11 high issues to do in Auckland: expertise one of the best of New Zealand's largest metropolis

Located on a slender strip of land between the west coast and Hauraki Gulf, Auckland is arguably one among New Zealand’s most geographically blessed cities.

Throughout the metropolis limits, there are round 50 volcanoes, dozens of islands and numerous seashores. It is also the nation’s most populous metropolis, with over 1.6 million folks calling it residence. All that mingling of individuals and topology make Auckland a spot worthy of your time. You may spend a day or two seeing the key sights, however there’s additionally loads to see and do in Auckland past town heart.

To find one of the best elements of in and across the metropolis, contemplate hiring a automobile and hitting a few of the locations the place locals love to hang around. Listed here are the highest issues to do in Auckland.

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Mt Eden, or Maungawhau, is a big Māori web site © denizunlusu / Getty Photos

1. Find out about Māori tradition on Mt Eden/Maungawhau

One of many main sights in Auckland is Mt Eden, or Maungawhau – one of many metropolis’s roughly 50 dormant volcanoes, and a protected archaeological web site that is each traditionally and spiritually important to Māori. It’s a straightforward, if steep, stroll as much as the summit, the place the hill abruptly disappears right into a outstanding 50m (164ft) crater.

Whereas most guests amble alongside the grassy banks of the crater and admire sweeping views from its rim, it’s also possible to be a part of a hikoi (Māori strolling tour) for particular perception into this sacred place, bringing the mountain and its historical past to life whereas studying extra about Māori tradition.

Auckland Sky Tower seen from below against a blue sky, with someone jumping off
The Sky Tower provides yoga lessons in addition to extra thrilling adventures © matiascausa / Shutterstock

2. Take a yoga class on high of the Sky Tower

The Sky Tower dominates the skyline and is a particular characteristic of town. Providing panoramic views of Auckland and its harbor, going up the Sky Tower is likely one of the hottest vacationer actions in Auckland.

Planning Tip: For a singular expertise – and to go to at one of many quietest occasions – head up early within the morning for a yoga class on the commentary stage. On clear days, you possibly can watch the solar rise over the Hauraki Gulf and see the close by islands silhouetted towards the morning sky. It’s a serene technique to see town.

If yoga isn’t your factor, you possibly can go to the Sky Tower throughout the day, after all, or expertise the views from the revolving restaurant. Extra adventurous guests can take a stroll across the constructing’s edge, and even bounce from it.

Young woman shopping for clothes in a night market
Auckland’s night time markets are eclectic © nazar_ab / Getty Photos

3. Uncover Auckland’s night time markets

For a glimpse into a few of Auckland’s various cultures, go to a night market. Held at totally different areas across the metropolis, they often happen in undercover venues (usually automobile parks) and are all-weather occasions. The markets are busy and vibrant with eclectic stalls, dwell performances and the mingling scents of various cuisines.

Planning Tip: Meals is the principle draw, so go hungry and style totally different dishes from world wide. There’s at all times a variety of Asian meals on provide – be sure you strive the dumplings – and often a mixture of different flavors as effectively, together with some Western staples and scrumptious desserts.

A young child runs a long an empty beach near Auckland holding a red bucket at sunset
Sunsets at Muriwai Seaside are mesmerizing © Nazar Abbas Images / Getty Photos

4. Watch the sundown at Muriwai Seaside

A few of Auckland’s most outstanding seashores, recognized for his or her rugged landscapes, tough surf and glowing black sand, are discovered on the West Coast a few 40-minute drive from town heart. Muriwai is a favourite, with an extended, darkish seashore that stretches far into distance. The black sand can get highly regarded throughout the day, and late afternoon is a cooler time to go to.

Planning Tip: Arrive a bit of earlier than sundown and stroll up the cliff to see the gannet colony and catch a peek on the seals (and the occasional shark) seen within the waves. Then, because the solar begins to dip, head onto the seashore and stroll alongside the water. The setting solar is mirrored on the waves and the darkish sand – the impact is mesmerizing and considerably otherworldly. In case you’re tempted to swim, simply remember that the currents are very robust, so be cautious, particularly as lifeguards often go away within the late afternoon.

5. Hike up a volcano on Rangitoto Island

Auckland’s youngest volcano rose from the ocean some 600 years in the past, and its darkish cone is well seen from a lot of town. Now dormant, Rangitoto Island is a scenic reserve only a 25-minute ferry trip from town, making it a straightforward choice for a day journey.

Climbing to the summit is the preferred exercise on the island, and the path solely takes about an hour, winding via native bush earlier than reaching the highest with spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf. In case you’d favor an extended hike, there are a selection of different trails on the island, together with a path to close by Motutapu Island that is solely obtainable at low-tide. Simply bear in mind to put on sturdy sneakers, use sunscreen and produce foods and drinks with you, as there are not any retailers on the island.

6. Style native seafood on the Auckland Fish Market

For a style of native seafood, head to the Fish Market in Wynyard Quarter within the metropolis. Take your decide from the eateries and revel in contemporary fish the way in which you prefer it greatest, whether or not that’s sashimi, poke bowls, lobster rolls or conventional fish and chips.

Take pleasure in your meals exterior at a seat within the sunshine, and on the weekends you’ll usually be handled with dwell music. After you’ve completed consuming, take a stroll via close by Silo Park, the place you’ll discover occasions in the summertime and a close-by playground the place the little ones can burn off some power.

Bayside houses in the Devonport suburb with the Auckland city skyline beyond.
The charming suburb of Devonport is only a 15-minute ferry trip from Auckland correct © patjo / Shutterstock

7. Take a ferry to Devonport

From town, it’s solely a 15-minute ferry trip to Auckland’s North Shore and the charming suburb of Devonport. The ferry itself offers guests a chance to see town from the water and acquire an appreciation for the variety of the boats within the harbor – Auckland is known as “town of sails” for a cause.

If you arrive in Devonport, stroll alongside the coast previous the Navy Museum and up North Head, or Maungauika, one among Auckland’s many volcanoes, which juts out into the harbor. From right here, you’ll discover gorgeous views of town and Rangitoto Island. North Head additionally homes a community of historic tunnels and navy defenses constructed throughout WWII. In your means again to Devonport, discover the colonial village and decide an area restaurant for lunch – there are a number of good choices to select from.

8. Head to Ponsonby Street for buying and drinks

In case you get pleasure from buying, head to the city-fringe suburb of Ponsonby and spend a day strolling down Ponsonby Street. Lined with retailers, cafes and eating places, the road showcases native designers and boutiques with a number of chain shops thrown in.

Planning Tip: Ponsonby Street actually comes alive within the evenings, so grasp round for cocktails after the retailers shut. The bars refill shortly with a principally native crowd, and the folks watching is great. If you find yourself staying out a bit longer, there are some beautiful locations to go for dinner. 

Auckland Harbour Bridge at twilight from Northcote Point, with pink light reflected in the water
Take a guided tour of Auckland Harbour Bridge © Linda Mckie / Getty Photos

9. Climb up or bungee bounce from the Harbour Bridge

True to its identify, Auckland Harbour Bridge sweeps throughout the harbor, connecting central Auckland to the North Shore. The bridge is simply open to automobiles and doesn’t often permit for pedestrian entry; nonetheless, adventurous guests can take a guided tour to the summit, the place they’re going to be rewarded with spectacular views of town – an incredible exercise for many who wish to see Auckland from a distinct vantage level. It’s a steep climb alongside devoted walkways, and it could actually get very windy as you climb up. Looking for a extra intense adrenalin rush? You may also bungee bounce from the bridge. 

10. Hike to a waterfall within the Hunua Ranges

New Zealand is thought for its lush forests and pure options, and Auckland isn’t any exception. In case you benefit from the outdoor, go climbing within the Hunua Ranges, about an hour southeast of town heart. There are two waterfall trails: the Hunua Falls loop stroll (20 minutes return), and the extra strenuous Cossey/Massey loop (3 hours plus), which takes you up via a reservoir and again through a creek, each good locations for a swim.

Each trails meander via the native bush, with ferns, dappled daylight and big, historical bushes. Take a picnic and have lunch by the waterfall or beside the river. Keep in mind to scrub your sneakers fastidiously on the stations earlier than coming into the forest to assist forestall the unfold of kauri dieback illness, which might kill the native kauri bushes.

11. Eat fish and chips on the seashore

Consuming fish and chips on the seashore on a summer season night is a quintessential Auckland expertise. There are a lot of seashores to select from, and virtually all of them have a small fish-and-chips store someplace shut by. Count on your fish to come back battered except you ask for it crumbed, with a big scoop of chips, wrapped in paper.

Planning Tip: Fish and chips adopted by an after-dinner stroll alongside the sand is a particularly standard factor to do on Friday nights, with seashores like Mission Bay and Takapuna Seaside vibrant throughout the summer season months.

Auckland is on our 2022 Better of Journey listing. For extra tales from a few of the world’s most fun locations click on right here.