15 Things to do in Auckland, New Zealand: A Mini Guide

If you are travelling to New Zealand soon, one major city you shouldn’t miss to visit is no other than…  Auckland! This mini guide will be helpful to you if you are looking for things to do in Auckland, New Zealand for your next trip.

Did you know that Auckland is one of the most livable cities in the world? One of its best features is that you can see the spectacular nature landscapes and beaches 30 minutes away from the beautiful and modern part of the city! Isn’t it amazing that you don’t have to drive for hours and hours just to take a break from your busy city life to experience eating the fresh seafood by the bay and having a close encounter with wildlife? Well, we wish we could do that!

Continue reading as we unravel how easy it is to travel in this really interesting place and share our list of top things to do in Auckland!

Quick Facts

Auckland is not the capital of New Zealand, but it is the most populous city with a whooping population of over 1.5 million! Because of the numerous luxurious and entertainment facilities in Auckland, breathtaking beaches, spectacular landscapes, and mild climate, it is really a perfect place any traveler would want to explore.

How to get there

Auckland’s airport is the largest and busiest airport in New Zealand, thus, making Auckland a very accessible place. It is well-connected to other countries’ airports so flights to Auckland and flights to New Zealand are almost limitless. This is good news for travelers as traveling to Auckland is so easy! You may click here to check the best flight deals on your next trip to Auckland.

Visa

To visit Auckland, Visa may be required for some. Here is the summary of the Visa Policy of New Zealand.

Do not need a Visa to Visit New Zealand:

  • A New Zealand citizen or resident
  • An Australian citizen or resident
  • A UK citizen and/or passport holder (up to six months of stay)
  • A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand (up to three months of stay).

Click here to see the full Visa Policy of New Zealand.

Currency, ATMs, etc

New Zealand’s currency is New Zealand Dollars (NZD). 1 USD = 1.48 NZD. Click here to know the exchange rate real time.

ATMs are available everywhere in Auckland especially in airports and terminals, so you don’t need to worry finding an ATM to withdraw from your card. Additionally, Auckland’s establishments usually accept major international debit and credit cards.

Click here to know more about the budget you need to travel in New Zealand.

Safety

Is it safe to travel in Auckland? Yes, it is! We just want everyone to travel smart and cautious. Avoid getting out at night and going to dark, quiet places! Always be mindful of your surroundings. 🙂

Weather and Best Time to Go

Auckland, or whole New Zealand’s climate is considered to be subtropical, meaning summers (from December to February) are warm and humid while winters (from June to August) are mild and damp. If you will ask us, we prefer to visit New Zealand during summer as you will experience the perfect weather to go outside and explore its beauty!

Oh, you can also visit during the months of March to May (Fall) to experience the gorgeous autumn of Auckland and avoiding the crowd of tourists visiting the famous spots, or the months of September to November for a relaxing spring! You’ll surely love this weather for a beautiful day at the lake and islands.

Just a reminder though that weather in Auckland can change from time to time so it’s good to prepare for all seasons in one day than to come unprepared! You may click here for real time weather updates in Auckland.

15 Things to do in Auckland

Things to do in Auckland – Visit Museums and Art Galleries

1. Auckland Museum

Auckland Museum
Auckland Museum (Source: Auckland Museum | Facebook)

Lose track of time in Auckland Museum! This is one of the most famous museums not just in Auckland but in whole New Zealand. It has interactive exhibitions and displays that for sure let you learn a lot about New Zealand.

2. Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum
Maritime Museum (Source: Maritime Museum Website)

Since New Zealand is surrounded by the vast ocean, it really is the best friend of the sea! In this museum in Auckland, learn a lot about this relationship of the country to the ocean, know their maritime history and enjoy the cruise. You will also witness the best views of the city when you cruise up to the Harbour Bridge.

3. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (Source: Auckland Art Gallery Website)

This museum-type art gallery is a must-visit place for art lovers. You will surely lose track of time seeing 16,000 historic, modern and contemporary art pieces- surely the best arts in Auckland!

Things to do in Auckland – Find local eats (Auckland food)

4. Best ice cream in the world – Giapo Ice Cream

Did you know that people of New Zealand are passionate about good ice cream? They treat their ice cream not just food but also an art. When you visit New Zealand, do not ever forget to try the most incredible ice cream in the world! Giapo Ice Cream!

If you like ice cream like i do, Giapo is something truly unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Be impressed by incredible icy sculptures ( a colossal squid ice cream anyone?) and unbelievable delicious frankestein food like the delicious Yorkshire pudding or the hot chips in a cone.

Giapo takes dessert to a whole new level. What I genuinely like about Giapo is that they are doing things out of the box and with courage.This is much more than your typical ice cream shop with many different and creative flavours.

From way you choose your ice cream, the way the customer service interact with you, the kitchen prepares each and every order, the detailed presentation of each ice cream, not to mention the wow factor of Giapo’s flagship creations, it’s a serendipity of nice surprises about what ice cream can be. It’s no exaggeration to say this will be the greatest ice cream you’ll have, anywhere in the world

So if you want a world-class dessert that you will not forget for the next 50 years.. look for Giapo Ice Cream and change the way you think about desserts!

Follow them on Instagram to see more photos of their mouthwatering ice cream!

5. Fresh and tasty seafood

Seafood
Seafood

Auckland has over 14,000 of coastline, giving them abundant harvest of fresh seafood. Some seafood you should try in Auckland are crayfish, bluff oysters, green-lipped mussels, whitebait, Pāua (abalone), scallops, salmon and snappers.

6. Award-Winning Cheeses and Wines

Cheese and Wine
Cheese and Wine

It is without a doubt that New Zealand is famous for the best cheeses and wines. It is known for top cheese and wine brands internationally that made its way to the top cheese and wine exporters in the world. In fact, there are some wine tasting tours in Auckland! Have you ever tried cheese and wine from Auckland?

7. Roast Lamb

Roast Lamb
Roast Lamb (Source: Simon | Flickr)

Did you know that lamb is New Zealand’s top export meat? Because of that, their lamb meat is surely one of the best in the world! Roast lamb is something you shouldn’t miss when visiting Auckland. Imagine that tasty, tender meat with rich flavors that perfectly blends with rosemary. Yum! Don’t forget to try this on your next New Zealand luxury dining.

Things to do in Auckland – See the best landscapes

8. Waiheke Island

 

If you are a thrill-seeker, adventure-lover, food-enthusiast, and a beach-lover all combined in one person, then never miss Waiheke Island on your list of things to do in Auckland, New Zealand. This is an island where you can swim on white sand beaches, do some sightseeing, try ziplining, taste wine and delectable food, and shop for all amazing things!

9. Mount Eden

Mount Eden is the highest natural point in Auckland and one of the top attractions in New Zealand. It is completely covered in grass and the top will surely give you the best panoramic views in Auckland! It is recommended that you do the sightseeing at the top during sunrise or sunset to capture its beauty.

10. Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island views
Rangitoto Island views (Source: tomraven | Flickr)

Another spot in Auckland for nature and sightseeing lovers is this island off the coast from Devonport. This is a volcanic island famous for amazing hiking trails and gorgeous panoramic views.

11. Try Bungy Jumping

Did you know that Bungy Jumping is number 1 on top things to do in New Zealand for most people? If you won’t do this in Auckland, you will totally regret it! This tourist attraction is a must-try especially if you want to see the best landscape your eyes could ever see!

Things to do in Auckland – Go to zoos and sanctuaries

12. Auckland Zoo

Things to do in Auckland - Visit Zoos and Sanctuaries
(Source: Auckland Zoo Website)
Things to do in Auckland - Visit Zoos and Sanctuaries
(Source: Auckland Zoo Website)

Home to over 1000 animals and 126 different species, Auckland Zoo is something you shouldn’t miss when visiting Auckland. This is a great place to visit especially if you’re traveling with kids.

13. Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary

(Source: Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary Website)
(Source: Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary Website)

This is one of New Zealand’s most successful conservation projects and a place where outdoors enthusiasts should definitely go to. You will see different species of birds, reptiles, and plants. Enjoy hiking on its hiking trails as well as sightseeing in this beautiful sanctuary!

Things to do in Auckland – Experience the local life

14. Join local festivals.

Youth experiencing waka culture
Youth experiencing Waka culture (Source: Auckland Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival via ICH Courier Online)

New Zealanders looove festivals! Whether it be for arts, music, culture, food- they just love it! To fully experience the local life in New Zealand, we totally recommend you join their fun festivals and New Zealand Holidays. Here are some of them:

  • St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
  • Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival
  • Auckland Lantern Festival
  • Auckland Arts Festival
  • New Zealand International Film Festival
  • Auckland On Water Boat Show
  • Auckland Diwali Festival
  • The New Zealand Herald Christmas Carnival
  • Auckland Racing Club

15. Meet New Zealand locals.

And the last but not the least on our list of top things to do in Auckland, your trip won’t be complete without meeting the friendly New Zealanders, or Kiwis, in Auckland. They are really nice people who will make your New Zealand trip a remarkable one. 🙂

There you go! Our top 15 things to do in Auckland, New Zealand! Tell us which your favorites are!

If you liked this blog post about things to do in Auckland, please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! Thank you for reading and happy travels!

If you want to visit Australia next, read our blog post about camping on a budget in Australia or cruising in Australia.

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. He believes in travel without money. Recently, he finished a bicycle trip, 9500 km, from Madrid to North Cape.

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