New Zealand’s biggest city is also a veritable playground for anyone on a self-drive holiday of the country. An excellent mix of both metropolitan and natural attractions are within close proximity to the airport, where we recommend you pick up a rental car for the ultimate adventure tour freedom.
But don’t take our word for it. Check out these 10 things to do in Auckland, most of which won’t cost you a cent.
Visit the Sky Tower
You absolutely can’t miss the chance to scale the country’s tallest building, Auckland’s Sky Tower. You are able to walk along the rim atop this structure (which is 328 metres tall), or even jump off it!
Explore the city centre
Queen Street, Viaduct Harbour and the rest of the CBD make for great entertainment. Restaurants abound here, as well as bars and nightclubs.
Go to the beach
Auckland is close to both the east and west coast, meaning you’re flanked on all sides by pristine beaches. Piha, Muriwai and Bethels are great for surfers, while Takapuna, Orewa and Mission Bay draw plenty of swimmers.
Snorkel to see marine life
In the marine reserve of Goat Island, just over an hour from the CBD, you’ll be able to spot a bounty of colourful fish in sheltered, snorkel-friendly waters.
Delve into history amid beautiful surrounds
Auckland Domain is the city’s oldest park, and truly a gorgeous spectacle. Be sure to also pop into the adjacent War Memorial Museum, where you’ll find out all about local history, culture and more.
See a cool fort
On the subject of history, drive to Devonport to see the city’s late 19th century military fort, which once protected the harbour. There are cool tunnels here, as well as gun emplacements, informative panels and a great view.
Climb a volcano
There are over 40 extinct and dormant volcanoes around Auckland city, and you can climb plenty of them. Ferry over to Rangitoto Island for a great bush walk, or drive to Cornwall Park and see the memorial atop One Tree Hill.
Now climb a lighthouse
You can climb one of NZ’s only visitor-accessible lighthouses at Manukau Heads, southwest of the city. Dolphins can often be spotted in the ocean below, so bring a camera.
Tramp through the bush
Get more of a bush fix by exploring the many walking trails winding through the Waitakere Ranges regional park. These vary in size, from short strolls to six-hour day trips.
Try horse riding
Experience the countryside from a different perspective. Just north of Auckland, a company such as Horse Riding Warkworth can take you on scenic farm and forest treks that are fun for the whole family.