Top Weekend Trips While Studying in Auckland

Jessica Muscella is a student at the University of South Carolina and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Auckland, New Zealand.

New Zealand is such a unique place to study abroad.  There’s beautiful nature all around you!  When you’re abroad, you’ll be so excited to take weekend trips and explore the amazing country you’re living in.  When I first got to New Zealand, I didn’t really know too much about what was around Auckland other than the major destinations in the country, so here’s a little helpful list of easy places you can get to for a quick getaway while based in Auckland.

  1. Coromandel

Cathedral Cove

You can access Coromandel by ferry, bus, or car, so there’s a ton of transportation options for you to choose from.  You can visit the famous Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, and spend some time going kayaking or doing other water sports.

  1. Bay of Islands

Cape Reinga
Ninety Mile Beach
Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is such a beautiful area in the north of New Zealand.  It’s about 3 hours away from Auckland, which makes it a convenient location for a weekend trip.  Paihia is the main tourist beach town, and while you’re up north, you can travel to Cape Reinga, the most northern part of NZ where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet.  You can also rent boogie boards and surf down the massive sand dunes on Ninety Mile Beach.

  1. Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo
Huka Falls

We went to Lake Taupo on one of our ISA excursions and white water rafted along the Tongariro River.  Take some time to also stop by Huka Falls and see really beautiful waterfalls.

  1. Rotorua


Rotorua is another destination that’s close by and is easily accessible.  It’s two hours away from Auckland and has so many adventure-related things to do.  You can zorb, luge, and white-water raft.


The world awaits…discover it.

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