The Must-Dos in Auckland: The Ultimate List
What do you do in New Zealand‘s largest city?! As you might suspect, there is SO much to do in Auckland that planning your time there can be quite a headache between all the things to do that we list in The Complete Guide to Auckland and the additional 10 Alternative Things to Do in Auckland. Auckland has both urban and nature activities on its doorstep, where you can be going up the tallest building in the country in the morning and sail to an outer island in the afternoon. Despite the overwhelming variety, we love the challenge so here are the very best things to do in Auckland.
Don’t forget to find a place to stay from The 50 BEST Accommodations in Auckland.
1. Climb Through Lava Caves on Rangitoto Island
We’re not saying that the number one thing to do in Auckland is to get straight out of the city, but we’re guessing you have come to New Zealand for the natural scenery. With that in mind, the must-do day trip for anyone staying in Auckland City has to be taking the ferry to Rangitoto Island! This volcanic island is awash with lava fields and forests. There are multiple walks to follow around this pest-free island, i.e. a safe haven for native birds. The most popular walk is straight to the summit offering excellent views of the crater and the Auckland city skyline. Don’t miss the side trip to the lava caves to scramble through! Plus, see more family-friendly activities like this in our 10 Things to Do in Auckland with Kids.
Location: Take the ferry from the downtown ferry building on Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
2. Kayak or SUP Among Bioluminescent Plankton or to One of the Outer Islands
Get on the water among volcanic islands and even paddle among luminous plankton on one of the kayaking and paddleboarding adventures with the Social Nature Movement. The Browns Island Motukorea Sea Kayak Tour is a popular one from Auckland’s city centre while the Lucas Creek Waterfall SUP Tour takes you to one of the city’s real hidden gems in Albany. For something truly special, join SNM after dark for the Auckland Bioluminescence Kayak Tour to paddle over otherworldly luminous plankton!
Location: All over Auckland! See the links above for departure locations.
3. Get the Best Views of the City from Mt Eden
Mt Eden is not only a volcanic cone but it’s also the highest natural point in Auckland city, which means… Awesome views! While you can drive to the top of the mountain, we recommend walking from the city centre to get a taste of the Auckland suburbs. The Mt Eden suburb is known for some quaint restaurants and cafes that will make the walk up and down the mountain all the more rewarding. Find more activities like this in 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Auckland.
Location: There are a number of access points for walkers and vehicles. Vehicles take Puhi Huia Road from Hillside Crescent or Clive Road, approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) from Auckland city centre.
4. Explore the Auckland Domain
The Auckland Domain is so deceiving. There’s always something else to discover even for locals in this vast park covering 75 ha (185 acres). Check out the Auckland Museum, which has an entry fee for visitors or is free for locals – find out more on Viator and Klook. Do a bushwalk complete with small waterfalls on the Lovers’ Walk or visit the Winter Gardens for some weird and wonderful plants on display. Watch a game of cricket on the sports fields or catch some live music during the summer months. And the list goes on…
Location: Auckland Domain is a 25-minute walk southeast of Queen Street between the suburbs of Grafton and Parnell. Access is via Lower Domain Drive and Domain Drive, approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) from Auckland city centre.
5. Snorkel or Kayak at the Goat Island Marine Reserve
Auckland certainly isn’t just about the city so we definitely urge you to explore the Auckland region if you can! One of the top day trips is to New Zealand’s first marine reserve, the Goat Island Marine Reserve. Here, you can check out some underwater creatures via snorkelling, diving or even clear kayaking with Clearyak! There are also walks and the Goat Island Discovery Centre too, so there’s plenty at the marine reserve to keep you going.
Location: Goat Island Road, Leigh, approximately 85 km (53 mi) from Auckland city centre.
6. Enjoy Some of New Zealand’s Best Nightlife
If you’re looking to party in New Zealand then, as the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland has to be the place to do it! You are spoiled for choice with bars and clubs throughout the city centre and suburbs. There are many pockets of bars and clubs around the city centre and the inner suburbs of Auckland, from contemporary cocktails on the Viaduct Harbour to the underground vibes of K’ Road. Find out more about the nightlife offerings in The Guide to Auckland Nightlife!
Location: Auckland Central. See the link above for recommended locations, as well as listings in the 10 Best Bars in Auckland.
7. Go Up the Highest Building in the Southern Hemisphere…
The Sky Tower is the highest building in the Southern Hemisphere at 220 m (722 ft) high standing proudly in the city centre of Auckland. You can’t miss it! It’s also pretty enticing to go up the Sky Tower, whether it’s to check out the views from the Observation Deck or have a lavish meal high above the city in the cafe. Check out tickets to the observation deck on Viator and Klook.
Location: 72 Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
8. … And Experience That Famous New Zealand Adrenaline on the SkyWalk or SkyJump!
For those more adventurous, why not do the “SkyWalk“, walking around a narrow pathway with no barriers, just obstructive views of the city 192 m (630 ft) below you? Alternatively, do the “SkyJump” which we can only describe as the world’s most extreme zipline!
Location: 72 Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
9. Take a Road Trip to the Waitakere Ranges
Yes, there’s more to explore in the Auckland region! A popular city escape is to the Waitakere Ranges to get a dose of New Zealand wilderness. Take the walking tracks among the forest with waterfall after waterfall or check out the black sand beaches backed with rugged coastal cliff scenery. The beaches of the Waitakere Ranges are also the most-loved surf spots in Auckland. Find out about all the awesome stuff to do here in our Waitakere Ranges Guide.
Location: West Auckland. There are several access roads to the Waitakere Ranges so find your destination and driving instructions through our Waitakere Ranges Guide. Day tours are also available with Social Nature Movement, Bush and Beach and TIME Unlimited Tours.
10. Experience a Whale and Dolphin Cruise
Another way to get on the water in Auckland is via an exciting whale-watching tour. An activity for all ages, Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safaris takes you on a half-day cruise with marine biologists to observe some of the Hauraki Gulf’s frequent visitors. We’re talking playful bottlenose dolphins, majestic Bryde’s whales, and an array of seabirds! Find out more about Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari on Viator and Klook. Additionally, see more experiences with nature in the Top 10 Natural Attractions in Auckland.
Location: Tours depart from 175 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
11. Sample Some of the Local Cuisine
One of the great things about Auckland is that it’s one of the best places in New Zealand to find something good to eat. It just about covers every nationality, so there is plenty of choices. Not only is there a great selection of restaurants throughout Auckland, but there are also many foodie events from markets to food festivals. Check out The Food Guide to Auckland: Places to Eat & Food Tours for our complete guide to all things food in Auckland!
Location: All over Auckland! See specific locations in the link above.
12. Learn Something New at Auckland’s Museums
As one of the last major landmasses to be discovered, New Zealand has quite the story. Discover it for yourself at The Auckland Museum, packed with exhibitions about New Zealand’s social and natural history. Find out more about the Auckland Museum on Viator and Klook. Another museum worth adding to the itinerary is the New Zealand Maritime Museum, showcasing seafaring stories of the South Pacific. And a great one for the kids is the MOTAT in Western Springs, otherwise known as Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology. See more museums worth visiting in the 10 Best Art Galleries & Museums in Auckland.
Location: Auckland Museum – Auckland Domain, Parnell. New Zealand Maritime Museum – Corner of Quay and Hobson Street, Viaduct Harbour. MOTAT – 805 Great North Road, Western Springs, approximately 5.5 km (3.4 mi) from Auckland city centre.
13. Sip Wine on Waiheke Island
For the perfect mix of city life and island life, head to Waiheke Island! Just a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, Waiheke Island is most famous for its wine production. Check out around 20 vineyards and cellar doors where you can sip wine, eat amazing food and gaze over the island. There’s also a lot more to do on the island, especially for beach bums but you can learn more about all that in the 10 Best Things to Do on Waiheke Island.
Location: Ferries depart from the Ferry Building on Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
14. Take a Road Trip to One of Auckland’s Regional Parks
Seeking a road trip destination? You have a wealth of options in the Auckland region thanks to the 26 regional parks available! For example, enjoy an easy walk to the breathtaking Hunua Falls in the Hunua Ranges, camp or relax at the beach at Shakespear Park, discover the fascinating gannet colony at Muriwai Beach, and the list continues! Check out our favourite Auckland regional parks in 20 Best Auckland Parks. Plus, for more road trip ideas, head to the 5 Auckland Road Trips You Can’t Miss.
Location: All over Auckland! See specific locations in the link above.
15. Discover Auckland’s Hidden Gems on a Guided Walking Tour
Connect to the Auckland region on a deeper level by learning about its volcanic formations, native bird species and unique flora on a guided walking tour with the Social Nature Movement. Discover one of Auckland’s magnificent regional parks and get the local perspective on one of the curated Duder Regional Park Walking Tours or follow the longest lava flow to spill through Auckland on one of the Meola Reef Te Tokaroa Tours and learn things that most locals don’t even know about.
Location: All over Auckland! City centre transfers provided.
16. Hit the Water for Sailing Cruise or on an America’s Cup Yacht
In the “City of Sails,” it’s almost mandatory to experience sailing on the Waitemata Harbour or Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy lunch with a tremendous view by embarking on an “Auckland Harbour Lunch Cruise” with Explore Auckland – more information on Viator and Klook. Alternatively, pump up the adrenaline by taking the helm of an America’s Cup sailing yacht – find out more on Viator and Klook. See more activity recommendations like this in our 10 Luxury Experiences in Auckland.
Location: 220 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
17. Browse Auckland’s Vibrant Farmers’ Markets
Check out the local produce and products of Auckland’s markets. Farmers’ markets provide an authentic Kiwi market experience, with some of your best options being in the suburbs at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market (Sunday mornings) and Mt Albert Farmers Market (Saturday mornings). Closer to the city centre, La Cigale French Market (Saturday mornings) is worth a visit for its handmade bread, olive oils, delectable meats, pastries, chocolates, condiments, cheeses and more. Finally, take a roadie to the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market on Saturdays to pick up some artisan goodies.
Location: Grey Lynn Farmers Market – Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Road. Mount Albert Market – 847 New North Road. La Cigale French Market – 545 Parnell Road. Matakana Village Farmers’ Market – 2 Matakana Valley Road, approximately 70 km (43 mi) from Auckland city centre.
18. Discover Auckland’s Breathtaking Beaches
Who doesn’t like a walk on the beach? Auckland can certainly provide in that department, featuring ruggedly beautiful black-sand beaches on the west coast and calm golden-sand beaches on the east. Combine your beach visit with seeing a fascinating gannet colony at Muriwai Beach, learn to surf at Piha Beach, or hike to stunning waterfalls at Karekare Beach. Find out more in our guide on Where to Find Black Sand Beaches in Auckland.
Location: All over Auckland. For specific locations, see the link above.
19. Culture Yourself at the Auckland Art Gallery
It’s a classic city experience: checking out the local art gallery. What’s great about the Auckland Art Gallery is that it’s on the edge of the beautiful Albert Park. The Auckland Art Gallery is a great place to get a taste of the Auckland culture from its Polynesian roots to the international flair that’s more evident in Auckland today. It’s definitely worth having a look around for an hour or so, along with the 10 Best Art Galleries & Museums in Auckland.
Location: Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
20. Be Transported to Another World on a Stargazing Experience
Little do visitors realise that even in New Zealand’s largest and most populated city, the stargazing is incredible. One way to experience New Zealand’s famously clear skies for stargazing is through the Auckland Stardome Observatory. View the stars through the powerful Zeiss Telescope, check out the Space Gallery & Exhibits and be captivated by an array of shows for families to adults only at the Planetarium. Alternatively, join the Social Nature Movement for their informative and fun Dark Sky Stargazing Tour in some of Auckland’s best stargazing sites.
Location: Auckland Stardome Observatory – 670 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland Central. SNM – See the link above for meeting locations.
21. Do Some Island-Hopping in the Hauraki Gulf
We’ve mentioned highlights of the Hauraki Gulf, such as Rangitoto Island, but did you know there are many more islands to discover? Take the ferry from the Downtown Ferry Terminal to Tiritiri Matangi for an amazing bird sanctuary, Rotoroa Island for historical buildings, and Rakino Island for snorkelling with the Social Nature Movement. Learn more about these islands and much more in The 10 Best Islands in Auckland to Visit.
Location: Downtown Ferry Terminal, Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
22. See the Inner City Highlights on the Coast to Coast Walkway
See the highlights of Auckland City on the Coast to Coast Walkway. Walk 16 km (9.9 mi) between Waitemata to Manukau passing some of the city’s iconic heritage buildings, as well as through the Auckland Domain and the volcanic cones of Mt Eden and One Tree Hill. It’s the ultimate day out for those staying in the city centre, but for some shorter rambles, take a look at the 10 Best Walks in Auckland: Short Walks to Day Hikes.
Location: A popular place to start is from Viaduct Basin, 99 Customs Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
23. Join a Culinary Tour of Auckland’s City Centre
Get orientated with Auckland’s culinary scene with a dedicated food tour. The Big Foody offers a range of food tours in Auckland, taking food enthusiasts to laneway coffee roasters, supermarkets where the chefs shop, the Auckland Fish Market and some fantastic restaurants. What’s more, you’ll get some recommendations on where to eat in Auckland from your expert guide who is a judge for culinary competitions. Discover more experiences like this in the 10 Best Foodie Experiences in Auckland.
Location: Pick-up is provided or a meeting place is organised in Auckland Central.
24. Tour Waiheke Island’s Wineries and Vineyards
Auckland’s sunny climate is ideal for wine-producing. With that, the north of the Auckland region and Waiheke Island have rows and rows of vines that decorate the landscape. Waiheke Island provides your most comprehensive array of wineries, from boutique vineyards like the Bach winery to internationally-acclaimed brands like Cable Bay. Either make your own itinerary to visit the cellar doors with our 21 Vineyards & Wineries on Waiheke Island or enjoy the ease of a wine tour with companies like Waiheke Wine Tours, Wai Tiki Tours, Enjoi and Ananda Tours (more info on Viator and Klook).
Location: Waiheke Island. Ferries depart from 99 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
25. Tackle the Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy
An icon of New Zealand’s biggest city is its Harbour Bridge. Adrenaline junkies have two choices for their fix: on top of the bridge or under the bridge. Choose to slowly climb the bridge on the Auckland Bridge Climb and feel on top of the world with a unique view of the Auckland skyline or get yourself in the small pod under the bridge where a fun crew will tie your feet together for the iconic Auckland Bungy. Check out some more fun spots to jump from in the 10 Epic Places to Bungy Jump in New Zealand.
Location: 105 Curran Street Extension, Westhaven Marina, Herne Bay, Auckland Central.
26. Do an Epic Skydive!
One of the highest skydives on the North Island is in Auckland at 18,000 ft. Get an epic view of New Zealand’s largest city and multiple offshore islands from the sky. What is better to start your trip on a high than jumping from a plane above New Zealand’s biggest city? Book your skydive with Skydive Auckland.
Location: 73 Green Road, Parakai, Auckland, North Island. Transport between the drop zone and Auckland CBD is included in the price.
27. Surf, Surf, Surf
Kiwis love their water and any way to take it on is a good way. So it comes as no surprise that surfing is kind of a big thing here. Auckland features some pretty neat surf spots with the most famous being Piha Beach (check out some more surf beaches in 10 Places to Surf on the North Island). The long stretch of black sand is buzzing with surfers almost all year long. Be aware that this is also one of the most dangerous beaches in the country, so know what you are doing or go with a surf school, such as Piha Surf Academy. Alternatively, check out a smoother beginner surf beach, Te Arai, and learn to surf with Aotearoa Surf School.
Location: Piha, Waitakere, West Auckland. Te Arai, Rodney.
28. Zipline on Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is New Zealand’s premium island, with luxurious wineries, large villas and… screaming tourists! Ziplining is a fun way to get some real speed through the forest and race your friends along the way thanks to all three lines drawn side-by-side across the forest and over vineyards on tours with Ecozip Adventures. Book your tour with Ecozip Adventures on Viator or Klook.
Location: 6 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island.
29. Experience Canyoning in the Waitakere Ranges
Who knew that Auckland had so much nature to offer? In the nearby Waitakere Ranges lies some of the best canyoning in the country with challenging rappel cliffs and huge waterfalls. There is even an option to go canyoning at night and spot a few glowworms along the way! Learn more about night canyoning in the 50 Things to Do in Auckland at Night. Plus, for more canyoning activities across the country, check out the 10 Best Canyoning Tours in New Zealand.
Location: Transfers are provided from Auckland Central.
30. See the City from New Heights on a Helicopter or Seaplane Tour
Amp your sightseeing experience to the next level with a scenic flight over Auckland and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. There’s nothing like the birds-eye view of the city’s volcanic cones, urban skyscrapers and the surrounding glimmering waters. Heletranz offers scenic helicopter tours around both Auckland and Waiheke Island with bespoke options available. Alternatively, fly from Auckland to Waiheke Island via seaplane with Auckland Seaplanes (Waiheke Wings). See more upscale activities like this in the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Auckland.
Location: Heletranz – 234 Rosedale Road, Albany. Auckland Seaplanes – 171 Carsons Road, Onetangi, Waiheke Island.
31. Get Some Serious Retail Therapy
It probably comes as no shock that Auckland provides some fantastic shopping. Queen Street runs right through the city centre, featuring designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and more, while Commerical Bay is the city centre’s newest shopping mall in Britomart. Find some irresistible boutiques on High Street and enjoy the convenience of department shopping at Smith & Caughey’s. Learn more about Auckland’s retail scene in the 5 Best Places for Shopping in Auckland CBD.
Location: All over Auckland! See the link above for recommended locations.
32. Kayak to Rangitoto Island at Sunset
Evening kayak trips depart from St Heliers Bay to Auckland’s youngest volcano, Rangitoto Island. From there, it’s an hour’s climb to the summit of the volcanic island where you can then watch the sun setting over the city all the way to the Waitakere Ranges. This unforgettable experience is available with Auckland Sea Kayaks. Book tickets and find out more on Viator and Klook. Plus, see more kayaking excursions in our guide to Auckland Kayaking: 10 Best Islands to Kayak to (inc. Tours).
Location: Tours depart daily at St Heliers Bay, Auckland Central. City pick-ups are available.
33. Explore the North Head Tunnels
The ferry ride between the Downtown Ferry Building to Devonport is only 12 minutes and tickets are very affordable. From the ferry building in Devonport walk right until you find Takarunga Road. Then it’s a short but steep climb up to reach the North Head Reserve and its rich World War I and II history. The tunnels and alleys are open to anyone who is eager to learn more about New Zealand’s efforts to defend itself during the great wars. The reserve also offers some great views of the Auckland skyline. Check out more activities in the area using the 10 Best Things to Do in Devonport.
Location: Takarunga Road, Devonport, North Shore.
34. Tee Off at One of Auckland’s Many Golf Courses
In the largest city in a country where golf is the highest participation sport, golf courses are pretty much essential to the Auckland lifestyle! You’ll find a mix of world-class golf courses for serious golfers and more casual courses across the Auckland region. Some of the most prestigious include the Gulf Harbour Country Club and Titirangi Golf Club, while Wainui Golf Course and Huapai Golf Course are popular with locals. Find the perfect course in the Top 20 Golf Courses in Auckland.
Location: All over Auckland! See the link above for recommended locations.
35. Catch a Game of Rugby
Don’t miss a game of the most popular sports in New Zealand! The atmosphere is electric at live rugby matches at stadiums, such as Eden Park. If you’re not around during a game, then take the Eden Park Stadium Tour instead, including a tour of the players’ tunnel, the coaches’ box, changing rooms and more! Check out more stadiums in The Best Places to Watch Rugby in New Zealand.
Location: Reimers Avenue, Kingsland, Auckland Central.
36. Learn More About New Zealand’s Iconic Rugby Team at the All Blacks Experience
Location: 88 Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
37. Tackle a High-Wire Obstacle Course at Adrenalin Forest
For under NZ$50, you can spend a good few hours climbing, ziplining, jumping and scrambling at Adrenalin Forest. There are all sorts of obstacles to tackle on this family-friendly course with barrels, ziplines, bridges and undescribable challenges that will test even the most nimble! See more affordable experiences in the 50 Activities Under $50 in New Zealand.
Location: 12 Stone Road, Bombay, Pukekohe.
38. Take the Weta Unleashed Tour
Although the New Zealand film industry mostly functions out of Wellington, Auckland is also a major hub for movie-making where there’s no better place to learn more than Weta Unleashed. This interactive exhibition in Auckland Central features eye-popping practical effects, which you’ll learn how the team at Weta build and bring to life!
Location: Level 5/88 Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland Central.
39. Explore More of the City on an Electric Bike Tour
A unique way to get to Auckland’s best vantage points is on a guided electric bike tour with Power to the Peddle. You’ll be fully kitted out with high-quality rental gear, while your local guide will show you Auckland’s highlights, either on the Classic Tour or the Night Tour, via safe cycle paths and less busy roads. With small groups, you receive a more intimate experience of the big city.
Location: Tours depart from Park Hyatt Auckland, 99 Halsey Street, Auckland Central.
40. Indulge in a Sunset Harbour Cruise
Kick back, relax and enjoy a fresh perspective of the city lights from the water on the Explore Sunset Auckland Harbour Cruise. The 2 hrs 30 mins experience takes you out on the Waitemata Harbour aboard a magnificent sailing yacht. Enjoy the evening sights of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Sky Tower before anchoring in a sheltered marina for a three-course dinner. Needless to say, this is one of the 10 Most Romantic Things to Do in Auckland.
Location: Quay Street, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland Central.
41. Go Horse Trekking in Warkworth
You have two amazing horse trekking options in the Warkworth area: Ti Tree Horse Treks and Horse Riding Warkworth. Take a 1 or 2-hour scenic farm and forest trek with either company for a great day out! Couple your horse riding experience with the 10 Best Things to Do in Warkworth.
Location: Ti Tree – 449 Weranui Road & Horse Riding Warkworth – 42 Kaipara Flats Road, Warkworth.
42. Relax on Orewa Beach
When exploring the greater Auckland region, don’t miss Orewa Beach! The 3 km (2 mi) long pristine beach is lined with regal Norfolk Pines which were planted by the father of the world-famous mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary. It’s one of the safest swimming beaches in the Auckland region so is the perfect playground whether your plan is to go for a dip, a stroll, a picnic or head out windsurfing or, paddle boarding. Check out more things to do in this small coastal community in the 10 Best Things to Do in Orewa.
Location: Orewa, Rodney.
43. Be Amazed by the Sculptureum in Matakana
A hub for creativity, Sculptureum offers more than 750 pieces of art found across six galleries and three sculpture gardens. See pieces from around the world from the likes of Picasso, Chagall, Rodin, Chihuly and Cezanne and admire gardens full of fun and thought-provoking pieces. Break up your visit with a relaxing dining experience at their on-site restaurant or even indulge in a wine tasting. See more attractions nearby in the 20 Best Things to Do in Matakana & the Matakana Coast.
Location: 40 Omaha Flats Road, Matakana, Rodney.
44. Ride a Vintage Train
Feel like you’re back in time by riding the Glenbrook Vintage Railway‘s steam and diesel trains on a 15 km (9 mi) scenic journey of the Manukau Harbour. Trips depart seasonally, so check out their website for the latest events. Alternatively, take the kids on Thomas the Tank Engine during special day events. See more experiences nearby in the 10 Best Things to Do in Waiuku.
Location: Glenbrook Station Road, Waiuku, Pukekohe.
45. See the Muriwai Gannet Colony
Topped on rugged coastal cliffs and stacks is a colony of gannets! These majestic seabirds are marvellous to see close-up along the beaches of Muriwai. The best time to see the 1,200 pairs of gannets is between August and March. See more experiences at Muriwai, including surfing, in the 10 Best Things to Do in Muriwai.
Location: Maukatia (Maori Bay) car park or the car park at the end of Motutara Road, Muriwai, West Auckland. Walking tracks to the gannet colony are well signposted.
46. Explore Howick Historical Village
If you have any interest in times of yore, an absolute must is the charming Howick Historical Village! Explore this open-air museum with its colonial buildings and see what life was like in New Zealand for an early European settler. The village even hosts “live days” where you can talk to the colonial “villagers” in their old-worldly costumes. Discover more to do in the area in the 6 Best Things to Do in Howick & Half Moon Bay.
Location: Bells Road, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Howick, South Auckland.
47. Hit the MTB and Cycle Trails
From the super easy Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway in Orewa to the epic downhill mountain bike trails of Woodhill MTB Park, there’s a whole array of trails to discover across Auckland. If you’re poised to peddle, check out our full guide to Mountain Biking in Auckland.
Location: All over Auckland. See the link above for recommended locations.
48. Enjoy a Maori Cultural Experience at Te Hana
Just a short drive from Wellford in the settlement of Te Hana where you’ll find Te Hana Te Ao Marama – a Maori cultural experience. There are tours of a replica Maori village, hangi and cultural performances, art galleries and even the opportunity to stay overnight in a marae (a carved meeting house). See more things to do in the area in the 5 Best Things to Do in Wellsford, as well as more cultural tours in the 10 Best Cultural Experiences in Auckland.
Location: 317 State Highway 1, Te Hana, Rodney.
49. Explore the Hunua Ranges
If you’re staying in Pukekohe for a while, don’t miss the wild and wonderful Hunua Ranges! One of the largest regional parks in Auckland, the Hunua Ranges is dense with native bush spread over picturesque valleys. There are many walks to explore this natural environment, but a highlight is a short walk to Hunua Falls! See the 5 Best Things to Do in Pukekohe for more activities in the area.
Location: Hunua Falls Road and Moumoukai Road, approximately 33 km (20.5 mi) northeast of Pukekohe.
50. Do the Multi-Day Aotea Track on Great Barrier Island
Discover the mountainous inland of Great Barrier Island on the Aotea Track. The 25 km loop track takes hikers deep into the forest and high onto the mountain tops with fantastic backcountry huts to stay overnight with views across the island. There is a mix of steep climbs to easy flat trails. Discover more walks on the island in the 10 Best Hikes on Great Barrier Island.
Location: Great Barrier Island. There are multiple entrances to the track, so see The Guide to the Aotea Track for details.
Free Things to Do in Auckland
Continuing our list of things to do in Auckland, here’s a compilation of the free things to do in Auckland:
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki: Immerse yourself in a world of art, featuring a diverse collection of traditional and contemporary works. Location: Corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland CBD.
- Auckland Domain: Stroll through expansive gardens, enjoy the Winter Gardens, and soak in the history of this central park. Location: Park Road, Grafton.
- Cornwall Park: Picnic under sprawling trees, visit farm animals, and climb One Tree Hill for panoramic city views. Location: Greenlane West, Epsom.
- West Coast Beaches: Explore the rugged beauty of Piha, Karekare and Bethells Beach on Auckland’s wild west coast. Locations vary.
- Wynyard Quarter: Wander along the waterfront, relax in green spaces, and enjoy the public art installations. Location: Wynyard Quarter, Auckland CBD.
- Silent Disco Citywalks: Join a free guided dance-walking tour through the city with wireless headphones. Locations vary.
- Auckland University Clock Tower Tour: Climb the clock tower for panoramic views of the city and campus. Location: 22 Princes Street, Auckland CBD.
- Auckland Libraries: Read, study, or explore a range of books and resources in various library branches. Locations vary.
- Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park: Enjoy lush gardens and views of the harbour and Rangitoto Island from this elevated vantage point. Location: Bastion Point, Orakei.
- Kitekite Falls: Hike through native bush to reach this stunning three-tiered waterfall in the Waitakere Ranges. Location: Piha Road, Piha.
- Onehunga Foreshore: Enjoy a picturesque stroll by the water, with views of Mangere Mountain and the Manukau Harbour. Location: Onehunga.
- Symonds Street Cemetery: Explore this historic cemetery to learn about Auckland’s past through its tombstones and architecture. Location: Symonds Street, Auckland CBD.
- Victoria Park: Relax in green spaces, bring a picnic, and enjoy the city skyline views. Location: Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD.
- Auckland Waterfront: Take a leisurely walk along the waterfront, admire public art and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Locations vary.
- Plane Spotting: Watch planes take off and land from a scenic lookout. Location: 564 Puhinui Road, Wiri.
- Takapuna Beach: Soak up the sun on this sandy beach with views of Rangitoto Island and the North Shore. Location: Takapuna Beach, North Shore.
- Coast to Coast Walk: Experience the inner city highlights on foot. Locations vary.
- Piha Beach: Experience the rugged beauty of the west coast with black sand and great surfing conditions. Location: Piha Road, Piha.
- Mission Bay: Relax on the golden sand beach, swim in the ocean, and indulge in waterfront dining. Location: Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay.
- Parnell: Explore boutique stores and galleries and enjoy a meal at the many cafes. Location: Parnell Road, Parnell.
Get more ideas from the 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Auckland.
Things to Do in Auckland for Families
And for even more things to do in Auckland, here are some ideas especially for families:
- Auckland Museum Discovery Time: Enjoy engaging activities and exhibitions designed for kids to explore Maori and Pacific cultures. Location: The Auckland Domain, Parnell.
- Rainbow’s End: Provide thrill-seeking excitement with rides, attractions, and a kid-friendly area. Location: Clist Crescent, Manukau.
- Glenbrook Vintage Railway: Take a historic steam train ride through picturesque countryside. Location: Glenbrook Station Road, Glenbrook.
- Jump Trampoline Park: Let kids bounce to their hearts’ content on a range of trampolines and obstacles. Location: 48a Arrenway Drive, Albany; 6 Jomac Place, Avondale & 212 Great South Road, Takanini.
- Auckland Botanic Gardens Children’s Garden: Ignite imaginations in a play area featuring sculptures, sensory gardens, and more. Location: Hill Road, Manurewa.
- MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology): Engage kids with interactive displays, hands-on exhibits, and vintage vehicles. Location: Great North Road, Western Springs.
- Safari & T Rex Alley Minigolf: Enjoy a family-friendly round of mini golf with scenic views of the harbour. Location: Tamaki Drive, Hobson Bay.
- Parnell Baths: Cool off in a saltwater pool complex with slides and shallow play areas for young children. Location: Judges Bay Road, Parnell.
- Treasure Island Adventure Golf: Embark on a pirate-themed mini golf adventure amid lush landscaping. Location: 15 Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland Airport.
- Hippo Playground: Let kids explore a large wooden playground with slides, swings, and climbing structures. Location: Marine Parade, Orakei.
- Auckland Art Gallery Creative Learning Centre: Nurture artistic talents with creative workshops and interactive installations. Location: Kitchener Street, Auckland CBD.
- Silo Park Playground: Unwind by the water while kids enjoy a playground, green spaces, and weekend markets. Location: Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter.
- Blastacars Drift Karts: Unleash competitive spirit with family go-karting sessions on an indoor track. Location: 82 The Concourse, Henderson.
- Western Springs Park: Discover a natural oasis with lakes, walking paths, and a large duck and swan population. Location: Great North Road, Western Springs.
- Stardome Observatory & Planetarium: Explore the night sky through telescopes and immersive planetarium shows. Location: 670 Manukau Road, One Tree Hill.
- Kitekite Falls: It’s a short walk through native forest to reach this stunning three-tiered waterfall. Location: Piha Road, Piha.
- Sky Tower: Admire panoramic city views from the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest freestanding structure. Location: Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD.
- Rangitoto Island: Walk to the summit of this iconic volcanic island and enjoy stunning views of Auckland’s skyline. Location: Rangitoto Island.
- Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari: Embark on a marine adventure to spot dolphins, whales, and other marine life. Location: Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland CBD.
- Sheepworld: Watch a sheep shearing show and utilise the playground and cafe at this Warkworth attraction. Location: Warkworth.
Things to Do in Auckland for Couples
And for experience in Auckland for couples, check out some of these:
- Harbour Dinner Cruise: Embark on a romantic dinner cruise along Auckland’s sparkling harbour, enjoying stunning views and gourmet cuisine. Location: Departure points vary along the waterfront.
- Waiheke Island Wine Tasting: Escape to Waiheke Island for a day of wine tasting, exploring picturesque vineyards, and indulging in world-class dining. Location: Waiheke Island (accessible via ferry from Auckland).
- Sunset at Mt Eden: Hike up Mount Eden to witness a breathtaking sunset over the city and harbour, creating a perfect backdrop for a romantic moment. Location: Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden.
- Romantic Beach Picnic: Pack a picnic basket with local treats and head to a secluded beach like Mission Bay or Cheltenham Beach for a serene romantic meal. Locations vary.
- Auckland Harbour Bridge Night Walk: Take a moonlit stroll along the pedestrian pathway of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, offering intimate views of the city lights. Location: Westhaven Drive, Westhaven.
- Matakana Cinemas: Snuggle up under the stars at the Matakana Cinemas, in one of the most romantic Auckland districts for a weekend break. Location: 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana.
- Dining at Viaduct Harbour: Enjoy a romantic meal at one of the waterfront restaurants at Viaduct Harbour, overlooking the marina and city skyline. Location: Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland CBD.
- Auckland Art Gallery After Hours: Attend a special evening event at the Auckland Art Gallery, featuring art, live music, and drinks for a cultural and romantic night out. Location: Corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland CBD.
- Hunua Falls Evening Visit: Take a serene evening walk to Hunua Falls, enjoying the tranquil atmosphere and the sound of cascading water. Location: Falls Road, Hunua.
- Stargazing at Rangitoto Island: Take a ferry to Rangitoto Island, hike to the summit, and stargaze at night, away from the city lights, for a truly romantic celestial experience (note you’ll need to camp on Motutapu Island to stay overnight). Location: Rangitoto Island
- Orbit 360 at Sky City: Dine to unparallel views of the city atop the Auckland Sky Tower. Location: Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD.
For more ideas, head to the 10 Romantic Things to Do in Auckland and The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Auckland.
More Things to Do in Auckland
That’s it for our whopping list of the best things to do in Auckland. If, for some unimaginable reason, you didn’t find what you are looking for, these guides might help:
- 10 Ways to Enjoy Summer in Auckland
- One Day in Auckland: City Walking Tour Itinerary
- The Complete Travel Guide to Auckland
Finally, plan more experiences around the North Island with the 51 Best Things to Do on the North Island.