Things to do in Auckland

With wineries, volcanos, and pretty islands at a stone's throw, this Kiwi city blends nature with urban life.

Our most recommended things to do in Auckland

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.

Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Bus Tour with Festive Lunch

2. Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Bus Tour with Festive Lunch

Visit two of New Zealand's most iconic and famous attractions, the Hobbiton Movie Set and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, on a hassle-free tour by premium bus from Auckland.  Relax in the comfort of a premium bus with free Wi-Fi as you begin your journey. Travel through picturesque scenery as your friendly and experienced guide shares local insights with you. At the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, enjoy a 45-minute guided tour. You’ll walk in and float out, marvelling at the sparkling galaxy of blue lights on the silent boat ride through Glowworm Grotto – a subterranean cavern lit by thousands of tiny glowworms. Your next stop is the iconic Hobbiton Movie Set. Enjoy a sumptuous buffet lunch fit for a Hobbit, served up in the festive party marquee beside the Green Dragon Inn. After lunch, your Hobbiton guide will greet you and take you on a magical journey to Middle Earth. Learn insights behind the making of the movies, pose for photographs outside hobbit holes, and sip a specially brewed beverage at the Green Dragon Inn. You’ll have some free time in the rural town of Matamata before the return trip to Auckland.

From Auckland: Waiheke Island Wineries' Tour

3. From Auckland: Waiheke Island Wineries' Tour

Start by hopping on a morning boat to Waiheke Island from Auckland’s Downtown Ferry Terminal, enjoying a 35-minute boat ride with views of historical Devonport and Rangitoto Island on the way.  Meet your guide once you reach the island, and head on your way to 4 of the island’s finest wineries. Savor tastings at each of the 4 wineries, with an extended lunch break for your own free time at one of them. As a bonus, see why the island is famous for its beaches and see the rolling hills of vines, with your guide’s commentary accompanying.  At the end of the tour, either choose to take a transfer back to the port for an afternoon ferry back to Auckland, or choose to remain in the village and stroll back to the ferry on a 15-minute walk.

From Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Day Trip with Lunch

4. From Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Day Trip with Lunch

Join this tour to visit two of New Zealand's most iconic and famous attractions, the Hobbiton Movie Set and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, in a day trip from Auckland.  After pickup from your central Auckland hotel, travel south over the Bombay Hills for panoramic views of the Waikato Region and the scenic Hauraki Plains. Arrive at The Shire's Rest in Matamata, the home of the Hobbiton Movie Set. Your guide will help you skip the crowds so you can explore the Movie Set on an official 2-hour tour. Be escorted through the 10-acre site and learn fascinating details of how the Hobbiton Movie Set was created.  See Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, and The Mill. Savor a complimentary specially-brewed beverage at The Green Dragon Inn.  Afterwards, travel to the mesmerizing Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where you'll enjoy a Kiwi-style lunch at The Homestead in Waitomo. On the way, share stories from Hobbiton and interact with your fellow travelers.  Glide silently by boat in the world famous caves and be amazed by the thousands of magical glowworms.  Your guide will likely be a descendant of the Maori Chief who originally explored the Caves and can share with you the remarkable history of the area. Walk through the majestic Cathedral Cove, famous for its acoustics. The return trip takes you through some of New Zealand's most beautiful countryside before following the majestic Waikato River northwards part of the way back to Auckland. You will pass Taupiri with its very sacred Maori burial ground. The day concludes with your return to your accommodation.

Auckland Airport: 5G/4G/3G Travel SIM Card for New Zealand

5. Auckland Airport: 5G/4G/3G Travel SIM Card for New Zealand

Stay connected with a New Zealand SIM card, with options for different data options, calling, and texts. Choose between 3 different packages, all with options for micro, nano, mini, or standards SIM cards. Included countries for the 2GB card are Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA. With the 10GB and 40GB SIMs, enjoy access in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, USA, Netherlands, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Rangitoto Island: Sea Kayak & Summit Hike Day Trip

6. 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.

Auckland Harbour 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink

7. Auckland Harbour 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink

Dine on Waitemata Harbor for a memorable experience in Auckland. Join a 2.5-hour sailing dinner cruise for a uniquely local experience with a relaxed, intimate and engaging atmosphere. Discover the city skyline and iconic highlights as they light up for the evening. Set sail while enjoying the city highlights and engaging commentary from your captain. Assist the crew or try your hand at steering the boat. Enjoy the breeze and relax with a drink, with ample space and seating above deck.  Set anchor in Westhaven Marina to enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner, supplied by top Viaduct restaurant Degree. Complement your meal with a selection of premium locally produced wine or beer. After dinner, marvel at the city views and as the sun sets to watch the night lights of the cityscape come alive.

Waiheke Island: Zipline and Native Forest Adventure Trip

8. 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.

From Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua & Waitomo Caves Day Trip

9. From Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua & Waitomo Caves Day Trip

Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, Rotorua, and Waitomo Caves in one day on a guided tour from Auckland. See three of North Island’s iconic sites in one attraction-filled day. After hotel pickup, travel from Auckland to Hobbiton through Waikato. On arrival, you’ll be guided through the picturesque twelve-acre site and given fascinating details of how the movie set was created. The official tour concludes with a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn. Climb back into the vehicle for the approximately 55-minute drive to Rotorua where you will spend around 1.5 hours. On arrival, visit key attractions, such as the lakefront, government gardens, and Rachel Springs. After sightseeing, have lunch at Pataka Kai, a restaurant next to the Te Puia thermal reserve. Enjoy views and take photos of Te Puia's Pohutu Geyser and thermal valley from the restaurant (entry not included). After Rotorua, drive to the world-renowned Waitomo Caves where you’ll enter the caves on foot and ride out in a small boat. Above your head will be thousands of tiny glowworms radiating their unmistakable luminescent light as an expert guide provides informative commentary. 

Auckland Harbour 1.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

10. Auckland Harbour 1.5-Hour Sailing Cruise

Enjoy Auckland, the City of Sails, as you join the yachts on Waitemata Harbor and enjoy the relaxed pace of harbor sailing. Set sail on a 50-foot cruising yacht for a spectacular sailing experience on the sparkling harbor waters. Meet your captain at the Auckland waterfront and be welcomed by the crew, who will supply you with weather-proof jackets if required. After a brief introduction accompanied by a safety briefing, depart Viaduct Habor to sail past the Sky Tower and Auckland Harbor Bridge for a 1.5-hour sightseeing tour. Enjoy engaging commentary from your skipper on Auckland, the home of the Americas Cup. Enjoy light refreshments, including a hot drink and a sweet treat, in the sunshine or below deck. Afterwards, set sail to cruise Auckland's sparkling Waitemata Harbor. If you like, help the crew sail the vessel or simply sit back and relax as you take advantage of photo opportunities. Glide past the Auckland Bridge, Westhaven Marina, the charming suburb of Devonport and the city skyline before returning to Auckland.

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

Want to discover all there is to do in Auckland? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Auckland

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,735 reviews

Activité incontournable si vous êtes sur l'île du Nord. Paysages époustouflants et atmosphère fidèle à l'ambiance des films. Nous avons eu Danny comme conducteur qui était au top du top !

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

Great selection of wines in lovely settings. Knowledgeable guide who was very entertaining.

Had great wet weather jacket to borrow. Knowledgeable and helpful staff.

Well done. Driver Mr Arvin was attentive and helpful