At first glance, Auckland feels like Seattle. Well connected, large international airport, tall sky tower. The city of sails, there are more boats in Auckland than anywhere else... but unless you are there for business, nightlife or sailing, the real gem of Auckland lies just outside it on Waiheke island.
Waiheke Island is the "Napa Valley" of New Zealand, with vineyard after vineyard offering wine tastings. Easy to access by a 30-minute ferry, this is a great activity after you land or before taking off from New Zealand's gateway airport, Auckland.