What to do in Auckland
With an unbeatable combination of city style and an amazing natural playground, the action doesn’t stop when you leave the stands.
Take in the views from a volcano
Create breath-taking insta-worthy images from the top of one of Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones. Hop on the ferry to Rangitoto Island and wander through the pohutukawa forest and lava caves, or take the 4WD road train to the top. Walk to the summit of Mount Eden (Maungawhau), the highest natural point in Auckland, for spectacular views across the city and Hauraki Gulf. Explore the historic underground tunnels and gun emplacements at North Head in Devonport – this may just be the best view in Auckland.
Get out on the water
With the sea on the city’s doorstep, there are so many ways to experience Auckland’s sparkling harbours. Help sail an America’s Cup racing yacht, join a whale and dolphin spotting eco-safari or take a spin on a high-speed jet boat ride. Get active and kayak out to a nearby island, or unwind and see the sights with a relaxing dinner or coffee cruise on the Waitemata Harbour.
With a dynamic arts and culture scene and vibrant nightlife, there’s something for every taste, every night of the week in Auckland. Catch an international show or world class concert, experience local theatre and live comedy or enjoy outdoor cinema under the stars. Park up at a chilled-out pub, soak up live music in a sun-drenched courtyard or get your groove on at a late night hot spot. If you're in the city centre, check out popular spots in Ponsonby, Britomart, or K' Road.
Go on an adventure
Auckland is one big playground to explore. Go ziplining high above the native bush on beautiful Waiheke Island or see the sights from the back of a Harley Davidson. Ride the rapids at a whitewater park or canyon down waterfalls and gorges deep in the rainforest. Climb under, up and over the Auckland Harbour Bridge or leap off it in New Zealand’s only ocean-touch bungy. Challenge your sense of adventure and leap of Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower or inch your way around the outside on a narrow platform 192 metres up.
Experience unique Māori culture
There are plenty of ways to discover Auckland’s rich Māori culture. Start the day off with a spiritual awakening by taking part in a dawn ceremony with Tamaki Hikoi practiced by Māori for thousands of years. See the world’s largest collection of Māori taonga (treasures) and check out the cultural performances at the Auckland Museum or set out on the harbour on a traditional Māori sailing waka (canoe).
See the city lights from above
Take the glass fronted lift up Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower, the tallest man-made structure in the southern hemisphere. Soak up superb 360˚ views of the city from the public observation platforms, positioned over 220 metres above street level. Linger longer for dinner or drinks as the sun sinks and the city lights start to shine.
Sort your summer wardrobe
Stock up on summer fashion at boutiques in the stylish shopping districts of Britomart, Ponsonby or High Street, or splash out on high-end luxury labels in Queen Street. For a more relaxed vibe, hit the stores and cafés at Newmarket or Takapuna. Sylvia Park is the spot for all the big chain stores in one place, including New Zealand’s only Zara and H&M stores.
Dine out day or night
Choose from hundreds of cafés and restaurants in the city’s best dining precincts, serving up everything from casual pub meals to five-star cuisine. Dine overlooking the water at Viaduct Harbour or Wynyard Quarter, or take your pick from the eclectic restaurants in the stylish Britomart and Federal Street precincts. Hip Ponsonby is home to modern cafés, bars and eateries, or grab a casual bite or craft beer at City Works Depot. Join the locals at Auckland’s lively night markets for delicious dishes from around the world.
On the wine trail
Head to one of Auckland’s three wine regions, where superb wine and stunning scenery go hand in hand. Visit Waiheke Island, known as ‘the island of wine’ for its 30 wineries and vineyards. There’s a reason Waiheke was named one of the world’s top 10 regions to visit for 2016 in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel Guide. North of the city, discover Matakana’s boutique wineries set amid picturesque rolling hills or Kumeu in the west, home to Auckland’s oldest established vineyards.
Get your feet wet
You’re never far from the sea in Auckland, with urban beaches just a 10 minute drive from the city centre. Take a refreshing dip at Mission Bay, enjoy a boardwalk stroll at Kohimaramara or soak up the sunshine at the seaside village of St Heliers. For rugged black-sand surf beaches explore the wild west coast – check out favourites like Piha, Muriwai or Karekare. Pack a picnic and day trip north to the golden sands and clear waters of Tāwharanui and Pakiri.