29 Popular Activities and Amazing Places to Visit in Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is New Zealand’s most populous city and it boasts some of the country’s best museums and cultural institutions like the Auckland war memorial museum, and the Auckland art gallery. This coastal city is known for its range of breathtaking attractions from stunning gardens to architectural landmarks and hundreds of museums. Auckland is also known for being a family-friendly city, thanks to its numerous animal-based tourist spots and the iconic Sky Tower.
There are plenty of activities to do in Auckland, and in this post, we have compiled a list of 15 best things to do in Auckland, New Zealand.
Top 15 Tourist Spots and best things to do and see in Auckland
Enjoy the views of the city from the Sky Tower
Despite just being a famous landmark in Auckland’s skyline, the Sky Tower at 328 meters, is the tallest of its kind in the entire southern hemisphere. It has been dominating the city’s skyline for the past 20 years and one of the most visited landmarks in New Zealand. The tower is home to some thrilling adrenaline activities and a range of dining options.
If you are up for some bungee jumping, then the Sky Tower should be on top of your list for things to do in Auckland.
Go sightseeing in the Motutapu Island
The island is part of Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park and it is 178 million years old. This is a tourist attraction where you will get to see beautiful native birds like the rare Tieke. This is the oldest landmass in the area and the island has numerous walking trails like the gun emplacements from WWII and also tunnels and other WWII sites.
The highlight of the tour is to get a Ngai Tai tribal guides who will share their traditional knowledge about the island’s history.
Go hiking on Mt William Walkway
The walkway is found on the Waikato side of the Bombay Hills and the walkway is an advanced hiking trail that provides magnificent views from the top of Mount William.
There are two sections on this mountain, a trail is 2.5km and it leads to the summit while the other extends for 2km along rolling farmland.
Have fun at Auckland’s oldest park
Visit Auckland’s oldest park called Domain is one of the things that you should do while you are on vacation. The park is among the most beautiful parks with open spaces, stately trees, formal gardens, miniature waterfalls, and leafy walks.
The park is ideal for strolling, picnics, jogging, sports and you will also enjoy free music events here.
Go sightseeing at Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve
The reserve is found on a 25-hectare sandbar that stretches out into the Tamaki Estuary, this is a stunning wetland habitat and nature reserve. The highlight of the reserve is that it is steeped in Maori history and it is an excellent place to see a variety of native birds.
If you want to watch birds, you should get familiar with the tides as the best time to see wading birds is between full-time and half-tide from November to March.
You can walk around the three main trails in the reserve and it will take up to 90 minutes to walk around the entire area.
Visit Myers Park
This is situated in central Auckland and it is popular for its steep grassy slopes and beautiful mixture of exotic and local trees, if you are interested in architecture or history, you should check out the Kauri caretaker’s cottage which dates back to the 1850s and the children can play at the playground.
Another thing to do here is to see the replica of Michelangelo’s Moses which is a granite sculpture of five goats gifted by the city of Guangzhou in China. There are also several bronze statues that portray native shorebirds that you can see.
Explore the Highwic
The house dated back to 1962 and it was a former home of the English immigrant and prosperous businessman Alfred Buckland. The house was built in the American Carpenter Gothic style and the feature of the house are an elegant ballroom, old-fashioned kitchen, numerous outbuildings like a billiard house, manicured Victorian-themed grounds, and stables. You will get to see the antique coal range lit and used for cooking on the first Wednesday of the month.
Bungee jump from the Sky Tower
If you are a thrill-seeker, then you this is a fun activity that you should try out. You can walk around the outside ring of the sky tower which is 192m high from the floor. You will have a mind-blowing view of the city which will take your breath away.
You will jump off the sky tower to land on the bull’s eye below and you will have a video and photo while doing so and you can even go back up and enjoy the scenic view of the city in your comfort zone.
The journey down descends at the speed of 85 kilometers per hour, which turns everything into a hazy cocktail.
Have fun with your kids at Rainbow’s end theme park
The park is located in Manukau and this is one of the main Auckland’s tourist attractions. It has over 20 rides and attractions which will give you and your friend maximum fun. You can try out the big five Thrill rides if you are looking for the thrill ride. You should also let your kids 8 years and under visit the Kidz kingdom to have fun, it is also a popular spot for kids’ birthday parties.
Go sightseeing at the Crystal Mountain
This is a 40-acre property that is located on the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges. This is a home to the largest selection of minerals and crystals in New Zealand.
Tourists will marvel at the numerous rare and beautiful specimens that are on display and you can purchase your own unique souvenirs from the on-site gift shop. Your kids can also get their own treasures if they participate in an interactive activity about the old method of panning for crystals.
Your kids will also the animal park where there are many activities that they can do like pony rides, bungee trampoline, and tractor rides.
Visit West Lynn Garden and Butterfly House
This takes up 4.5 acres of land and it is built and run by volunteers. There are pathways that pass through the scenic landscaped gardens and there are a lot of picnic tables that are all over the grounds.
You can explore the Butterfly house which homes up to hundreds of butterflies which is between the months of December and April. You will have to book in advance in a group of 10 or more.
Explore the Alan Gibbs Farm
Alan Gibbs is one of New Zealand’s leading art collectors as he turned his 990-acre farm into the largest outdoor sculpture collection in the country.
This is one of the top tourist attraction that you should try and visit while in Auckland and its highlights are specially commissioned pieces which incorporate numerous aspects of the landscape, sculptures of exotic animals like giraffes and emus, a life-size Wild West town, and a sculpture that is built around the world’s largest Tesla coil.
The farm is open to the public one day every month and the number of guests is limited and you are going to book for your visit in advance if you want to come here.
Visit Kiwi Valley Farm Park
This is a tourist attraction which is excellent for the entire family to interact with farm animals like goats, dogs, pigs, and donkeys. Other animals that are found here are a possum, water buffalo, and an emu. The highlight of the tour is the unlimited pony and horse ride, free tractor rides if the weather is okay, access to a special maze. You can arrange for birthday parties and other events if you book in advance.
Go for wine tasting at Foxes Island
The foxes island wines were founded in 1992 and it is popular for its limited production handmade wines which are carefully produced by expert winemaker John Belsham. You can visit the tasting room in downtown Auckland where you will be offered a chance to sample and purchase the vineyard’s current releases, library wines, and limited releases.
You will also like how the room is decorated with beautiful local art, and there are numerous jewelry, wine-related accessories, and artwork that is available for sale.
Have fun at Odyssey Sensory Maze
You and your kids will surely have a nice time. Tourists at this maze will be sent on a challenging journey of sensory exploration while they pass through different physical obstacles, strange sensations, sound, and lighting effects while they try to find their way out. The maze is suited for people aged 8 or above.
This is located on 16 acres of land close to the Waitemata Harbor and it is among the largest collections of heritage buildings in the city. The highlights of the Britomart are the Parisian-inspired farmer’s market which is known as La Cigale which opens every Saturday and Sunday morning.
There are over 200 local businesses here and you can try out the gourmet restaurants or go to the lively bars and the specialty coffee shops to get some drink, or you can shop for designers’ shirts and bags at designer boutiques.
Taste the city’s most delicious ice cream
I know you have probably tasted ice cream before, but at Giapo, you will find arguably the best ice cream you have ever tasted. It is a family-owned shop that has been creating a unique flavor of ice cream for years.
Check out Cat Café
Do you love cats? If so, there is a cat café in Auckland called Cat Lounge, the first of its kind in the country. There are around 20 cats living on the premises and you can cuddle and even feed them.
Snorkel at Goat Island
Located around an hour from Auckland by car, visiting Goat Island is one of the best things to do in the city. Here, visitors come to snorkel, scuba dive, or take a glass-bottom boat ride.
The waters of the island have some of the most beautiful marine life you will ever see, which you can interact with them up close.
Discover Auckland’s nightlight in Queen Street
The area around Queen Street is one of the most vibrant in the city. It features numerous bars and nightclubs including a bar dedicated to the iconic Irish sitcom Father Ted.
If you don’t want to indulge yourself in the thick action, just stroll down the center of Auckland, especially during the weekend.
Watch gannets nesting at Muriwai Beach
Every year from March to August, more than 1200 pairs of gannets nest at the Muriwai Beach making for spectacular viewing. The beach is located about an hour’s drive from the city and has a viewing platform from which visitors can catch the glimpse of this spectacle.
Visit Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto Island is the youngest volcano in the country, having erupted and formed six centuries ago. You can access this gem by ferry, which takes about twenty-five minutes, but if money is not a concern to you, a helicopter ride is the easiest and luxurious alternative.
Upon reaching the island, you can hike to up the peak or take a 4wd and explore every inch of the island.
Check out the Hunua Falls
Located around 45 minutes car drive from the city center, Hunua Falls are considered some of the most breathtaking cascades in the region. Visitors can even swim in the waterfall, unlike in the waters of Blue Springs.
Additionally, you can also camp around the waterfalls or trek up the hilltop.
Climb Mount Eden
As the highest peak in the region, Mount Eden offers panoramic views of the city if Auckland. It should be noted that the city was founded amidst volcano peaks, with more than forty volcano cones dotted around Auckland.
Because it is also a volcano, visitors also climb mount Eden to walk around the crater.
Tour the city on an electric bike
One to explore Auckland is by electric bikes. Power to the Pedal is an organization in the city that offers electric bike tours. This activity is ideal for when you are tired to walk but wants to see around.
Also, there are different tour options to choose from including the city lights tour (night tour), the inside loo, and classic tour.
Enjoy an evening at Queens Wharf
If you want to immerse yourself into what’s hot in Auckland, then you should set aside one evening to relax at the vibrant Queens Wharf. Here you will find numerous bars and fine restaurants as well as an abundance of ice cream shops.
This spot is never dull, with events and live performances staged all-year-through. For those who like an evening downtime, Queens Wharf is just the place to be in Auckland.
Visit Blue Springs Te Waihou Walkway
A trip to Auckland, or New Zealand for that matter, is not complete without visiting the country’s most beautiful springs. Situated around two-and-half hours from Auckland city center, Blue Springs is the source of more than seventy percent of New Zealand’s bottled water.
People visit these springs to marvel at how clear the water is as well as to walk through the waterfalls, wetlands, and natural bush.
Take a day trip to Waiheke Island
For anyone in Auckland, Waiheke Island is just a must-do excursion. Located some 35 minutes off the coast via ferry, the island is a great day trip away from the bustle of the city. Visitors flock on the island to enjoy world-class wines, delicious food, and scenic landscapes.
The island itself is quite small, but that only makes exploring it even simpler.
Stroll the length of the Auckland coast
One of the best ways to explore and discover a new city or region is by walking. Fortunately in Auckland, there is a famous walk known as ‘Coast to Coast’ where tourists walk from one end to the shoreline to the other.
The walk begins at Waitemata Harbor and ends at Manukau, clocking some 16 kilometers in between.
Auckland Travel and Tour Packages
Auckland has loads of fun tourist attractions and activities to do and once you visit this city, you will see for yourself why many people all over the world have fallen in love with this beautiful city.
Do you have other recommended fun and interesting things to do in Auckland? Please feel free to share by posting a comment below.
Searching for the best Auckland hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Auckland hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.