Auckland - I seriously love this place. It’s the gateway to New Zealand for many of us due to the cheaper flights generally heading here! Don’t be fooled like many people though, the capital is actually Wellington which at the bottom of the North Island so it’s as central for all Kiwi people. Below is my list of must hit activities in this cracking city so try to get to them all while you’re here. As always, if you think I’ve missed something huge just let me know and I’ll whack it in! If you’re not sure where to stay while here, or want to know the best ways to get to and from the airport, check out my summary to all this here!
Just outside the city is the dormant volcano Mount Eden. From the top you're going to see some cracking views on the city below with the skytower giving you a point reference. I cannot recommend this enough especially at sunset or sunrise! We sprinted up one evening and just made it for the magical moment and watched the sun go down. If you're not a big fan of walking up super steep slopes, you can hitch a ride with one of the hundreds of cars that'll be shooting past you.
The Auckland SkyTower is rather hard to miss, it’s in the centre of town and connected to SkyCity. Make sure you head to the top and check out the views of the whole city and beyond from the top! We spent a few hours up here just chilling and looking out. If you have some money to spare get lunch or dinner in the restaurant or, for other daredevils out there, head outside and try the SkyWalk or even the SkyJump. I didn’t have a chance to do it, but I would have loved to try the 192m jump back down to the base of the tower!
Cost of SkyTower visit: £28
Cost of SkyWalk: $145
Cost of SkyJump: $225
Just as awesome as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it connects the city with the more northern parts of New Zealand and is also the place to hit if you feel like finding some adventure! AJ Hackett run a bungy of the side of the bridge over the water, if you can’t make it to Queenstown to hit the Nevis this would be the next best place! If you’re slightly less inclined to dive 40m down you can still see some cracking views by giving the Bridge Climb a try!
Cost of Bridge Climb: $125
Cost of Bungy: $160
Auckland harbour is hard to miss, just look for the ocean and then look for the massive concrete thing jutting into the water without fully being submerged. This is great if you’re on a little bit of a budget but don’t mind just watching the world go by. There are loads of benches and even some lounger benches for you to relax on! If you’re lucky, you may see some stunning wildlife playing in the surf or just pick up a tan on a sunny day.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
If nothing else, the building is spectacular and worth walking over to just to check the outside out! Although if you can afford to go in a walk around for a while it is pretty cool and you’ll learn a hell of a lot about the history of the Kiwis!
Cost: $25 for international visitors, free for New Zealanders
You may have had the chance to read up on my Top 5 Places to Skydive in New Zealand and noticed that it only has a brief mention at the end, but that’s only because I didn’t get a chance to experience it myself and didn’t have any travel buddies give it a go either! If you’re desperate to get the adrenaline pumping as soon as you arrive it’s the best place to go as it’s only an hour from the international airport - good luck!
Cost: $325 (13,000 feet drop) / $395 (16,500 feet drop)
As always in a big city, they have some beautiful central parks to visit and are somewhere you can relax in when travelling on a budget. Auckland is a really green city too so the parks aren’t too hard to find!
I’m always a fan of taking a break from touristing and hitting up a coffee shop or two during the day for a break and a chance to write up about all the things I’ve been doing for you guys! Normally I try to find the independent coffee houses & tea rooms instead of a worldwide company like Starbucks or others as it’s always awesome to get chatting to local small business owners who can tell you all about the best kept secret destinations in a country.
Cost: $3-$6 depending on your coffee tastes!
Take in the Views
Either from the mainland or by catching a ferry to nearby island Rangitoto, get to the top of one of Auckland’s 48’s volcanic cones and check out the views. You won’t be disappointed with what you’ll get to see and it’s another way to explore! If you’re like me and have the longest bucket list in the history of the world, it’s a great opportunity to cross off ‘climb a volcano’ too!
Cost of Ferry to Rangitoto: $20 return (book in advance)
This isn’t a list of everything you can do in Auckland as there are literally hundreds of awesome things to try and experience such as wine tasting, wildlife / hiking tours, scenic flights and so many others! There really is something for everyone here so please please PLEASE spend some time here when you get to New Zealand, you’ll love it!