I’m only a bit partial to Wellington, New Zealand. It’s the first place I moved to when I lived in NZ, and I quickly fell in love with the relaxed, quirky, chill vibe. Wellington attracts a lot of artists, entrepreneurs, and other creative types. Because it’s the capital, it also has a lot of government and tech people. The energy in Wellington is palpable, though, and the perfect place to cap your North Island adventure.
There are few cities in the world that are as complete in one architectural style as Napier, New Zealand. Following a major earthquake in 1931, the city rebuilt completely in the style of the times, which happened to be Art Deco. Today, Napier is a major stop on tours of New Zealand because of this unique aspect.
If you’re seeking exciting cultural activities and geothermal attractions, Rotorua, New Zealand – and the nearby town of Taupo – is where you need to go. The heart of the Bay of Plenty, only 3 hours from Auckland, Rotorua is one of the best places to learn about the Maori culture. It’s also the base for excursions to White Island, an offshore volcanic island. The road between Rotorua and Taupo, aptly called the Geothermal Highway, has plenty of stops to fill an entire day.
Auckland, New Zealand might not be the capital of this tiny country but it’s by far the largest city (population approximately 1.5 million). It’s home to the major international airport, and is therefore the usual first stop on a New Zealand itinerary. Auckland, New Zealand has quite a bit to do, and (with the average flight into NZ being 14 hours long) its a great place to get over jet lag! Additionally, any itinerary that goes north to the Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga must return through the city. That being said, three to four days in Auckland is enough time to see the star attractions.
Kia ora! This week and next I’m going to talk about New Zealand cities. While most people are familiar with Auckland, Wellington, and Queenstown, there are a few more than that. New Zealand only has a population of 4.69 million, and the majority of them live in the North Island. There are five large cities on the South Island though! New Zealand cities range from cosmopolitan to rugged, from mountainous to sub-tropical, and from international gateways to Antarctic ports.
For anyone considering a weekend in Boston, one of the first things to think about is what hotel to stay at. There are a bunch of great hotels in the city, and Virtuoso is lucky to partner with six of them. Over the last few months, I’ve made a few trips to Boston and had the chance to visit with five of my reps at five hotels. I also stayed at a few and will disclose that in the individual posts! For now, let’s talk a little about Boston, what to do there, and what Boston hotels to consider!
We have reached the final major world wine region today: South Africa! (Certainly, there are other wine regions, smaller ones, that I’m not going to touch on just because they’re not places we go to for wine. We go there for other reasons.) But, anyway, we are talking today about South African wine! Did you know that Dutch settlers planted the first grapes in the 17th century? This means that South Africa had some of the oldest vineyards outside of Europe! Crazy, right? More
As promised, this week I’ve got two bonus posts because I spent too much time talking about New Zealand wine! Today, we hop the ditch to Australia and pick up where I left off in Friday’s intro paragraph. Every Australian state produces wine, although the more well known wineries are in Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales. I break these down into more detail a little further down. More
While most people think of Australia and New Zealand wine, they think of them as new destinations. However, a lot of the wineries in both Australia and New Zealand date back to the 19th century. Many of the early European settlers planted grapes, and while a lot of wineries don’t date that far back, the cultivation of grapes does. Both countries have a huge variety of wine regions, from mere hours from Sydney, Australia to hidden in the Southern Alps. More
Buenos dias! Today we’ve moved on to the South American wine regions, specifically those in Argentina and Chile. These two countries are the star players in South American wine, and they produce a huge amount of the global wine industry. Mendoza alone produces nearly 60% of South American wine; you could spend years here and not see it all. As for luxury properties in South America, there are quite a few stunning, remote retreats in Mendoza, northern Chile, and Patagonia.