Last Updated on June 20, 2023
Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, has a varied and diverse culture and offer those paying a visit a whole host of things to see and do. In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the things that you can expect to get up to whilst staying in New Zealand’s first city. Whether you prefer food and drink or history and art, there is something for everyone here.
Let’s begin by looking at a little more information about the city itself. Auckland is set around two sizable harbors and is home to over 1.5 million people.
The city is famed for being multicultural and this is one of the aspects that draws people to the city from all over the world. Not only does Auckland have a diverse population but the area itself is pretty varied too, with attractive coastlines, stunning mountains and beautiful rain forest, Auckland is a land of contrast.
1. Auckland War Memorial Museum
Whether you have a detailed interest in history or something a little more played down, the war museum offers an insight for varied levels of visitor.
The museum is seen as one of the most important in the city in terms of history and education and is home to not only war memorabilia but also some wonderful collections relating to natural history and the history of New Zealand.
2. Rangitoto Island
Located on the gulf near Auckland, this island is a volcanic island which is just five and half kilometers in length, ideal for day explorers. The volcano is the largest one within its local group and is also the biggest.
It is thought to have been formed around 600 years ago. The island used to be completely separated from the mainland but in world war two, a causeway was built giving free access to the area.
3. Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium
For those of you with an interest in marine life or for families with children who simply love to get up close and personal with animals, the sea life aquarium makes for a wonderful day out.
The aquarium opened in 1985 and has thrived ever since in its home of disused sewer tunnels. There are a great variety of species which can be seen here and viewing takes place as guests stand on a conveyor belt, making this a truly unique experience.
4. Sky Tower
If you are feeling a little adventurous how about taking a leap of faith from the sky tower which offers guests the chance to take part in a bungee jump. This is something that New Zealand is well known for and and experience that a lot of tourists choose to do.
Traditionally the jumps take place in a much more rural setting but what a way to see the city! From the top of the tower, even if you choose not to jump off it, there are some stunning views of the city all around, making this a top attraction for many visitors to Auckland.
5. Waiheke Island
On this gorgeous island, there are a great and diverse range of things for people of all walks of life to take part in. There is a winery where you can sample the finest wines on offer and perhaps take a tour. If you want something a little more hands on, there is a great zip line that has got great reviews or perhaps you would prefer a quiet and relaxing walk.
6. Auckland Zoo
For any animal lovers, a trip to the zoo can make for a wonderful outing, and visiting the one in Auckland will not leave you disappointed. The zoo is home to over 1400 animals from over 135 different species, giving you the chance to meet a multitude of creatures.
The zoo offers many experiences aside from simply exploring the attraction. There are behind the scenes tours, safari nights and they do birthday parties for the little ones! Between the months of January and March the zoo stays open late so that visitors can enjoy the animals in the evening.
7. Rainbow’s End
This is another really good attraction for families with children, this amusement park is well loved among the locals and has become ever popular with visitors to the city. There are a great range of rides and attractions aimed at all ages.
The park is split into two sections with the main theme park and then the kids kingdom which is designed for children under the age of 8. The park sits on 9 hectares and has plenty to do to kill a day, or even two.
8. Piha Beach
This beautiful black sand beach is famed for surfing and is a paradise for those with a love for the sport. Not only is it ideal for this but also perfect for wiling away the hours and taking in the breath taking scenery that this beach has to offer.
With rocky inlets and pristine sands, this place is truly a haven on earth. You will not believe the beauty without seeing it and it is well worth the trip. Located on the west coast of the North island, Piha is about a 45 minute drive out of the city.
9. Albert Park
This is a beautiful landscaped park in Auckland which is well loved and taken care of by the locals. It is a place which often plays host to various events and so is great if you are looking for something new to do.
The Auckland art gallery is located within the park and is another popular tourist attraction within the city. Why not kill two birds with one stone and visit both in the day.
10. Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari
If you have a love of marine animals then taking a whale and dolphin safari may well cross something off your bucket list. Visitors to Auckland are given the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat by boarding a boat and joining them out at sea.
This will certainly be an experience you will never forget and is a wonderful way to teach kids about these special animals.
The tour takes place over 4-5 hours and so you get a good amount of time on the ocean and plenty of chances to take photos, on top of this the tour is guided by experts in marine biology ensuring that you get all the right information.
11. Silo Park
For something a little different why not visit the silo park where visitors will find a range of concerts, markets and films. There are a huge range of food trucks to satisfy your appetite whilst at the park and throughout the summer, the park plays host to a wide range of events so that there is always something new and interesting to see.
It is one of the most favorite places to hang out for locals and you will soon see why.
12. Aotea Square
Many cities boast an incredible public square and this one in Auckland will leave you with memories for a long time to come. Aotea square is an exceptionally large public plaza which has been decorated with various forms of art.
There are a good array of cafes and bars surrounding the square, so take you pick and sit an relax with a drink while you watch the world go by. There are many events which take place in the square, most of which are entirely free of charge.
13. Stardome Observatory and Planetarium
This interactive experience is not only astonishing but educational as well. The venue is one of the most popular in Auckland and plays host to a variety of events throughout the year as well as the exhibitions which are permanently housed here.
There is a very good music and laser show which takes place on a Tuesday evening and a session aimed just at the kids on a Saturday, late afternoon.
14. Butterfly Creek
At this attraction, guests can see the dinosaur kingdom and explore prehistoric times. There is the butterfly house which is the main attraction here and is home to a vast array of species. There are alligators and insects, animals galore for all the family to enjoy.
15. Auckland Bridge Climb
The Auckland bridge climb is exactly what it says on the tin, you can climb the bridge. But this is not the only activity that you can take part in here. How about a bungee jump from the top? This impressive bridge can simply serve as an appreciation in engineering and architecture, if nothing else and has fast become one of the tourist hot spots of the city.
It is evident that Auckland is a city of contrast and diversity, and whether you are looking for a relaxing break that gets you back to nature or one which is filled with adventure and Adrenalin, Auckland will have something to offer you.