Things to do in Auckland – Our Top Picks

Discover Must-do Experiences in Auckland.

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Auckland is based around 2 large harbours and is a major city in the North of New Zealand’s North Island, and is New Zealand’s most popular city and is a multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts and culture. Auckland spreads out over volcanic hills and around twin harbours, presenting a breathtaking mix of natural wonders and urban adventures.

There are so many fun things to do in Auckland, we have curated 15 Must-do Experiences in Auckland, whether you’re after adventure activities, cultural attractions, art galleries, museums, visiting the animals or simply wanting to rest up and relax at a beautiful beach, there is something for everyone to discover in Auckland.

Also Read: Facts about Auckland 

Scroll down, to discover 15 of the best things to do in Auckland.


1. Auckland Art Gallery

Address: Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Website: https://www.aucklandartgallery.com/

Telephone: +64 9 379 1349

Opening Hours:

Monday – Thursday – 10:00am – 5:00pm
Friday – 10:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm

Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki is located in Wellesley Street East and was founded in 1888. ‘Toi o Tāmaki’ directly translates from Te Reo Māori to English as ‘the art of Auckland’.

The Art Gallery has over 15,000 works of art and for New Zealand residents, Gallery Members and Children 12  & under can enjoy free entry at Auckland Art Gallery. There is an onsite café which is located on level 1 of the Gallery is open daily 10:00am – 4:00pm & Fridays 10:00am – 9:00pm, and a shop on the ground level and is open during normal Gallery hours, 10:00am – 5:00pm & Fridays 10:00am – 9:00pm.

All galleries and facilities are wheelchair accessible.

Find: Best beaches in Auckland

2. Auckland Walks And Hikes

Top Locations:

Cornwall ParkOakley Creek Walk
Western SpringsHenderson Creek Walk
Westhaven Promenade LoopManutewhau Walkway
Takapuna-Milford Heritage WalkWaiheke Island Family Track (Katoa Iwi)
North Shore Coastal WalkWaipareira Walkway
Ambury Park FarmCeramco-Kaurilands Walk
Narrow Neck Beach WalkWattle Downs Walkway
Orakei Basin Walkway Pakuranga Rotary Walkway
The Coast To Coast Walk Kiwi Esplanade Walkway
Tamaki Drive WalkBeachlands-Maraetai Walkway
Rangitoto Island Summit WalkAwaroa Walkway

Benefits of Walks and Hikes:

Improves your mood – Exercise of any kind signals your body to release endorphins, which improve mood and trigger positive feelings in the body.
Calorie burner – Burning calories can help you maintain or lose weight.
Boost your energy – Walking increases oxygen flow through the body.
Helps joint pain – Walking can help protect the joints, including your knees and hips 
Vitamin D levels – Walking outside exposes your skin to sunlight, which generates your body to produce more vitamin D.
Health Benefits – Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Auckland is a stunning city and has plenty of picturesque hot spots with beautiful coastlines, sandy beaches, eye catching waterfalls, rapid mountain bike tracks and intimate nature reserves, whether you are wanting to venture out in the great outdoors for a walk, hike, jog, run or bike ride. Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier, So why not explore the most popular walking trails in Auckland to make you feel great!

3. Auckland Museum

Location: The Auckland Domain Parnell, Auckland New Zealand

Website: https://www.aucklandmuseum.com/

Telephone: + 64 9 309 0443

Opening Hours:  

Monday – 10:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday – 10:00am – 8:30pm
Wednesday – Friday – 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday – 9:00am – 5:00pm
Public Holidays might differ

Auckland Museum is a must-see. Surrounded by beautiful open land with grass and trees, the museum itself is very organised with a wide variety of interactive exhibits. Many are catered to children, providing engagement opportunities while educating on cultural and historical elements.

We love the section on New Zealand’s involvement in World War I, which includes smaller scale construction of actual trenches to show trench warfare, with very believable mannequins dressed for the parts. The attention to detail, which is an art in and of itself, is represented throughout the museum. The Auckland Museum is definitely worth a visit and has an excellent coffee shop as well.

Auckland Museum is Free for Auckland Residents and is free to all visitors on ANZAC Day. International visitors fees are: $28 Adult, $14 Child 5-13, $70 Family.

4. SkyWalk & SkyJump at the Auckland Sky Tower

Address: 72 Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1141, New Zealand

Website: https://www.bungy.co.nz/auckland/sky-tower/

Telephone: +64 800 759 925

Opening Hours: 

Monday – Sunday – 9:30am – 4:00pm

Prices: 

Adult (15 years old and above) – $32
Child 6-14 years – $13
Child 5 years and under – Free
Concession Students Valid ID required – $23

SkyWalk & SkyJump at the Auckland Sky Tower is located in the middle of Auckland’s CBD as its the tallest building in New Zealand. Standing at a massive 328m high, the recognisable Sky Tower is New Zealand’s tallest building.  You can SkyWalk around the outside on a narrow platform 192m above the ground and take in the breath-taking views of the region or SkyJump with nothing but a wire between you and the ground below.

Find: Family accommodation Auckland

5. Auckland Zoo

Address: Motions Rd, Auckland 1022, New Zealand

Website: https://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/

Email: info@aucklandzoo.co.nz

Telephone: (09) 360 3805

Admissions:

Adults (15 years +) $24
Students/ Senior Citizens (ID required) $19
Children (4-14 years) $13
Ages 3 & under free of charge.

Opening Hours:

Monday – Sunday – 9:30am – 5:30pm

Car Parking: The Zoo has two main Car parks for all vehicles. Additional mobility parking area is also available for easy access near the main entrance.

Auckland Zoo is a fantastic day where you can connect with the natural world. The Zoo has a footprint of 16.35 hectares, so bring your exploring boots and see what you can discover.

The Zoo opened its doors on 17th December 1922 with a budget of £10,000. It has improved and is growing all the time. There are 135 species comprising over 1400 animals. Not only are there so many magnificent animals to see, you will find an array of native flora and other plant life in the Te Woa Nui area which was opened in 2011. 

The Zoo has seen many changes over the last 99 years and now houses the biggest collection of native along with extoxic animals in New Zealand.

When you arrive you will see that there are exhibition areas.

Africa Safari TrackAsian ElephantsTe Wo Nui
South East Asia Jungle TrackSouth America Rainforest TrackAustralia Bush Track

You will also find on your travels around the park serval Café watering holes to have a bite to eat and enjoy a hot or cold drink.

Plenty for Kids to Do

There is also a Kids Zone for the little ones to explore and have fun and discover farm animals along the way. There are also a couple of playgrounds so the kids can go wild and have a ton of fun.

There are also many ways for the Zoo to interact with its visitors, especially the little visitors. The Zoo will actively engage with them, so they learn more about their environment and the wonderful animals that share our world.

There’s also a Junior Zoo Keeper program (6-13 years) which will lift the lid off the daily routine of a Zoo keeper. They will learn facts about the animals and their habits. They will  also have opportunities to meet, feed, and see close up a selection of animals. 

The Zoo will also provide a birthday party for kids with a comprehensive package on offer that they will remember for years to come. 

Conservation is way

Auckland Zoo is heavily into Conservation through captive breeding, training, and welfare. A fund was set up in 2000 to offer financial assistance to several projects in both New Zealand and at other International locations. 

The Zoo is very proud of the work they are doing to promote conservation, animal welfare, research, protecting our environment. It has extremely good educational programmes to allow visitors to understand how important it is to try and save and protect what we have.

The Zoo has gained several awards over the years, for exhibits, new dedicated buildings and enclosures, landscaping, natural habitats and of course conservation work. 

Auckland Zoo is run on a not for profit basis which allows all the money it generates to flow back to where it is needed, protecting the natural world and its inhabitants. 

6. Kayak to Rangitoto Island

Kayak across the stunning Waitemata Harbor and enter the Rangitoto Island – Auckland’s youngest and largest volcano. A casual walk to the bush-clad island’s summit across panoramic views of the Auckland city skyline and its many surrounding beaches and bays. Enjoy a tasty barbecue lunch on the shore of Rangitoto before paddling back across the water to Saint Heliers Bay.

Kayak Tours at Rangitoto Island 2021 – Auckland:

  • https://www.viator.com/tours/Auckland/Day-sea-kayak-tour-Rangitoto-Island/d391-48027P4
  • https://www.aucklandseakayaks.co.nz/kayak-tours/day-tours/sun-set-tour/#:~:text=You%20must%20be%20able%20to,270%20meters%20(900%20feet).
  • https://www.newzealand.com/int/plan/business/the-original-rangitoto-sea-kayak-tour/

7.  Waiheke Island ‘the island of wine’

Address: 80 Onetangi Road, Onetangi, Waiheke Island

Website: https://www.stonyridge.com/

Telephone: 09 372 8822

Opening Hours: 

Monday – Friday 11:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday – 11:30am – 10:00pm
Sunday – 11:30am – 6:00pm

Stonyridge Vineyard at Waiheke Island specialises in premium organic red wine. A picturesque vineyard displays beautiful roses interspersed with the grape vines, used to make the vineyard’s signature Larose Bordeaux style red wine.

Their Veranda Café is one of the most romantic and exotic venues in New Zealand for café dining, private functions, and weddings catering for up to 1,000 people.

8. Great Barrier Island’s Dark Sky Sanctuary

Website: https://www.greatbarrier.co.nz/our-great-skies/

Great Barrier Island is a place of incredible beauty, it is the first island in the world to be designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary – joining only ten other locations. The island is off the grid and with minimal outdoor lighting, it’s a dream destination for star-gazers to take in the stunning night skies. Great Barrier Island is the sixth largest island of New Zealand and the island is positioned approx 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of central Auckland in the outer Hauraki Gulf of the North Island of New Zealand. It is known as Aotea to the Māori folk.

Great Barrier Islands Dark Sky Sanctuary Tours: 

  • https://www.greatbarrierislandtourism.co.nz/dark-sky-sanctuary-great-barrier-island/
  • https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/sanctuaries/aotea-great-barrier-island/
  • https://www.newzealand.com/uk/plan/business/good-heavens-dark-sky-experiences/

9. SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium

Address: 23 Tamaki Drive, Orakei, Auckland NZ 1071

Website: https://www.visitsealife.com/auckland/

Email: operations@kellytarltons.co.nz

Telephone: +64 9-531 5065

General Admission:

Adult – $32.80 
Child – $23.20
Booking Online – Save 20%

Opening Hours: 

Monday – 9:30am – 5:00pm
Tuesday & Wednesday – Closed 
Thursday – Sunday – 9:30am – 5:00pm

Animals: 

King PenguinsGentoo PenguinsJellyfishCrabs
SharksColourful FishSeahorseTurtles
Spiny Sea DragonStingrayEagle RaysTuatara – New Zealand’s Dinosaur

Exhibits:

Antarctic Ice AdventureScott’s HutTurtle Rescue CentreShark TunnelShipwreck Shores
Shipwreck DiscoveryFish GallerySeahorse KingdomRockpoolsNIWA Southern Ocean Discovery

Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium opened its doors in 1985 by marine archaeologist and diver Kelly Tarlton. The Sea Life Aquarium is located at 23 Tamaki Drive and is a public aquarium in Auckland, New Zealand. Dive in to explore the underwater world where you can see Jellyfish, Sharks, Colourful FIshes, Seahorses, Stingrays, Eagle Rays and lots more.

10. Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tours

Address: 501 Buckland Road, Matamata 3472, New Zealand

Website: https://www.hobbitontours.com/

Telephone: +64 7 888 1505

Opening Hours: 

Monday – Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Admission:

Adult (17 years and over) – $89
Youth (9-16 years). Youth 14 years or younger must be accompanied by a full paying adult – $44
Child (0-8 years) – Free 
Family pass – $225.00

Duration: Approx 2 hours

The Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata is a popular New Zealand attraction. The Hobbiton Movie Set was the famous location used for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film trilogy. Guided tours start with a drive through a picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Tours depart daily from the Shire’s Rest Cafe

Discover Bag End, where Frodo and Bilbo’s adventures began. Disappear amongst the hobbit holes and visit the Green Dragon Inn, the mill and the Party Tree. Listen to fascinating tales of how Hobbiton came to be.

11. Rotoroa Island

Website: https://www.rotoroa.org.nz/

Email: info@rotoroa.org.nz

How to get to Rotoroa Island: Easiest way is by Ferry (360 Discovery Cruises). There is a ferry service from Downtown Auckland which takes just over an hour, including a stop at Waiheke’s Orapiu wharf on the way. You can also get to Rotoroa Island by ferry from Coromandel. 

Things to do at Rotoroa Island:

1. Astro Photography Experience: 8th May 2021
2. Kiwi Release: 14th March 2021
3. Southern Loop Track
4. North Tower Loop Track
5. Exhibition Centre & Museum
6. Bird Watching
7. Mai Mai Bay Track
8. Swimming
9. Fishing
10. Picnic Spots

Rotoroa Island is just an hour from Auckland and is a place where interested explorers can discover interesting fascinating stories and beautiful beaches. Where you can experience the conservation of iconic New Zealand species, or you can explore the perfect picturesque picnic spots. 

Rotoroa Island is miniature enough to explore in a day, but big enough that you won’t run out of things to do or see. At Rotoroa Island you can see endangered species in their natural habitat, and learn about our ongoing efforts to protect them, also you can visit their museum and exhibition learning all about their fascinating history. Hiking, swimming, volunteering and fishing; on Rotoroa Island there’s something for everyone.

The Rotoroa Island Trust’s vision is to care for this island sanctuary where visitors can connect with nature, the Island’s heritage is a place of recovery and renewal through its owners, The Salvation Army. 

12. Mount Eden

Mount Eden is also known as Manugawha has one of the 48 volcanic cones that have a one-of-a-kind landscape with breathtaking views. Mount Eden is Auckland’s tallest volcano, offering some of the best views of the entire city.

Maungawhau is a Māori-language name meaning ‘mountain of the trees’ and is 196 metres high and is the highest natural point in Auckland. Less than ten minutes south of the city centre, when you climb up to the summit you will be greeted by panoramic 360-degree views over the city and harbour.  

13. Rangitoto Island

Website: http://www.rangitoto.org

Getting there: A frequent daily ferry service from either downtown Auckland or Devonport Wharf.

Rangitoto Island is a volcanic Island in the Hauraki Gulf. It is Auckland’s most iconic Island with its unique symmetrical cones and its stunning location. Rangitoto Island is the youngest and largest of Auckland’s 48 dormant volcanic cones and is Auckland’s most active, last erupting only 600 years ago. 

14. One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie)

Website: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/parks-recreation/get-outdoors/aklpaths/Pages/path-detail.aspx?ItemId=399

Parking: Visitor parking is available near the start of the summit road.

One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie) is located in the North island of Auckland and is the second highest volcanic peak in Auckland, next to Mount Eden, One Tree Hill has views of the city and has a huge stone pillar at the top.

One Tree Hill -Maungakiekie is a 182-metre volcanic peak in Auckland, New Zealand. It’s a memorial place for both Māori and other New Zealanders. The suburb around the base of the hill is also called One Tree Hill. The Māori name Maungakiekie means “mountain of the kiekie vine”

15. Devonport

Website: http://www.visitdevonport.co.nz/ 

Things to do:

Shopping
Explore
Eat & Drink
Overnight Stay
Wedding
Deals

Devonport is a chilled vibe bayside village with outstanding cafes, seafood restaurants, classic Kiwi pubs and fish and chips shops. Devonport has small boutiques, art dealerships line Victoria Road and stunning beaches. The volcanic cone of North Head has harbour views and underground army tunnels. Hikers also climb Mount Victoria, passing reservoir vents decorated as mushrooms.

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