Our New Zealand tours give our customers a fantastic guide to New Zealand, but we can’t visit everywhere – so what are New Zealand’s hidden gems?
Well we think the Awhitu Peninsula is one of them, and our customers can visit it on their Auckland Freedom Day.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the pleasure of a swim in the waters off Auckland’s rugged west coast, perhaps at a beautiful beach with white sands, requires a long drive across the northern most peninsula of New Zealand.
But that’s not the case – because the Awhitu Peninsula offers all those charms and is just a short trip from the centre of Auckland, meaning you can have it all.
The best thing about the peninsula is its peaceful serenity. Auckland Council estimates just 18,000 people visited the Awhitu Regional Park area, which surrounds Manukau Harbour, last January while seven times as many people headed to Long Bay on Auckland’s North Shore.
The peninsula juts north from Waiuku and almost closes the entrance to Manukau Harbour. It is best known for its remarkable contrasts.
It has white sand and black sand beaches and its western side offers a neat coast of long straight beaches, while the eastern side is made up of huge cliffs and massive sand dunes.
There are also striking sights to be seen, including the Manukau Heads lighthouse. It may only be eight-years-old but it perfectly replicates the plans of the lighthouse which was built on the same spot in 1874, which means it looks fantastic. Not only is it one of the prettiest lighthouses you’ll ever see, it’s also one of the few in New Zealand which allow you inside to walk around the balcony.
If you do so you’ll be able to enjoy an incredible view all the way across Manukau Harbour from 240 metres above sea level. Views of the Waitekere Range mean you’ll feel like you’re out in New Zealand’s wilds, but in the other direction you’ll be able to see the Skytower, reminding you how close you are to the charms of Auckland.
If you’re spending your New Zealand holidays with us, a trip to the Awhitu Peninsula on your Freedom Day will be a day well spent.
The organisation and communication were first class. The flexibility in travelling to the destination was impressive and the hotels where we stayed in were all of a good standard. Our Coach was driven by Ken, who was a character and nothing was too much for him.
Mr & Mrs Hall, Magnificent New Zealand
We both enjoyed the Magnificent New Zealand holiday immensely. The Coach Driver/Tour Guide was excellent and the hotels were really comfortable. The holiday was extremely good value and I would recommend it to anyone waning to taste the Antipodean holiday experience.
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