- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Auckland, based around 2 large harbours, is a major city in the north of New Zealand’s North Island. In the centre, the iconic Sky Tower has views of Viaduct Harbour, which is full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes. Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, is based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Wintergardens. Near Downtown, Mission Bay Beach has a seaside promenade.
Wherever you go in Auckland, you’ll find something special – it’s a whole region waiting to be explored. The city centre’s world-class shopping, restaurants, bars and galleries are encircled by wine regions, stunning beaches, pristine rainforest and the magnificent Hauraki Gulf.
Auckland's vast harbour, quiet islands and vibrant cityscape offer an exciting and accessible mix of urban, water and wildlife activities.
Take to the waters
From central Auckland you can be on the water in a matter of minutes.
- Enjoy a cruise on a classic yacht or launch. Charter your own yacht if you have sailing skills.
- Meet the local marine mammals. Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari conducts daily marine mammal eco-safaris, finding common and bottlenose dolphins, Brydes whales and orca in Auckland's magnificent Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
- Kayak to Rangitoto Island at sunset with Auckland Sea Kayaks.
- Experience the thrill of sailing on a genuine America's Cup racing yacht - you can participate as much or as little as you desire.
- Take the ferry across to Devonport and enjoy a café lunch and a spot of shopping or explore the WWII tunnels and gun emplacements in North Head.
Go diving or snorkeling in New Zealand's first marine reserve - Goat Island Marine Reserve.
Explore the islands of the Hauraki Gulf
The Hauraki Gulf, on the doorstep of Auckland city, is home to a multitude of remarkable islands. Don't miss out on these activities:
- Walk to the summit of Rangitoto, the black lava volcanic island in the middle of the inner Hauraki Gulf. Hire a kayak and join an evening paddle to the island.
- Enjoy wine tasting and beachcombing on Waiheke Island, a half hour ferry ride from the city centre.
- Sunbathe and swim at Motuihe Island.
- Discover the historic Mansion House on Kawau Island - once the home of Governor George Grey.
- Visit the wildlife sanctuary on Tiritiri Matangi. The island is home to many endangered birds, including the extremely rare Takahe.
- Experience a wilderness adventure on Great Barrier Island - tracks lead to secluded natural hot springs and historic kauri dams.
Family fun in Auckland
Here's a few activities for the family you can try out next time you're in Auckland:
- Visit the Sky Tower and travel 328 metres up in glass fronted lifts to the spectacular viewing platforms. Family members who are 10 years or over might like to do a Sky walk or Sky jump!
- Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World gets you up close and personal with sharks and penguins
- Daily Maori cultural performances at the Auckland Museum include a welcome dance, poi dance, stick game, weaponry display and haka
- EcoZip Adventures offers state-of-the-art flying fox ziplines and an eco-immersive forest walk on breathtaking Waiheke Island, for nature lovers of all ages.
- Auckland Zoo is always fun - home to 117 species, and over 700 animals. There's always lots to see and do all year, including events and Zoom (behind the scenes) tours. Daily Zoo encounters, presented by zoo keepers, give you the opportunity to come eye to eye with some amazing creatures.
- Have a thrilling day at Rainbows End Adventure Park in Manukau City. Plummet on the Fear Fall, spiral on the roller coaster and zoom down the log flume.
- SheepWorld promises a close encounter with farm animals.