If you’re planning a sightseeing holiday to Auckland, you’ve made a fantastic decision. This is the largest city in New Zealand, with a population of 1.4 million people (about a third of all Kiwis) and a whopping landmass of 1,086 square kilometres.
Auckland at a glance
Auckland – also known as the ‘City of Sails’ – is a sprawling wonderland, perfectly combining urban excitement with pristine natural marine wilderness. In fact, there are numerous islands – such as Waiheke – that make up the area, many of which are inhabited by friendly locals.
This city can experience four seasons in one day, which means that even if the rain should start to fall, come back in five minutes and it will likely have stopped! However, don’t be afraid to hit the many beaches, as Tourism NZ points out Auckland gets around 265 days of sunshine per year (over 2,000 annual hours), with an average summer temperature of 23 degrees Celsius.
Where to visit on your Auckland holiday
Goat Island Marine Reserve
Head just over an hour north of Auckland Central and you’ll find yourself in the country’s first ever marine reserve: Goat Island. Established in 1975, this area is a great free thing to do in the Auckland area.
Pull up into the car park and enjoy the easy, safe snorkelling that can be found between the mainland and Goat Island – which is only a short swim away. Don’t feel up to splashing about? Hop on board an insightful trip with Goat Island Glass Bottomed Boat Tours.
Just under an hour in the opposite direction, Spookers Haunted Attraction is an eerie sight to behold, but a definite must-visit. For example, have you ever wanted to be chased through a maze of maze by a chainsaw-wielding maniac? Or perhaps laughed at by a neon-glowing clown in a blacklight horror house?
That’s only a small taste of what’s available in this horrific, yet truly exhilarating, attraction.
A coastal Auckland day trip can be found about an hour and 20 minutes west at Muriwai Beach, right next door to other famous shores such as Bethells and Piha.
Surfing, swimming, sun bathing and simply walking are all staples of the Muriwai experience, but the area can offer so much more. For instance, the southern end of the beach is home to a gannet colony, where you can see the birds all year round. Alternatively, Muriwai Surf School offers blokart hire for windy days. The company will teach you all you need to know, getting you speeding along the sands after mere minutes.