Updated: Oct 5
Auckland was my first destination during my month long trip to New Zealand last March. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to spend my first week in Auckland with some family friends who showed me around Auckland itself and surrounding areas such as Piha. From the day I landed in New Zealand I fell in love with the country and it really is such a beautiful country with such kind and welcoming people.
1. Climb a volcano – Mount Eden
At 196 metres high, Mount Eden is Auckland’s highest natural point with a 50-metre-deep crater. It is also a very important place in Māori history. Whether you choose to cycle or walk up to the summit, you are guaranteed 360 degree views over the city and the Waitemata Harbour. Mount Eden was formed 20,000 to 30,000 years ago and was formerly a Māori settlement. You can take a guided walk around, led by a tribe member who can go into detail on the rich history of Mount Eden. However, it must be noted that vehicles are no longer able to drive up to the top of Mount Eden so make sure to plan your route up to the top!
2. Take a trip to Goat Island
Although I did not personally visit Goat Island, it was highly recommended to me by people who had previously visited Auckland. If you head to Goat Island Marine Reserve, you can witness the vast array of colourful fish in the crystal clear waters. In fact, Goat Island is New Zealand’s first and most accessible marine reserve and is very popular amongst snorkelers and divers. Located in Leigh, just one-hour north of Auckland, an alternative way of seeing Goat Island is taking the glass bottom boat tour. The glass bottom boat tour is the number one attraction in Leigh and it ‘provides a fun and educational adventure for guests of all ages’. The tour lasts 45 minutes in which you will be taken to see the fish, fauna, marine life and birds as well as the caves and rocky cliffs of Goat Island.
45-minute guided boat tour (trips are dependent on weather and sea conditions)
$40 for adults
$30 for senior citizens
$20 for children
3. SkyJump and SkyWalk at the Sky Tower
SkyWalk is a 360 degree walk around the outside ring of the Sky Tower. With 192m between you and the bottom of the Sky Tower, the view from the top is nothing short of spectacular, especially during sunset hours. SkyJump is a 192m jump from the Sky Tower to land on the bull’s eye below. Packages can be created to include either activity or a combination of both. Photos and video at discounted rates are available and both activities include tickets to go back up the Sky Tower after the SkyWalk or SkyJump and admire the views of the city one more time in comfort.
4. AJ Hackett – Auckland Bridge Climb, Westhaven
The Bridge Climb is a fully-guided tour with commentary which will take you right to the top, giving you a 360-degree view of Auckland. There are custom engineered walkways which make the experience 100% safe and it has been described as a ‘must-do’ if you find yourself in Auckland.
5. Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto Island is a 25-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. It is strongly recommended to take the one-hour Summit Track which takes you to the lava tunnels and caves. The dramatic landscape of Rangitoto contrasts greatly to the neighbouring Motutapu and it is highly recommended to visit both. There is a causeway that links the two so there are no excuses! The 360 degree views you can experience at the top of the summit are enough of a reason to visit and make sure you’ve got a camera at the ready!