Auckland, a buzzing urban hub nestled between two contrasting coastlines, hosts a combination of metropolitan delights and natural landscapes.
Less than an hour from Auckland City lie the wild west coast beaches, where the Tasman Sea meets long, vast stretches of black sand. Visit Muriwai Beach to see the impressive clifftops and gannet colonies or head to Piha, a popular surf beach, and Karekare, made famous as the backdrop for the film The Piano.
Auckland’s most iconic island, Rangitoto is one of 48 dormant volcanic cones (maunga) sitting just off the coast from the central city. Take a short ferry from the city to walk or do a guided tour to the summit for spectacular views, or glide across the harbour via paddle power on a sunset kayak tour.
A boating paradise, Great Barrier Island shelters Auckland’s harbour from the relentless swells of the Pacific Ocean. Covered in lush native forest, hike the Aotea Track, visit the rare wildlife of Glenfern Sanctuary or relax on Medlands Beach. Either Go Great Barrier Island Tours or Sundancer Tours offer great ways to see the island. Or if you're feeling brave, why not try a kayak circumnavigation? It is also the first island in the world to be designated the status of an International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
Auckland city is perched on the edge of a sheltered harbour that’s dotted with emerald islands which you can journey to by ferry. Many of these islands are wildlife sanctuaries and feature beautiful walks. Waiheke is a must-see 'island of wine'. The gulf waters itself are teeming with marine life and ideal for a cruise.
Explore world-class exhibitions at one of the many art galleries or wander through a contemporary collection of New Zealand sculptures amid stunning landscapes as part of the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail or Sculptureum. Take a guided walking tour of Rangitoto Island or explore the Maori history and traditions at Auckland Museum. Watch the sun rise as you join an ancient Karakia ceremony with Tamaki Hikoi guided tours.
Central Auckland is a vibrant mix of shopping, dining and entertainment. Explore the city's wide range of different shopping experiences from local and international designer clothes to retro and vintage fashions. Or soak up the lively nightlife with a visit to one of Auckland's many bars and eateries.