The Top Places to Visit Near Auckland
Auckland is more than just an urban jungle. It has nooks and crannies to explore in every direction, from the rugged beaches of the Waitakere Ranges to the volcanic islands of the Hauraki Gulf. Plan some epic day trips, whether it’s a self-drive day trip or a day tour, with this guide to the best day trips from Auckland.
Plus, head on over to The Complete Guide to Auckland for more trip-planning advice.
5 Best Day Tours from Auckland
Before we delve into the amazing self-drive and ferry day trips from Auckland, here are some of the Auckland day tours where you won’t need your own vehicle.
- Coromandel Day Trip with Kiwi Day Trips (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip with Auckland Scenic Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Piha Beach and Rainforest Tour with Bush and Beach (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Tiritiri Matangi Island Day Trip with 360 Discovery Cruises (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Rotorua Highlights Tour with Cheeky Kiwi Travel (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
Matakana and Goat Island
The Best Day Trip from Auckland for Foodies
Venture north of the city to discover the tasty side of Auckland. The Matakana Coast is not only home to various wineries but also passionate artisans that come together for the all-famous Matakana Farmers’ Market every Saturday. Just 15 minutes north of Matakana is the Goat Island Marine Reserve, one of the best places in Auckland and go snorkelling or clear kayaking (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).
The Best Day Trip from Auckland for Families
Escape the city to the wild side of Auckland on a road trip to the Waitakere Ranges. Home to a myriad of bushwalks, waterfalls and black-sand beaches, the Waitakere Ranges offer some of the most diverse scenery in Auckland. You’ll find short walks suitable for all ages, such as the Kitekite Falls Walk and the Mercer Bay Loop Track. Alternatively, just enjoy a great day at the beach.
The Best Day Trip from Auckland for Budget Travellers
Travel time by ferry: 25 minutes one-way
Accessible via ferry from the Auckland downtown ferry terminal, Rangitoto Island is an easy day trip. Rangitoto Island was formed some 600 years ago making it Auckland’s newest volcano, which is evident through the lava fields and caves you can explore along the walking trails. Take your own lunch as there are no facilities other than toilets on the island.
The Best Day Trip from Auckland for Luxury Travellers
Expansive beaches, vineyards decorating the landscape, and the glistening waters of the Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island certainly provides a treat-yourself day trips. Either take the ferry from the downtown ferry terminal and hop on an island winery tour (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or indulge in a flight and dine package (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
See the 9 Glorious Things to Do on Waiheke Island for more ideas for your Auckland day trip.
The Best Day Trip from Auckland for Couples
Travel time by car: 50 minutes one-way
Another excellent city escape is the Hunua Ranges, which is Auckland’s largest tract of native forest. Find a picturesque waterfall, glowworms and verdant forest on its array of hiking trails. Some of the walks also lead to impressive reservoirs and dams, which make up much of Auckland’s water supply.
For more information on the Hunua Ranges walks, check out the Auckland Suburbs – Guide for Backpackers.