Urban style and spectacular landscapes go hand in hand in New Zealand’s largest city – Auckland (Tamaki Makaurau). Diverse dining, vibrant bars, shops and galleries are encircled by volcanoes, wine regions, pristine rainforest, beaches and islands. With many unique experiences close by, the best way to enjoy the region is with a day trip or two – all less than an hours’ drive or ferry from the central city.
Visit Auckland’s magnificent Hauraki Gulf and its beautiful islands. The jewel of the gulf is Waiheke Island, a haven of vineyards, olive groves and beaches just a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. For an exciting day trip, climb the volcanic cone of Rangitoto Island for incredible views from the summit, or visit Tiritiri Matangi Island, an open wildlife sanctuary alive with birdsong. If you have a little more time, escape to Great Barrier Island, whose wild, lush landscapes will take your breath away.
Tracks and Trails
Explore the great outdoors on some of the hundreds of mountain biking and walking tracks, which range from short, easy walks to challenging multi-day hikes. The west’s Waitakere Ranges Regional Park has more than 250 kilometres of walking and hiking tracks through lush native rainforest, past cascading waterfalls and along magnificent coastline. Walk through the region’s largest native forest in the Hunua Ranges in the east, home to more than 450 species of native plants and the spectacular Hunua Falls.
Auckland’s arts, culture and history
More than 200 different ethnic communities call Auckland home and it is this diversity that makes the city’s art, cultural experiences and history so fascinating. Discover the world-class exhibitions in the beautiful Auckland Museum or wander through more than 15,000 traditional and contemporary artworks and see visiting exhibitions at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.
Combine beautiful scenery and modern Kiwi art at the outdoor Brick Bay Sculpture Trail in Matakana wine country. History lovers can visit a replica 17th century Māori village at Te Hana Te Ao Marama, or experience Te Haerenga, a guided walking tour of Rangitoto Island and neighbouring Motutapu Island led by a knowledgable Ngāi Tai tribal guide.
Wining and dining
Auckland’s vibrant food and wine scene serves up something for every taste – from modern New Zealand dishes to cuisine from every corner of the globe. And with hundreds of cafés and restaurants you can choose from a casual meal to five-star dining.
Dine overlooking the water at Viaduct Harbour or Wynyard Quarter, or take your pick from the eclectic restaurants in the stylish Britomart and Federal Street precincts. Hip Ponsonby is home to modern cafés and eateries, or grab a casual bite or craft beer at City Works Depot.
Auckland has not one but three distinctive wine regions. Beautiful Waiheke Island is a must for wine lovers, with 30 boutique wineries and vineyards dotted across the island. North of the city, Matakana’s wine trail takes you through picturesque countryside to a number of boutique wineries. Kumeu, in the west, is Auckland’s oldest winegrowing region and home to both well-known labels and small family-run vineyards.