Our Kiwi cousins are hosting their own Equitana event in Auckland and it’s going to be an exciting experience.
Running from Thursday 23 November and concluding on Sunday, 26 November 2017 there are four whole days that are jam packed of equine shopping, masterclasses and seminars.
There will be exhibitions and educational opportunities galore – Equitana is showcasing more than 40 diverse education sessions each day!
We think it’s definitely worth booking a mini-break and visiting for the equine experience alone.
If you have booked to attend but want to do a bit of New Zealand exploring on the side, we’ve got some top picks below that might pique your sight-seeing interest.
West Coast beaches and waterfalls
The West Coach beaches are less than an hour from Auckland City. Enjoy the long stretches of black sand and breathtaking rainforests featuring exquisite waterfalls. Muriwai Beach has impressive clifftops and gannet colonies or if you fancy a surf, Piha beach is for you.
Waiheke Island is a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland and is known as the ‘island of wine’. It is home to many wineries and vineyards so a wine tasting tour is a must. Enjoy a day trip and explore the beautiful beaches, restaurants and other activities that the island has to offer.
Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island is 90 kilometres from Auckland and shelters the harbour from the relentless swells of the Pacific Ocean. This is a very relaxed area to visit and covered in lush native forest. You can walk along the beautiful Aotea Track, visit the rare wildlife of Glenfern Sanctuary or relax on Medlands Beach.
Gulf Waters Tours
The Gulf waters are teeming with marine life and Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is a protected marine reserve. Wild marine mammals and rare birds living in their natural habitat are in abundance. An opportunity of special moments and close encounters with wildlife is not to be missed. If you are lucky, you might spot:
- rare water birds.
Since the first Lord of the Rings movie was released in 2001, New Zealand has been known as ‘home of middle-earth’. More than 150 locations throughout the country were used to film The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy and many activities and attractions offer the chance to see the film locations for yourself.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
A three-hour drive from Auckland, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds provides a lesson in early New Zealand history – both Maori and European. The grounds consist of 18.5 hectares of varying landscapes from native bush, boardwalks, paths, tracks, beaches, lawns, and coastal clifftops. Here you will find the Museum of Waitangi Te Kōngahu, the Treaty House, Te Whare Rūnanga (the carved Meeting House), the Flagstaff and the Ngātokimatawhaorua (ceremonial war canoe).
Markets are a intrinsic part of Kiwi culture. Colourful and vibrant, these markets provide visitors an insight into New Zealand way of life and are a fantastic place to pick up delicious treats, local crafts, gifts and souvenirs.
The following are arts and crafts markets around the country that are a must see if you are in the region:
- Creative Queenstown Arts & Crafts Market – Saturdays on the lake front.
- The Nelson Market (Saturdays) and Monty’s Sunday Market at Montgomery Square Carpark.
- Riccarton Market in Christchurch every Sunday.
- Wellington Underground Markets on Saturdays
- Otara Market on Saturdays, Titirangi Market (last Sunday of the month) and Auckland Night Markets.
- Bay of Islands Farmers’ Market in Kerikeri on Sundays.
- The Wanaka region’s Farmer’s Market offers fresh, local seasonal produce and gorgeous local products; held every Thursday evening
We might be lucky to have our own horse at home, but what better way of taking in the New Zealand beauty than on horseback! From beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, to snow-capped volcanoes and enchanting native forests, exploring and enjoying the scenery in the saddle lends its own magic to the experience.
There are many horse tour operators around the country, so be sure to find one in the vicinity you wish to explore.
The best place to observe Māori culture is on a marae (tribal meeting grounds). Organised tours provide a traditional Māori welcome onto a marae, where you’ll hear Māori speeches and singing, see carved meeting houses, meet the local people (you’ll greet them with the traditional pressing of noses) and enjoy a hāngi feast cooked in earth ovens. You will need to be part of a tour to visit a Marae.
Tickets to Equitana are on sale now, so don’t miss out. There are also travel packages available to those traveling over the ditch, with flights, transfers, accommodation and Equitana entry all included.