If you’re travelling to New Zealand you’re going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches, adrenaline-filled adventures and more stunning scenery than you can shake a stick at. So what better way to start your Kiwi adventure than with some things to do in Auckland before you explore the rest of the country?
1. Visit the Sky Tower
Rising 328 metres above the city is Auckland Sky Tower where, from the top, you’ll be able to see the stunning harbour, Auckland Harbour Bridge and the dormant volcanoes surrounding the city. Adventurous types can also do a Sky Jump where you’ll find yourself harnessed up and ‘falling’ from Sky Tower at approximately 85kmh!
Auckland Sky Tower, opening times vary from season to season, adults $28 NZD.
2. Do a Bungy Jump
Adrenaline junkies will love the Auckland Bridge Bungy. It’s a great way to see more of the Waitemata Harbour as you make your way towards the drop point and definitely a memorable activity for your time in New Zealand.
Auckland Bridge Bungy – prices start at $150 NZD
3. Climb Mount Eden
For a different perspective of the city, Mount Eden is definitely worth a visit. This extinct volcano, which lies in the suburb of Mount Eden, offers panoramic views from the highest natural point in the city. It might be a bit of a climb to get up there but seriously, it’s worth it when you get to the top.
Mount Eden, Auckland – Free
4. Check out the Wynyard Quarter
The Wynyard Quarter has undergone huge development in recent years and it’s now one of those places where there always seems to be something going on.
On Friday nights in summer you’ll find movies playing at the open air Silo Park Cinema and Saturday mornings during the warmer months are made for Silo Park Markets. There’s also art installations to check out, restaurants to try, or if relaxing’s more your thing, head down to Karanga Plaza and chill out the extra large wooden recliners.
Wynyard Quarter, Auckland Waterfront
5. Have a Day at the Beach
Takapuna, on the north shore, has a beautiful beach with calm water and a view of Rangitoto Island. Another beach to check out, where there’s free barbeques to use and clean beach facing the harbour, is at Mission Bay which you can get to by jumping on the bus at Britomart Transport Centre.
Information on buses in Auckland at Maxx.co.nz
6. Visit Waiheke Island
Like food, culture and wine? You’ll love Waiheke Island. Found in the middle of the Hauraki Gulf, the island’s renowned for its quality wineries, picturesque scenery and range of activities from archery to mountain biking. What’s more is that it’s only a 35 minute ferry ride from Auckland.
Return adult fare from Auckland to Waiheke, $35.50 NZD
7. Do a spot of shopping
Queen St is full of the typical Kiwi high street stores like Glassons and Cotton, but if you’re in the market for something a bit more unique then get yourself to Karangahape Road (or K’Road, as it’s known locally) where you’ll find dozens of vintage stores. If designer boutiques are more your style head to Lorne St or the nearby suburb of Ponsonby, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Travel to Karangahape on the City Link bus and Ponsonby on the Inner Link bus.
8. Visit the Domain
At 75 hectares, the Domain is Auckland largest and oldest park, perfect for chilling out in if the weather’s nice. While you’re there you can take a self-guided sculpture park tour, walk around the wintergardens, visit Auckland Museum or just sit back and enjoy the seemingly never-ending expanse of greenery around you.
9. Visit Auckland Art Gallery
At the heart of the city, Auckland Art Gallery is home to over 15,000 traditional and modern artworks, hosts travelling exhibitions and has three permanent Māori works which were commissioned to celebrate the development of the art gallery building. It’s a fantastic place to learn about the culture of New Zealand and both the old and new parts of the building are stunning.
Auckland Art Gallery, Open daily 10am – 5pm (except Christmas Day), Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, free,
10. Drive to Piha
There’s no public transport to Piha, found on the west coast of Auckland, but it’s worth hiring a car and driving there. Whether you want to climb Lion Rock and enjoy gorgeous ocean views, walk to KiteKite Falls, hike the Waitakere Ranges or just lay on the beach, you won’t be stuck for things to do in Piha.
If you’d like to have your own adventure in New Zealand, take a look at our New Zealand holiday sale for flights, adventure tours, luxury holidays and self-drive holidays.
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Beverley is a 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.