Best Day Trips From Auckland

Best Day Trips From Auckland

Great day trips from Auckland

Black sand beaches, wine tasting, and delectable food—the largest city on the North Island of New Zealand has it all.

Here at RaD Car Hire’s convenient Airport location, we’ll get you on the road to experience the best day trips in Auckland in a new rental vehicle. Our rentals come with free unlimited kilometres and New Zealand-wide roadside assistance.

Is this your first time driving in New Zealand? Don’t forget - we drive on the left-hand side of the road! Rental users will need a full driver’s licence. Always pay attention to the posted sign limits.

Before you hit the road, it’s a great idea to make sure you’ve packed the following items:

  • Mobile phone charger
  • Bluetooth or wireless hands-free kit
  • Water
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat
  • For colder months - snow chains and a heavy coat
  • Hiking shoes

Drive to Matakana Farmers Market

Take a lazy Saturday morning stroll around the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market and savour the sights and smells of fresh produce, flowers, bread, and sweets. Then, relax by the riverside and enjoy the live music with a steaming cup of coffee and mouthwatering artisanal treats.

The drive takes about 1 hour via the Northern Motorway.

Ferry to Waiheke Island

Make an island escape to Waiheke Island to uncover unspoiled beaches, picturesque coastal headlands, and delightful local cuisine. On Waiheke, you’ll find ice cream shops near the beach, plus delicious fish and chips with a waterfront view. You’ll have so many options - book a horseback trek, a scenic mini-plane flyover, experience the award-winning drops from local wineries, or sample fresh-pressed olive oils.

Feeling adventurous? Go ziplining or take a hike to marvel at the breathtaking cliff-top views. There is public transport available during the day, but the best thing about bringing your own rental car along on the ferry is that you can go anywhere you want, when you want!

The Half Moon Bay Ferry Terminal is a 25 minute-drive along State Hwy 1 and Route 5. The ferry takes about 45 to 60 minutes, and you can book on the Sealink website.

Explore walking tracks at the Waitakere Ranges

This day trip from Auckland will lead you to discover some awe-inspiring natural beauty. Head through lush bushland and uncover spectacular waterfalls on one of New Zealand’s best day hikes.

The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is a great scenic drive from Auckland via State Highway 16.

Visit the Waitomo glowworm caves

Come and uncover the tiny luminescent creatures hidden in the darkness of an eerie, underground chamber. Follow the constellations of glow worms on a boat ride through the Waitomo Caves and marvel. The local guides bring the cave to life through anecdotes and legends on a guided tour.

The trip will take about two and a half hours along State Highway 1 and 39.

Enjoy a walk at the beautiful Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens is more than just a home to perennial plants and fragrant flowers. The gardens also focus on showcasing the cultural significance of their plant collections.

Take State Highway 1 to the town of Hamilton. The drive will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Discover Hobbiton - the amazing filming location

The Hobbiton Movie Set is where Middle-earth comes to life. This world-famous destination often sees visitors dressed as elves, dwarves, and hobbits. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, we’re sure you can’t wait to visit Green Dragon Inn and see the hobbit holes for yourself! The drive from Auckland City will take you two hours and 20 minutes along State Highway 1 via some absolutely gorgeous scenic roads.

Go kayaking at Lake Rotorua

Looking to add some challenging, enjoyable exercise to your Auckland day trips? Here’s a great idea for you – hire a kayak at Lake Rotorua and paddle out to explore secluded coves. Sitting in the lake’s centre is the mysterious Mokoia Island, where you can bank your canoe and soak in a natural thermal pool.

Rotorua is an almost 3-hour drive south of Auckland along State Highway 1.

More day trips from Auckland

New Zealand’s City of Sails is the perfect starting place for a holiday or road trip. Just arrived at Auckland Airport and looking to head out of the city for a relaxing day out in nature? We recommend visiting the beautiful beaches on the Coromandel Peninsula, such as Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove.

From here, the options for day trips from Auckland to nearby cities such as Hamilton and Tauranga are endless. So, book your RaD rental car now and start exploring! Email or call us for more information. We can’t wait to meet you!

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