Which New Zealand city should you go to?
A country bursting with treats for any visitor, New Zealand offers a huge variety of experiences to suit every taste and interest.
Finding it tricky to pick your destination? To help you make your choice we've picked out seven of New Zealand's best cities for different kinds of holidays.
Auckland – the cultural one
It will come as no surprise that New Zealand's largest city is a hotbed of culture. Whether you're keen to wrap your tastebuds around some traditional culinary delights or take in some of the country's finest artwork, this is the place to be.
Auckland Art Gallery is New Zealand's largest art institution, boasting over 15,000 pieces of artwork, and to get to grips with more traditional Maori and Pacific Island artworks and artefacts, take a look around Auckland Museum.
The city can look like living artwork itself, especially the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Hop on a harbour cruise (this is the 'City of Sails', after all), and enjoy the stunning scenery of Waiheke Island while relaxing with a tipple from one of the local vineyards.
Nelson – the peaceful one
Some holidays are planned with R and R in mind, and where better than Nelson in the South Island? This sunny spot is one of the oldest settlements in New Zealand, so it's in no hurry. You can take things easy here and enjoy the local arts and crafts scene.
If getting in touch with nature is on your agenda, then Nelson has plenty to offer. There are four beautiful national parks close by – one of which, Kahurangi, is the second-largest national park in the whole country. Nelson is also home to the stunning Abel Tasman Coast Track – one of the country's nine Great Walks.
With a population of just 66,000, Nelson is the ideal choice if you want all the beauty of the Kiwi countryside, without the crowds of some of the larger cities.
Queenstown – the adventurous one
Thrill-seekers take note: this is where it's all happening.
From whitewater rafting to world-class bungy jumping experiences, Queenstown is often referred to as the adrenaline and adventure capital of the world. It's a vibrant and exciting spot all year round, with the watersports culture coming alive in summer and the skiing scene throughout the winter.
There are four fabulous ski resorts here, including the rugged and awe-inspiring Remarkables mountain range, famous for its crisp snowy peaks which overlook Lake Wakatipu.
The adventure doesn't stop on the streets, though. The nightlife here is electric, so save some energy for when the sun goes down.
Dunedin – the brainy one
Home to one of the world's most beautiful (and New Zealand's oldest) universities, Dunedin is a quaint historical area with a gorgeous blend of old and new.
Dunedin has a lot of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, perfectly preserved and now open to visitors. Whether you fancy a stroll through the gardens at Larnach Castle or morning tea at Olveston House, your grey cells will be working hard to take in all the beauty and culture.
A designated UNESCO Creative City of Literature, Dunedin also hosts a Writers and Readers Festival, making this the perfect holiday spot for bookworms everywhere.
Christchurch – the scenic one
In a country filled with incredible landscapes and an overwhelming surplus of 'scenic' routes, Christchurch manages to stand out as a place of enormous natural beauty.
Known as the 'Garden City', it comes as no surprise that one of Christchurch's biggest attractions is the Botanic Garden complex in Hagley Park. It's not only beautiful, but it's home to some of the oldest and largest trees in New Zealand.
To appreciate the scenery, we recommend taking the Christchurch Gondola (cable car) up to the top of Mount Cavendish. Alternatively, you can enjoy a very British pastime in the city named after an Oxford University college, and punt along the Avon River.
Napier-Hastings – the vintage one
Napier-Hastings oozes vintage charm thanks to the sumptuous Art Deco architecture. The twin cities, which were hit by a devastating earthquake in 1931, rebuilt and today stand as a picturesque 1930s utopia complete with trendy bars, cafes and boutiques.
Its literary nods give Dunedin a run for its money, with streets named for a huge variety of literary greats. So, if you want to feel like Hemingway on the brink of a new masterpiece while sipping a perfect cup of coffee, this is the place for you.
Every February, the town hosts an Art Deco weekend for the true vintage fans, so don't forget to pack your fedora.
Wellington – the sophisticated one
Home to New Zealand's Parliament, Wellington is a classy city full of confidence and charm. It has a bustling cafe society and a nightlife that sets a steady and thrilling pace.
Wellington boasts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, as well as a collection of arts and fringe festivals that take place every year in the late summer. There are theatres galore which host some of the biggest and brightest Kiwi talent and Te Papa: the national museum and art gallery with a unique interactive vibe.
When you've soaked in all the culture there's still plenty more to enjoy. Wellington has a penchant for gourmet food, so pay a visit to Courtenay Place and Cuba Street to sample the finest food and wine that New Zealand has to offer.