Auckland
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Auckland Culture & History

Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

1. Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your two hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour trip into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear secrets and stories about the making of the movies and finish your LOTR experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub, The Green Dragon Inn. After your LOTR experience, it’s time to head west towards the stunning Waitomo region. Along the way admire the incredible hydro dams, beautiful farmland, race horses and the Kiwiana capital of New Zealand. Before arriving at the caves, stop by Waitomo homestead for lunch, and a little surprise too. Once in Waitomo, explore the ancient and amazing caves and marvel at the many cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns before descending even further underground for your Glowworm Grotto experience. Board your glow-worm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms sparkling above you. Unique to New Zealand for over 120 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveler. On the guided trip back to Auckland the sights continue with New Zealand's longest river, Huntly power station and the Maori Queens’ burial site.

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Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium General Admission

2. Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium General Admission

No trip to Auckland is complete without a visit to Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium. Experience the underwater world built by the famous diver and explorer Kelly Tarlton over 30 years ago. The Aquarium remains one of Auckland's leading attractions. Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium is just a 10-minute drive (6 km/3.7 mi) from downtown Auckland. See the cool and calm king penguins and cheeky gentoos interact and swim past as you walk through the Penguin Ice Adventure exhibit.  Touch a starfish or two at our Rockpool. Learn about our turtle rehabilitation program. Stand in awe underneath the Shark Tunnel as great sand tiger sharks, giant stingrays swim past and try find the hiding carpet shark Wobbegong. Explore Seahorse Kingdom to see the world's only public display of the rarely seen spiny sea dragons.

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Waiheke Island: 3 Vineyards Winery Tour

3. Waiheke Island: 3 Vineyards Winery Tour

Catch the 10 AM ferry from Auckland City to Waiheke Island where you will be greeted by your tour guide. Then, enjoy a quick 20-minute scenic drive to your first vineyard stop. Savor wine tastings at the Cable Bay Boutique Vineyard and sample around 5 boutique wines grown on the island. Visit Thomas's Batch, where you have the option for lunch (at your own cost) and can admire incredible views. Finally, make your way to Te Motu or Kennedy Point for 3rd stop, and Mudbrick Vineyard for the grand finale. Return to the wharf at 3:30 PM for the ferry back to Auckland. If you wish to stay on the island, you can be dropped off at Oneroa Village, where you'll find beautiful shops, eclectic Kiwiana gifts, plus good bars and restaurants.

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Auckland: Coromandel Scenic Flight with 2-Course Lunch

4. Auckland: Coromandel Scenic Flight with 2-Course Lunch

Travel to the Coromandel in the clouds for your own private delicious 2-course lunch with a drink included. Admire the incredible views of the Coromandel Peninsula from above and hear interesting commentary from your professional pilot. This is sure to become a memory of a lifetime. With an extraordinary combination of a unique bird’s eye view from above Auckland all the way to the Coromandel and a beautifully prepared meal you and your partner or group will be sure to have a treasured shared memory. An experienced pilot that has done over 100 scenic flights from Coromandel and back and will offer expert guidance of all the sights on the ground as you make your way to and from your destination.

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Auckland War Memorial Museum Entry Ticket

5. Auckland War Memorial Museum Entry Ticket

Regarded as one of the finest museums in the southern hemisphere, discover this museum's renowned and unique collection of Maori and Pacific treasures. House on one of the nation's best heritage buildings, the museum's 3 floors tell the story of New Zealand. From the great Polynesian voyages that brought people to Aotearoa to the diverse cultures and communities of Auckland, Auckland Museum portrays the rich diversity of New Zealand in an informative and spectacular way. From the museum, admire stunning views across the city, Waitemata Harbour, Hauraki Gulf and its islands.

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From Auckland: Hobbiton & Rotorua Tour with Lunch at Te Puia

6. From Auckland: Hobbiton & Rotorua Tour with Lunch at Te Puia

Enjoy the magic of Middle Earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set and delight in Maori culture at Te Puia Maori Village in Rotorua on a day tour from Auckland. Travel in comfort with a small group and an experienced local guide in a late-model Mercedes or a similarly configured the vehicle to provide extra leg room and space for your comfort.  After the pick-up from your hotel, journey through gorgeous Waikato scenery to Hobbiton. On arrival, set off on an official 2-hour guided tour through the picturesque twelve-acre site. Learn fascinating details of how a beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-Earth. At the end of your tour, savor a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Climb back into the vehicle for the 55-minute drive to Rotorua. Arrive at Te Puia Maori Village where you will have a freshly prepared hangi lunch featuring traditional Maori food. With plenty of time to explore, discover the Pohutu geyser, mud pools, hot springs, silica formations, and the iconic Kiwi bird. Visit the national schools of wood carving, weaving, stone and bone carving. Then explore Rotorua, visiting the lakefront and the government gardens, before the return journey to Auckland. You can opt for drop off in Rotorua, just select this option when booking. 

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The Classic: Discover Amazing Auckland on an Electric Bike

7. The Classic: Discover Amazing Auckland on an Electric Bike

Auckland is a city that it built on volcanos - so that means great views, and hills! Touring the city on a fun electric bike is the perfect solution. Electric bikes allow people with all levels of fitness to enjoy cycling and the benefits of being outdoors. See the best of the city from the comfort of the saddle, with a local expert guide who will take you on a fascinating journey - exploring the past, present and future of Auckland. Meet at an electric bike store located in the heart of Auckland city - within an easy walk of the cruise ship terminals and many hotels. There, be kitted with your stylish electric bike and your riding gear - including a helmet and a cycle specific headset, so you can safely listen to your guide as you ride along. You'll be given a short orientation with the electric bikes and do a practice ride nearby, to make sure you are 100% comfortable before the tour sets off.  Having departed from the city center, ride on the Grafton Gully cycleway towards the first stop and the high point (literally) of the tour - Mount Eden/Maungawhau - the highest of the many volcanic cones around Auckland. Let the motor on your electric bike do all the hard work as you cruise up. Enjoy spectacular 360-degree views at the summit, as your guide tells you about Auckland's turbulent early years. Then its on to one of the largest parks in Auckland - the Domain - for more beautiful views from Auckland Museum. Continue through the historic suburb of Parnell and down to Auckland's amazing waterfront. Riding an electric bike along the shoreline on the Tamaki Drive cycleway towards Okahu Bay is an experience not to be missed. As you head back towards the center of the city, ride on some of Auckland's newest cycleways and some of Auckland's most historic wharves, where you'll learn all about Auckland's relationship with the sea over the years. Then its through the bustling Viaduct, where your guide can recommend plenty of dining options for you to enjoy during the rest of your visit. A ride through one of Auckland's newest developments, Wynyard Quarter, is next, then round the Silo Park to check out your next destination - Westhaven and the Harbor Bridge. Ride along the picturesque boardwalks to Westhaven - the largest marina in the Southern Hemisphere and get up close and personal with the Harbor Bridge. The tour continues on through historic Freemans Bay before joining heading up to one of Auckland's new cycling icons - Te Ara i Whiti/the Lightpath. This award-winning, vibrant (and very pink!) cycleway is a great spot for some photos before you ride back down into the city to finish the tour where you started. To ensure the best experience, your group size will be small - a maximum of 6 riders and your guide. And there are frequent stops on the tour - plenty of time to take photos and listen to your guide as they share the story of Auckland with you.

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Auckland City Express Tour: 3-Hour Kiwi Experience

8. Auckland City Express Tour: 3-Hour Kiwi Experience

Embark on a city express tour for a personalised 3-hour experience. See twice as much in half the time as your local kiwi guides will show you what makes the city of Auckland so special.  Enjoy an intimate Kiwi experience as you discover Auckland’s eateries, volcanoes, visit a working farm, and explore beautiful gardens. Learn about Maori culture and settler history from your experienced guide. Gain local knowledge on the best of Auckland’s shopping, cuisine, and sights.  Your tour will take you up to Bastion Point to admire the beautiful harbor views. See some of the glamorous houses on Paratai Drive. Visit beautiful One Tree Hill and see a working farm. See fantastic Auckland views from the heights of the dormant Mt. Eden volcano. Visit the Auckland Domain and experience the exquisite Wintergardens. Drive through the historic Parnell village and see the historic Holy Trinity Church. Travel over the Auckland Harbor Bridge, enjoying Waitemata Harbor vistas. Encounter the Auckland’s maritime history at Viaduct Harbor.

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Hobbiton Movie Set & Rotorua Premium Day Tour from Auckland

9. Hobbiton Movie Set & Rotorua Premium Day Tour from Auckland

This full-day excursion begins with a pick-up at your preferred location in Auckland, and a scenic 2-hour drive into Waikato with the possibility of stops for photos en route to the Hobbiton Movie Set. On arrival, you’ll spend 30-45 minutes at the official Hobbiton Gift Shop and have a chance to grab a drink or a bite to eat at the famous Shire's Rest Café. Next you’ll embark on a 2-hour guided tour of the 1,250-acre sheep farm with amazing views of the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will then lead the way through the 12-acre site that’s home to Hobbit Holes, the Old Mill and the Double-Arched Bridge. Stop for a complimentary drink at The Green Dragon Inn. Your tour then continues to Rotorua, where you'll visit Te Puia and explore Te Whakarewarewa, a 60-hectare geothermal valley. You’ll also have an opportunity to see the kiwi bird house and viewing enclosure, watch traditional Maori carving and weaving, learn about Maori art and history and take a walk around a model pre-European Maori village and sacred marae. If you like, you can enjoy a meal prepared using ancient geothermal cooking techniques, watch a Maori haka performance and learn about Maori culture inside the sacred marae. At the end of the program it will be time to sit back and relax on the scenic drive back to Auckland.

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Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

10. Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Rotorua. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. As you drive, pass through the pass through the unique town of Tirau, the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade. Upon arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s most famous and historical sites including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa. From here enjoy the option to add on up to two of Rotorua's most popular activities and attractions (additional cost). Please add on the activities or attractions you would like to include during the booking process. Maybe head to the famous geothermal park and Maori cultural village of Te Puia, bathe in the geothermal waters of the Polynesian Spa, experience some farm culture at the Agrodome Sheep Show, or ride the gondola at Skyline! Or you can simply choose to explore the city at your own pace before your return to Auckland.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Auckland

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What people are saying about Auckland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 259 reviews

I almost enjoyed the walk through the winter Gardens more, to be honest. The museum was well laid out and the kid's area in the Science museum is just breathtaking!

Found it very informative and a must do for anyone wanting a good tour around Auckland city.

Awesome tour for both. Drivers were amazing made the whole tour a seamless experience.

Karen was an awesome tour guide, full of knowledge and really enjoyable company!

I went early and had the place almost to myself for half an hour.