Auckland Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Auckland Nature & adventure

Auckland: Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise

1. Auckland: Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise

Climb aboard a 65-foot luxury catamaran conveniently docked in the heart of Auckland. Set sail on the "Dolphin Explorer" to take in the sights and sounds of the city from the water. Enjoy a quick tour past impressive landmarks, such as the Auckland Harbour Bridge, North Head/Devonport, and Rangitoto Island. Keep a close look out for Orca and Bottlenose Dolphins that regularly visit the waters close to the city. Then explore the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Get up-close viewings of whales, dolphins, and sea birds. The "Dolphin Explorer" is able to get much closer than whale watching operations in other locations. Learn about the fauna via expert commentary from the ship's skipper, gained from 15 years of running trips daily in the area.

Rangitoto Island: Sea Kayak & Summit Hike Day Trip

2. Rangitoto Island: Sea Kayak & Summit Hike Day Trip

Explore the landmark of the Auckland region and see Auckland city from another perspective. The full-day adventure tour by kayak across Waitemata Harbor will take you to the area’s youngest and most active volcano. After your safety briefing and paddling instruction, you will kayak across the Waitemata Harbor, meaning “sparkling waters.” where you may see wildlife, such as Little Blue Penguins and Cooks Petrels. On arrival at Rangitoto Island, location for the largest and youngest of Auckland’s volcanoes, you will start a leisurely 1-hour hike to the summit. Walk up the pohutukawa-cloaked island exploring the baked scoria rocks, which support over 200 different native trees and flowering plants. Upon reaching the top you will be treated to the finest 360-degree views that the Auckland region has to offer. Return to the water’s edge, where a healthy, hearty Kiwi lunch will be awaiting you, with cold and hot drinks to match! If time permits, you might even enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea before the gear is packed back into the kayak to head home. Kayak back south, perhaps with the help of a sail to take you safely back to St Heliers Bay.

Waiheke Island: Zipline and Native Forest Adventure Trip

3. Waiheke Island: Zipline and Native Forest Adventure Trip

Hosted on Waiheke Island, just 30 minutes by fast ferry from central Auckland, this 3-hour zipline adventure offers nature lovers a thrilling, state-of-the-art dual zipline flight over native forest. Enjoy a mini-tour of Waiheke's beaches, million-dollar properties, and boutique wineries en route to the zipline site, where you'll be geared-up for one of New Zealand’s most exciting eco activities. Soar along 3 dual ziplines, each more than 650 feet (200 meters) long. Glide smoothly, side-by-side with a partner or friend, over a working vineyard and stunning tracts of original and regenerating native New Zealand bush. Catch views of Auckland, Rangitoto, and the Hauraki Gulf, as you zip. On completion of the 3rd line, enjoy a spectacular interpretive walk back to the visitor center, while guides share stories of the local flora and fauna, and Maori and European history of Waiheke.

Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

4. 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 2-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. 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, the Huntly power station, and the Maori Queens’ burial site.

Auckland: 9000, 13000, 16000, or 20000-Foot Tandem Skydive

5. Auckland: 9000, 13000, 16000, or 20000-Foot Tandem Skydive

Enjoy a scenic flight above Auckland as you reach altitude. When the plane gets to 20000ft, 16000ft, 13000ft or 9000ft (depending on which altitude option you book), the door will open. Strapped to your tandem instructor, freefall for up to 85 seconds with New Zealand's stunning backdrop. Reach a speed of up to 200km/hr and it will feel like you are flying. Enjoy the serenity of a beautiful parachute with amazing views in every direction.  Take part in an exhilarating, fun and safe skydiving experience. Then, relive the entire experience over and over with your one on one photo and video package available to purchase on the day. Based in Parakai, it is an easy 45-minute drive from Auckland City. Free transport is provided, subject to availability. Want to bring a support crew? The viewing deck is perfectly positioned so your friends and family can watch you land!

Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

6. 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.

Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

7. Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

Begin the tour with a pick-up from your hotel in a comfortable minibus equipped with WiFi, charging ports, and onscreen entertainment. Be taken on a scenic drive through the New Zealand countryside as you head to the incredible Coromandel Peninsula. Head to your first stop, Cathedral Cove, a spot featured in the film the Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Cathedral Cove is one of New Zealand's most famous and beautiful beaches, and is a must-do activity for any visitor to New Zealand. As there are no roads to this beach, take a 40-minute bush walk to get there. Upon arrival, take some time to relax, sunbathe, swim, play sport, or just soak in the spectacular views. Later, enjoy time for lunch at a restaurant where you can try some local food, and can even have a beer if you choose (food and drinks not included). Continue to your next stop, the famous Hot Water Beach, where you can dig a hole in the sand to create a naturally-heated geothermal water bath. Finally, it's time to make your way back to Auckland, but not without stopping for a quick ice-cream and some more photos.

Waitakere Ranges Wilderness Experience Tour from Auckland

8. Waitakere Ranges Wilderness Experience Tour from Auckland

A 30-minute drive from downtown Auckland brings you to the Arataki Centre, perched high in the Waitakere Ranges, a ridge of hills separating Auckland from its surf-fringed west coast. Here the sweeping decks give breathtaking panoramic views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Absorb the local history and admire the magnificent traditional Maori carvings that stand guard there. Head further west and experience the power of the wild and rugged west coast. Feel the soft, black sand beneath your feet as you stroll along some of the most awe-inspiring beaches the world has to offer. With your knowledgeable and experienced guide, your eco-tour continues with an easy walk in the lush rainforest where native birdsong fills the air as you walk the easy bush tracks amongst New Zealand’s famous kauri trees and giant tree ferns. Because New Zealand has been cut off for millions of years from the rest of the world, it has evolved its own unique flora and fauna. Seventy percent of our native plants are found nowhere else in the world.

The Classic: Discover Amazing Auckland on an Electric Bike

9. 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.

Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

10. Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day 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 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 2-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 continue southwards towards the active geothermal area of Rotorua. During the drive, 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, the Blue Baths, Thermal Springs, and Polynesian Spa. Take some time to rest for lunch and then head to Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland considered one of the most surreal places on earth.  Here, admire Champagne Lake, Devil’s Bath, local mud pools, geothermal craters, and other geothermal wonders before a fully guided trip back to Auckland and the end of your tour.

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Frequently asked questions about Auckland

What top attractions are a must-see in Auckland?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Auckland?

The best day trips and excursions from Auckland are:

Hobbiton Movie Set

Other Sightseeing Options in Auckland

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What people are saying about Auckland

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 583 reviews

I was slightly unsure to what I had signed up for and was not feeling very confident at the beginning. Transportation was okay and felt disappointed that the driver was not very informative. Once I arrived at the complex and was greeted by staff and was shown the safety features I began to feel more comfortable.

John was great guide. He has provided us his own personal hotspot Wi-Fi during the trip. He also sent us all pictures he took at the end of trim. I strongly recommended him to everyone if you have a trip to there.

It was the first time we had done zip lining and it was a fabulous experience. Fantastic views and lovely guides.

Knowledgeable drivers, wonderful food, excellent activities Great way to get an introduction to New Zealand

David did a great job showing and telling us all the highlights of Auckland. Thank you, David.