Auckland is the perfect mix of city sophistication and a stunning natural playground.
World-class shopping and dining experiences are never too far from beautiful scenery that includes harbours and islands, volcanic cones, native bush and black-sand beaches.
Discover 10 of the best things to do in and around Auckland city.
You are never too far from the sea in Auckland and in less than an hour's drive from the city centre, you will find yourself amidst the wild rugged 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.
Have you ever watched the sunset and had a BBQ on Rangitoto island? Auckland’s most iconic island, Rangitoto is a dormant volcanic cone that sits just off the coast from the central city. Take a short ferry from downtown Auckland to walk to the summit for spectacular views, or glide across the harbour via paddle power on a sunset kayak tour(opens in new window).
Spend a weekend or a day or a few hours, Waiheke Island is the ultimate island retreat, just a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. Best known as 'island of wine' for its many wineries and vineyards, a wine tasting tour or an indulgent lunch is a must. Enjoy spectacular views and explore the beaches, restaurants and other activities on the island.
Auckland is most known for its cosmopolitan nature in New Zealand and the diverse food options is reflective of that. Auckland is home to world-class food producers. For those that are passionate about fresh, seasonal ingredients, Auckland is paradise – embark on a tour with The Big Foodie(opens in new window), Foodcraft(opens in new window) or Bush and Beach(opens in new window) and get to know Auckland gastronomy.
Matakana’s beautiful beaches, boutique vineyards, local arts scene and picturesque village with a superb farmers' market make this region a divine destination. Pick up organic, seasonal produce or savour some fresh delicacies by the river's edge at the Matakana Village Farmers Market.
Go on a magical nighttime journey and marvel at the clear dark skies for stargazing with Good heaves dark sky experiences.(opens in new window) Great Barrier Island is the first in the world to be designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary – with only ten other places. Great Barrier Island is covered in lush native forest and you can hike the Aotea Track or visit the rare wildlife of Glenfern Sanctuary or relax on Medlands Beach.
Spend a family-fun weekend spotting the rare marine life on a Whale & Dolphin Safari(opens in new window). The Hauraki Gulf is home to stunning coastlines, world-class vineyards, wildlife sanctuaries, pristine beaches and active volacano. From dolphin spotting to luxury dinner cruises or racing an America's Cup yacht, there’s a maritime experience to suit every taste and budget.
Looking for an adventurous weekend activity? Try jumping off the plane for a thrilling experience with Skydive Auckland(opens in new window) . Or go for a SkyJump(opens in new window) from the iconic Sky Tower(opens in new window), or walk its edge(opens in new window) - 192 metres above ground level! And if that's not enough, head to the Auckland Harbour Bridge for New Zealand's only Bridge Climb or bungy(opens in new window) into the Waitemata Harbour. Epic!
Learn about the Māori history and traditions at the Auckland War Memorial Museum(opens in new window) and explore the modern and traditional world-class exhibitions at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki(opens in new window).
Looking for a relaxing weekend escape or a family-fun staycation? Castaways Resort, set on the cliffs at Karioitahi Beach on the Awhitu Peninsula makes for a perfect escape to go glamping under the stars. With epic sea views, gourmet meals, luxury spa and beauty treatments, it is complete with activities like archery, blokarting, claybird shooting and more. You could also explore luxury lodges and tents around Waiheke and the west Auckland beaches.