In the eyes of Lonely Planet, Auckland is No 1 and No 2.
The global travel guide, Lonely Planet, released its latest New Zealand edition yesterday, with a list of the country's 20 top experiences.
"It's hard to imagine a more geographically blessed city," the guide says about Auckland.
The full top twenty must have experiences are as follows -
1) Auckland Harbour, Hauraki Gulf
2) Urban Auckland
3) Geothermal Rotorua
6) Franz Josef, Fox Glaciers
7) Waitomo Caves
8) Bay of Islands
9) Tongariro Alpine Crossing
11) Abel Tasman National Park
12) Maori culture
13) Otago Peninsula
14) Heaphy Track
15) Central Otago
16) Skiing and snowboarding
18) Milford Sound
20) Akaroa and Banks Peninsula
"Auckland isn't your average metropolis," the guide says. "It's regularly rated one of the world's most liveable cities, it's blessed with good beaches, flanked by wine regions and has a large enough population to support a thriving dining, drinking and live-music scene.
New Zealand’s capital was ranked ahead of tourism spots, such as Queenstown, Milford Sound, Waitomo Caves and the Bay of Islands.
New Zealanders, or ‘Kiwis’ know that cultural festivals are celebrated with gusto in this ethnically diverse city, which has the distinction of having the world's largest Pacific Island population. Festivals, parades, concerts, food markets, and all kinds of entertainment are found to be plentiful in Auckland and there’s no month of the year when something huge, exciting and enthralling isn’t going on somewhere in the city.
Crowd winning events such as Farmers Markets are held every week and they differ from those of the rest of the world, because the Kiwis make sure there’s always going to entertainment everywhere, usually in the form of live music or performers, so if you wish to shop for some local fresh organic vegetables, hand made gifts or local produce then you’ll be doing so against a back drop of street performers, singers and musicians - and this is just to celebrate a weekly market so imagine how flamboyant and exciting huge festivals here are!
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