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NEW ZEALAND

The best way to the Hauraki Gulf islands

January 17, 2010

If you go

THE BEST WAY TO NEW ZEALAND'S HAURAKI GULF ISLANDS

From LAX, Air New Zealand and Qantas offer nonstop service to Auckland. Air New Zealand also offers direct service (stop, no change of planes). Restricted round-tip fares begin at $1,138. Waiheke Island and Rangitoto Island can be reached by Fullers ferry service, with fees ranging from $18 to $24 ($9 to $12 for children); www.fullers.co.nz.

TELEPHONES

To call these numbers from the U.S., dial 011 (international dialing code), 64 (New Zealand's country code), the regional code (9) and the local number.

WHERE TO STAY, EAT

Mount St. Paul Lodge, Claris, Great Barrier Island; 4290-861, www.mountstpaullodge.com. Colonial-style manor house sits on hillside with a sweeping coastal view. Each room has two private balconies. Pacific Rim cuisine served. Rates are $540 per night double occupancy. Two-night stay, including airport transfers, dinners and breakfasts, $1,084 for two.

Great Barrier Lodge, Whangaparapara Harbor, Great Barrier Island; 4290-488, www.greatbarrierlodge.com. Studio units, suites, cottages and backpacker rooms available, most with harbor views. Bar, simple restaurant. Rates from $33 for backpacker accommodations to $216 for a cottage that sleeps five.

The Boatshed, P.O. Box 560, Oneroa, Waiheke Island; 372-3242, www.boatshed.co.nz. Luxury boutique hotel is centrally located to explore the wineries of Waiheke Island. Private decks, all-day private dining; 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland. Doubles from $546. Four-course fixed-price dinners $81.

TO LEARN MORE

Tourism Auckland, www.aucklandnz.com.

Tourism New Zealand, (310) 395-7480, www.newzealand.com.

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