Things to do in Auckland

Auckland is the largest and most multicultural city in New Zealand with one-third of all Kiwis calling it home. It’s a genuinely vibrant cultural melting pot, with significant Polynesian, Asian and Maori communities, helping to create an eclectic vibe, seen in everything from the Pacific Rim cuisine, to the range of different neighbourhoods.

Auckland is also a city of immense natural beauty, formed by volcanoes and flanked by natural harbours.

Whether it’s cultural insights into the unique history of the Maori people, beautiful scenery or New Zealand’s specialty – adrenaline pumping adventure activities, Auckland offers something for everyone.

Below is a list of some of the must-dos when you visit Auckland

Auckland Museum (Auckland War Memorial Museum)

The Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of the city's most visited attractions. The ground floor is devoted to ‘The Pacific people' and houses one of New Zealand's most important collection of Maori and South Pacific artefacts. There is also a section devoted to ‘Natural History' and another floor to ‘New Zealand’s War Stories'. A small area on the middle floor is given over to the Children's Discovery Centre.

Auckland Art Gallery

Auckland’s main art gallery houses the country's largest collections of both native and international art. The Heritage Gallery contains the bulk of the collection, with the New Gallery concentrating on contemporary art, with revolving exhibitions.

New Zealand National Maritime Museum

The museum pays homage to New Zealand’s sea faring history from the arrival of Maori and European settlers, to the 2000 America's Cup.

Harbour Bridge Climb and Bungee

The Auckland Harbour Bridge is an iconic symbol of the city and is the North Island’s longest road bridge. It is however the options of a bridge climb and bungee jump operated by the founder of modern bungee, AJ Hackett, which truly sets it apart.

This hair-raising adventure activity in the city involves donning overalls and a harness and then walking across the upper girders of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, 65m (213ft) above the harbour, with 8 lanes of traffic roaring below you. If this is not thrilling enough, visitors with nerves of steel can always try out the bridge bungee.

Sky Tower & Sky Jump

New Zealand's tallest building dominates the Auckland skyline standing 328m (1,076ft) high. There are two observation platforms offering fantastic views over the harbour.

There is also the Sky Walk experience, where visitors go up to the crow’s nest or Sky Deck and walk around the 192m (630ft) exterior halo of the tower without rails but with a safety harness.

Alternatively, there is the world's longest tower-based jump, where a harness and attached wire allow for a 25-second, 192m (630ft) arrested freefall, where participants reach speeds of 85kph (53mph).

The tower is one part of the Sky City complex - a casino with cafes, bars and a restaurant.

Auckland Zoo

New Zealand's native species are represented here in particular the elusive national bird, the kiwi as well as the Tuatara, a lizard-cum-dinosaur. Highlights also include the rainforest, which is home to many monkeys, apes, parrots, spiders and other rainforest dwellers and Pridelands, an area that is home to the animals of Africa, including lions, rhinos and giraffes, while Hippo River allows very close-up views of these extraordinary creatures.

Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World

The Perspex walk-through tunnels of Underwater World were the first to give visitors the illusion of walking underwater, for amazing close encounters with sharks, rays and other ocean dwellers. The Antarctic Encounter includes a reconstruction of Captain Scott’s hut and a Disney-like ride on the Snow Cat through artificial icebergs and snow drifts and past sub-Antarctic penguins.

Auckland Domain

Created in 1845, Auckland Domain is the city's oldest, largest and most attractive park, featuring semi-formal gardens, a sculpture walk, pathways and ponds and a winter garden with cool and tropical houses

Auckland Botanic Gardens

These beautiful gardens cover 64 hectares (160 acres) and contain more than 10,000 individual plants, along with a lake, a nature trail, a library and a relaxing outdoor cafe. The Auckland Botanic Gardens are also home to the Ellerslie Flower Show.

Mount Eden and Eden Garden

At 196m, Mount Eden is the highest volcanic peak in mainland Auckland and is the perfect spot from which to take in an impressive 360 degree panorama of Auckland and its charming harbour. Mount Eden is all the more special because it gives visitors the opportunity to look directly down into the crater of a volcano.

The 2.25-hectare (5.5-acre) Eden Garden sits on the volcanic slopes of Mount Eden. This former quarry has been transformed into an award winning national showcase garden.

Cornwall Park

This landscaped park centred on the volcanic cone of Auckland's One Tree Hill is a wonderful oasis of calm amidst the intense rumble of the city. The park is filled with walking tracks, oak trees and even grazing sheep. It is also famed for its public barbecue facilities.

Queen Street

Queen Street is one of Auckland’s main shopping areas and is home to many brand stores such as Billabong and The Diamond Shop. Other notable establishments on Queen Street include Auckland Town Hall and the Bank of New Zealand building.


Devonport is a quaint suburb of Auckland and offers spectacular views of the City of Sails. Not only is it a lovely spot to dine and shop, with a warm, old fashioned vibe, it's also the site of a naval base. For a laid-back day of meandering past colonial architecture and along peaceful beaches, Devonport is the place to go and taking a ferry ride from the terminal in downtown Auckland is a great way to get there.

Rangitoto Island

This volcanic island sits majestically just off the coast of Auckland and boasts its own distinct landscape consisting of rugged lava crops, lush native bush and golden sandy coves. Only a short ferry ride away, the island makes for a perfect day trip from the city.

Tiritiri Matangi Island

Tiritiri Matangi Island is a fabulous showcase of New Z ealand wildlife conservation in action, as the island has been painstakingly repopulated with selected species of native birds. There are many extensive and well maintained walking tracks and you'll see – and hear – the likes of saddlebacks, New Zealand pigeons, whiteheads, bellbirds and takehe all around you.