Auckland Trip Planner
Sitting near the top of New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is home to almost a quarter of all Kiwis. It is a hustling, bustling metropolis blessed with beautiful weather and world class beaches. No wonder the locals are so friendly! If you want to wander through parks or gardens, shop op shops or upscale boutiques, dine, drink, dance, or spend a day by the sea, you can do it all in droves in Auckland.
Don’t leave Auckland without a visit to our 5 favourite attractions
1) Explore Auckland CBD
Take your Auckland Airport rental car into the heart of Auckland’s beautiful and exciting downtown core.
The CBD is densely packed with offices and shops packed into skyscrapers, the striking Sky Tower and endless choices for coffee, food and drink. Friendly but busy locals with purposeful strides rub shoulders with tourists who are simply taking it all in. NZ is often known for its rural towns, but Auckland can certainly hold its own among the world’s best big cities.
When you have walked, driven, bused and ferried your way around the city centre, it’s time to get back in that hired car and head to other Auckland suburbs and neighbourhoods like upscale Ponsonby, historic Devonport and quiet, beachy Mission Bay.
2) Visit a Volcano
The city’s geography is shaped by around 48 volcanoes that formed thousands of years ago. Climb up Mount Eden, one of the city’s most famous volcanoes, with stunning views of the city below or catch a ferry out to the picturesque Rangitoto. There are countless more to see – how many can you fit in on your trip to Auckland?
3) The Many Beaches in Auckland
One thing that sets Auckland apart from many other worldly cities is its proximity to some of the best beaches in Auckland on offer. With its unique position having sea on both sides, Aucklanders are some of the luckiest urban dwellers in the whole world. Take a drive in your car hire to the West Coast beaches famous for their black sand and wild waves.
Out this way you’ll find Bethells Beach, with volcanic cliffs and sea caves that’ll make your walk along the beach like no other. Drive your car rental down the coast and you’ll reach Piha’s notoriously rough surf. Be careful though – there’s an entire tv show around surfers and swimmers swept out to sea at this rugged stretch of sea. We wouldn’t blame you if you wanted the tamer but still picturesque beaches to the east, like Buckland’s Beach or Cockle Bay.
4) Shopping in Newmarket
If you are after designer labels and upmarket boutiques, dedicate some time shopping in New Zealand’s fashion capital: Newmarket. Park your rental car along Broadway so you can pop into stores as you please, and be sure to meander down the upmarket Nuffield, a tiny street famous for its designer shops, upscale spas and trendy salons.
5) Waiheke Island
Our favourite retreat from Auckland’s frantic pace is a day spent across the harbour on Waiheke Island. The island is home to some of NZ’s most exclusive homes and famous wineries and olive orchards. It’s impossible not to be surprised by the lush greenery set against the turquoise bays along the perimeter of the entire island. You won’t believe that this island with little development is only a 45-minute ferry ride away from Auckland. Take a winery tour of the island’s many vineyards, visit the local artisan shops along the main street and spend some time relaxing on one of Waiheke’s quiet beaches. Be sure to have a read of the many things to do on Waiheke Island, Auckland.