens in new window) habour leave the highrises behind and sail past Somes Island and the rugged coastline of the Wellington Heads and into the depths of the Cook Strait. On a clear day, you’ll have views of the South Island in the distance.

As the journey comes to an end you’ll sail slowly through the Tory Channel and Queen Charlotte Sounds. This is a photographer’s dream, surrounded by lush native forest, clear waters, bush walks and holiday homes, and soon arriving into pretty Picton(opens in new window).

 

Auckland ferry journeys

If you find yourself in Auckland a short ferry ride to the nearby islands should definitely be on the agenda, jump onboard Fullers ferries and head over to these islands in the Hauraki Gulf;

  • Waiheke Island, 40 minutes
  • Rangitoto Island, 25 minutes
  • Tiritiri Matangi Island, 75 minutes
  • Rotoroa Island, 75 minutes
  • Devonport, 12 minutes
  • The Coromandel, 2 hours
  • Motutapu Island, 35 minutes

 

Water taxis in Auckland

Water taxis are a handy service for getting to the start of a hiking track or reaching a destination that isn’t accessible by ferry or just as a fun alternative way to get around.

Most water taxi operators can also put together a customised scenic tour of local sights. Hauraki Express and Auckland Water Taxis offer private tours and also transfers between Auckland and Great Barrier Island, Kawau Island and Rakino Island.

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