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๐Ÿš— self-drive itinerary

๐Ÿ›๏ธ minimum 2 night stay recommended

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ dining suggestions offered

๐Ÿ“… visit any time of year


Discover Auckland's north during your visit to New Zealand, and enjoy the ultimate laid-back lifestyle, where great food and wine is always close at hand and the sea is your constant companion. Or journey to Auckland's west to walk through untouched native rainforest, experience the rugged beauty of the wild west coast beaches and visit Auckland's oldest wine region.


Highlights can include:

  • the remote, wild, untamed beauty of Aucklandโ€™s West Coast Beaches is where the Tasman Seaโ€™s mighty surf crashes onto vast black-sand beaches. Whatipu, Karekare, Piha, Bethells and Muriwai beaches are all renowned for their rugged beauty and are good for the soul ๐ŸŒŠ
  • providing a unique insight into how we farm sheep in New Zealand, SheepWorld showcases our wool industry in an entertaining way ๐Ÿ‘
  • quaint Titirangi Village is irresistible to those who want to be inspired by the untamed beauty of the rainforest and the Waitakere Ranges
  • Brick Bay Sculpture Trail is home to an ever-changing exhibition of contemporary sculptures by leading New Zealand artists
  • Matakana Village Farmers' Market, fresh country air, artisanal food, award-winning wine, stylish boutiques, arthouse galleries and cinema ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŒพ
  • unlock the imagination, fuel creativity and ignite the mind at The Sculptureum Experience featuring colourful gardens and six galleries, which display art works from around the world ๐ŸŽจ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒฑ
  • offering great snorkelling opportunities Goat Island Marine Reserve teems with fish and other sea life ๐ŸŸ
  • meander along the stunning sparkling black sand beach in Muriwai or ride along beautiful Pakiri with magnificent sea views on a Horse Beach Trek ๐Ÿด
  • displaying a unique collection of both native and exotic species The Reptile Park is the only zoo in New Zealand that specialises in reptiles ๐ŸฆŽ
  • paddle down the Puhoi River through native bush, farmland and down into the mangrove forest to the Wenderholm Park ๐Ÿ›ถ
  • popular for mountain biking, tree climbing, horse riding and paintball Woodhill Forest provides plenty of scope for family fun ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ
  • known for its lovely beaches, the Hibiscus Coast in particular Orewa and Whangaparaoa Peninsula are perfect for swimming, kayaking and fishing, or kick back at one of the numerous eateries ๐Ÿš
  • a stunning wildlife sanctuary for New Zealandโ€™s native birds, enjoy spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf, and take a walk amongst the regenerating bush on Tiritiri Matangi Island (see video) ๐Ÿฆ
  • The Pah Homestead is a historic home currently used as an art gallery, housing the James Wallace Art Trustโ€™s collection of New Zealand art ๐ŸŽจ
  • some of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand, Omaha Beach offers pristine white sand as does nearby Tawharanui Regional Park along with shingled bays, native coastal forest and wetlands ๐Ÿš
  • take the opportunity to learn surfing on either the West Coasts black sand beaches, or the East Coastโ€™s pristine white sand beaches ๐Ÿ„
  • experience skiing and snowboarding all year round at Snowplanet, New Zealand's first and only indoor snow dome ๐Ÿ‚โ„๏ธโ›ท๏ธ
  • Devonport is a place where time slows down, with boutique shops filling the spaces of Victorian-era buildings, and some of the best beaches in the city
  • known for their sweeping views over the harbour and the Hauraki Gulf the twin peaks of North Head and Mount Victoria are popular walks ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ
  • the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum showcases the rich history of the Royal New Zealand Navy - self explore the stunning exhibitions โš“
  • the North Shore Coastal Walk which forms part of the Te Araroa Trail, is easily accessible and provides paths over cliffs, along the water, across sandy beaches, all the while offering views of Rangitoto Island ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ
  • AWOL Canyoning Adventures will take you rainforest canyoning - abseiling under showering waterfalls, underground streams into caves, jumps, water slides into hidden pools and mysterious water sculptured gorges
  • taste the flavours out west in Kumeu Wine Country, an area steeped in history with wineries in the area dating back to the 1930โ€™s; or visit the very small premium wine region of Matakana to the north of the city ๐Ÿท



๐Ÿ“ # of Visitors5.5

๐Ÿš Beaches7.5

๐ŸŒฆ๏ธ Chance of Rain4.0

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Family Fun8.0

๐Ÿ›’ Shopping7.5

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Food + Wine 4.5

๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ LGBTQI+ friendly ๐Ÿ‘

Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0


๐ŸŽฅvideo courtesy of the Department of Conservation on YouTube


Length of stay
  • Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you. 
    Here's an example itinerary for a 2 night stay.


    Day 1 : Arrive in North Auckland or West Auckland

    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 North Auckland or West Auckland you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 2 nights.


    The afternoon take in, if you're out west, take in the sights and sounds of Titirangi Village before enjoying on of Auckland's West Coast Beaches like popular Piha or peaceful Bethell's.  Alternatively, if you're staying North of Auckland, visit Devonport Village and take in the views from atop North Head and/or Mount Victoria, both offering plenty of photo opportunities.  Cheltenham Beach is a favoutie place to relax too.


    Tonight, we'll offer suggestions on the best places to eat dependant on your accommodation location. 


    Day 2 : spend a day with the birds, the fish, the farmers or just walk!

    Tiritiri Matangi Island is more than just a wildlife sanctuary - it's an island escape to another world. The birdsong alone is out of this world, and the views you get from different vantage points around the island are incredible.  Conservation is proving itself to be well worth the effort and it's great to be able to see the rare wildlife up close, thriving in their natural environment.


    Alternatively, if you're a fan of life under the sea, head north to Goat Island Marine Reserve, where you'll see an array of different fish, and a splash of unexpected colour here and there under the waves.  If the weather is right you'll be surprised how many different types of fish are here to greet you. 


    Make a full day of your trip north, by visiting Matakana Village, and if you're there on Saturday you'll be mad if you miss the Farmers' Market which provides an eclectic mix of stalls and a fun vibrant atmosphere most weeks.


    Closer to the city, but no less active, explore the best of the city's coastline on foot by walking the 23km stretch of Te Araroa Trail known as the North Shore Coastal Walk.  You'll be amazed by how peaceful and quiet it can be despite so many Aucklanders neighbouring the walk.  Sensational views, great cafรฉs and eateries and beach life all along the way make for a great days walk, and its relatively flat most of the journey too.


    Whatever you've ended up doing with your day though, we'll arrange dinner tonight for you to celebrate your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants.


    Day 3 : Depart North Auckland or West Auckland

    Don't forget to make the most of every minute, by waking up and taking a short walk to breathe in that fresh sea air this morning.  Then when you're ready, 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.