Swoop in on a seaplane
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Auckland is a city defined by its proximity to the sea so it makes sense to navigate it by seaplane. Pack a picnic and spend an afternoon hopping between some of the dozen or so islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Swoop low over Rangitoto Island and marvel at its bush-covered volcanic cone, thought to have last erupted 750 years ago.
Find the perfect spot to watch the sunset
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If you’re feeling active, consider kayaking across the Tamaki Strait to Rangitoto Island and doing the hour-long walk to the volcano’s summit in time for sunset. About 260 metres above sea level, the peak of the volcano affords expansive views of the Auckland skyline and the Waitakere Ranges in the distance.
Get uber relaxed
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Back on the mainland, book in to The Facialist. The salon is owned by beautician Ashleigh Scott, who worked in London’s ritzy Knightsbridge and believes in the healing power of the hands rather than machines. Consider her Yoga Facial, an intensive toning and firming massage for the face.
Dine among the flowers
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What could be more romantic than a café set within a florist? The Botanist is one of the best brunch and lunch spots in town (don’t miss the roast potato with pork belly, blue cheese, mushrooms, minted beurre noisette and pine nuts, topped with a fried egg) and you’re surrounded by arrangements from one of the city’s most creative florists, Eden Kersten.
Drinks and dinner in an awe-inspiring spot
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When night falls, head to the 53rd floor of Auckland’s futuristic Sky Tower for dinner. The views are worth the vertigo and, unlike many top-of-a-tower restaurants, the food at Kiwi chef Peter Gordon’s The Sugar Club really delivers. The fusion of global flavours extends to the drinks list with cocktails such as Autumn Mist (cachaça mixed with persimmon, peach, watermelon and lemon).
A tipple before bed
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If a nightcap beckons, take the lift down to dark, clubby Spanish tapas bar Bellota for a glass of cava or sherry.
Stay at The Langham
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On a romantic weekend, you want an elegant setting and The Langham delivers from the moment you step inside the large marble foyer. The 411 guestrooms feature sumptuous curtains and solid hardwood furniture, while the award-winning Chuan Spa incorporates Oriental traditions such as Chinese medicine in a slick, contemporary space.