Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is a multi-cultural urban oasis of food, music, arts and culture. It’s where sparkling waters and lush landscapes meet city sophistication.
World-class shopping and phenomenal dining are never too far from harbours, islands, native bush and black-sand beaches. Go skydiving or whale watching, hike an ancient volcanic cone, taste local award-winning wine, or stargaze from the International Dark Sky Sanctuary of remote Great Barrier Island(opens in new window).
You’ll find the best of both worlds in Auckland, with beautiful rainforests, parks and beaches all so close to the city centre. The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park west of the city centre has more than 250 kilometres of walking and hiking tracks through lush native rainforest, past cascading waterfalls and along a magnificent coastline. Walk through the region’s largest native forest in the Hunua Ranges or explore the striking landscapes of some of Auckland’s 26 regional parks, such as Duder, Shakespear, Tapapakanga or Awhitu.
You’re never far from the sea in Auckland. Bring your board to one of the black-sand surf beaches on the wild west coast – Karekare, Piha, Te Henga (Bethells), Muriwai and more. Head north to the expansive golden sands and clear waters of Tāwharanui and Pakiri. Closer to the city centre, and just a 15-minute drive from downtown Auckland, visit Mission Bay, Kohimarama or St Heliers. Enjoy a stroll along the promenade, hire a kayak or stand up paddleboard, and refuel with some fresh fish and chips by the seaside.
Explore Auckland’s magnificent Hauraki Gulf and its beautiful islands. The jewel of the gulf is Waiheke Island, a haven of vineyards, olive groves, beaches and fine dining, just a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland.
For an exciting day trip, discover the history and sandy coves of Rotoroa Island, explore the open wildlife sanctuary of Tiritiri Matangi Island or climb the volcanic cone of Rangitoto Island for incredible views from the summit. If you have a few more days, travel by light plane or ferry to remote Great Barrier Island, famous for its rugged beauty and unspoilt wilderness.