Done it All in Auckland Before? What About These?
Auckland is the biggest hub in New Zealand so no doubt you will find yourself spending a lot of time there on multiple occasions during your trip in New Zealand. Sure, the first time you visited, you climbed Mt Eden, did the Sky Tower, took a ferry to Rangitoto, etc. etc. But what else is there to do in Auckland? Well, you need a list of alternative things to do in Auckland! Hurray, we have one right here.
There’s always new stuff to do in Auckland, so we challenge you to do at least one of these alternative things to do in Auckland from this list! There’s something for everyone too. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, then browse through Top 10 Natural Auckland Experiences or 10 Ways to Enjoy Summer in Auckland for yet more ideas. Plus, don’t forget to find a place to stay from The 50 Best Accommodations in Auckland.
1. Maritime Museum
Ok, so you’ve been to the Auckland Museum, you’ve probably check out the Auckland Art Gallery, but what about the New Zealand Maritime Museum. This museum at the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland City, is surprisingly huge and you could lose yourself for hours in this museum or even sailing in the harbour on a heritage boat. Dive into New Zealand’s history from a maritime perspective. See the 10 Best Art Galleries & Museums in Auckland for more experiences like this.
2. Clear Kayaking at Goat Island
You thought we were gonna just cover the city centre, didn’t ya? Organise a day trip out to the Goat Island Marine Reserve near Leigh where you can do the unique activity of kayaking in clear kayaks. No need to get wet and no need to get cold, just watch the fish underneath your kayak!
Kayaks are available to hire at the Goat Island Marine Reserve. Alternatively, book your clear kayak hire on Viator or Tripadvisor.
3. Tiritiri Matangi Island
You’ve probably visited Rangitoto Island, but have you checked out the bird sanctuary that is Tiritiri Matangi Island? This alternative island ferry trip from the Auckland City Downtown Ferry Building might take a little longer to get to (45 minutes-ish) but to hear the birds’ chorus echoing across the island makes it well worth it. Pick up a map and follow the hiking tracks where you’re guaranteed to see native birds here there and everywhere. Check out more islands to visit in The 10 Best Islands in Auckland to Visit.
Book your Tiritiri Matangi Island ferry ticket on Viator or Tripadvisor.
4. Go on a Food Tour
We’re switching things up now with experiencing Auckland’s culinary side. But we’re not talking about just going out for a meal. Let an expert guide show you the secret foodie spots of Auckland, from supermarkets where the chef’s shop to coffee roasters to fresh fish markets and more! Check out more food-related activities in the 8 Things to Do in Auckland for Foodies.
Book your tour with The Big Foody on Viator or Tripadvisor.
5. Go Black Sand Beach Hunting
Did you know there are more black sand beaches than Piha? Arguably they are more beautiful too, so it’s worth hopping in the car (or organising a trip with others in New Zealand travel Facebook Groups) or booking a shuttle, and taking a day trip to see them! Find out more in Where to Find Black Sand Beaches in Auckland.
Book your shuttle to Piha Beach with Trippys Shuttle Bus on Viator or Tripadvisor.
6. Go on a Whale-watching Cruise
You don’t have to travel to Kaikoura to see whales and dolphins. See them right here in Auckland! Whale watching cruises depart right from the city centre in the Viaduct Harbour, taking you on trips to see whales, dolphins, gannets and whoever else decides to show up that day!
Book your whale watching cruise with Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safaris on Viator or Tripadvisor.
7. Hunua Falls
North Shore and the Waitakere Ranges often takes the limelight for day trips in Auckland but how about heading south to the Hunua Ranges. Check out the 30m (98ft) Hunua Falls which makes the perfect photo opportunity. Plus, there are a number of awesome bushwalks in the Hunua Ranges which we outline in more detail in our Auckland Suburbs – Guide for Backpackers.
8. Do an Escape Room
It’s the craze that’s sweeping the world: Escape Rooms. And yes, you can do it in Auckland too! Beat the clock to escape a themed room while solving puzzles along the way. It’s a great team game so grab some friends or some randoms in your hostels and give it a go!
Try the Escape Hunt escape room in Takapuna. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.
9. Get a Tattoo!
If that alternative enough for you?! Auckland is one of the best places in New Zealand to get a tattoo with prestigious tattoo artists from all over New Zealand. As most people leave New Zealand from Auckland, it’s actually super convenient considering as you can give it time to heal when you get home. Find out more in Where to Get a Tattoo in New Zealand?
[CLOSED] Visit the Onetangi Reserve
[Update: the Onetangi Reserve has closed. For more places to visit in Waiheke, check out the 9 Glorious Things to Do on Waiheke Island]
When people visit Waiheke Island, they thing wineries and beaches. Well, there are some pretty cool bush walks there too. Take a hike in the Onetangi Reserve to see Kauri and Nikau forests and a great deal of birdlife! It’s a wild side of Waiheke that you’ll be stoked to discover.