Auckland, based around 2 large harbours, is New Zealand’s largest city with a population of just over 2 million (which accounts for about one-third of the countries total population). It also has the largest polynesian population of any city in the world.
In the central city, the iconic Auckland Sky Tower has views of Viaduct Harbour (home to many super yachts and lined with bars and cafes) and spectacular 360° views of the Auckland region.
Auckland’s two natural harbours (Waitemata and Manukau) provide an endless choice of water based activities (year round). These include boat cruises, fishing charters, diving excursions, jet boating thrills, sea kayaking, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. You can get up close and personal with colorful fish at Goat Island (a great spot for snorkeling and diving) or enjoy a marine wildlife encounter with a whale watching trip.
On the land, you will find iconic volcano’s, fabulous beaches and lush rain forests all able to be explored for free. For a memorable waterfront experience, visit Mission Bay, St Heliers, walk Tamaki Drive, dine out in Viaduct Harbour or the Wynyard Quarter or over on the North Shore explore Devonport and Takapuna. The Auckland region is home to a number of wineries who offer wine tours as well as lunch and dinner menus.
You can experience the black sand beaches of the rugged West Coast (such as Piha and Muriwai beaches) or chill out on a long stretch of white sand beach in a sheltered bay.
If walking, hiking or mountain biking are your thing, then Auckland has a multitude of trails just waiting for you to explore. These can be found throughout the region with many offering magnificent views. There is something to suit all ages and level of fitness.
If you are visiting Auckland on a cruise ship, there are many Shore Excursions to choose from.
Discover and book activities in Auckland . . .
A frequent ferry service between downtown Auckland and Waiheke Island ensures you have plenty of time and options to explore this amazing place. There are a number of different tour options available from Auckland incorporating a return ferry sailing for half or full day excursions. The island offers an extensive variety of accommodation to suit all budgets with many visitors to the island preferring to stay for one or two nights. Waiheke Island is also known locally as the Island of Wine, so not surprisingly there are a number of wine tours from Auckland offering lunch at the vineyard combined with a tasting and tour.
At 328 metres, Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand. You can enjoy spectacular views for up to 80 kilometres in every direction from the three viewing platforms (with access via a glass fronted lift). For the more adventurous there is the SkyWalk around the pergola at 192 metres or SkyJump off the Tower!
For a wonderful dining experience, Sky Tower offers The Sugar Club, Sky Cafe’ Orbit (Auckland’s only 360-degree revolving restaurant).
Cruise Ship Shore Excursions in Auckland:
Choose from a variety of Shore Excursions specifically designed and created for cruise ship passengers visiting Auckland.
Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium:
Kelly Tarlton’s has won many awards for it’s amazing underwater viewing tunnel experience, exhibitions and displays. Located on the waterfront at Okahu Bay, it showcases over 30 live animal exhibits in spectacular habitat displays. Here you will find the world’s largest Antarctic penguin colony exhibit. For a little more adventure, you can also enjoy the Shark Dive Xtreme and Shark Cage experience.
The Auckland region includes four defined wine growing regions – Matakana, Kumeu, Clevedon Hills and Waiheke Island. Enjoy some wine tastings, vineyard tours, amazing food and beautiful scenery. A number of tour options are available to all 4 wine regions.
Walking, hiking and mountain biking:
From rugged parts of the West Coast to secluded native rainforest, there is a good variety of tour options available to suit all ages and levels of fitness.
Auckland’s has 48 volcanic cones, stretching from the mainland to Rangitoto Island. Rangitoto Island is only a short ferry ride from downtown Auckland and offers spectacular views and a chance to get close to nature.
Culture and heritage:
There are a number of museums and attractions specialising in Maori and Pasifika culture and the maritime heritage of this area. A number of cultural and theme tours are available in and near Auckland.
Auckland offers an amazing array of dining options and cuisine. There is a menu and experience to suit all diners, occasions and budget from a water front cafe to world class fine dining. Head down to Viaduct Harbour for fresh daily caught seafood.
Whether on the water, in the air or on the land, Auckland has an adventure just waiting for you. These include skydiving, bungy jumping from the Sky Tower or Auckland Harbour Bridge, canyoning and kayaking at sea, on a lake or down a river, jet boating on the Waitemata Harbour, Kitesurfing, canyoning or yacht racing (to name just a few).
With 2 major harbours at it’s doorstep, Auckland is well known for an endless array of water activities. These include sailing an America’s Cup yacht, a kayaking adventure to one of the many nearby islands or maybe joining a fishing charter from downtown Auckland. The large number of beaches within the Auckland region mean you are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to a water activity. At most of the popular beaches you can hire equipment for windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddle boards, kayaks and bikes. At some beaches you will also find para sailing and water skiing.
You can get up close and personal with colorful fish at Goat Island – a great spot for snorkeling and diving. Goat Island is a protected marine reserve and one of New Zealand’s top snorkeling and dive spots. A glass bottom boat to view the sea life is also available. Tours to Goat Island are available from Auckland and some include a visit to a Matakana Winery on the return to Auckland city.
Take a harbour cruise from the downtown Ferry Terminal and view Auckland city from the water. There are a number of cruise options ranging from 1 hour to full day packages to the outer gulf islands. Lunch cruises are very popular and a great way to view the Auckland skyline at night is with a dinner cruise.
There are marine reserves providing the opportunity for diving and snorkeling or maybe consider a private dive charter. Muriwai Beach is home to a huge gannet colony and you can get up close and personal with dolphins and whales on a marine wildlife cruise. Some of the outer Gulf islands also include wildlife sanctuaries that are included as part of your cruise package.
Get a bird’s eye view of Auckland from above with a scenic flight. See the city landscape and islands of the Hauraki Gulf. You can choose between a fixed wing plane or helicopter and most scenic flight operators will customise a flight package based around your preferred flight duration and budget to suit.
Auckland is home to many wonderful galleries featuring art, history, sculpture, Maori heritage and culture and much more.
Spas and health resorts:
If you are in need of some pampering and indulgence, then consider one of the many exclusive spa and beauty treatment resorts Auckland has to offer.
Known locally as the Island of Wine, Waiheke Island was named as one of the world’s top ten regions to visit for 2016 by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016 publication. The travel bible has dubbed the island the “playground of the gods” and ranked it number five in the Top Ten Regions 2016 list.
Conde Nast Traveller also included Waiheke Island on the Best Islands in the World List.
Waiheke Island is a world away from the active lifestyle of Auckland city yet only 35 minutes by ferry.
You will find vineyards, secluded beaches, olive groves and lots of interesting activities. Most tours include a return ferry trip from downtown Auckland with some popular examples being wine & food tours of world class vineyards (with premium wine tastings and a vineyard lunch experience), a Maori Cultural Bike Tour, Zip lining and kayaking trips.
Waiheke Island is also renowned for its delightful galleries and craft boutiques.
Discover . . .
Experience ziplining over a vineyard in an EcoZip Adventures flying fox followed by an eco-forest walk. Suitable for all ages and levels of fitness.
Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant:
Include a tour to this award winning vineyard and restaurant. Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant is privately owned and the Shepherds Point vineyard produces amazing wines (try the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling).
Wild on Waiheke:
Try laser claybird shooting, archery or a relaxed game of patanque. Wild on Waiheke is a great place to have fun or just chill out on a beanbag in Beanvineland. A fabulous menu with a focus on local fare is offered along with a selection of handcrafted beers.
Segway and walking & biking tours:
A fun way to explore Waiheke Island is with a Segway tour or a Walking & Biking tour. You are joined by a local guide who will provide an informative commentary with highlights including a visit to a vineyard, native bush, delightful art studios and craft shops.
Visitors to Waiheke Island flock to Stonyridge Vineyard to taste and purchase their world class wines – especially their Cabernet-blend varieties. Stay for lunch at the Veranda Cafe’ which is set in one of the most romantic and exotic venues in New Zealand.
Auckland helicopter tour with Waiheke Island vineyard lunch:
Enjoy a helicopter tour over Auckland City and the Hauraki Gulf before landing at a Waiheke Island vineyard for lunch. Return by helicopter of take a scenic ferry ride back to downtown Auckland.
Service Travel is an official member of New Zealand Tourism