28 August, 2023
Last updated on 15 September, 2023
Posted by Spaceships Crew
Auckland is the largest, and one of the most vibrant cities in New Zealand, and with a third of the population of New Zealand living here, it’s also the busiest. The biggest advantage is, that there are so many awesome things to do in Auckland. Check out 10 of our favourites.
There is no shortage of fun to be had in Auckland, whatever you’re into this city has it, from great beaches, nightlife, adventure activities to great shopping. As the main gateway into New Zealand, it’s the perfect place to start or end your New Zealand campervan hire road trip.
Auckland: the show never stops
Whether you like jumping off stuff, sightseeing, wining and dining, relaxing by the beach, trekking or history there is an array of free and paid activities that you can do in Auckland, or near Auckland. They can all easily accessed at your pace and in your own time by road, a few of Auckland's many top offerings.
1. Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island, situated in the Hauraki Gulf is only a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland’s city centre but miles away in pace and beauty.
The island has award-winning vineyards, olive groves and pastures, filled with beautiful beaches, walks and lots of character, a great island to explore by campervan or just pop over by ferry for a day trip.
For the freedom to do and see more, you can take your Spaceship campervan across by ferry as it's classified as a regular car. You can see more of Waiheke Island than fellow travellers on a motorhome or big campervan.
For those looking to infuse their Auckland itinerary with some eco-friendly thrills, Waiheke Island Eco Zip Adventures offers the perfect mix of adrenaline and nature. Located just a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland, Waiheke Island itself is a picturesque destination known for its vineyards, beaches, and olive groves.
Eco Zip Adventures lets you soar through the air on a zipline while taking in panoramic views of the island and the surrounding Hauraki Gulf. The entire experience is designed with sustainability in mind, from the construction of the ziplines to the company's commitment to conservation and community education.
Besides the ziplining, guided eco-tours provide you a chance to learn about the local flora and fauna, as well as the island's efforts in conservation. Round off the day by exploring the island's quaint cafes, art galleries, and scenic trails. This adventure is not just weather-proof but also offers an exhilarating way to engage with New Zealand’s natural beauty in an ethical manner.
Auckland is New Zealand’s most volcanic city, and you can easily spend a day exploring Auckland’s most popular volcanoes, of which include Mt Wellington, Mt Eden, Lake Pupuke, One Tree Hill and Rangitoto. Have a look at the full list of volcanoes in Auckland!
3. Sky Jump and the Auckland Bridge Climb & Bungy
For the adventurous at heart, Auckland boasts two great thrill-seeker options including The Sky Jump, which is 192m travelling up to 83 km/h off New Zealand's tallest structure, the Sky Tower.
Alternatively, if you feel safer jumping over water as opposed to concrete try the AJ Hackett bungy jump off Auckland’s Harbour Bridge. Enjoy an exclusive bridge walkout to the specially-constructed bungy pod and if it’s a hot day and you feel like a cool down try a favourite, the “water touch” option.
Or if that's too much excitement, you can also go for the Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb. This unforgettable yet easy-going adventure takes walkers under, around, up and over the historic Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Piha located on the West Coast, 40 kilometres from Auckland is one of New Zealand’s most popular surf beaches and a great spot to explore. It's the perfect first stop on your New Zealand road trip, after picking up your campervan in Auckland.
Piha’s black sandy beach is split in two by the popular Lion Rock with a walking track up to the top displaying majestic views of the sea and parkland.
Lion Rock Piha: one of the fun things to do in Auckland (area)
5. North Shore
For more of a relaxing swim and day at the beach, North Shore’s Long Bay provides a great stretch of land with numerous shady picnic areas. Long Bay has calmer waters than Piha providing a safer swim. The sweeping beach adjoins a marine reserve. The park itself also stands of native bush, the historic Vaughan Homestead and a restaurant.
6. Auckland Museum
To learn about New Zealand history and Maori Culture, visit the Auckland Museum in central Auckland. A Maori Culture Centre, war memorial and collection and research area, it has a collection of interesting artefacts showcasing New Zealand’s history and culture.
Located in The Auckland Domain, the perfect place to take a stroll and play a game of frisbee on the playing fields while surrounded by formal gardens and ponds.
7. Night Life
Auckland’s Viaduct harbour located at the bottom of the city is jam-packed with bars, cafes and restaurants, hosting some of the city’s best bars and clubs.
Or enjoy Auckland's nightlife and shops at Britomart. It's easy to reach from downtown Queen Street and the Britomart transport centre.
Make sure you pay a visit Wynyard Quarter, especially during summer. Enjoy the food stalls, market stalls or go for one of the free films that are shown in summer.
8. Explore NZ Dolphin & Whale Safari
The Hauraki Gulf is the perfect place to see some of the most beautiful creatures on earth, and with 22 species of marine mammals being identified in this area, it’s a sure bet you will set your sights on an intriguing frenzy of whales, dolphins and seabirds. Also, learn about some of the most significant cultural and historical parts of this amazing maritime park as well.
For the ultimate sailing experience, relax under sail on Auckland's beautiful Waitemata Harbour while onboard our harbour cruising yacht. Sit back and relax while listening to an informative commentary on the sights of the city, an experience you will never forget.
9. Rainbow’s End theme park
Perfect for a day of fun-filled entertainment, Rainbow’s End is New Zealand’s biggest adventure theme park. Packed with a range of fun activities and rides for the very young to the very old, there is something for everyone at Rainbow’s End!
10. Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary
For a unique blend of natural beauty and conservation, consider a day trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island. Located just a ferry ride away from Auckland's downtown, this open sanctuary is a groundbreaking conservation project and a haven for some of New Zealand's most endangered bird species like the Takahe, Kiwi, and Kokako.
On arrival, you can opt for a guided walk led by knowledgeable volunteers who will introduce you to the island's unique flora and fauna. Meander along well-marked trails through native bush and coastal forest, keeping an ear out for melodious bird songs that make this sanctuary a birdwatcher’s paradise.
The island also features a lighthouse that dates back to 1864 and a visitor centre that details the island’s transformation from a deforested landscape to a thriving sanctuary. Not only is this a stunning natural retreat, but it also offers invaluable insights into New Zealand's conservation efforts.