Great Things to do in Auckland
City Side — Harbour Side
The city centre sits on the edge of the stunning Waitemata Harbour and offers a plentiful choice of exciting harbour-side dining, cafe, and entertainment options as well as the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter areas that are a hub for socialising and waterfront dining.
Within the city is New Zealand’s most visited attractions, Sky Tower. Adrenalin junkies can jump off it as part of the AJ Hackett Sky Tower Bungy experience which also includes the opportunity to jump from Auckland’s iconic harbour bridge. For the fainter of heart, a visit to the top of the Sky Tower and walk on the glass floor will also set the heart racing and the camera buttons clicking. This is the ultimate vantage point to see all of Auckland from and offers a 360 degree perspective on the diverse land and ocean-scape that is Auckland.
Within easy reach of the city are the attractive eastern suburbs of Kohimarama, St Heliers, and Mission Bay. Their sandy bays are a draw card for locals and visitors and are suitable for swimming or just enjoying the harbour vista and panoramic of the Hauraki Gulf that stretches beyond past Auckland’s most dominant island, Rangitoto. En route you will find one of Auckland’s most sought after attractions, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World. This highly interactive experience is a must see for families and nature lovers alike.
Walk up a Volcano!
Auckland is built on a chain of twelve volcanoes – all thankfully dormant! One of the most visited ones is in the attractive suburb of Mt Eden. Just ten minutes from the city, Mt Eden is a popular walking spot and upon reaching its summit you can peer down into the now grassy crater of this ancient volcano.
Shoreside — Takapuna & Devonport
A short and very scenic ferry trip from Downtown Auckland takes you across the harbour to the historic village town of Devonport; home of the New Zealand Navy. With an elegant promenade, playground and interesting shops and dining options, Devonport is a ‘must do’ on any visit to Auckland. Put a good pair of shoes on and climb ‘Mt Victoria’ which is dotted with remnants of gun emplacements and a maze of tunnels, remnants of New Zealand’s WWII defences. The views from the top of Mt Victoria are spectacular and well worth the hike.
Devonport marks the starting point to the eastern side of the north shore. From Devonport take a short bus ride to the thriving centre of the Shore in Takapuna. With excellent shopping and beach side dining, Takapuna is the heart of the shore and is renowned for its expansive stretch of white sand beach making it popular with beach goers, stand up paddle boarders, swimmers, and other water based activities. Surrounding Takapuna is the geographical wonder of Lake Pupuke which has a lakeside cafe, performing arts centre, and walking trails.
A volcanic crater lake, Lake Pupuke is a reminder that you are well and truly in volcano land — albeit, dormant ones. The lava trail walk is one of Auckland’s best kept secrets and winds its rocky way around from Takapuna to the neighbouring beach of Milford and is well worth taking thirty minutes out to experience this.
Take a Walk on the Wild Side — Out West
If nature is your passion, then take a trip out west. There are a number of beach tour operators who take excursions to Auckland’s wild west coast beaches. For many visitors it is their first experience of black sand, and this coupled with large surf and open ocean makes for an exhilarating beach experience. Nature lovers should also take time out to immerse themselves in New Zealand’s pristine native bush with one of the many west coast bush walks, many of which begin and end beach-side.