The most iconic things to do in Auckland

Dive into the top ideas for an Auckland getaway.

Auckland has activities that cater to any kind of trip.

Whether you’d prefer to relax by the water, see the city by foot, watch wildlife or jump into the sky, we’re sharing with you the best things to do in Auckland that will spark your curiosity and satisfy your thrill-seeking side.

Top things to do in Auckland

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1. Relive the Lord of the Rings movies in Hobbiton

If you're a Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit fan, you won't want to miss out on a trip to the famous film setting of Hobbiton. While this can be seen on your own, the best way to do it is by booking yourself a spot in a set tour.

During these tours, your guide will share with you stories from behind the scenes and facts about the creation of the sets.


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2. Go dolphin and whale watching

Whale safaris give you the best chance to spot these beautiful creates in the wild and Auckland is not short on options.

When jumping on board a whale and dolphin safari you have the chance to spot up to six different kinds of whales and a pods of dolphins as they swim past your boat curiously.

This particular tour sails you through Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, which is known to have 23 different species of whale.


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3. Explore Auckland city

Whether you choose to see Auckland by foot or by city tour, seeing the city over at least a day is a must. Tours are a great way to orient yourself and to learn where the best spots and main attractions are.

Guides generally take you through the city centre, lead you to beautiful views from the Auckland Harbour Bridge and show you the trendiest areas.


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4. Bask on Piha Beach

Located in Auckland's "wild west coast" Piha Beach is a natural icon and one of the nation's best surf beaches. It's renowned for its black sands and marked by lion rock (pictured), which you can climb for views of the waves as they crash between Piha and Little Piha Beaches.

Aside from the obvious water based activities at Piha Beach, travellers can wander the Kitekite Track to the beautiful Kitekite falls and also witness Maori carvings near lion rock.

Those short on time can hop on a tour to the Piha Beach and the nearby Karekare waterfalls.


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5. Bungy jump from the Auckland Harbour Bridge

What is a trip to New Zealand without a thrill-seeking adventure? After the bridge walk to the bungy pod, throw yourself off the bridge and sail through the air.

Don’t forget to keep your eyes open so you can enjoy the views of Waitemata Harbour as you fall 40 metres down.


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6. Discover the natural beauty of Rangitoto Island

One of Auckland's closest natural beauties if Rangitoto Island, which can be achieved in a day trip. The lava fields of Rangitoto Island can be accessed with a two hour tour on a 4WD tractor-pulled tram.

On it, you will be rewarded with a 360 degree view of Hauraki Gulf and the Auckland skyline. During your tour, your guide will teach you all about the island’s geology and plant-life.


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7. Discover Auckland by foot

Auckland is home to a number of walking trails for all fitness levels.

The North Shore Coastal Walk will take you along the shores of the white sand beaches from Long Bay Regional Park to Devonport with multiple entries and exits so you can tailor the length of your walk. Or head up through lush forest to a lookout platform to see Hunua Falls.


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Image: City Discovery

8. Cruise Auckland Harbour

Cruise around Waitemata Harbour to see Auckland from the water.

As you enjoy lunch, which includes some of New Zealand's best wines and beers, you’ll see iconic city sights such as the Sky Tower and Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Quick recommendations, depending on your travel style

5 top things to do in Auckland CBD

  1. Walk across or climb Auckland Harbour Bridge
  2. Be a tourist in Sky Tower - or be brave and bungee jump off it
  3. Cruise the Waitemata Harbour
  4. Pay your respects at the Auckland War Memorial Museum
  5. Hang with the locals at Auckland Zoo

5 free things to do in Auckland

  1. Get your bearings with a free walking tour of the city
  2. On a hot day walk the North Shore Coastal Walk
  3. Take a stroll around Cornwall Park and make your way up to One Tree Hill
  4. Cycle the Pink Cycleway AKA the Nelson Street Cycleway
  5. Catch a movie at the Silo Centre during summer

5 things to do in Auckland at night

  1. Try your luck at SKYCITY
  2. Catch a sunset over the city from the peak of Mount Eden
  3. Eat up at the night markets. There are plenty
  4. Check out the bar or clubbing scene. It's pretty good
  5. Stargaze from Shakespeare National Park

5 things to do in Auckland with kids

  1. Meet the underwater creatures at Kelly Taarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
  2. Take the ferry to Waiheke island. During summer they can play at the Sculpture on the Gulf trail
  3. Check out the crater at the top of Mount Eden
  4. Work on that green thumb at Potter Children's Garden in Auckland Botanic Gardens
  5. Spend the day at Rainbow's End theme park

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