Harbours and superyachts, Beaches and volcano, Vineyards and Adventure are some of the reasons why the City of Sails or Auckland is a do-not-miss in New Zealand. Perfect for that family vacation or the adventure holiday, Auckland is a key city in the North Island of New Zealand. Life in this city is centered around 2 harbours, and the outdoors is something that the Kiwi’s sure do love. Here are 10 things to do in Auckland to make the most of your Kiwi vacation!
If you are wondering why Auckland should be on your bucket list, these 10 things to do will convince you. And when you do make up your mind, remember the first step to a perfect vacation is PickYourTrail New Zealand packages.
1. Sail Away!
The first of the things to do in Auckland is – take to the waters. Literally. In different ways, that too. If you know how to sail, hire a yacht and sail away. Non-sailors stay happy, you can participate as crew on America’s Cup sailing yachts. This is a unique opportunity for non sailors to learn from the experts or just sit back and enjoy the sail in the picturesque Waitemata Harbour.
Where: Waitemata Harbour
Activity: Sail in the The America’s Cup, the world’s most prestigious sporting trophy and yachting regatta These yachts give an opportunity for all to take part in the grand-prix of sailing.
2. Say hello to the Auckland’s whales and dolphins
Auckland has over one third of marine mammals in the world. One of the best things to do in Auckland is to meet its much treasured and loved marine life – the Dolphins and Whales. So set aside at least half a day for this! Take up a nature cruise where you will get to watch these marvellous animals up close. Not just that, the cruise also gives passengers a chance to learn and protect marine life. Spot the bottlenose dolphins, Brydes whales and orca while you are on this eco-safari.
Where: Hauraki Gulf Marine Park
Activity: The Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari has regular marine eco-safaris to spot dolphins and whales.
3. Climb a volcano
Rangitoto is a black lava volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf. The volcano here is the youngest and the largest of Auckland’s 48 volcanos (yes, 48!). The island can be reached by a leisurely kayak ride. Rangitoto also has the distinction of being the home to the world’s largest Pohutukawa (The Kiwi Christmas tree) forest. You can take a road train or hike up to the summit. A perfect family outing too, there are caves along the way to explore and a brilliant view from atop.
Where: Hauraki Gulf
Activity: Kayaking and Volcano hiking.
4. Bridge Bungy jumping
Auckland has the world’s first harbour bridge bungy jump. Now there are two parts to this adventure. First, you climb the iconic Auckland Bridge, gape at the views of the city and the harbour for a while. Then, you get ready to touch the ocean – bungy jump from the bridge! You can choose from the ankle tie, harness option or tandem bungee jump, it is adrenalin nevertheless!
Where: Auckland Bridge
Activity: 360 degree view of Auckland while you do a bungee jump! Check out the best right here
5. Get a taste of the best of Kiwi Wines
Kumeu is the perfect combination of wineries, lush green farmlands and adventure activities. This is known to be Auckland’s heritage wine region and has a lot of eating out options too. Kumeu’s winemaking heritage dates back to the 1930’s when Croatian families planted their first grape wines here. Pack up a picnic lunch, drive along and stop at any of the boutique wineries along the way. If you are going with kids, you could also join locals at a strawberry farm and pick your own fruit.
Where: Kumeu, Auckland
Activity: Wine tours apart, check out mountain biking, surfing, horse treks and golf in this region. The Muriwai Regional park and beach are great to explore too.
6. Otara Market
Auckland has one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse population, being a Polynesian city. The culture of the city is a mix of Maori, Pacific, European, Asian and Indian cultures. Otara Markets are just the place you should go to to experience this eclectic mix of culture. The markets offer authentic food and fresh produce, clothes, jewellery, fashion, arts, crafts and more. Cultural performances and live music make it a great place to be in.
Where: South Auckland
Activity: Saturdays from 6pm to 12pm
7. Drive your way through Auckland
The Forgotten World Highway is just the place where you can forget your worries and explore Auckland’s most remote parts. The 150 km long highway dates back to the 19th century and takes one through the most rugged of New Zealand’s terrains. Expect a roller coaster ride, one of the most memorable things to do in Auckland. Start your trip from Taumarunui, go through mountains and river gorges and visit Whangamomona.
8. Surf’s up at Piha
Piha is the wild west of Auckland. It’s the surfer’s paradise of New Zealand and attracts people from across the globe. Take in a sunset from the black sands of Piha and ride a wave or two through the thrilling surf. Not much of a surfer? That’s fine, because Piha has options for the family too. Climb Lion Rock, an iconic landmark where you can see Maori style art. End your day with the brilliant view of Piha’s beaches from atop the Lion Rock.
Where: Auckland’s West Coast
Activity: While the adventure seeker surfs, families can climb the Lion Rock. A more scenic option would be Kitekite Falls, a beautiful waterfall that is just a short walk away.
9. Family fun
New Zealand is a great place to travel with family and kids. While exploring nature is something that they could do, Auckland’s theme park, Rainbow’s End is a must-visit. The theme park is New Zealand’s premier entertainment spot for the whole family. It has more than 20 rides and attractions, something for everyone and open every day of the year!
Where: Check out Rainbow’s End at http://rainbowsend.co.nz/
10. Leap off the Sky Tower
The Sky Tower is Auckland’s iconic landmark and is also the point where you can experience the most incredible adventure ever. Leap off the Sky Tower and plummet down 192 metres from the top at a speed of 85km per hour! The best sort of adrenalin rush you could have in Auckland!
Where: Sky Tower, Auckland
Activity: Book your tickets in advance at http://skywalk.co.nz/