Hauraki Gulf Islands, Auckland - Stein Travel
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Hauraki Gulf Islands

The Hauraki Gulf is studded with numerous islands such as Rangitoto, Waiheke and Great Barrier Island and those close to the mainland make a good day trip. Some are recreation retreats, and others are conservation islands with restricted access, reserves for the protection of rare bird, animal and plant life. Waiheke is the most popular of the gulf islands, with picturesque bays and white sandy beaches, rolling farmlands and hills cloaked with vineyards and fine wineries. The town enjoys the slow and relaxed pace of island life, along with chic little restaurants and cafes, and is home to many art galleries and craft shops.

The nearest island to the city is the uninhabited Rangitoto, a large volcanic cone with an unusual landscape of black distorted lava shapes that governs the view over the harbour. It is possible to hike up to the crater rim and explore the lava caves on the slopes. Each island has a different character with different things to do, whether it is to explore natural geological features or to enjoy the isolation, relax on white beaches or wander about the galleries and cafes. Some visitors prefer simply to sail around the islands on a yacht or ferry cruise and enjoy the scenery from on board.

Information & Facts

Language

The official languages in New Zealand are English and Maori.

Money

Local currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD), divided into 100 cents. Most businesses accept MasterCard and Visa, and while Diners Club and American Express are also widely accepted in the main tourist centres, they might have limited acceptance elsewhere. Travellers cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some hotels. ATMs can be found in all towns and cities.

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