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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Exploring Auckland: 10 Things to Do

Let your mind drift on the enchanting experience in the City of Sails – Auckland for what the city is best known for!

The vibrant city of Auckland sits nestled on the Northern Island of New Zealand. It is one of the most desirable locations with unique and majestic geographical features like mountain ranges capped with lush green rainforests inhabited by rich and diverse wildlife, beaches, and a gulf that offer the city with exemplary waterfront, magnificent Auckland harbor that shaped the history of the city, landscape attributed with volcanic center’s, and its dynamic population flaunting to be part of one of the multicultural cities on the globe, and home to the famous Maori community.

With its appraising features, Auckland city is quite promising for one to experience.

1. Fun Things to Do in Auckland City

Image Source: Depositphotos

The vibrant and dynamic city lures one with ample things to do in Auckland on their visit. Here is a list of a few to enjoy while visiting Auckland.

1.1. Hike the Largest Volcano in Auckland, Mt Eden

A quick peek at Auckland’s beautiful panoramic views atop Mt Eden is one of the most exciting things to do in Auckland.

Mt Eden is one of the blessed geographical virtues of the land of Auckland. Standing at the height of 196 meters above sea level, the place offers some outstanding views of Auckland city’s CBD.

The place is amongst the popular getaway spots for the population of Auckland. Recreational facilities like hiking, jogging, or a quick picnic at an outdoor location make it an exemplary outing spot in the vicinity of the city’s hustle and bustle. One of the other fascinating features of Mt Eden is that it is a dormant volcano.

things to do in Auckland
Photo by Kishan Modi on Unsplash

1.2. Walk the Exceptionally Beautiful Waitakere Ranges

Does the idea of a native lush landscape edged with untouched black sand beaches lure you? If yes, then Waitakere Ranges is something you need to explore.

The Waitakere Ranges is one of the tranquil places that the land of Auckland is blessed with. The scenic vistas of Waitakere Ranges will blow one’s mind with their stunning lush rainforests and hidden gems like waterfalls to explore, along with the richness of thriving wildlife, multiple walks to explore, camping, swimming, and fishing.

This native rainforest is additionally ornamented with rugged black sand beaches. Picnicking a day out with loved ones in this natural setting will have you covered for a blissful experience and is a must on your list of things to do in Auckland.

1.3. Visit Wine Heaven – Waiheke Island

Things to do in Auckland
Image Source: Depositphotos

Waiheke Island is a small island located just a ferry ride from downtown Auckland and is truly a wine lovers’ paradise.

This island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand is the second largest and most populated island in the Gulf. With a quintessential climate, the island is ideal for cultivating grapes, explaining wine’s richness in the Waiheke lands.

Relish your tastebuds by going wine tasting at the local wineries. You can also lure over the fact that some of the Vineyards, like the Man O’ War Vineyard and Mudbrick vineyard, are placed at waterfront locations offering several wine flavors with excellent views of the Gulf. A visit to the Waiheke islands is one of the most important things to do in Auckland city.

1.4. Spend Dollars At Famous Queen Street

Sitting in the city center, Queen street is one of the ultimate commercial thoroughfares where one can enjoy shopping.

Lined up with major designer and luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Dior, you can relish this shopper’s paradise and iconic street setting right in the heart of the city. Not only is this place popular for its shopping but also for the cultural aura it upholds. Explore uncommon eateries and stores that one cannot find anywhere else in the city.

Add Queen street to your list of things to do in Auckland to enjoy your evenings while shopping, eating, and sipping over your favorite beverages along the stroll.

1.5. Hit Auckland’s Regional Parks

Explore the surreal beauty of Auckland region and its nature through its Regional Parks. Spread across the Auckland region; there is about 25 Regional park that offers their visitors amazing hiking trails that take you through the rich wilderness, spellbound views of beaches, and places to go camping and picnicking.

Here are a few of the best Regional Parks to be on your list of things to do in Auckland.

1.5.1. Whakanewha Regional Park

Located on the southern coast of beautiful Waiheke Island, stretching between Rocky Bay/ Whakanewha bay, the Whakanewha Regional park encloses a large wetland, a habitat for rare birds, native trees, and beaches. The forests can be explored with hiking trails. Some of which, to your surprise, could end up with waterfalls or spotting birds.

Beaches being ideal for swimming also make it ideal for a family day out with picnic areas nearby. If you are up for camping, there are facilities for the same at Poukarala flats campground.

1.5.2. Hunua Ranges

Things to do in Auckland
Image Source: Depositphotos

With its massive spread across the southeastern Auckland region, Hunua Ranges Regional Park is one of the largest mainland forests and is famous for its eco-tourism. The park should be included in your things to do in Auckland as it is one of the prominent spots for hiking with trails that take you through the native forests of the region.

It is also an opportunity to spot several birds and wildlife while on your trail. The park is popular with adventurous activities like mountain biking, swimming, kayaking, boating, and fishing owing to its geographical topography featuring valleys. Other fascinating parts of the park include Hunua falls reserve.

1.5.3. Long Bay

Things to do in Auckland
Image Source: Depositphotos

The spectacular panoramic views of the Long bay regional park are just a 30-minute drive from Downtown Auckland. With over sprawling 160 hectares of coastal land, the Long Bay regional park is quite popular amongst locals and tourists.

Excellent recreational facilities like a supervised play area for children, road networks for cyclists and walkers to explore the coastal walkway, and farms make it popular amongst locals and tourists.

1.6. Strike The Iconic Rangitoto Island in New Zealand

Just as Rangitoto Island adds a distinctive skyline to the Gulf waters, in a similar fashion are the views from its summit.

Things to do in Auckland
Photo by Bill Fairs on Unsplash

The volcanic island rises to a height of roughly 260 meters above sea level and is considered one of the most iconic landmarks in Auckland city. Located close to the Auckland shore, the island is accessible by ferry, or you can kayak your way through the sea waters to reach the island.

The Rangitoto summit track is one of the fascinating parts of the island. With a moderate climb, the trails take you through one of its kind adventures by walking through the volcanic landscape.

Also, fell in awe after witnessing the Lava Caves on the island. Not to mention the spectacular views from the summit, which will surely take away your heart. Ascending this iconic landmark should make it into exciting thing to do in Auckland.

1.7. Stroll A Walkthrough In Matakana Village Farmers Market

How better can you start your weekend than by shopping through locally sourced vegetables and fruits?

Matakana Village Market and the entire region are popular for being a foodie delight with a fresh pick of organic fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and vineyards. Make sure you mark a Saturday by visiting this place among your things to do in Auckland. The picturesque region is located an hour’s drive north of Auckland city and is a popular getaway for locals and tourists alike.

Another fascinating reason to visit this place can be the fact that this place houses numerous wineries. These flashy sculptural gardens showcase art pieces from world-renowned artists, serving several delicious dining options, village-based picnic areas for kids to amuse over, and water sports activities for thrilling and fulfilling your adrenaline rush.

1.8. Witness the Dreamlike Magic of Hauraki Gulf

It’s difficult to grasp the beauty of the pristine waters of Hauraki Gulf, famously called Tipka Moana, this large gulf in the Pacific waters is situated on the northeastern island and is amongst the best places to be on your list of things to do in Auckland.

Things to do in Auckland
Photo by Look Up Look Down Photography on Unsplash

The island is popular amongst tourists as it hosts adventure enthusiasts and junkies with several water sports activities. Apart from housing rock pools and anchored spots for boats, the place also includes wineries and whale watching.

Explore the Great Barrier Island on a mountain bike, or go surfing here with waters ideal around the beach. If you wish to go camping, Motutapu island is a hidden gem explored, ideal for camping with hills, sea waters, and a comfortable atmosphere. Take a dip in the clear waters near Rakino Island and swim along with the rich marine life here.

1.9. Explore the Heart of Auckland City

Downtown Auckland is like the beating pulse of Auckland City. Allow yourself to enjoy the vibe of this iconic place packed with weekends and nightlife, dining options to relish, and shopping to kick-start your luxury escape.

Things to do in Auckland
Photo by Dan Freeman on Unsplash

This urban hub concentrates on major architectural wonders that make Auckland’s skyline unique. One of them is Sky Tower, which lets one enjoy the panoramic views of the city and allows them to indulge in activities like bungee jumping.

Overlooking the beautiful sea waterfront is the Auckland harbour called the Waitemata Harbour. Public spaces like Albert Park and Karanga Plaza let the pedestrian population appreciate the beauty of the city and its geographical features.

Places with artistic and cultural significance, like the Gusfisher Gallery, Melanie Roger Gallery, and Auckland War Memorial Museum, are also present in the Auckland city centre. The Auckland Museum is part of a larger complex called the Auckland Domain, which flaunts being the oldest park in the city and, importantly, sits on a volcanic crater.

Visiting Auckland Central and exploring these landmarks is a must on your things to do in Auckland.

1.10. Relax at Auckland’s Breathtaking Beaches

Spoil yourself to choose between the best beaches to enjoy your day out. The beauty of Auckland’s beaches multiplies with the attributes they come with.

While some beaches are sandy and gentle, ideal for swimming, the rest, mostly ones on the west coast, are wild, opening up for adventurous watersport activities. Some of the best beaches include Devonport Beach, Okahu Bay Beach, Anchor Bay Beach, Mission Bay Beach, Long bay beach, and the list continues.

The beaches are made visitor friendly and ideal for picnicking owing to the amenity provisions nearby, like playgrounds and restaurants. Many of the beaches propose to visitors water sports activities like paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.

Enjoying the blessed coastal line of New Zealand’s largest city Auckland should be on your list of things to do in Auckland.

Things to do in Auckland
Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

2. Did You Know?

  1. New Zealand was founded by William Hobson in the year 1840. He chose a city originally named ‘Tāmaki Makaurau’, meaning ‘desired by many’ in Māori, with alluring landscapes and the sea kissing its borders to be the country capital, and named it after his patron and friend Lord Auckland.
  2. Auckland has the world’s highest boat ownership per capita, with over 135,000 vessels registered in the city. Because of this, the city is nicknamed the “City of Sails.”
  3. Delivering posts and letters with the help of pigeons was first invented on the Great Barrier Island in Auckland.
  4. Auckland is home to the world’s 28th highest man-made structure, the Sky City Tower, which is part of the Sky City Auckland Casino complex built in 1994. The 1,075 ft tall structure is also the tallest building in the entire Southern Hemisphere!
  5. The city, with its beautiful skyline and landscapes on top of the land, is a beast hiding close to 50 volcanoes in its core close to 100 km deep under the city!

3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

3.1 What are the significant things to do in Auckland City?

Ans. Some of the major tourist attractions in Auckland include the Sky Tower, Kelly Tarlton’s sea life aquarium, Auckland Zoo, Auckland war memorial, Waiheke Island, Mount Eden, etc.

Apart from this, visiting Auckland’s beautiful waterfront and natural locations like beaches, plazas, regional parks, etc., should be on your list of things to do in Auckland.

3.2 What are some of the famous restaurants and cafes in Auckland?

Ans. Famous restaurants that should make it into your things to do in Auckland include Sails restaurant, Paris Butter, Culprit, The Grove, Everest Dine, Sidart, and One Tree Grill. While cafes include the famous Bestie Cafe, Frasers, Queenies Caffe & Vino, Little Melba, etc.

3.3 Are there tour agencies in Auckland that take you whale watching?

Ans. Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari, First Light Tower, and Wild Kiwi Adventure Tours are some of the tour agencies in Auckland that take you whale watching.

3.4 What is America’s Cup yacht?

Ans. America’s Cup Yacht is a popular and oldest water sports competition between two sailing yachts.

3.5 What is Mission Bay Auckland?

Ans. Mission Bay is a seaside suburb and a popular beach resort in the city of Auckland. Visitors also love the place as it houses beaches that are safe to swim in and several eateries to dine in.

4. Conclusion

Auckland will surely make your vacation go from desirable to memorable with its bucket full of things to do in Auckland.

This city of New Zealand has it all for its visitors to ensure they have the best vacation of their life, full of memories and experiences to carry home. From calm, rugged beach waters to beautiful islands with exemplary vineyards and volcanic trails to hikes and a high-end shopping experience in the heart of the city, the place has it all.

Indulge in several things to do in Auckland and enjoy a memorable vacation!



Siddhi Gulvi
Siddhi Gulvi
Creativity knows no limit, hence here I am! An Architect who loves to explore, travel and observe spaces be it manmade or natural, and aspires to showcase her vision through her writing.

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