Auckland is an amazing city to visit with plenty to do all year round! Whether you’re into nature and animals or you just want to go nuts with the shopping, this city is a little gem with a hell of a lot to offer. Take a look at my top 5 picks for things to do in Auckland.
If you’re staying in Auckland, there’s no doubt you’ll want to know what all the fuss is about when it comes to their islands. Catch the ferry to Rangitoto Island, a volcanic island that’s virtually untouched by humans. There are no cafes or fancy restaurants on this island so you’ll have to eat on the ferry or pack your own lunch. The trip to the island was easily one of my favourite things to do in Auckland. The view from the top makes the climb well worth the exercise!
(*Note: they are a number of shorter and longer walks to pick, each are given to you on a map when you book your tickets to the ferry.)
Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium
I don’t usually enjoy visiting aquariums normally because I find that they’re usually the same thing. But Auckland aquarium had one feature that my boyfriend and I just couldn’t pass up and that was the FREE shuttle bus that’s in the shape of a shark. Yep. A shark! The bus does round trips every ten minutes, picking you up from Queen Street and dropping you off at the aquarium and back. Besides the bus there are a number of exhibits that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. My favourite was the giant squid!
It’s pretty hard to miss the Sky Tower, so why not take a look inside? The tower dominates Auckland’s skyline so you’ll have no trouble finding it on foot. Head to the top floor of the tower on a glass-floored elevator and you’ll get 360 degree views of the entire city (and beyond on a clear day). There’s a cafe on the top floor too! If you’re a lot braver than I am you can also bungee jump from the roof of the tower.
Tell anyone in Sydney that you’re planning a trip to New Zealand and they will most likely recommend Mission Bay. The beach here is meant to be one of the nicest beaches in Auckland. Unfortunately I was there in winter so swimming was a no-go. But Mission Bay was a lovely place. There’s a main street which isn’t anywhere as busy as the beaches in Sydney and NSW. Along the street is a bunch of restaurants, bars, cafes and of course, ice cream shops.
If you want to head out from Auckland, Devonport is a great little island worth exploring. My boyfriend and I caught the ferry across for lunch and some shopping. We didn’t walk up to the top of the hill because it was far too windy but we were told the views were worth it. The main street which the ferry drops you off near is lined with music stores, book stores and a variety of cafes and restaurants. Keep in mind that a lot of these restaurants will be closed of a Sunday. It’s worth taking a stroll along the beach too!
Queen Street is a great place to start when it comes to shopping. Not only are there plenty of clothing stores, souvenirs stores and take away shops on the street, but there are also a number of shopping centres off the main the street itself. Whether you’re after cheap clothing, high end fashion or even a good coffee and a bite to eat, Queen Street has got it all! You’ll also find other things to do on Queen Street such as bowling, mini golf or my personal favourite, Odyssey Sensory Maze.
Don’t forget to check out my review of Mercure Auckland Hotel.
What are you planning on seeing on your trip to Auckland?