6 Day Trips from Auckland to Get you Out of the City

July 28, 2014 by Anthony Lavall

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If you’re travelling to New Zealand anytime soon, it’s likely that at some point you’re going to be visiting its largest city; Auckland. And, while there are lots of things to do in Auckland, it’s definitely worth dedicating a day (or 6) to exploring a bit further afield. After all, Auckland has so much more to offer than just its CBD.

So, are you up for getting out of the city? Let’s take a look at some of our favourite day trips from Auckland, and hopefully give you some inspiration for your next trip to the land of the long white cloud.

1. Piha Beach

Piha Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

Love surfing? Sunbathing? Or even like a spot of both? You’ll love Piha, a little coastal town about 40km west of Auckland. This scenic black-sand surf beach is popular with locals, and a great spot to come to whether you just want to laze around on the beach, or do something a bit more active. There are heaps of places to walk through native forest in the hills that surround the town and, for the best views of the beach and the sea, a climb up Lion Rock is a must.

How to get there: The easiest way to get to Piha is to hire a car and drive there – there are lots of car hire places in Auckland city and it’s a lovely drive out west through the Waitakere Ranges.

Driving directions from Auckland to Piha

2. Waiheke Island

Make it an early start for your trip to Waiheke because you’re going to be super busy! After your 35 minutes ferry journey from Auckland harbour, the list of activities available include (but are definitely not limited to) visiting vineyards, sunbathing on beaches, zip-lining through forests, cycling around the islands, and stand-up paddle boarding.

Hungry after all that fun? Waiheke Island is also home to some lovely gourmet restaurants with beautiful views over the harbour.

How to get there: Take the ferry from Auckland ferry terminal, 99 Quay Street

3. Matakana

Matakana is best visited on a Saturday when the farmer’s market (2 Matakana Valley Road) is in full swing selling everything from jewellery and art by local artists to wine, flowers, and baked goods. Grabbing a coffee made from locally roasted beans and sitting by the banks of the beautiful Matakana river is also a must.

Matakana River, Auckland

There’s also some beautiful beaches in the area, so why not hire a bike and get exploring?

How to get there: Again, hiring a car is your best bet (it only takes an hour to drive there) but you can also get the bus from Auckland CBD.

4. Takapuna

Takapuna is a suburb situated on Auckland’s north shore and a great day out if you don’t want to venture too far from the city. The calm water of the beach makes it perfect for families with young children, and you can even venture out into the harbour in a rented kayak.

Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand

Done with the beach? Back on the high street you’ll find enough shops, pubs, and restaurants to entertain you until it’s time to head back to the city. Make sure you check out the view of Auckland’s CBD on the way back; stunning!

How to get there: Take bus 822 – 896 from Albert St, Auckland city

5. Rangitoto Island

There’s really only one thing you need to accomplish on Rangitoto Island, and that’s to climb to the top! Clambering to the top of a 600 year old volcano might seem like a bit of a chore on the way up, but we guarantee you’ll love the view of Auckland CBD, Takapuna, and Mission Bay from the top.

How to get there: Take the ferry from Auckland ferry terminal, 99 Quay Street

6. Mission Bay

If you want a day at the beach but don’t want to hire a car and drive out to the coast, Mission Bay is a great alternative. It’s a harbour beach, so the water’s calm, and there are free barbeques dotted around the surrounding park. It’s popular with locals and travellers alike, and a great place to hang out on a sunny day. And, when you’re done at the beach, there’s a great choice of restaurants lining the suburb’s main street.

How to get there: Take bus 745 – 769 from Britomart Transport Centre stop 7010 – D13

So which day trip will you be taking first?

Make sure you visit the New Zealand flights page for amazing prices on flights to Auckland!

Beverley is a London-based British solo female traveller and freelance writer who left her marketing job in 2010 to spend three years living as an expat and travelling in Australia and New Zealand. She runs Pack Your Passport where she shares travel tips and personal travel stories but you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

About Anthony Lavall

Anthony is part of the digital marketing team at Flight Centre and contributes news and blog stories from around the world. He loves travel, especially visiting new places and experiencing new cultures.