1. Kayak to a volcanic island
Hire a kayak and paddle out to Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano not far from downtown Auckland (you can also get there by ferry). Walk up the old lava flows to the summit for spectacular views across the harbour and back to the city.
2. Walk across the country in 5 hours
The Coast to Coast Walkway crosses New Zealand’s narrowest neck of land. Start in Viaduct Harbour on Auckland’s east coast and travel west through urban landscapes, beautiful parklands and over dormant volcanoes to finish 16km later at Manukau Harbour.
3. Swim in the east, then surf in the west
With our two coastlines so close, you can take a dip at one of Auckland’s east coast beaches in the morning, then grab a surfboard and head to the west coast’s rugged black-sand surf beaches for the afternoon. Or the other way around!
4. Day trip to an isle of wine
Just a 35-minute ferry ride and you’re in Waiheke Island, Auckland’s island of wine. This slice of paradise is a haven of beautiful island beaches and some 30 wineries. Join a wine tasting tour and linger over a vineyard lunch, with gorgeous views to match.
5. Visit the world’s largest penguin colony exhibit
Catch these cuties at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium, as well as the world’s only display of Spiny Sea Dragons, the biggest species of stingray on the globe, and an underwater aquarium of colourful fish. Watch the sharks at feeding time – or book your own shark dive.
6. See the world’s largest collection of Māori taonga
Discover more than 1000 taonga (treasures) at the Auckland Museum – the largest collection in New Zealand (and the world). From small precious artefacts to an original full-size marae (meeting house) and waka (canoe), this is a fascinating glimpse into early Māori culture.
7. Rediscover a lost islandOnce a private rehabilitation centre, Rotoroa Island was re-opened to the public in 2005 after nearly 100 years. Wander through the new exhibition centre and museum, visit the historic chapel and jail house, and walk along beautiful white-sand beaches and bush trails.
8. Visit the world’s only island Dark Sky Sanctuary
Not only is Great Barrier Island a place of incredible beauty, it’s also the first island in the world to be designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary – joining only two other locations. The island is off the grid and with minimal outdoor lighting, it’s a dream destination for star-gazers to take in the stunning night skies.
9. Experience Pasifika Festival
We’ve got the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. Explore the authentic villages representing different Pacific Island nations at the annual Pasifika Festival, browse the food and art stalls and catch live music and dance.
10. A city built on an active volcanic field
Yes it’s an active field but don’t worry, our 48 volcanic cones are dormant (the last eruption was about 600 years ago). They’re the most distinctive features of our landscape, providing beautiful green spaces, walking trails, picnic spots and the best views in the region.