Things to do in Auckland

About Auckland

A must-see attraction is Auckland's Sky Tower, offering panoramic views of the cityscape. The historic Auckland War Memorial Museum provides a deep dive into the region's natural and military history. Waiheke Island, known for its wineries and beaches, is also a top attraction for visitors.
For kids, Auckland offers the fun-filled Auckland Zoo, the underwater world at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, and the interactive exhibits at the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), ensuring educational and entertaining family outings.
Outdoor activities abound in Auckland, with the Hauraki Gulf offering sailing and island-hopping, while regional parks like Waitakere Ranges provide breathtaking hiking and Piha Beach is perfect for surfing.
On rainy days or simply for a change of pace, visiting the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, enjoying performances at the Civic Theatre, or exploring the shops and eateries along Queen Street make for exciting indoor activities.
Discover Auckland's allure with a range of tours, including city heritage tours uncovering historic landmarks, Waiheke wine-tasting tours, and thrilling Auckland Harbour Bridge climbs.
Popular museums include the Auckland War Memorial Museum, known for its significant Māori and Pacific collections, and the Auckland Art Gallery, which boasts a vast collection of national and international art.
For rainy days, consider indoor audio tours of the Auckland Museum or the Auckland Art Gallery, or perhaps a culinary tour of the city's vibrant food scene, offering a taste of local flavors.
For those pressed for time, tours in Auckland that last one hour or less include a quick visit to the Sky Tower observation deck or a concise waterfront stroll and audio guide through the bustling Viaduct Harbour.

Best Things to Do In Auckland

Discover a vibrant city surrounded by natural wonders with our guide to the best things to do in Auckland.

Auckland: Mount Eden (Maungawhau)

What is it?
An extinct volcano featuring a grassy crater and panoramic city and harbor views.
Why you should go?
For a blend of natural beauty and cultural significance, venture to Mount Eden (Maungawhau), one of the most compelling Auckland activities for sightseers. As the highest natural point in Auckland, it offers not just a great workout but also the chance to grasp the expansive views of the city and its surrounding seascape. The site's cultural heritage, rooted in its history as a fortified Maori village, enriches the experience, making it a top thing to do in Auckland.

Auckland: Auckland Museum

What is it?
A monumental museum housing extensive Polynesian and Maori artifacts.
Why you should go?
The Auckland Museum is an architectural gem that presents an impressive collection key to understanding New Zealand's history. Exhibits range from the country's natural history to its military involvement, with a special focus on Maori and Pacific Island heritage, providing a profound insight into the area's indigenous cultures. This thought-provoking museum stands as one of the best Auckland tours where history buffs can immerse themselves in the stories that have shaped this nation.

Auckland: Viaduct Harbour

What is it?
A lively waterfront precinct known for dining, nightlife, and maritime events.
Why you should go?
Viaduct Harbour is a bustling harbor-side district and a cornerstone for things to see in Auckland. With its upscale restaurants, vibrant bars, and luxury yachts dotting the marina, it's a perfect spot for soaking in the local lifestyle. Regular maritime events and the proximity to the New Zealand Maritime Museum enhance its appeal as a hive of activity day or night, and a must-visit on the list of fun things to do in Auckland.

Auckland: Queen Street

What is it?
Auckland's central hub for shopping, entertainment, and dining.
Why you should go?
Queen Street, the arterial road cutting through Auckland's heart, is a microcosm of the city's energetic urban life. This destination offers a robust shopping experience with high-end boutiques, international brands, and local shops. Along with the variety of historic theatres, contemporary eateries, and dynamic public spaces, it also provides a slice of Auckland's urban culture, making it a vibrant contender for places to visit in Auckland.

Auckland: Piha Beach

What is it?
A black-sand surf beach nestled against rugged cliffs and the Tasman Sea.
Why you should go?
For those compiling a list of what to do in Auckland with a dash of coastal adventure, Piha Beach is the answer. Known for its strong surf and wild landscape, Piha is not only a mecca for surf enthusiasts but also a haven for those seeking a retreat in nature. The majestic Lion Rock stands at the beach's edge, inviting climbers to reach its summit for majestic views, making Piha Beach one of the best things to do in Auckland.

Auckland: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

What is it?
A premier public gallery housing an extensive collection of national and international art.
Why you should go?
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki acts as a cultural beacon in the heart of the city, inviting art enthusiasts and curious visitors alike to engage with a diverse spectrum of artworks from historical masterpieces to contemporary expressions. With over 15,000 works on display, the gallery not only offers visual feasts but also hosts educational talks and interactive exhibits, making it a dynamic hub for creative minds and those pondering what to do in Auckland.

Auckland: Rangitoto Island

What is it?
A volcanic island offering adventurous hikes and breathtaking panoramic views.
Why you should go?
Accessible via a short ferry ride from Auckland, Rangitoto Island is an iconic natural landmark synonymous with Auckland activities. It's ideal for those seeking outdoor adventures. The summit hike through the world's largest pohutukawa forest offers an unparalleled opportunity to witness volcanic landscapes up close. The view from the top encompasses a 360-degree vista of the Hauraki Gulf, presenting photo-worthy scenes and one of the prime things to see in Auckland.

Auckland: Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium

What is it?
An underwater journey featuring Shark Dives and an Antarctic Encounter.
Why you should go?
Delve into an aquatic adventure at Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium, perfect for families and marine life enthusiasts looking for fun things to do in Auckland. Visitors get an up-close look at an amazing variety of sea creatures, including majestic sharks and playful penguins. The underwater tunnel and Antarctic ice adventure provide a unique encounter with marine biodiversity, while interactive displays offer informative and engaging moments for all ages.

Auckland: Auckland Zoo

What is it?
A conservation-focused zoo with a diverse array of animals and immersive habitats.
Why you should go?
As one of the most ethical zoos in the world, Auckland Zoo is a sanctuary for wildlife and an educational hub for conservation. Visitors can enjoy face-to-face encounters with native New Zealand species, and exotic animals from around the globe, making it one of the best things to do in Auckland for animal lovers. Engaging keeper talks and behind-the-scenes experiences add depth to every visit, emphasizing the zoo's mission to inspire action for wildlife and wild places.

Auckland: Auckland Harbour Bridge

What is it?
An architectural marvel offering Bridge Climbs and Bungy experiences.
Why you should go?
The Auckland Harbour Bridge stands as an epicenter of adventure for thrill-seekers and architecture mavens. The bridge climb takes participants to stunning heights for views of the cityscape, whereas the bungy jump provides an adrenaline-pumping plunge. As one of the significant Auckland tours, the bridge experience also educates on the structure's history and its role in connecting communities, making it a must-visit for those exploring the breadth of Auckland excursions.

TOP-5 tours in Auckland for first time visitors

  • Embark on an Auckland Heritage Tour and delve into the historical narratives that shape the city, uncovering significant places to visit in Auckland.
  • Explore the iconic Sky Tower with an audio guide illuminating fun things to do in Auckland while savoring panoramic city views.
  • Relish the lush landscapes of Waiheke Island, highlighted in our Waiheke Wine and Art excursion, one of the premier Auckland excursions for indulgent tastes.
  • Find out what to see in Auckland with a self-guided tour through the vibrant Auckland Domain, home to the renowned Auckland War Memorial Museum.
  • Cruise along the Waitematā Harbour on a self-guided audio tour, engaging with narrative guides pointing out various Auckland activities and sightseeing gems.

Fun things to do in Auckland with kids

Embarking on a family-friendly adventure in Auckland unveils an array of delightful attractions perfect for young explorers. Top the list with a visit to Auckland Zoo, where the wonders of wildlife come alive amidst immersive habitats. Children marvel at creatures from around the world, including the famed Kiwi, making for an enchanting and educational day out. Journey beneath the waves at Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium, where magical encounters await with underwater tunnels that offer up-close views of sharks, stingrays, and colorful fish. The interactive touch pools and Antarctic exhibit featuring penguins add to the thrill. For a burst of creativity and hands-on fun, MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology) provides an intriguing exploration of science and innovation through interactive exhibits and activities that fascinate curious young minds. These best things to do in Auckland craft unforgettable memories for families, blending learning, excitement, and the joy of discovery.

Things to do in Auckland with family

Auckland is a dream destination for families, offering a treasure trove of activities that cater to all ages. Dive into a day of discovery at the Auckland Zoo, a sanctuary where rare native animals and exotic species provide an unparalleled wildlife experience. Interactive encounters and extensive playgrounds make it a perfect spot for a family outing. Next, navigate to the maritime wonderland at Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium. It engages the imaginations of both kids and adults with its awe-inspiring shark tunnel and Antarctic Ice Adventure, home to jubilant penguins. For an educational twist, the interactive exhibits at MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology) captivate with insights into the ingenuity behind historical and modern innovations. The blend of technological marvels and hands-on displays ensure a visit filled with learning and laughter, cementing MOTAT’s status as one of the essential Auckland activities for families. These attractions rank as top places to visit in Auckland, each promising joyous moments and cherished memories.

Free things to do in Auckland

Auckland offers a wealth of experiences that won’t cost a dime yet are rich in enjoyment and wonder. A trek up the volcanic cone of One Tree Hill presents not only a refreshing workout but also a panoramic view of the city's skyline, alongside a chance to delve into the area's Maori and colonial history. Meanwhile, the Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, offers vast green spaces perfect for picnics, leisurely strolls, and the Wintergardens with its exotic plants and blooming flowers. For a cultural feast, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki welcomes visitors to peruse its impressive collection of art, featuring both New Zealand and international artists. Families, solo travelers, and everyone in between can unearth the riches of Auckland through these delightful activities that showcase the city's natural beauty and cultural vibrancy, securing their reputation as some of the best Auckland tours that won't break the bank.

Cheap things to do in Auckland

Exploring Auckland on a budget is an exhilarating adventure with many inexpensive attractions. Absorb the city's unique landscape at Mount Eden, a dormant volcano offering a scenic hike up to its summit where breathtaking 360-degree views can be enjoyed for just a few dollars if using public transport. The Auckland Botanic Gardens, with its collection of over 10,000 plants and themed gardens, provides a verdant retreat from urban life at no cost. Roaming these picturesque grounds offers educational insights and a soothing atmosphere. Blend maritime history and seaside charm by walking along with the vibrant Mission Bay Beach. Soak in the sun, relish the sea breeze, and treat yourself to a modestly priced gelato while watching the boats sail by. Each of these attractions encapsulates the diverse Auckland activities available that won't strain your wallet, ensuring that visitors can experience the best of this dynamic city in an affordable manner.

Things to do in Auckland for couples

Auckland is a haven for romance, offering a variety of experiences perfect for couples. Begin with a serene stroll through the enchanting Parnell Rose Gardens, where the fragrant blooms and picturesque setting create a backdrop straight out of a fairytale — ideal for a peaceful day out or a memorable picnic. For an evening to remember, visit the Sky Tower at sunset. The panoramic views across the city and beyond provide an intoxicating setting as the sky blazes with color — couple this with a dinner at the tower's revolving restaurant for a full experience. Adventure-loving couples can take a ferry to Waiheke Island, aptly nicknamed the "island of wine", to indulge in wine-tasting tours and intimate beach walks. These activities are not only some of the best things to do in Auckland but also ensure romantic moments are interwoven with the unique charm and beauty of New Zealand's metropolis.

Things to do in Auckland at night

Auckland's nightlife unfolds an array of enchanting experiences, perfect for night owls and adventure-seekers. Immerse in the celestial spectacle at the Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, where stargazing sessions and cosmic displays make for a stellar evening under the stars. It's an enlightening escape that couples education with awe-inspiring sky-watching. For those with a passion for performance, Auckland’s vibrant theatre scene offers nightly shows ranging from local plays to international blockbusters. The historic Civic Theatre is particularly noteworthy, providing an opulent setting for a cultured night out. Lastly, the Viaduct Harbour buzzes with an energetic mix of fine dining and casual eateries, alongside buzzing bars and nightclubs. A leisurely walk along the waterfront, with the city lights reflecting on the waters, leads to many spontaneous and scheduled music and cultural events, making it an essential stop for exploring Auckland after dark.