New Zealand in Focus
You don’t usually associate Auckland with rest and relaxation but you’d be surprised to know that within an hour drive in either direction of Auckland City are some of New Zealand’s best beaches, walking tracks, wetlands, waterfalls and hot pools. To help with your escape from the city and into relaxation, Family Parks offers two quiet places to kick up your feet and enjoy some natural surroundings, Miranda Holiday Park and Pinewoods Holiday Park.
Miranda Holiday Park, located 50 minutes south east from Auckland airport on the scenic Auckland/Coromandel Pacific Coast Highway is an oasis that boasts a hot mineral pool on-site. Offering a range of self-catering accommodation with a location that is handy to the Miranda birdlife reserve, golf and world class fishing, you can finish your day of discovery off with a massage at Karma Waters Massage, located right on site – what could be more relaxing! There’s so much to see and do when staying at the Miranda Holiday Park, check out these fun suggestions to get your holiday planning kick started.
Butterfly and Orchid Gardens
Take the time and enter this little world of wonder in Thames. This is New Zealand’s first tropical butterfly and orchid house featuring butterflies from all over the world. Discover the birds and stroll amongst beautiful orchids, waterlilies and other flowers while butterflies flutter around you in their fully sheltered and heated facility – perfect for sunny or rainy days.
Visit www.butterfly.co.nz for more information regarding pricing and a gallery of the beautiful butterflies you’re sure to encounter.
Hauraki Rail Trail
Just 20 minutes drive from the Miranda Holiday Park and hailed as one of the greatest and easiest cycle rides of New Zealand, the Hauraki Rail Trail is a 3-day bike ride showcasing some of the best scenery the country has to offer, including riding through the stunning Karangahake Gorge. There are also a range of shorter cycling options, including day rides, making it an ideal long weekend or weekend experience. Enjoy your ride and then spend the night at the Miranda Holiday Park enjoying a relaxing soak in their hot mineral pools and a good night’s sleep.
For more information including maps and trail status visit www.haurakirailtrail.co.nz
Located 25 minutes north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge is Pinewoods Holiday Park. This family focused holiday park is located at Red Beach on the beautiful Hibiscus Coast – a stunning 2-kilometre long sandy beach. Pinewoods Holiday Park is the perfect holiday location for all the family, providing motor home and caravan sites, tent sites and park motel units. While enjoying your time at Pinewoods Holiday Park make sure to check out these wonderful attractions situated just a stone’s throw away.
Waiwera Thermal Mineral Pools
Auckland’s most visited thermal water destination, Waiwera thermal mineral pools are just a quick 10 minute drive from Pinewoods Holiday Park and the perfect place to unwind and relax. Sheltered by native bush and the hills of the Waiwera valley, the pools and spas contain natural geothermal water and are indeed “100% naturally hot”. Complete with a variety of indoor and outdoor pools of varying temperatures and depths, Waiwera also offers some fun activities for the big and little kids including a movie pool, speed slide, kids chute water slide, lazy river and Aquacise fitness classes.
For more information including movie schedule, hours of operation and directions visit www.waiwera.co.nz
Located on the other side of the Red Beach estuary lies Orewa Beach and its 3 kilometre stretch of golden sand. Offering a number of family-friendly activities this beach attracts visitors from all directions for a bit of sun and sand. For a leisurely pace, enjoy a relaxing stroll or even pop across the road to one of the many cafes and restaurants with water views. For the children, the beach offers safe swimming and even a large playground on a grassy area located above the beach.
For more information including surf conditions and directions visit www.orewabeach.co.nz
Finally, no relaxing trip to Auckland is complete without a trip to Waiheke Island. Just 35 minutes from Auckland by ferry, getting to Waiheke Island is a breeze with regular passenger and car ferries departing from Auckland City regularly, making it the perfect place to escape to for the day, or even just the afternoon.
With pristine beaches, world class wines, and fantastic cuisine, Waiheke Island offers something for everyone. Although only 35 minutes from Auckland, you’ll feel like you’re a world away as you browse through art galleries, sample award-winning olive oils and soak in stunning sea views. So, whether you’re wanting to walk around the stunning coastal headlands, tour your way through its many vineyards or simply relax and do nothing at all, you will surely enjoy your time on this magical island.
For more information including ferry timetable, weather and island maps visit www.waiheke.co.nz
For more information on Auckland and the surrounding area visit Auckland NZ
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