Our local knowledge makes the difference for your bespoke holiday through New Zealand or Australia. Your journey Down Under starts here.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and it has a vibrant, colourful flair. The ‘City of Sails’ as it is known, is surrounded by the Hauraki Gulf, Waitemata and Manukau Harbours and has over 40 extinct volcanoes in the region. The highest volcano is Mount Eden which offers 360-degree views over Auckland City and the Hauraki Gulf. Surrounded by coastline, there is a diverse range of beaches to explore.
Where should you visit Auckland?
Auckland, also known as Tamaki Makaurau, is New Zealand’s most populous city and is a multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts and culture. Most people live within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and charming holiday islands.
Add a sunny climate, a Polynesian culture and a passion for exceptional food, wine and shopping, and you have the full package that is Auckland. It's more than just a city, with so much to see and do in the area, it's a journey of discovery.
As well as being the home to New Zealand's largest city, the Auckland region features many unique, diverse places, including the 'island of wine', Waiheke Island.
This is the heartbeat of Auckland, with a relaxed coastal living vibe by day and buzzing energy by night. Considered one of the most liveable cities in the world, central Auckland offers all the pleasures of urban living set against a backdrop of beautiful coastal scenery.
Discover world-class shopping, restaurants and attractions in the city centre. Splash out on designer fashion, indulge in Pacific-Rim cuisine and discover lively waterfront neighbourhoods.
The quaint Matakana region is a foodie's heaven. It is known for its weekend farmers market, boutique food shops and spectacular vineyards.
An hour north of Auckland city and close to countless stunning east coast beaches, Matakana is a popular getaway spot for locals and visitors alike. Indulge in home-grown delicacies, enjoy a wine-tasting tour at one of the numerous wineries in the region, and treat yourself to a relaxed gourmet lunch overlooking the vines.
Piha is a wonderfully relaxed seaside village 45 minutes west of Auckland city. The black-sand beach is marked at each end by rugged cliffs and is surrounded by hills of native forest. It is a surfer's paradise and a popular summer get-away for local kiwis.
Master the waves with a few surfing lessons, try abseiling down the Piha canyon or go hiking in the nearby forest. For a day of complete relaxation bring a picnic basket or visit the beachside surf club for a bite to eat.
There is so much diversity in things to see and do around Auckland.
A trip to any of these incredible neighbourhoods is equally worthwhile:
- Awhitu Peninsula
Things to see and do
Auckland is the perfect mix of city sophistication and a spectacular natural playground. World-class shopping and dining experiences are never too far from the beautiful scenery that includes harbours and islands, volcanic cones, native bush and black-sand beaches.
Discover art and culture
Learn about the Maori history and traditions at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and explore the modern and traditional world-class exhibitions at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.
SkyJump off the Sky Tower
Looking for an adventurous weekend activity? Try jumping off the plane for a heart-stopping experience with Skydive Auckland. Or go for a SkyJump from the iconic Sky Tower, or walk its edge - 192 metres above ground level. And if you still feel like you need a few thrills, head to the Auckland Harbour Bridge for New Zealand's only Bridge Climb or bungy into the Waitemata Harbour.
Explore the Hauraki Gulf on a whale safari
Spend a family-fun weekend spotting the rare marine life on a Whale and Dolphin Safari. The Hauraki Gulf is home to stunning coastlines, vineyards, wildlife sanctuaries, and an active volcano. Spot dolphins, relax on luxury cruises or race an America's Cup yacht. There's an adventure for everyone, from the laid-back to the active.
The area north of Auckland really surprised me. Driving up through the Waipoua National Park and seeing enormous Kauri trees. Or driving down via the east coast with one beach even more pretty than the next.Judi, Travel specialist
Shopping and markets
Meet locals at the lively Auckland Night Markets, and taste fresh produce and delicious food. It is held at eight different locations across the region on different nights, and you'll be exported on a food journey from the traditional to the delicate. The La Cigale French Market is highly recommended and is open every day except Monday at both Britomart and Parnell.
Spend time exploring the shopping areas in Auckland, offering a world-class collection of boutique and designer stores, alongside art, electronics, jewellery, homewares and high street fashion. If you are into high-end, trendy fashion you will find designer shops in Britomart, Ponsonby and Parnell. For quirky, retro and edgy streetwear Karangahape Road (K'Road) is where you'll want to be.
Where to eat
Auckland is known for its cosmopolitan vibe and the diverse food options are reflective of that. For those passionate about fresh, seasonal ingredients, Auckland hits the spot.
When it comes to restaurants, you will be spoilt for choice here. Whether you are looking for a classy French bistro, authentic Korean, traditional Italian or a taste of Peru, Auckland has it all. The best dining areas are at the waterfront, in the inner city, in the central suburbs and the northern suburbs.
If you are looking for great food and even better views, these are the places to be.
- Wynyard Quarter
- Viaduct Harbour
- Mission Bay
From casual to classy or modern to traditional, you'll find it all here.
- Federal Street
- City Works Depot
The burbs as they are known offer fine dining and pub grub to everything in between.
- Parnell and Newmarket
- Kingsland and Mount Eden
Just a 15-minute drive from the city centre, Takapuna is a stylish but laid-back combination of shopping, dining and a by-the-beach lifestyle.
The seaside village of Devonport is just 12 minutes from downtown Auckland. Hop on a ferry, have lunch by the sea, pick up delicacies at the French café and deli, and stay for dinner where the locals dine.
Just a 40-minute ferry ride from central Auckland, Waiheke Island has over 30 premium wineries and cellar doors producing some of the best wines in New Zealand.
If the best red wine is what you are after, Waiheke Island is where you'll find it. The intense syrah, also known as Shiraz, and bold cabernet blend are grown especially well in the Waiheke coastal terrain. The warm, fertile grounds of Kumeu in West Auckland produce crisp chardonnay and smooth merlot. Just north of Auckland is Matakana, where you will find fruity pinot gris and deep reds.
Winetopia, Auckland wine event
Each year over 60 of the best New Zealand wineries share their best creations at Winetopia. It's a significant event where you can take a 40-minute wine masterclass with expert winemakers and sommeliers. Or, learn some new wine-making tips at the educational talks with industry professionals.
Museums and art galleries
There are at least 25 commercial galleries in Auckland, a few in the inner city, and many along the Karangahape Road 'art mile.'
Here is our selection of museums and galleries to visit:
- Auckland Art Gallery
- Auckland Museum
- New Zealand Maritime Museum
- Stardome Observatory
- Howick Historical Village
- Torpedo Bay Navy Museum
- Heritage New Zealand
Get inspired for your dream holiday to New Zealand
Join one of our live and informative presentations, hosted by one of our travel specialists. And find out how to travel to New Zealand in a uniquely local way. There are also plenty of opportunities to ask questions!Register now
Parks and nature
Hike, bike, kayak or pack a picnic for a day out at one of Auckland’s parks. The perfect way to see the diversity and beauty of the landscape. Take a stroll across grasslands or trek through dense native rainforest. Soak up the views from a clifftop or go for a picnic on a golden-sand beach. Pack your flip-flops or your hiking boots and get out and explore Auckland's natural side.
Each park has unique features and its own appeal:
- Albert Park
- Cornwall Park
- Auckland Domain
- Bastion Point
- Western Springs Park
The regional parks may require a bit of a drive or cycle to get to but they are no less beautiful and definitely worth a visit.
- Hunua Ranges Regional Park
- Long Bay Regional Park
- Shakespear Regional Park
- Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
- Tawharanui Regional Park
Auckland's public transport is a great and easy way to get around. Travel by train, bus or ferry throughout the inner city and the wider region, with regular routes to most major attractions and the main shopping, dining and entertainment areas.
Britomart, in downtown Auckland, is the main transport centre. This is where many bus and train journeys start and finish. Ferries also arrive and depart from downtown Auckland, just a two-minute walk from Britomart. Several bus and train stations and some ferry departure points also have park and ride facilities – ideal if you’ve got a hire car or you’re staying longer.
Waiheke Island (the island of wine)
Waiheke is a haven of beautiful vineyards, olive groves and beaches, all just a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. In landscape, lifestyle and experience, Waiheke is a world away.
The white sandy beaches at Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi slope gently down into the Hauraki Gulf and are perfect for swimming, kayaking, or having a picnic. Hike the trails which meander along cliff tops, down to the beaches and into cool native forest.
Rangitoto is Auckland’s most iconic island, with its distinctive symmetrical cone and magnificent location just off the coast. Only a short ferry ride across the harbour from downtown Auckland, the island is a favourite destination for hikers and day-trippers.
Walk up to the summit of Rangitoto Island on foot (approximately 1 hour each way) and see the black lava caves on your way up. The views from the top are spectacular - you'll be able to see everything from the emerald islands of the Hauraki Gulf to the horizons of the Waitakere Ranges in the west and Hunua Ranges in the east.
Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island is a large island with a small population of 1000 people. The forests, beaches and bays provide opportunities for all kinds of wilderness adventures. The 90-kilometre journey from Auckland city takes about 4.5 hours by fast ferry or you can catch a 30-minute flight with Barrier Air.
The native forest has beautiful walking tracks, which lead to secluded natural hot springs and a historic Kauri dam. Along the way, you'll pass unique plant and bird species which are found in this wilderness area. Rising 627 metres above the sea, Hirakimata (Mount Hobson) is for hikers looking for incredible 360-degree views.
Great Barrier Island is the first in the world to be designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary – with only ten other places. Explore the native forest, and visit the rare wildlife of Glenfern Sanctuary or kayak at Medlands Beach.
Where to stay?
Make your trip extra special by experiencing a unique stay from our large collection of hand-selected accommodations located in Auckland and its surrounds. Your travel specialist will match you with accommodation that suits your wants and needs. A journey where your accommodation is an experience in itself.
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Why book with us?
- A well-designed holiday, just for you
- Small-scale accommodations run by friendly local hosts
- Carefully recommended activities based on your interests
- A travel tempo and driving distances that match your needs
- Ingrained sustainability in all facets of your holiday
- 30 years of experience in travel to New Zealand
Let's design your holiday together
We'll take the time to get to know you to match your fully bespoke holiday with your pace, your interests, and anything you desire. Combined with first-hand, local knowledge, you'll receive a mapped-out itinerary from us - but the process isn't done until you are 100% satisfied. We take care of every detail, so you can focus on relaxing, rejuvenating and reconnecting with yourself and the world around you. Get in touch to get started now.
All the things you love
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