🚗 self-drive itinerary
🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
During a visit to New Zealand's largest city you'll encounter world-class shopping, buzzing waterfront precincts lined with restaurants, a vibrant arts and culture scene and harbour adventures right on your doorstep. See below for more travel tips and local insights into the city scene.
Highlights can include:
- emerging from the sea just 600 years ago, pest-free Rangitoto Island is an Auckland icon and it’s long been a favourite day trip for walkers (see video) 🌋👟
- the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sky Tower stands tall at 328 meters and is an exciting hub of superb dining and breathtaking views
- leap off the Sky Tower and fall 192 metres straight down with SkyJump or inch along a narrow walkway around the tower with no handrail on the SkyWalk 😨
- climb to the top of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, or for an extra thrill bungy jump from it - you can even to choose to dip your head in the water!
- visit Tiritiri Matangi Island, an open wildlife sanctuary alive with birdsong. One of the most successful conservation projects in the world 🎶🐦
- treat your tastebuds on The Big Foody tour and take in the sights and sound of the vibrant Auckland region while visit the fish market, chocolatiers, cafés, farmers markets, artisan producers and more 🔪🍽️
- visit MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology)and explore fascinating exhibitions on the history of transport, technology and Kiwi ingenuity 🚂
- the sheltered waters of the Waitemata Harbour make it a paradise waiting to be discovered - join an exceptional Auckland Sea Kayak tour 🛶
- see the very best sights of Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) all through the eyes of an indigenous guide with Time Unlimited Tours. Learn about Maori culture, myths and legends as well as the ancestors who shaped this land
- allow at least 2 hours to explore Auckland Zoo, home to the largest collection of New Zealand and exotic animals in New Zealand 🐾
- visit the Maritime Museum to discover the stories that have shaped New Zealand’s identity as a seafaring nation ⚓
- see first hand why Auckland is often dubbed the 'City of Sails' on a relaxed harbour sailing experience taking in the volcanic peaks and city skyline ⛵
- walk to the top of Mount Eden / Maungawhau and enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of the city and its harbours as well as its 50 metre deep volcanic crater 📸
- Regarded as one of the finest museums in the Southern Hemisphere the Auckland War Memorial Museum is located in the Auckland Domain 🏛️
- journey underwater through SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium and discover a diverse collection of aquatic life up close including penguins, stingray or thrill yourself and dive with sharks 🦈🐧
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki is home to New Zealand historic, modern and contemporary art, and outstanding works by Māori and Pacific Island artists, as well as European painting, sculpture and print 🎨
- if you haven't experienced the raw speed and pure thrill of a high powered jet boat elsewhere in New Zealand, then jump aboard the Auckland Adventure Jet
- one of New Zealand's best boat trips, the Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari observes dolphins and whales at play in their natural environment aboard a comfortable catamaran 🐋🐬
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors7.0
🌦️ Chance of Rain3.5
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun7.5
🍽️ Food + Wine 7.0
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of the Department of Conservation on YouTube
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Here's an example itinerary for a 3 night stay.
Day 1 : Arrive in Auckland City
The majority of visitors will arrive through Auckland Airport, but a few of you will arrive either by car, coach, or by train. Upon arrival into Auckland City you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.
The afternoon of your arrival, you'll have time to ease yourself into a new timezone if you've just arrived. There's opportunity to indulge your interests too. Lovers of art will want to tour Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki; animal lovers will like the idea of getting up close to penguins at Kelly Tarlton's SEALIFE Aquarium; and those wanting to get a birds eye view over the entire city will find the appeal of The Sky Tower irresistable.
After dark, we'll offer suggestions on the best places to eat dependant on your accommodation location. You'll be spoilt for choice in the city centre, with plenty of options close by, and nearby suburbs of Ponsonby and Parnell also have plenty of delicious options to entice you too.
Day 2 : get to know New Zealand's largest city
Set on over 50 dormant volcanoes and between two harbours, Auckland City is beautiful but busy. One thing any visitor will tell you, is that traffic can be appalling - which is often a surprise as it is a city of 1.5 million people. Trust us, it can be horrendous at times, so, to avoid road range during your visit, we'll instead get you on a small group tour that showcases the highlights of the city sights at a relaxed pace - no need for stress while driving on foreign roads when you're on holiday!
You'll travel over Auckland Harbour Bridge enjoying the vista of the Waitemata harbour, and view Westhaven Marina, one of the largest marinas in the Southern Hemisphere with views through the yacht masts to the city skyline. You'll then drive through Parnell village, and see the historic Holy Trinity Church and the Parnell Rose Gardens before continuing on to visit the Auckland Domain and the exquisite Wintergardens. Next, you'll see the 360 degree views over the city from Mount Eden (Auckland's highest natural point), and learn about the history of the mountain. You'll have time to walk to the 15 minutes to the summit and view over the crater if desired. You'll then visit One Tree Hill and beautiful Cornwall Park before returning to the city through some of the glamorous suburbs of the eastern bays. You'll see the most expensive homes in Auckland City along Paritai Drive before visiting Bastion Point, where you'll have uninterrupted views over the harbour to Rangitoto Island.
That afternoon you'll have the opportunity to be more active if desired. Explore New Zealand's youngest volcano Rangitoto Island by boat and then foot. Or opt to sea kayak your way to Rangitoto Island at sunset for a few very memorable photo opportunities. Another great option is to embart on a habour sailing experience and have the city live up to its nickname the 'City of Sails'.
Whatever you've ended up doing with your day though, we'll arrange dinner tonight for you to celebrate your last night in Auckland City at one of our favourite restaurants, and treat anyone with a sweet tooth to our favourite dessert place too.
Day 3 : Depart Auckland City
Perhaps take yourself on a walking get-to-know-the-locals tour in the early morning, along the Viaduct area to the Fish Market, to see Aucklanders go about their typical daily activities, before getting a great breakfast at a city café. We'll let you know the best way to get from this region to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.