Kia ora and welcome to the biggest and most populated city in New Zealand. As a matter of fact, Auckland has a larger population than the whole of South Island. A drive from North Auckland to South Auckland can take you as long as 2 hours, depending on the traffic.
That said there are tons of activities to do and places to visit while in Auckland. Whether you want to learn about the history of New Zealand, go for a walk in one of its many parks, climb a small mountain or extinct volcanoes, ferry to an island, enjoy a good meal, shop until you drop or just enjoy the beautiful views from the iconic Sky Tower, Auckland has got you covered.
Must do things in Auckland
1. Sky Tower
There is no excuse to skip this. Up on the 60th floor, where the sky deck is located, one can enjoy scenic 360-degre views over the city, the Harbour Bridge, Hauraki Gulf and beyond.
PS! If you choose to dine at the Orbit 360°, then know that you have to spend a certain amount per person to be able to dine. Also, you will receive a 45 min, complimentary visit to the Sky Tower viewing platform, either before or after your meal 🙂
With some of the best restaurants and bars, as well as luxury yachts and Harbour Bridge views, the harbour side walk is a definite must.
Boosting 360-degree views over Auckland, Mt Eden is the highest natural point in Auckland city. It is a volcanic cone, with a huge crater in the middle. You have the option to hike to the top or if you are in a rush then you can also take the tour bus or your car to the top (well almost to the top).
Go for a walk through the Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill. Explore this urban oasis with more than 350 species of trees, beautiful gardens and farm-life (sheep, cows, goats).
The Domain is the oldest and one of the most beautiful parks in Auckland. Laying on 75 hectarages it has a mix of in-door and out-door gardens, stately trees, miniature waterfalls, lakes and many walks.
Get yourself familiar with the history of New Zealand and its people. The compelling story of this nation can be inspiring. The unique Maori culture, social history and the story of New Zealand at war.
Just a 30-minute drive from central Auckland city will take you to a completely different world. It is a great place for overseas visitors to learn about the New Zealand flora and fauna. There are numerous walking trails for those who like taking hikes or alternatively there are three different viewing decks hosting magnificent views over the Waitakere Range.
If you would like to see more beautiful viws then not far (~7km) from Arataki Visitor Centre, on Scenic Dr are also Parkinson Lookout and Auckland City Lookout.
8. Night Market
If you are visiting the city during the summer months then make sure to visit one of the many night markets around the city. Filled with delicious local & foreign cuisine, souvenirs, fashion items, toys and much more you can’t go wrong– in other words you can be sure that you won’t be disappointed.
PS! It’s free to visit the market make sure to bring cash as some don’t take card 😉
You can’t come to New Zealand and not visit a winery. Just minutes from the Auckland International Airport is an award-winning Villa Maria Winery. Whether you are in Auckland for just a quick stopover or for longer, this winery is worth visiting. In addition to the winery they also have a great Café where you can enjoy beautiful views over the vineyard while sipping away some great wine and/or delicious food. The cellar door is open 7 days for wine sales, winery tour and tastings. (Estralians recommend that you’d try: Villa Maria – Grenache)
10. Puketutu Island
Another option for those who might only have a stopover in Auckland is Puketutu Island. Te Motu a Hiaroa (Puketutu Island) is a volcanic island in the Manukau Harbour, New Zealand. It’s also part of the Auckland volcanic field. A 7 km walk will take you through Ambury Park, Otuataua Stonefields and Puketutu Island.
Is that really all???
Of course not. Auckland is huge and so are the opportunities. For exaple if you have more than few days in Auckland and want to explore more places, we recommend reading our “Great places to visit in Auckland” or “Discovering North Island” post.
Adventure. Fill your #life with #adventures not things. Have #stories to tell, not stuff to show 🙂