Auckland event hub activities
Just across the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the North Shore is a captivating combination of the scenic and the stylish, where golden-sand beaches and native bush sit alongside thriving shopping and dining districts. Further north is more magnificent coastline offering countless water activities, beautiful regional parks where walking trails wind through native bush, and the boutique vineyards of Matakana wine country, just 50 minutes from downtown Auckland.
- Visit Devonport (a short ferry ride from the city if you aren’t staying on the shore) to browse the boutique shops and galleries, enjoy lunch at a café and explore the gun emplacements and underground tunnels at North Head.
- Take the scenic Milford to Takapuna coastal walk following the heritage trail. Afterwards, enjoy a swim or stroll at Takapuna Beach, or check out the cafés, restaurants and shops.
- Explore the Matakana wine region – enjoy wine tastings at boutique wineries, pick up artisan foods at the Saturday farmers’ market and walk the vineyard sculpture trail.
- Make a stop at the charming riverside town of Warkworth. Visit the nearby Parry Kauri Park to see the immense 800-year old kauri trees and wander the boardwalks through the native forest.
- Visit the boutique cheese store and café at the historical Bohemian village of Puhoi or paddle up the peaceful Puhoi River.
- Walk or cycle some of the scenic coastal and bush tracks in two of Auckland’s most popular regional parks – Wenderholm and Shakespear.
- Play a round of world-class golf at Whangaparaoa Peninsula with breathtaking views over the Hauraki Gulf.
Out past the suburbs (and just 40 minutes from the city centre) is an unspoilt wilderness full of adventures. Auckland’s west coast is famous for its spectacular scenery, native wildlife, rainforest-clad ranges and rugged black-sand beaches. The area is one big playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with surfing, swimming, walking, hiking, horse riding, mountain biking and canyoning all at your fingertips. If wine tastings and great food overlooking the vines is more your style, visit Kumeu, Auckland’s oldest wine growing region.
- Take a walk along one of the windswept black-sand beaches, or ride the waves if you’re an experienced surfer. Piha, Karekare, Te Henga (Bethells) and Muriwai are all spectacular, and so are their sunsets.
- See the gannet colony at Muriwai Beach, where around 1200 pairs of gannets nest on the rocky clifftops from August to March.
- Explore the bush and coastal walks of the Waitakere Ranges, some top short tracks include Kitekite Falls, Mercer Loop and Fairy Falls.
- Go canyoning down waterfalls and gorges deep in the rainforest.
- Head to Woodhill Forest for mountain biking, horse riding and 4WD adventures.
- Visit the boutique wineries in New Zealand’s oldest wine region, Kumeu, or sip on craft beers at the microbrewery.
- Visit Lake Wainamu, near Bethells Beach, to walk over the magnificent black sand dunes followed by the scenic walk around the lake and a swim to cool off.
- Discover the natural beauty of the west’s regional parks, including Waitakere Ranges, Whatipu and Anawhata.
- Stroll through Titirangi village, the gateway to the Waitakere Ranges, for fantastic local cafés and the Te Uru art gallery.
World-class shopping, buzzing waterfront precincts lined with restaurants, a vibrant arts and culture scene and harbour adventures right on your doorstep. The city centre’s cosmopolitan style spills into the lively inner-city suburbs that surround it, with more superb dining, shopping, nightlife, cultural attractions and popular Auckland experiences.
Top activity picks:
- Get out on the Waitemata Harbour with sailing, jet boating, kayaking or a harbour cruise, or get adventurous with a harbour bridge climb and bungy jump.
- Head to the Sky Tower for spectacular 360-degree views, the exhilarating SkyJump and SkyWalk, plus dining and entertainment.
- Discover designer fashion boutiques, hip bars, eclectic restaurants and an inner-city farmers’ market in the Britomart precinct.
- Wander through Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki’s world-class galleries and see exhibitions from New Zealand and around the world.
- Explore the vibrant Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter precincts, where waterside restaurants and bars sit alongside sleek superyachts.
- Check out the great shopping, bars, restaurants and cafés in the inner city suburbs of Ponsonby, Parnell and Newmarket.
- Find vintage buys and quirky cafés and bars on K’ Road, or high-end fashion and dining in High Street, Chancery and the surrounding laneways.
- Walk to the summit of a volcanic cone such as Mount Eden or One Tree Hill for spectacular panoramic views of the city and harbour beyond, then treat yourself to the great cafes both have nearby.
- Relax on the beach in Mission Bay with fish and chips or an ice cream, or walk, cycle or rollerblade along the waterfront. Stop at Bastion Point for amazing views across the harbour and visit Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium.
- Take the famous Coast to Coast walk from one side of the country to the other in just one day, taking in parks, historic suburbs and volcanic cones.
- Unravel the history of New Zealand at Auckland Museum in the beautiful Auckland Domain, the New Zealand Maritime Museum, or the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).
- Take the 35 minute ferry from downtown to Waiheke Island. Visit some of the island’s 30 boutique wineries for tastings or a vineyard lunch with spectacular views, or adventure lovers can try ziplining. There are also plenty of walking tracks and beautiful beaches.
- Take the short ferry ride or kayak to Rangitoto Island, Auckland’s youngest and largest volcanic cone, and walk or take the 4WD road train to the summit for spectacular views.
- Explore Tiritiri Matangi Island, an open wildlife sanctuary. Join a guided walking tour to learn about the native flora and fauna, and you may even get up close to some of New Zealand’s endangered species.
- Jump on a whale and dolphin safari and head out to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.
This is where the countryside meets the coast. Seaside villages cluster round sandy bays and coves, while further inland vineyards, rolling green hills and farmers’ markets make a picturesque tapestry. The eastern bays are a magnet for boaties, wind and kite-surfers, anglers and kayakers, with the Hauraki Gulf stretching to the horizon. Find perfect picnic spots along the magnificent Pohutukawa Coast, discover the rural charm of Clevedon, or take to the trails in the Auckland region’s largest native forest.
- Swim, picnic, fish or walk at the golden beaches of Beachlands and Maraetai, the site of one of New Zealand’s earliest European settlements.
- Discover Clevedon’s superb food and wine – try tastings at one of the area’s boutique wineries, visit the Clevedon Village and Farmers’ Markets on Sundays, or pick up New Zealand-made gifts from the local stores.
- Go tramping or mountain biking in the Hunua Ranges, Auckland’s largest native forest. Visit the stunning Hunua Falls, a 30 metre waterfall carving through ancient volcanic rock.
- Drive the beautiful Pohutukawa Coast, named after the red-flowering trees fringing its shoreline, and stop off for a picnic with superb views of the Hauraki Gulf islands.
- Explore Omana and Duder Regional Parks by foot or mountain bike. Kayakers can take the self-guided multi-day kayak trail Te Ara Moana from Omana Regional Park to Waharau Regional Park.
- Head to Pine Harbour for lunch at a local café and a stroll around the marina, or stock up on delicious fresh produce and gourmet treats at the market on Saturdays.
- Wander through the fascinating living museum of Howick Historical Village, with more than 30 original colonial buildings including a church, a forge and a general store.
From the bustling cosmopolitan centre of Manukau – home to the largest Polynesian community in the world – vast black-sand surf beaches, rolling countryside, volcanic cones and the majestic Awhitu Peninsula are all within easy reach. The south’s rich mix of Māori and Pacific Island cultures is mirrored in the exciting art, music and cultural festivals you’ll discover in the region, and traces of former Māori settlements still remain after 800 years.
- Try some of the many activities around Auckland Airport, including wine tasting at New Zealand’s most awarded winery, crocodile viewing, the tropical butterfly house, mini-golf, paintball and go karting.
- Explore the remains of early Māori settlements at the Otuataua Stonefields and follow the marked trail to the top of Mangere Mountain.
- Walk among the 10,000 native and exotic plants at the Auckland Botanic Gardens and see the unique sculptures dotted throughout the gardens.
- Take a road trip to the hidden gem of Awhitu Peninsula, a place of stunning natural beauty, and soak in the amazing views from the top of the historic lighthouse at Manukau Heads.
- Go surfing, fishing, horse riding, blokarting or paragliding at the magnificent black-sand surf beach of Karioitahi.
- Take in the region’s cultural attractions with a visit to some of the local art galleries or the bustling Otara market.
- For some family fun, hit the rides at New Zealand’s largest theme park, check out the New Zealand Warbirds Visitor Centre at Ardmore Airport or walk through the haunted house, freaky forest and creepy corn maze at the haunted attraction scream park.