Auckland Top Things To Do
Auckland is full of things to do and see, and while the rest of the country is amazing too, many people tend to skip exploring what the city has to offer.
Auckland feels like a big city, with all the hustle and bustle, but when you get down to it, it’s also a wonderfully relaxing and picturesque place, with a great deal of natural beauty, both on the beaches and in the landscapes throughout the Auckland area.
Located on the North Island of New Zealand, Auckland is separated from the rest of the country by steep valleys and gorges, the largest harbour in Australasia, and islands that are dotted throughout it.
No matter what you are planning to do, Auckland is a great city for you to stay and visit. In just a few hours drive you can head to the stunning Coromandel, or travelling North to Mangawhai Heads is only a short drive away too.
1. Sky Tower
Take a 40-second ride up to Auckland’s largest man-made building, the Auckland Sky Tower, which stands at 328 m. Take a look at Auckland’s famous sites, including 53 volcanoes, from the top of the Sky Tower.
Clip onto a skywalk or base jump off the deck for a high-octane thrill. Or try Yoga In The Sky for a more relaxed sunrise view of the entire city from the Observation Deck.
At the Sky Tower – Orbit 360°, you can enjoy fine meals and a spectacular view from 186 metres above street level.
2. Auckland Art Gallery
Explore 700 years of art in New Zealand’s largest public art establishment, including Māori commissions incorporated into the architecture and outlying areas.
Many of the exhibitions in the Auckland Art Gallery are inspired by the city’s rich history and expansive geography. The Auckland Art Gallery features talks and tours, workshops, and live performances as part of their everyday programming.
Discover the greatest permanent collection of New Zealand art in the heart of Auckland City, as well as world-class travelling exhibits, classic and contemporary international pieces, and an immersive sensory experience.
At the Creative Learning Centre, kids can get up close and personal with rotating exhibitions. Let your imagination run wild as you engage with the exhibit and create your own art in this family-friendly area.
3. Visit Rangitoto Island
Take a kayak excursion to Rangitoto Island at sunset to enjoy the stunning vistas of Waitemata Harbour. Discover New Zealand’s biggest and youngest volcano, aged only 600 years, as you make your way through lava fields on an easy, hour-long walk to the top of the island after arrival.
Afterward, go back to the beach for a barbeque meal. Return to your kayak and paddle back to the coast under the stars. The adjacent Motutapu Island, where camping is accessible for those who prefer to spend the night, is also a viable option for ferry access to the island.
4. Auckland Zoo
Visit the Auckland Zoo to commemorate its 100th anniversary of conservation and have a great time with the whole family. There’s something for everyone to see among the 135 species and 1400 creatures that populate the park.
Safari in Africa, woods in the Living Realm – Te Wao Nui, high canopy in South East Asia Jungle Track, desert in Australia, and rich vegetation in South America are just a few options you’ll find when exploring the game’s various tracks.
5. Visit a Beach in Waitakere
Auckland has a wide variety of beaches to explore. Closer to the city centre, you have calmer beaches such as Mission Bay and Point Chevalier Beach. However, if you head out a little further to the Waitakere Ranges in West Auckland, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some gorgeous beaches.
There are a wide variety of beaches in Waitakere, but some highlights we recommend visiting are Piha Beach, Bethells Beach, and Karekare Beach. Heading further up north is also Muriwai Beach which is known for the large colony of Gannets that nest there.
Looking to extend your stay so you can discover more of Waitakere & West Auckland? Check out our Waitakere accommodation options, or stay in luxury at Piha. Available for you to book online Now with Bachcare.
6. Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium
As part of Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Shark Cage Adventure, wear a snorkel and get up close and personal with sharks. As you enter the predator tank, you’ll come face to face with sharks, stingrays, and other marine life native to New Zealand’s coastline.
The Penguin Passport journey is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Explore the cold paradise of the penguin cage with the help of King and Gentoo penguins. A professional photograph with your new subarctic pals is a must.
Shipwreck Shores, an underwater playground featuring a splash table and a sea-cave crawl, is sure to be a hit with the little ones.
7. Auckland Wine Tours
Those interested in both sightseeing and wine tasting can choose from a variety of full and half-day tours of the region’s best vineyards. Take a tour of four vineyards on the East Coast or West Coast, or two from each, and sample local wines. Wine Trail Tour guides have extensive knowledge of the region’s individual “terroir,” which is a combination of climate and soil characteristics. To learn more about the history of the location, stop for a bite to eat and chat with the winemakers.
For those of you with a little extra time to spare, it is well worth taking a trip over to Waiheke Island and enjoying many of the great Waiheke wine tours on offer. There are also many beautiful places to stay on Waiheke Island if you are wanting to enjoy more of what it has to offer.
If beer tasting is more to your liking, be sure to visit Auckland during GABS (Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular) in July. Brewers from New Zealand and Australia all tap in during the event where you can sample more than 60 craft beers and ciders. Brewing workshops, live music, gaming, and other activities are all part of this “Disneyland for Beer Lovers” event.
8. Auckland Museum
Go and see a large collection of New Zealand history. Ranging from natural history, through to cultural and military history. The Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira has something for everyone.
Situated at the stunning Auckland Domain, you’ll also want to allow extra time to wonder around Auckland Cities 75 hectare park and visit the Winter Gardens too.
Auckland is a city rich in culture, with its vivid history and breathtaking scenery make it a great destination for all to visit.
Auckland’s art museums, iconic landmarks, and living history settlements are great places to learn about the city’s past, and there are many things to keep you entertained regardless of your interests. You’re sure to stumble upon some hidden treasures as you explore the city.