From Shopping, fine dining, arts and culture and of course the great outdoors, you'll find a long list of exciting adventures and activities in and around Auckland.
Nature enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor attractions. Auckland and the surrounding region features all kinds of beautiful landscapes in which to explore and admire. Take in some bird spotting while walking under a canopy of lush kauri trees and hike past stunning waterfalls in the Waitakere or Hunua Ranges, or head to one of the hundreds of beaches – wild, rugged black sand on the west coast and golden bays on the east coast. From short, easy trails to the more challenging trek, there are countless areas to hike and take in the beautiful scenery.
Of course there's also the 48 volcanic cones which provide a unique perspective into the landscape and geological history of northern New Zealand. Rangitoto Island is one of Auckland's most iconic natural landmarks and is the perfect place to learn about its fiery past. Here you'll journey over rugged lava shaped terrain and through lush forests and fern glens. Marvel at New Zealand's largest pohutukawa forest and visit lava caves as you make your way up to the 260 metre high summit where you will be treated to crater views and 360-degree views of the city.
New Zealand's natural settings produce some of the finest produce in the world. With so many quality ingredients on its door stop, it's no surprise that Auckland enjoys a great selection of casual and fine dining restaurants. Boasting three renowned wine regions, there are also excellent restaurants to be found at some of the award winning wineries, as well as casual cellar doors for tastings.
The cafe culture and restaurant scene in the central city are equally vibrant. Two popular waterfront dining precincts are Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Harbour. Eclectic bars and eateries flourish at the stylish Britomart while Federal Street is the perfect spot to sample award winning cuisine or a simple casual meal. For the serious foodie, there's no better way to uncover the city's diverse food scene than with a behind-the-scenes guided tour.
Culture, the Arts and Events
Discover the melting pot that is Auckland in one of the many museums, galleries and exhibitions. These cultural centres not only preserve the past, but also give a face to the country's cultural achievements both past and present. The Auckland Art Gallery houses New Zealand's first permanent art collection with over 15,000 pieces in its collection while the War Memorial holds artefacts and relics thousands of years old.
Landscapes and art combine at various parks and gardens around the region. Connells Bay Sculpture Park and Brick Bay Sculpture Trail provide over 40 examples of New Zealand art and sculpture. For some live action, the Auckland Civic Theatre is one of the city's oldest performing arts locations and provides a wide range of stage productions.
You'll find the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park right on Auckland's doorstep. Encompassing an area of over 1.2 million hectares, it is here along the deep blue waters of the sea where you'll find secluded islands and scenic coastal trails. The jewel of this picturesque gulf is Waiheke Island where a collection of olive groves, vineyards, native brush and golden beaches provide the perfect nature escape. An easy daytrip, the island is just a 35 minute ferry ride from Auckland and features such upscale experiences as five-star dining, art galleries and vineyards.
For an adventure that's a bit further afield, consider a trip by sea plane or car ferry to Great Barrier Island. Renowned for its rugged beauty and unspoilt wilderness, Great Barrier Island features natural hot springs and historic kauri dams. Whether it's hiking through native forest, sea kayaking, mountain biking or surfing, outdoor lovers will find a multitude of ways to spend their time.
There are plenty of ways to get your blood pumping, and these unique activities are bound to do the trick. Try the SkyJump from atop New Zealand's highest structure, the Sky Tower, or for a heart stopping stroll, take the 192 metre high SkyWalk around the exterior of the tower with nothing but a rope to secure you to the 1.2 metre wide platform.
Of course there are plenty of thrilling modes of transportation that provide both a good time and a scenic journey. Tour the city on the back of a Harley, take a scenic flight across the islands in a seaplane, zipline above the trees on Waiheke Island or go 'canyoning' down rainforest waterfalls. Or try your hand at climbing the Auckland Harbour Bridge where you'll find New Zealand's only 'ocean touch' bungy.