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Best day trips from Auckland – handpicked by travel experts
Get ready to dive into the top ideas for an Auckland getaway that are bound to make your trip one to share.
Auckland has a variety of activities that can cater to any kind of trip. Whether you’d prefer to relax by the water, see the city by foot, watch wildlife or jump into the sky, we’re sharing with you the best things to do in Auckland that will spark your curiosity and satisfy your thrill-seeking side.
Top day trips from Auckland
If you’re a The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit fan, you won’t want to miss out on a trip to the famous film setting of Hobbiton. While this can be seen on your own, the best way to do it is by booking yourself a tour, such as this one from Klook that includes transport from your Auckland hotel, a visit to the set and a complimentary beverage.
Since Hobbiton is a bit of a trek from Auckland, a lot of tours also pair it up with other attractions outside the city like Waitomo Caves – perfect if you’re short on time but big on adventure.
Dolphin and whale watching
Whale safaris give you the best chance to spot these beautiful creatures in the wild and Auckland is not short on options.
When jumping on board a cruise you have the chance to spot up to six different kinds of whales and pods of dolphins as they swim past your boat curiously.
This particular tour sails you through Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, which is known to have 23 different species of whale.
Located in Auckland’s “Wild West Coast” Piha Beach is a natural icon and one of the nation’s best surf beaches. It’s renowned for its black sands and marked by Lion Rock (pictured), which you can climb for views of the waves as they crash between Piha and Little Piha Beaches.
Aside from the obvious water-based activities at Piha Beach, travellers can wander the Kitekite Track to the beautiful Kitekite Falls and also witness Maori carvings near Lion Rock. The nearby Karekare Falls are also well worth a visit.
Tick both the waterfalls and beach off the list with a combo tour to both natural attractions.
Only a 40-minute ferry ride from Auckland, scenic Waiheke Island is a popular day trip with all types of travellers. Home to dozens of pretty vineyards and lots of top-notch restaurants, the island is a great escape for foodies and wine-lovers.
Walkers can enjoy picturesque walking trails and beach lovers can spend a day hopping between the white sands of Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi. There’s also a popular zip-line that provides unparalleled views of the island.
Or stay in Auckland:
Explore Auckland city
Whether you choose to see Auckland by foot, a city tour or by grabbing a pass for a hop-on/hop-off sightseeing bus, seeing the city over at least a day is a must. Tours are a great way to orient yourself and to learn where the best spots and main attractions are.
Guides generally take you through the city centre, lead you to beautiful views from the Auckland Harbour Bridge and show you the trendiest areas.
Extreme activities within Auckland
What is a trip to New Zealand without a thrill-seeking adventure? You can either bungee jump from the Auckland Harbour Bridge, SkyJump off the top of the SkyTower or if you fancy the height and views without the jumping, try the Auckland Bridge Walk.
Don’t forget to keep your eyes open so you can enjoy the views of Waitemata Harbour as you fall 40 metres down.
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