Auckland has over 50 volcanoes, and one of the best is Rangitoto Island. Catch the ferry there from downtown Auckland and walk to the summit for some of the best views of the harbour and city. It’s about an hour’s walk to the summit, and don’t miss the diversion to the lava caves — take a torch and have fun exploring these naturally formed tunnels. Maungawhau Mount Eden, near the central city, and North Head, in Devonport, are two other fantastic volcanic cones worth visiting — both have short climbs and fantastic views of the city and harbour. Check out the impressive crater at Mount Eden and explore the ex-military tunnels on North Head. One Tree Hill and Cornwall Park is another beautiful Auckland spot — climb to the summit, take high tea at The Cornwall Park Bistro, enjoy a stroll around the gracious park grounds, and visit the local sheep population that grazes the farms on the volcano’s flanks. You can tick off quite a few of the aforementioned spots if you take on the Coast to Coast Walkway, a 16-kilometer walk from Onehunga, on the Manukau Harbour (located on one side of the narrow isthmus Auckland sits on), to the Viaduct Harbour, on the other side. When you get there, you’ll find a cool drink awaits you at one of the many bars and pubs on the waterfront.
Tours are another great way to see Auckland. Choose from five-star coaches, budget bus tours, luxury limousine rides, and electric bicycle tours. Choose to see the main attractions or join a special-interest tour, focusing on anything from walking to wine. There are also plenty of lovely spaces to wander through nearby, such as the Auckland Domain and Albert Park.
If you’re self-driving, the outer reaches of the city are not too far away. Visit the rugged west coast beaches of Piha, the city's most dramatic spot for a picnic or sunbathing session — with its volcanic black sand and jutting rock outcrops — or Muriwai Beach, where you can say hello to the gannets if they’re in town. For a relaxing stroll while exploring the countryside just north of Auckland, the Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens makes a good break from the road. This manicured garden trail, set in a quiet valley setting, is packed full of native fauna and also hosts an ever-changing array of sculptures by New Zealand artists.
Auckland is also the gateway to many other regions in the North Island. The world-renowned Hobbiton, located in Matamata, is a day trip away, as is Rotorua to the south and Puhoi to the north.
Our Concierge team is more than happy to make recommendations to help plan your trip.