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Travel Guide: Best Things to do in Auckland, New Zealand

To say that Aucklanders love sailing would be an understatement. Auckland is widely known as the “city of sails,” holding more boats per capita than anywhere else in the world. 

But this region of New Zealand is so much more than sailing and its natural wonders go well beyond the area’s waters. Rainforests, thermal springs, parks and volcanic cones are just the start.

What are the best things to do in Auckland, New Zealand? 

Whether you’re a nature lover, art aficionado, or thrill seeker, Auckland is sure to keep you captivated. Below are a few of our favorite must-sees. 

“When in the city, I head for Britomart Station. The district sits along the waterfront where you can walk to the end of Queen’s Wharf to capture the beautiful view of the many boats cruising the harbor or grab a table at one of the many terraces lining Prince’s Wharf.”

Nathalie McNabb of Marquestra
Hop on a ferry at Queen’s Wharf and explore Waiheke Island. On Waiheke Island you can spend the day visiting wineries, olive groves, and beaches.
Waiheke Island
  • Hop on a ferry at Queen’s Wharf and explore Waiheke Island. On Waiheke Island you can spend the day visiting wineries, olive groves, and beaches.
  • Hike to the top of Mt. Eden. This mountain is Auckland’s highest volcanic cone and contains a 50 meter deep crater known as Te Ipu Kai a Mataaho (the Food Bowl of Mataaho, the god of things hidden in the ground). The walk up the mountain takes about 10 minutes.
  • Catch a wave at Piha Beach. This black sand beach is New Zealand’s most famous surf beach and boasts renowned views made famous by landscape photographers from around the world. 
  • See the best of New Zealand’s wildlife at the Auckland Zoo. The zoo has a special section just for New Zealand’s wildlife that’s divided into 6 ecological zones: the coast, islands, wetlands, night, forest, and high country.
  • Jump off Sky Tower. Standing 328 meters tall, Sky Tower is the tallest building in New Zealand and offers the opportunity to base-jump with a wire off the side of the building. 
  • Learn about the history of Auckland at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. This museum gives you the story of New Zealand, its place in the Pacific, and its people. 
  • The TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre is an ideal way to experience contemporary and historical New Zealand art. Located in the historic Pah Homestead, a mansion in Monte Cecilia Park, Hillsborough, the arts centre has more than 9000 works as well as touring exhibitions. 
  • Take in nature on Tiritiri Matangi Island. This island is a wildlife sanctuary for threatened and endangered species in the area. Take a guided walk or explore on your own.