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Our Auckland travel tips:

  • Auckland - Viaduct BasinCheck out the Viaduct Basin, Auckland's waterfront where all the big events are celebrated, from the America's Cup to The Rugby World Cup. See some great boats, explore the Maritime Museum or simply take a break in an inspirational environment.
  • Auckland's many volcanic cones are great landmarks: see the Auckland skyline from Devonport's Mount Victoria and the Hauraki Gulf from North Head, or get an overview of the city from Mount Eden or One Tree Hill - both within reach on the way to or from the airport.
  • Take a ferry to Devonport or one of the idyllic harbour islands for great sightseeing, go for a walk on 600 year old volcanic Rangitoto island or discover the vineyards and mansions of Waiheke.

From urban fun to island sun

Auckland’s blend of harbour, islands, Polynesian culture and modern city environment has created a lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world.

Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping - you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland.

The natural assets of Auckland have made it a dream destination for all kinds of travellers, from doing-it-on-the-cheap backpackers to cost-is-no-issue super yacht owners - plenty of things to do for everyone!

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city. Half urban and half marine, it’s a cosmopolitan experience wrapped up in a fascinating water world that’s dotted with more than 50 islands.

In just half an hour you can be almost anywhere - sailing to an island, trekking through a rainforest, picnicking on a volcano, sampling wines at a vineyard or wandering a wild, black sand surf beach.

A diverse range of cultures adds flavour and interest to the city’s style of life. As a result, Auckland has perfected a style of cuisine called ‘Pacific Rim’, which blends Asian and Pacific flavours.

See here for accommodation in Auckland.

Source: Tourism New Zealand

Auckland highlights and things to do

  • Devonport Matakana Coast Muriwai Piha Devonport Auckland Central Auckland Central Hibiscus Coast
    Auckland waterfront: The intersection where Queen Street meets the harbour feels like the heart of the city, this is where the Britomart railway station sits and the bus routes begin. From here you either walk up into the metropolis style downtown or start strolling along the interesting harbour front with the historic Auckland Ferry Terminal from 1912, past the Maritime Museum to the bustling Viaduct Harbour that was rebuilt for the America's Cup regattas, along the docks with superyachts from all over the world, all the way to the newly renovated and creative Wynyard Quarter with its playgrounds, cafes, art installations and markets.
  • Auckland region: SkytowerSky Tower: This is still the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, it is 328 m tall and offers excellent panoramic views. Have lunch, walk around the edges on top or jump down, it's all perfectly safe! The nightly colours of the Sky Tower actually follow a code, pink for example signals the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
  • Devonport: This is definitely one of the nicest suburbs of Auckland, you can reach it by ferry and explore by foot. After arrival you can either go ahead into the cute town centre or follow the waterfront to the right, past a huge Moreton Bay Fig tree and lovely Victorian villas, continue walking until Torpedo Bay with its old wharf and Navy Museum, then climb up to North Head for a fantastic view of Rangitoto volcano, Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf. Down the other side you'll find the relaxing Cheltenham Beach. On the way back to the ferry you can climb over Mount Victoria - another extinct volcano - with amazing views of downtown Auckland.
  • Auckland Domain & Parnell: Auckland's main museum is situated on a hill east of Queen Street, you can reach it by foot from Queen Street or take a bus, but there are also plenty of car parks. The 'Auckland War Memorial Museum' is one of New Zealand's most important museums, apart from world class temporary exhibitions it houses very interesting Maori, Pacific and natural science collections. There are also many old trees in the domain, the Wintergardens with two glasshouses (one tropical) and a tea house. Auckland's oldest suburb to the east is very popular with the locals, a colourful Victorian style street with many upmarket restaurants and shops.
  • Mount Eden (Maungawhau) & One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie): Don't miss the exciting views from these two extinct volcanoes, you can drive all the way and both are located practically in between the airport and downtown! Mount Eden is closer to the city with better views from higher up, while One Tree Hill is set in the middle of Cornwall Park with plenty of walkways.
  • Auckland travel tips: PihaPiha, Karekare and Muriwai: Not many cities in the world have such spectacular beaches within reach and they can easily keep up with other New Zealand beaches. They are about 45 minutes drive from downtown, across the Waitakere ranges with lots of walking trails and native bush, the scenic drive via Titirangi and the Arataki Visitor Centre is especially nice. Piha is famous for its dangerous surf and the stunning views of Lion Rock in the middle of the huge bay. Beach scenes from The Piano were shot at Karekare, another volcanic black sand beach. Muriwai is a great destination because of its gannet colony and fantastic views over the endless surf beach.
  • Auckland travel tips: Muriwai gannetsAuckland Regional Parks: The wider Auckland region contains nearly 5,000 km2, a huge land area that offers more than you'd expect from any city. If you stay longer and are afraid to get bored, don't worry - the best spots to visit can be found in the 20 Auckland Regional Parks that all offer great walks and sights, grab a brochure and start exploring.
  • Matakana and Snorkelling at Goat Island: This beautiful area on the way to Northland still belongs to the Auckland region, it attracts summer holidaymakers to its many beaches and throngs of city gourmets to the Matakana Farmers' Market (Saturday) and all its related businesses, but it is also on the way to a very successful marine reserve: Goat Island. The snorkelling is great, the beach beautiful and a glass-bottom boat will get you to the big snappers no matter how cold the water. If you're on the way to Northland then take a break at Pakiri Beach and enjoy the pure white sand there!
  • Auckland travel tips: Devonport from RangitotoIslands around Auckland: Go for a bush walk on Rangitoto, the newest of nearly 50 volcanoes in Auckland, it is only about 600 years old and its development was witnessed by Maori. Ferries also leave for Waiheke Island, once a hippie hangout, now home to some of New Zealand's most expensive mansions, with vineyards and cafes, walkways and beaches.

Best Auckland walks

  • Auckland City Heritage Walks - maps are available at the i-SITEs
  • Devonport to Narrow Neck - from Cheltenham Beach in Devonport to Narrow Neck further north, back via the road, only at low tide
  • Auckland region: Devonport yacht raceNorth Head Historic Walk in Devonport - walk up and around a volcanic dome with fantastic views
  • Shakespear Regional Park - a range of walks like the Tiri Tiri Track (2 h return), Bruce Harvey Drive, Whangaparaoa
  • Wenderholm Regional Park - a range of walks and nice beach, Schischka Road, north of Waiwera
  • Long Bay Regional Park - beach and coastal walks, Beach Road, Torbay
  • Arataki Visitor Centre im Waitakere Ranges Regional Park - Nature Trail and many more walks, Scenic Drive, west of Titirangi
  • Kitekite Track to a waterfall (45 min return), Glenesk Road, Piha
  • Rangitoto Island Summit Walk (2 h return - 260 m altitude difference), ferries to the island from Auckland and Devonport
  • Tiritiri Matangi Island - fantastic bird paradise with walking tracks, ferries from Gulf Harbour and Auckland

Waitakere Forest walks: Both the Auckland City Government and the local Maori tribes have advised against walking in the Waitakere area since the beginning of 2018, because a mysterious fungus-based disease of the kauri trees ('Kauri Dieback') can be transferred from one tree to the next with shoes. The hiking trails are still open, but if you go for a walk please clean your shoes at the disinfection stations.

Best Auckland viewpoints

  • Auckland travel tips: One Tree HillSky Tower, Victoria Street, Auckland
  • Mount Victoria in Devonport - the skyline of Auckland, Kerr Street, Devonport, Auckland
  • North Head in Devonport - Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island, Takarunga Road, Devonport, Auckland
  • Mount Eden, Puhi Huia Road, Auckland
  • One Tree Hill / Maungakiekie, Cornwall Park, Olive Grove, Auckland
  • Mount Wellington, Maungarei Memorial Drive, Auckland
  • Mangere Mountain, Domain Road, Auckland
  • Views of Piha and Lion Rock from the Piha road

Best Auckland museums

  • Auckland travel tips: Auckland Art GalleryAuckland Museum, Auckland Domain, Auckland
  • Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland
  • Auckland Art Gallery, Wellesley Street, Auckland
  • Museum of Transport and Technology - MOTAT, Point Chevalier, Auckland
  • Highwic - one of New Zealand's finest houses, Gillies Avenue, Epsom, Auckland
  • Devonport Museum, Vauxhall Road, Devonport, Auckland
  • Royal New Zealand Navy Museum, Torpedo Bay, Devonport, Auckland
  • New Zealand Fashion Museum, Herne Bay, Auckland
  • Warkworth & District Museum and Parry Kauri Park, McKinney Road and then Tudor Collins Drive, south of Warkworth
  • Kawau Island Mansion House - Sir George Grey's house, former Governor of New Zealand

Auckland map

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