Many backpackers dismiss Auckland as a place to visit because the main city area is quiet and not as bustling as the likes of Sydney, London or New York. In essence though this is what makes Auckland a good place to visit if you’ve been busy travelling or want an introduction to New Zealand. These are my top 10 things to do in Auckland for your next trip.
Top 10 things to Do in Auckland
A quaint little suburb that’s a ten minute ferry ride from the main city, Devonport is one of the most expensive property areas in the city but if you’re an architecture buff it’s a great place to see some true Kiwi builds as well as enjoying the boutique shops and great little cafes.
Visit Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island takes around 45 minutes to get to from the main ferry terminal. Return tickets cost 30NZD but you will be taken across sparkling blue waters to a small paradise like island. Only 8000 residents live here and enjoy the variety of beaches and vineyards. Fullers ferry company offers a tour of the island and good outlook points for photo opportunities as well as local knowledge on what to see and do.
Karanghape Road, known more as K’Road is Auckland’s Red Light District but it’s a safe place to visit the eccentric shops and cafes that line the road. You’ll find a range of indie shops, vintage clothes as well as gay bars and clubs for nightlife
The sky tower is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, to get to the top it’s between 25-28NZD and you get spectacular views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf
Auckland City Highlights Tour
This is operated by the company Intercity and can be completed in either a morning or afternoon, you’ll be taken round various sites and suburbs of Auckland and get to see places that may have been missed on the usual tourist trail.
This quaint little suburb is in the heart of the CBD and has a range of cute little boutique shops and cafes, there’s a definitely feel of Kiwiana here in the heart of the city
To get here you may need to rent a car as I didn’t notice any public transport links when I visited, but these falls exist less than an hour from the main centre and provide a good place to have a picnic on a sunny day and some good photo ops.
Considered to be one of the more trendy parts of Auckland, Mission Bay has a good beach and family feel to it. There’s views of Rangitoto Island and plenty of places to eat and enjoy that Kiwi sun.
If you’re a hiking fan or up for a fitness challenge then Rangitoto is for you. Again, it’s a short ferry ride from the city and it’s advised to go prepared for a hike. The terrain is volcanic ash from the last time the (now dormant) mountain erupted and there’s varying levels of physical toughness depending on what challenge you’re looking for. The island is amazingly quiet compared to the city and provides a stunning view.
Okay, so it isn’t as big as the other major cities around the world but Auckland central is good if you’re not looking for a bustling city (be warned though, this is the biggest city in New Zealand so everywhere else may seem even smaller!). Queen Street is your main road with a range of high street shops, there’s Westfield, a farmers market on Sunday’s and good transport links to other tourist areas.
Have you visited Auckland before? What are your top 10 things to do in Auckland?