Auckland

Known as the City of Sails, Auckland offers tourists a unique opportunity to experience New Zealand through the myriad of activities on offer. As the country’s largest and most diverse city, it has more beaches, and certainly more people (a third of the Kiwi population!), than most coastal towns in New Zealand.

The wildlife, hiking trails, beach day trips and adrenalin filled activities are just a few of the reasons why Auckland is a great destination for a Kiwi adventure. Better yet, tourists travelling on a budget will be pleased to know that a great deal of the best landmarks and attractions in the city are free!

In Auckland travellers can experience the culture through a variety of art forms. The many exquisite galleries in the city, such as the well-known Auckland Art Gallery which hosts the country’s largest Maori treasure collection, present a narrative of New Zealand’s history and customs. Street art can also be found in the shape of sculptures and the increasingly popular graffiti scattered through Auckland. 

Nature and animal-loving travellers won’t lack attractions in Auckland either. The Auckland Zoo, where adorable locals like lions, hippos and fur seals reside, is a must, as is a trip to the coast to marvel at the dolphins, orcas and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile kids (and their parents) should visit Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World, which features a one-of-a-kind display of sea dragons and houses the world's largest Antarctic penguin colony.

  1. Get a 360-degree view. The tallest man-made structure in New Zealand, the Sky Tower, comes to 328 metres and offers not only the best view of Auckland, but also a thrilling opportunity for adrenaline junkies to perform a tethered jump.
  2. Sample the bohemian spirit. A short ferry ride away from Auckland, Waiheke Island greets visitors with white-sand beaches and an abundance of locally-made wine from award-winning vineyards. Historically a residence to artists since the 60s, the island caters to the interest of art lovers as well as these of vino connoisseurs.
  3. Go with the lava flow. With 53 volcanic peaks peppered around Auckland, you’d be missing out if you didn’t visit at least one of the more famous ones! Mount Eden features both the most impressive crater and the most impressive view of the city, while One Tree Hill is home to the largest Mori settlement in New Zealand.
  4. Shop local produce. La Cigale, the weekly farmers’ market reminiscent of the style of the French province, is another great way to experience the spirit of Auckland and mingle with the locals, while also enjoying the produce the market has to offer.
  5. Go down the Hobbit Hole. Lord of the Rings fans should set aside a day to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set – located on a two-hour drive south of Auckland, it’s a fantasy wonderland, complete with a restaurant and the full 44 Hobbit houses.

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