Auckland is a multitude of environments rolled into one amazing city. First up is the urban city centre, with its stylish shopping precincts and delectable restaurant zones. The next environment that deserves close attention is the harbour, with the islands of the Hauraki Gulf beyond. Then there are the beaches, rainforests, vineyards and country towns. It’s all pretty special, which is why the Mercer’s Quality of Living Index ranks Auckland #3 in the world.
About our flights to Auckland
Air New Zealand offers non-stop domestic flights to Auckland airport from Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin and most other regional centres. With all Auckland airfares you can choose seat, seat+bag, flexitime or flexiplus fare types. Flying times are: Auckland to Napier, 60 minutes; Auckland to Wellington, 65 minutes; Auckland to Christchurch, 85 minutes; Auckland to Queenstown, one hour 55 minutes; Auckland to Dunedin, one hour 50 minutes.
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Where to go and what to see in Auckland
Holidaying in Auckland is about being energised, uplifted and involved. There’s a lot going on, especially with the America’s Cup on the horizon once more. Whether you want to focus on city activities or outdoor adventures, you’re in for an exciting time.
Enjoy delicious food and wine
From waterfront fine dining and bustling cafés to back-alley street food and boutique craft breweries, there’s a world of local and international cuisine to explore. Head to Britomart, Princes Wharf, Viaduct Harbour, North Wharf or the Sky Tower for some of the best restaurants in Auckland with harbour views. Along Ponsonby Road you’ll find boutique shops and a huge range of hip eateries and bars. Inner city suburbs like Parnell, Devonport, Mount Eden and Kingsland are always a good choice for restaurants, cafes and bars with a relaxed village vibe.
With three distinct Auckland wine regions to choose between, you’re never far from a great wine tasting experience and a delicious alfresco meal amidst the vines. Take a tour west to some of New Zealand’s oldest winemakers, north to the country village and vineyards of Matakana or catch a fast ferry to Waiheke Island, home to more than 20 vineyards and wineries.
Escape to magnificent islands
Waiheke is the most popular, and populated, island in Auckland. It’s loved for beautiful sandy beaches, vineyards, olive groves and an arty laid-back lifestyle. Waiheke is only 40 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, so many of the island’s residents commute to and from the city each day.
Auckland’s vast Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park includes more than 50 islands and five marine reserves. Most of the islands are public conservation parks, perfect for day visits spent hiking or relaxing at a beach in the arms of nature. Rangitoto Island, an iconic volcanic cone, is the youngest of all. Stepping ashore here is like landing on another planet and hiking the lava-rock path to the crater summit is rewarded with spectacular 360° views. Tiritiri Matangi Island, known locally as Tiri, is a predator-free sanctuary for some of New Zealand’s rarest bird species. Their populations have flourished here and birds fly close by, showing no fear of human visitors.
Immerse yourself in art and culture
Located in the beautiful Auckland Domain, Auckland Museum is a treasure trove of New Zealand history and the guardian of the world’s largest collection of Maori taonga (treasures). Through a series of cleverly implemented exhibitions, the museum provides fascinating insights into New Zealand’s past and our place in the world. A stand-out section of the museum is Volcanoes, which includes a life-like movie simulation of an Auckland volcanic eruption.
Another interesting slice of New Zealand culture can be enjoyed at the Auckland Art Gallery, where you’ll find 17,000 works, including major holdings of New Zealand historic, contemporary and modern art. Regularly changing exhibitions feature pieces from the gallery’s collections and beyond.
For outdoor art experiences check out the region’s sculpture parks and trails, such as the whimsical Sculptureum in Matakana, about an hour north of downtown Auckland by car.
Embrace the great outdoors
With beautiful regional parks, park-like volcanic cones, black and white sand beaches, and the picturesque Waitemata Harbour, you’ll want to get outside at every opportunity while you’re in Auckland.
Hike through native forest parks to waterfalls, clifftop lookouts and spectacular ocean beaches; join a tour of Auckland’s inner city volcanic cones for long range views and insights into the region’s unique geology and Maori history; catch a 10-minute ferry to historic Devonport and stroll the foreshore to climb North Head and explore its wartime tunnels; or walk up to the crater summit of Mount Eden to watch the sun set over the city and Waitakere Ranges.
The iconic west coast black-sand surf beaches, including Piha and Muriwai, are only 45 minutes from downtown Auckland by car. There are also inner-city beaches, like Takapuna and Mission Bay, for white sand, calm waters, cafes, bars and restaurants. Ninety minutes north of the CBD, Tawharanui Regional Park and Goat Island Marine Reserve are pristine places for coastal walks, bird watching, swimming, surfing, snorkelling and diving.
If you like adventures that get your heart racing, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Auckland. SkyWalk or SkyJump at the Auckland Sky Tower, bungy jump off the Auckland Harbour Bridge, kayak to Rangitoto Island, sail an America’s Cup yacht on the harbour, zip line on Waiheke Island, go canyoning at Piha, ski all year round at Snowplanet or swim with sharks at Kelly Tarlton’s. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure!
Best time to visit Auckland
Many people choose to visit Auckland in summer and autumn, so if you prefer things less crowded come in winter or spring. The almost-subtropical city is New Zealand’s warmest main centre and one of the sunniest, with warm humid summers and mild damp winters. Average highs range from 24°C in summer to 15°C in winter. The weather can be changeable, so pack a small umbrella or rain jacket.
How much will it cost?
This will depend on your tastes and what you want to do. As a rough guide, not including air travel and hotels, you should allow about NZD $100 to $150 a day per person for food and entertainment.
There are no mandatory vaccinations required for visitors to New Zealand.