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Plan A New Zealand Honeymoon

Words by Susan Moynihan

There is so much to see and do for a New Zealand honeymoon, that any visit would ideally include multiple stops. DID’s current issue (Fall 2017) has a great itinerary that includes water fun in Bay of Islands, tastings in wine country and only-in-NZ adventure in Queenstown. If you have more time, here are two more spots worth visiting.

Auckland

Though not the country's capital (that would be Wellington), Auckland is NZ's largest city and home to the biggest international airport, so many visitors connect though here. The so-called “City of Sails” (named for all of the boats that ply its offshore islands and waterways) is well worth exploring if you have an extra day or two.

Start Here: Auckland is centered around beautiful Viaduct Harbour, home to sleek yachts, inter-island ferries and a slew of restaurants. At Soul Bar & Bistro, dine on oysters washed down with a local Sav as you take in the view. Get a taste of local style along Ponsonby Road, where storefronts showcase local designers and myriad restaurants showcase the city's ethnic diversity.

If You Have More Time: Auckland is neighbored by a number of isles that make great day trips. Take the ferry out to our favorite, charming Waiheke Island, to embrace the boho artsy vibe and taste your way through a diverse collection of small-batch wineries. Or, take a two-hour drive to Waitomo to see the famous glowworm caves, with a stop in Lord of the Rings-inspired Hobbiton on the way back.

Stay: Hilton Auckland is set on the tip of Princes Wharf. With water on three sides, it’s still an easy stroll to all of the city center's attractions.

Rotorua

Located on North Island about a 45-minute flight from Auckland, this quirky region is the geothermal heart of the country, as well as a bastion of indigenous Maori culture. The resort town is centered around Lake Rotorua and surrounded by hot springs and steam-releasing geothermal vents.

Start Here: A visit to the Te Puia Cultural Center will allow you to learn more about Maori culture and watch the active Pohutu geyser spew steam up 100 feet into the sky. Afterward, soak in the natural geothermal pools at nearby Polynesian Spa.

If You Have More Time: Take the gondola up to Volcanic Hills Winery for a sky-high tasting overlooking the Rotorua Caldera. When your appetite heats up, take a stroll along Eat Street, a unique dining district with bars and restaurants arranged in an outdoor arcade.

Stay: Peppers at the Point is a family-run lodge on the shores of Lake Rotorua that makes a great home base.

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