Top 10 things to do in Auckland

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. 

1. Kayak to Rangitoto Island

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.

2. Discover art and culture

Learn about the Māori history and traditions at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and explore the modern and traditional world-class exhibitions at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

3. SkyJump off the Sky Tower

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!

4. Explore the Hauraki Gulf on a whale safari

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 an active volcano. 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.

5. Go stargazing on Great Barrier Island

Go on a magical nighttime journey and marvel at the clear dark skies for stargazing with Good heavens dark sky experiences. 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.

6. Experience the Farmers' Market in Matakana

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. 

7. Indulge in world-class cuisine

Auckland is known for its cosmopolitan nature and the diverse food options are reflective of that. Auckland is home to world-class food producers. For those that are passionate about fresh, seasonal ingredients, Auckland is sensational – embark on a tour with The Big FoodieFoodcraft(opens in new window) or Bush and Beach and get to know Auckland gastronomy.

8. Visit Waiheke Island 'the island of wine'

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 the '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.

Explore Waiheke

9. Explore the rugged beaches in West Auckland

You're never too far from the sea in Auckland. In less than an hour's drive from the city centre, you can find yourself on 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.

10. Relax with glamping getaways

Looking for a relaxing weekend escape or a family-fun staycation? Castaways Resort(opens in new window), set on the cliffs at Karioitahi Beach on the Āwhitu 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, clay bird shooting, and more. You could also explore luxury lodges and tents around Waiheke and the West Auckland beaches.

Find more glamping spots

Bonus. Immerse yourself in the world of movie making

Discover Wētā Workshop Unleashed(opens in new window), Wētā Workshop’s global award-winning movie-making experience in Auckland. Explore interactive and immersive make-believe film sets, focusing on the worlds of horror, fantasy and sci-fi. It's your chance to get up-close and hands-on with enchanting environments, resident creatures, one hyper-realistic giant, a galactic robot, and much more.

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