AJ Hackett© AJ Hackett
AJ Hackett

9 Best Adrenaline Activities in Auckland

© AJ Hackett
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
NZ Pocket Guide is 10 years old. Thank you for trusting us with your trip for over a decade!

Get Your Auckland Adrenaline Fix

In the world’s most adrenaline-filled country it comes as no surprise that you can start getting into the action as soon as you get off the plane. Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is most travellers’ place of arrival. It’s an instant adrenaline kick to find so many adventure activities even in the heart of the city centre. You’ll see it all here in this list of adrenaline activities in Auckland.

Jump off the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building, walk along the top of the iconic Harbour Bridge with hundreds of vehicles speeding beneath you, or speed underneath the bridge yourself in an America’s Cup sailing race. Once you’ve had your dose of urban adrenaline, head into the wild Waitakere Ranges for some canyoning or to New Zealand’s most powerful surf beach at Piha.

To top it all off, how about seeing it all from 16,500ft? That’s the maximum height of an Auckland skydive, which is the highest in the North Island… And the list goes on below!

Plus, find a place to stay from The 50 Best Accommodations in Auckland.

1. Canyoning

Who knew that the big city of 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. For more canyoning activities in New Zealand, check out 6 Impressive Canyoning Locations in New Zealand.

 Royal New Zealand Navy on Flickr© Royal New Zealand Navy on Flickr

2. SkyWalk and SkyJump

The iconic Auckland Sky Tower opens its doors to the fearless… Literally! “The door is open, now jump!” Choose to “SkyJump” from the top of the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building in a controlled jump (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or “SkyWalk” around the top of the tower’s outer ring. The SkyWalk offers incredible views of Auckland like no other. Although terrifying, this is our favourite of both options. Check out the SkyWalk on Viator and Tripadvisor.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

3. Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungy

Another icon of New Zealand’s biggest city is its Harbour Bridge. As an adrenaline junky, you’ve got two choices to get your fix: on top of the bridge or under the bridge. Choose to slowly climb the bridge on the Auckland Bridge Climb (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) and feel on top of the world with a unique view of the Auckland skyline or get yourself in the small pod under where a fun crew will tie your feet together for the iconic Auckland Bungy (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Check out some more fun spots to jump from in 7 Epic Places to Bungy Jump in New Zealand.

AJ Hackett© AJ Hackett

4. Skydiving

Like every major city and non-major city in New Zealand, Auckland has an amazing skydive option with Skydive Auckland for backpackers eager to test themselves right out of the airport gate. Just landed in New Zealand a couple of days ago? Over the jet lag? Good, get back on a plane a jump from it! Plus, skydiving in Auckland is a great way to see the whole Hauraki Gulf and all its islands. Find out more about Skydive Auckland on Viator and Tripadvisor. Additionally, check out some more free-falling madness at 12 Places to Tandem Skydive in New Zealand.

Skydive Auckland© Skydive Auckland

5. America’s Cup Sailing

The America’s Cup is a sailing race where teams from all over the world compete to sail around the globe. Needless to say, their sailing boats are the Formula One of the seas. Auckland is one of the rare places in the world where the public gets to sail those very same boats and be part of the crew. Sweat is guaranteed, but don’t worry, the team is with you the whole way – no experience is needed. Book your America’s Cup Sailing experience with Explore NZ on Viator or Tripadvisor.

9 Adrenaline Activities in Auckland© Explore NZ - Tourism NZ

6. Mountain Biking

The best-known spot for safe but challenging mountain biking in Auckland is Woodhill Forest. Despite the fact that it lies about 45 minutes away from Auckland and that your GPS will direct you to the wrong road (type in “Restall Road” instead), the park is well appointed and offers really fun options. Get the whole guide of pedalling fun by checking out Mountain Biking in Auckland.

pxhere© pxhere

7. Surf

Kiwis love their waters 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. Find out more about this surf school on Viator and Tripadvisor.

9 Adrenaline Activities in Auckland© NZPocketGuide.com

8. Ziplining

Waiheke Island is New Zealand’s premium island, with luxurious wineries, large villas and… screaming backpackers above. Ziplining is a fun way to get some real speed though the forest and race your friends along the way thanks to all three lines drawn side-by-side across the forest. Book your tour with Ecozip Adventures on Viator or Tripadvisor.

9 Adrenaline Activities in Auckland© NZPocketGuide.com

9. Glowworm Caving

Less than 2h30mins drive from Auckland, the Waitomo Caves are the ultimate adrenaline road trip! Abseil, tube, climb, zipline and explore the awesome underground world in Waitomo, famous for its limestone formations and stunning displays of glowworms. Plan your trip with The Complete Guide to Waitomo.

Waitomo Adventures© Waitomo Adventures

More Fun in Auckland!

Check out these articles to give you more inspiration on what to do in Auckland.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

Was this article useful?