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U.S.FTC GUIDELINES PLEASE NOTE: we act as an affiliate for several companies that feature on our website. In some cases we may earn a commission from referrals to those companies. For further information please refer to our Privacy and Disclaimer policies which can be found in the "US" tab.

Auckland activities – there is so much to see and do here in the "City of Sails".

There are a huge range of Auckland activities available, with something to suit all ages, tastes, and budgets.

And we have heaps of information on the very best of those Auckland activities.

New Zealand’s largest city, with a population of over 1.4 million people, is home to one third of all New Zealanders.

Auckland's stunning Kaitoke Beach, pic courtesy Scott Venning

This vibrant, bustling city spreads itself along the shores of two magnificent harbors.

And for those that enjoy an outdoors lifestyle, it's a magic place. Said to have one of the highest rates of boat ownership in the world, much of what happens in Auckland focuses on the water.

But there is so much else to see and do in and around Auckland, and centers like Rotorua and Waitomo are within easy reach.

Auckland's mix of facilities, location and climate provide a lifestyle experience that sees it regularly ranked in the Top 10 cities in the world.

Also On This Page

There's lots of information about Auckland activities on this page, so to make it easier for you to find what you are looking for, just click on the links below:

Getting Here

Auckland is located in the northern part of New Zealand's North Island, and sits between the Northland and Waikato regions.

The stunning Auckland skyline at dusk - pic courtesy Chris McLennan

Auckland is also close to the beautiful bays and beaches of the Coromandel coast .

There is an extensive national highway network to and from Auckland - please refer to our State Highways map.

Auckland is home to New Zealand's major international airport and accepts flights from various countries, including Australia, the United States, Great Britain, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Fiji, China, Dubai, Thailand, the Philippines and Tonga.

Full details can be found on the Auckland Airport website by clicking here.

Auckland Airport Shuttle Buses

Shuttle bus services are available to and from the airport.

You can read reviews, check times and availability, and make your bookings by clicking on the buttons opposite:

Airport shuttles - Hotel to Airport

Airport shuttles - Airport to Hotel

Here are the Top 5, very best Auckland activities, as voted by our customers.

With so much to do here, it can get confusing trying to work out what to see.

Well don't worry, because we've done the hard work for you.

Based on customer reviews, and our own experiences, here are our best Auckland activities:

Come and see two of the best - Waitomo Caves and 'The Lord of the Rings' Hobbiton Movie Set

Your day tour from Auckland takes you to two amazing locations, both world famous.

What an amazing day visiting the Waitomo Caves and the Hobbiton movie set

Your trip to Waitomo takes you through scenic rolling countryside, passing through ancient battlegrounds and lush farmlands.

At the caves, your tour begins with a walk through the caves to explore the incredible limestone formations, slowly formed over centuries.

Then it’s time to board a small boat for your grotto cruise to see thousands of tiny glowworms, lighting up the cavern. It’s a wonderful experience.

After a delicious picnic lunch (included in your tour cost) it’s off to Matamata, to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set.

Here you’ll learn how this working farm was magically transformed into the Hobbiton village.

Commemorate your visit with some pictures of yourself  in front of a hobbit hole. See the Mill and the Green Dragon Inn, immortalized in the classic films.

It’s a brilliant day out and one that we highly recommend.

To read reviews and learn more, just click on the button below:

See glowworms, geysers and bubbling mud pools all on the same day!

Now this is a great day out!

Experience the magic of the Waitomo Caves, visit Rotorua’s thermal wonderland, see a working sheep farm, and visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, on this action packed day tour from Auckland.

See the magical glowworms at Waitomo Caves

The Waitomo Caves are world famous, and for good reason. Be enchanted by the magical glowworms as you cruise through their grotto, with thousands of them twinkling above.

Marvel at the limestone formations in the cave and learn about the history of the caves from your experienced guide.

Visit the Agrodome for an authentic New Zealand farming experience. Watch a flock of sheep being mustered by incredibly talented dogs, and watch as sheep are shorn in front of you. You’ll even learn about the history of the dairy milking and have the chance to milk a cow!

From there your tour heads to Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, a really unique spot.

See the bubbling mud pools and the much photographed Pohutu Geyser, which erupts into action throughout the day, sometimes as high as thirty meters.

To round off your day, you’ll visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, where you can learn about traditional Maori carvings and weaving, and how they tell stories of ancient times.

You can choose to finish in Rotorua, or return to Auckland at the end of the day.

To learn more about this awesome day out, just click on the button below:

The best of the “City of Sails”

If time is short, this three hour tour might be just the thing for you.

The beautiful Auckland waterfront

It’s very popular and highly rated, and takes in some of the best Auckland scenery.

You can choose from morning or afternoon departures, then sit back and relax as your experienced guide tells you all about the stunning “City of Sails”.

Cross the famous Harbour Bridge for wonderful views of the city skyline.

See some beautiful heritage listed buildings and the wonderful Viaduct Harbour.

Visit Auckland’s oldest park, the Auckland Domain (it sits on an extinct volcano), and stop at Parnell village where you can buy a cup of coffee then wander around the boutiques and other quirky stores.

Your tour finishes up with a scenic drive along the beautiful Tamaki Drive to Mission Bay. Have your camera ready because the views of Auckland and the harbour are spectacular.

Here are some comments from other visitors:

Reviewed by: Ming Chun K, July 2016

"This tour was amazing!"

Reviewed by: Jan G, September 2015

"Fabulous three hour tour, our guide Damian had extensive knowledge and was most helpful with our questions."

To read more and make bookings, just click on the button below:

Ever wanted to climb a bridge?

The Auckland Harbour Bridge is the perfect place from which to view the majestic waterways that are such an Auckland feature.

High above the harbour on the Auckland Harbour Bridge climb

Your one and a half hour fully guided tour takes you high up on the bridge, where the city, harbour and skyline unfold below.

Walking along specially engineered walkways, you'll see the the framework of the bridge, and even get a chance to stop and watch the bungy jumpers as they "depart" from the AJ Hackett bungy site.

See Sky Tower, Waitemata Harbour, and lots more as you make your way to the peak of the bridge, sixty seven meters above the harbour.

This amazing experience is suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels, so why not enquire now, by clicking on the button below:

Cruise our amazing harbor and stop off for dinner

Now this is something different. Auckland activities don't get much more relaxing than this.

Your fifty foot (fifteen meter) sailboat awaits you at Viaduct Harbor.

The Auckland Harbour cruise and dinner is a wonderful experience

After boarding it's time to set out onto Waitemata Harbor for some stunning views of the city.

The skyline has a completely different view from the water, and as the daylight fades, the majestic one thousand foot high Sky Tower lights up in the distance.

The breeze in your face makes you wonder why you don't live here and do this all the time. It's just magic!

Your captain steers your boat into Westhaven Marina, where after docking, you head below for a great three course dinner.

After dinner it's time to head back onto the harbor where the Auckland skyline is at its best.

See the Auckland Harbor Bridge, the ferry building and off in the distance, the extinct cone of Mount Eden.

You even have a chance to steer the boat or to assist the crew with the sails. Great fun.

At the end of your cruise you return to Viaduct Harbor, filled with memories of a wonderful experience.

What a great night.

City of Sails

Situated on a narrow piece of land between Waitemata and Manukau harbors, Auckland offers locals

and visitors a wide range of easy to access Auckland activities and adventures.

Known as the "City of Sails" because of it's high boat ownership rate, so much here revolves around these brilliant waterways.

Within half-an-hour of the city center, you can relax on an island in the Hauraki Gulf, take a walk through native rainforest, take a tour of local vineyards, or stroll along a rugged volcanic surf beach.

It is also the largest Polynesian city in the world, and has New Zealand's most multicultural population.


As befits a city of its size, Auckland has a vast range of accommodation options.

Wow! Stunning views from the Auckland Hilton

And you can get a feel for where everything is by looking at the Auckland map further down the page.

The most requested locations are for motels close to the airport, and those close to the central business district (CBD).

So, based on our customer reviews, here are a couple of suggestions:

Best CBD motels

Adina Apartment Hotel

Just 200 meters from Vector Arena, and opened in late 2015.

This apartment style hotel offers modern clean rooms with kitchen facilities, modern bathroom, in room safe and a work desk.

View Here.

Address: Quay Park precinct at 2 Tapora Street, 1010 Auckland, New Zealand
Rooms: 128
Restaurant: Yes
On Site Parking: Yes
Free Wifi: Yes
Gym: Yes
Distance to Sky Tower: 1 kilometer
Distance to airport: 18 kilometers

Auckland's Adina Apartment Hotel

Crowne Plaza Auckland

Centrally located an within easy walking distance of Sky Tower,  the Queen Street shopping district, bars and restaurants, the Crowne Plaza is a favorite with guests.

A wide range of modern rooms with something to suit all needs.

View Here.

Address: 128 Albert Street, 1010 Auckland, New Zealand
Rooms: 352
Restaurant: Yes
On Site Parking: Yes
Free Wifi: No, but available
Gym: Yes
Distance to Sky Tower: 5 minute walk
Distance to airport: 18 kilometers

Crowne Plaza Auckland

Grand Millennium Auckland

The central city location mean that the Grand Millennium is right in the middle of the action, and it's only a short walk to the Convention Centre, Town Hall, Sky City and Vector Arena.

A wide range of room types, heated pool, brasserie and on-site restaurant make this a great place to stay if you want to explore central Auckland.

The Grand Millennium is around 40 minutes by taxi to the airport.

View Here.

Address: 71 Mayoral Dr, Cnr Vincent St, 1010 Auckland, New Zealand
Rooms: 452
Restaurant: Yes
On Site Parking: Yes
Free Wifi: Yes
Gym & Pool: Yes
Distance to airport: 40 minutes drive

Grand Millennium Auckland

Best hotels near Auckland Airport

Holiday Inn Auckland Airport

The Holiday Inn is set in 10 acres of gardens, so you never feel crammed in.

Nice range of rooms, and a great restaurant.

Love the swimming pool and gym, which are great if you've had a long flight.

In house movies, wifi, and work desks in rooms all add to the value.

View Here.

Address: Ascot Road, Mangere, 2150 Auckland
Rooms: 250
Restaurant: Yes
On Site Parking: Yes
Free Wifi: Yes
Gym & Pool: Yes
Distance to airport: 5 minutes drive, and 25 minutes drive to Auckland CBD

Relax around the pool at the Holiday Inn Auckland Airport

Jet Park Airport Hotel Auckland

Great location only five minutes drive from the airport, with a free shuttle available.

On site restaurant, bar, swimming pool and free wifi covers all the necessities for a relaxing stay.

It's only ten minutes drive from Manukau Harbour, and the CBD and Auckland Zoo are each only 30 minutes drive away.

View Here.

Address: 63 Westney Road Mangere , 2022 Auckland, New Zealand
Rooms: 222
Restaurant: Yes
On Site Parking: Yes
Free Wifi: Yes
Gym & Pool: Yes
Distance to airport: 5 minutes drive, and 30 minutes drive to Auckland CBD

The Jet Park Airport Hotel Auckland

History & Maori Culture

The Maori name for Auckland is Tamaki-Makau-Rau or 'the maiden with a hundred suitors'. It was so-named because the region was coveted by many tribes, and in fact at least 18 Maori tribes have had claims on the area at some time.

A Maori cultural performance at Auckland Museum

The Ngati Whatua iwi (tribe) who made the region their home in the mid-17th century, also knew the area as Te Herenga Waka or 'the place where many canoes are tethered'.

Captain James Cook missed the Waitemata harbour when first charting the New Zealand coastline in 1769, and it was British missionary Samuel Marsden, in 1820, who became the first known European to explore the Hauraki Gulf. Many missionaries and other European settlers followed soon after.

New Zealand became part of the British Empire in 1839, and Auckland was chosen as capital of the new British colony and was actually New Zealand's capital for 25 years (Wellington is now the capital).

There are numerous Maori cultural tours available which offer visitors a first-hand experience of Maori culture, and visitors should make a point of including a tour in their itinerary.

Auckland War Memorial

The War Memorial Museum houses the largest and most valuable collection of Maori taonga (treasures) in New Zealand.

The museum's Maori culture performances are among New Zealand's leading cultural experiences, and are the face of the Ngati Whatua o Orakei, the home tribe.

Click on the following link to learn more about the New Zealand Maori people .

Auckland Activities-Food and Wine

There are more than 80 vineyards producing chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon wines. These vineyards are focused in five main areas

Fun on Waiheke Island. Image courtesy Adam Bryce

- Waiheke Island, west Auckland, northwest Auckland, north Auckland (around Matakana) and the Clevedon Valley.

Waiheke Island is known for quality Bordeaux-style red wines. Stonyridge winery produces 'Larose' - one of the world's top 20 cabernet blends and New Zealand's most expensive wine. There are wine-tasting tours on the island, and many vineyards have restaurants.

North of the city, Matakana is known for fine wine, fresh produce and a weekly farmers' market - one of the region's many, where visitors mingle with locals to try fresh, homegrown and artisan products.

The region's restaurants and cafes reflect the close access to quality sea and land produce, and multicultural influences. Many restaurants offer 'Pacific rim' cuisine, fusing Pacific and Asian flavours.

Auckland Activities-Adventure / Outdoors

From canyoning and abseiling, to jumping off bridges (bungy) or the Sky Tower, there are many activities for the adventurous.

Or for a unique wildlife experience, visit Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World .

See the penguins at Kelly Tarlton's Arctic Encounter and Underwater World

The rugged west coast is the perfect place to try canyoning. Deep in the heart of the Waitakere rainforest, visitors can abseil down waterfalls, jump off cliffs into deep pools and slide down smooth natural hydro slides.

The Sky Tower, at 328m, is the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere, and offers 360-degree views of the region, and the chance to 'skywalk' around the outside or 'skyjump' 192m in the air.

On the harbour bridge, which was opened in 1959, visitors can climb over , under and jump from the spectacular bridge that dominates the inner harbour.

The world-first harbour bridge bungy jump - operated by bungy originals AJ Hackett Bungy - is a safe, fun and interactive way to experience the city from another perspective.

Auckland Activities - There Is Lots More To See And Do In And Around The City Of Sails

Here are a few ideas:

* Take some time to wander around Auckland Botanic Gardens. Covering 64 hectares, the gardens contain over 10,000 plants.

Thrills galore on Sky Jump from Auckland's Sky Tower - pic courtesy Mark Downey

* Climb or bungy from the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Great views of the city and harbour.

* A visit to Auckland zoo will reveal over 150 different species, in an open plan environment. Hippo River, Pridelands and the Sea Lion and Penguin Shores exhibits are always popular.

* Butterfly Creek, near Auckland airport has a butterfly house, an aquarium, and several other displays including Australian crocodiles.

* The Coast to Coast Walkway stretches for 13 kilometres from Queen Street to Onehunga and takes about 4 hours. It passes many notable landmarks including several parks. Bus services back to Queen St are available from Onehunga.

* A short 15 minute ride to Devonport on the ferry reveals a lovely suburb full of Victorian influenced buildings, cafes and shops. The nearby Navy Museum is also worth a look, and if the weather permits, take your swimmers for a dip at Cheltenham Beach.

* Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World is a must see. Great displays include King and Gentoo penguins, a tank containing over 1500 fish, including several species of shark, and Stingray Bay.

* Take a trip to the top of Sky Tower. At 328 metres, Sky Tower is the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere, and the views from the observation decks are stunning. And if you are feeling adventurous, you can take a Sky Walk around the outside of the tower or a Sky Jump from 192 metres!

Bungy off the Auckland Harbour Bridge

* Snowplanet is New Zealand's only year round indoor snow park. With slopes for beginners and more experienced skiers, and a terrain park, it's sure to please.

* Take a guided cruise or catch a ferry and explore the stunning islands of the Hauraki Gulf. Include a wine tour of Waiheke Island. A relaxing day out with beautiful scenery.

* Spend a day at New Zealand's premier theme park, Rainbow's End.

* Attend a rugby match at Eden Park and see why the kiwis are so passionate about their national game.

* Visit the cafe strip at trendy Ponsonby for an almost endless variety of cafes and restaurants. Something to suit all tastes.

There is so much more to see and do here than what we've listed above.

Why not have a look at what others liked and catch up on the most popular and best selling Auckland activities?

To see lots of other great ideas, or to make bookings for a huge range of Auckland activities just click HERE.

Some Facts About Auckland

* Manukau city in South Auckland has the world's largest Polynesian population, celebrated annually at the month-long Pasifika Festival.

* Auckland is the only city in the world that is built on an active volcano field.

* Also known as the 'City of Sails', it has more boats per head of population than any other city in the world.

* It is one of the few places outside the tropics where rainforests exist. The Waitakere ranges, with more than 16,000 hectares of native temperate rainforest, have 250km of walking and tramping tracks.

Here is a short promotional video from Tourism Auckland:

Click on the following link to view a full range of activities.

State Highways map

Auckland location map

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