Best Tours of Auckland

Visiting Auckland at any time of the year can be an unforgettable experience, thanks to its natural beauty and intense cultural life. So here is a guide to help you organize your trip with the best tours to see all that Auckland has to offer.

Lorena Morales

Lorena Morales

12 min read

Best Tours of Auckland

Vista de Auckland |©Roxanne Bourdages

Auckland is a city surrounded by lush nature, where you can take a variety of tours, from tours of the most emblematic sites of the city, and walks along the Pacific coast, to sunset cruises and visits to Hobbiton, where one of the most blockbuster sagas of recent times was filmed.

These tours are among the best things to do in Auckland, so here is a list of the most interesting ones, so you can choose the ones that best suit your travel style.

1. One day tour of Auckland city and beaches

Beach Auckland|©Frenchy Virg
Beach Auckland|©Frenchy Virg

Full day tours of Auckland are the most recommended 3 days in Auckland or less, as you will get to know the main sites of Auckland and the best of the surrounding nature, accompanied by experienced local guides who will give you a very informative tour.

These full day tours last approximately 8 hours, from early morning to sunset. Some include lunch, but not all, so it is recommended that you bring snacks, water and money to eat at a restaurant. It can also be done by children, although some tours require a minimum age.

Among the Auckland sites you will visit on these tours are Devonport Village, Mission Bay beaches, Mount Eden (the highest in Auckland), the West Coast, Parnell Road shopping street, Kumeu Wine Trail vineyards, Piha Volcanic Beach and Karekare Falls. Don't forget to bring comfortable clothes and shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses.

Details of interest

  • Price: about 200€ per person.
  • Duration: about 8 hours.
  • Means of transportation: car for a maximum of 18 people.
  • Advantages of this option: in just one day you will get to know the main attractions of Auckland, both the city and its nature.
  • Disadvantages of this option: you may be left wanting to visit some places for a longer period of time.

Book a tour of the beaches and rainforest

2. Tour of the panoramic views of Auckland

Auckland by night|©Julia Franco
Auckland by night|©Julia Franco

One of the best ways to enjoy Auckland is from the heights, that is, going to its panoramic viewpoints. Being a city built on an island where dormant volcanoes abound, there are many places that can give you a nice view of the surroundings.

If you have little time to get to know Auckland and want to get a general idea of its beauty, this tour will be ideal for you. Many of these tours pick you up from your hotel and take you, for example, to the North Shore, where you will see the incredible panoramic views over Waitemata Harbour and the imposing Auckland Harbour Bridge.

This is a tour that children can take and they usually offer discounts for families. They are full day and start early in the morning. They are perfect experiences to learn about the history, culture and nature of the region, as the local guides will inform you about everything.

Some of the highlights of these tours are:

  • Devonport, from where you can have a fantastic view of the Auckland skyline.
  • Mission Bay, with its beautiful and quiet beach.
  • The picturesque coastal route Tamaki Drive.
  • Achilles Point and Bastion Point, from where you can see the volcanic island of Rangitoto.
  • Mount Eden, the highest point of the North Island, from where you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view.
  • North Head, a volcano that offers wonderful views.
  • Muriawai Beach, on the West Coast, where you can observe colonies of native birds.
  • The vineyards of the Kumeu Wine Trail.
  • The Auckland Museum.

Details of interest

  • Price: about 120€ per person.
  • Duration: about 8 hours.
  • Means of transport: minivan or minibus.
  • Advantages of this option: in a few hours you will be able to thoroughly experience Auckland's scenery from the main panoramic points.
  • Disadvantages of this option: you may be left wanting to stay a little longer at some of the attractions.

Book the Kumeu wine tour

3. Lord of the Rings Film Set Day Tour

Hobbiton Road|©David Chin
Hobbiton Road|©David Chin

One of the best tours from Auckland that you can't miss is a visit to Hobbiton, the film set of Tolkien's saga, where the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies were made. In the Shire you will see the 44 hobbit houses and the gardens that make up this 4.5 hectare set.

On this full-day excursion, which starts early in the morning, you will pass through the Waikato region, where you will be able to contemplate the unmissable views of the landscape, until you reach Matamata, where the Hobbiton film set is located.

This tour is organized in small groups, with an expert guide who will inform you about the themes of interest of the movies, as well as anecdotes and information about the landscape surrounding the set. It is a tour that can be done with children, but keep in mind that there is a lot of walking involved. It runs all year round, and in all weather conditions.

Lunch stops are at the Green Dragon Inn, where you can take the opportunity to have a beer and feel like you are part of the magic of Middle-earth. Most tours include lunch and drink, and discounts for the gift store.

Details of interest

  • Price: around 100€ per person.
  • Duration: about 11 hours.
  • Means of transport: minibus for about 7-12 people.
  • Advantages of this option: you will get to know the wonderful film set of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Disadvantages of this option: due to the uneven terrain it is not recommended for wheelchair users.

4. Tour around Auckland by tour bus

Auckland Bus|©Dermis50
Auckland Bus|©Dermis50

A very interesting way to get to know Auckland is to take a tour in a tourist bus, as it allows you to see the different attractions of the city at your own pace and in a comfortable way. With the Auckland Hop on Hop off Bus you can get off at each tourist attraction and get back on when you have finished your tour. Buses run approximately every 30 minutes at each stop.

Buses run during the day, from morning until approximately 5 p.m., and you can hire them for one day, or choose a two-day combo if you are staying longer in the city. Many buses include commentary in English about the attractions you visit, and provide interesting information about each of them.

Among the stops these buses make are the Sky Tower, the city center, Auckland Art Gallery, Newmarket, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Holy Trinity Cathedral, the New Zealand Maritime Museum and Parnell Village.

Details of interest

  • Price: about 50€ for adults, about 20€ for children and children under 4 years free.
  • Duration: about 8 hours maximum for each contracted day.
  • Means of transport: tourist bus.
  • Advantages of this option: it allows you to see the best of Auckland at your own pace.
  • Disadvantages of this option: you may have to wait some time to get on the bus after visiting each site.

Book a bus tour of Auckland

5. Cruise tour from Auckland Harbour

auckland cruise|©JParoundtheworld
auckland cruise|©JParoundtheworld

Auckland is a fantastic city, with many things to do, and one of its distinctive features is that it has two natural harbors, from where you can board a cruise to see the most emblematic of the city and the nature that surrounds it from the ocean. Undoubtedly, you can take one of the best cruises in Auckland from these coasts.

In these excursions, the specialized captain usually tells you interesting facts about the city, while you enjoy a delicious dinner on board. Some tours, although suitable for children, require a minimum age to hire them.

If you opt for this experience, be sure to let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements. Alcoholic beverages are not usually included in the menu, but you will be able to buy them at the bar on board. Please note that this activity only takes place in good weather, so it is a good option if you are visiting Auckland in the summer.

Interesting details

  • Price: about 90€ per person.
  • Duration: 2 hours and a half approximately.
  • Means of transport: sailboat with up to 18 people.
  • Advantages of this option: includes dinner and welcome drink.
  • Disadvantages of this option: can be suspended due to bad weather. There are age restrictions.

Book an Auckland Harbour Cruise

6. Rotorua Geothermal Park Tour

Rotorua Area|©denisbin
Rotorua Area|©denisbin

Rotorua Geothermal Park and Adventure Park, is one of the main tourist destinations in the North Island, an area known for its great thermal activity, which has geysers and hot mud pools coming from the Rotorua caldera.

It is a full day tour, starting early in the morning. It is done in small groups and children can participate, although there may be a minimum age requirement. The first destination is the Waikato countryside, where it is usual to stop for breakfast.

Upon arrival in Rotorua, a guide will take you by car to the most famous sites of the city, while telling you the main facts of interest. There you can visit Lake Rotorua, the city's museum, its gardens and the blue baths.

These types of tours usually give you free time to walk around and explore the site at your own pace, and to add optional attractions to your itinerary at an additional cost. These optional destinations may include Te Puia, the Wai-O-Tapu geothermal area, the Polynesian spa and the Skyline cable car.

Details of interest

  • Price: about 150€ including entrance fees to several attractions.
  • Duration: about 12 hours.
  • Means of transport: minibus.
  • Advantages of this option: you will visit one of the main tourist areas with thermal activity.
  • Disadvantages of this option: does not include food and beverages.

Book a tour to Rotorua

7. Gastronomic tour with a local expert

Restaurant in Auckland|©Ray Tomes
Restaurant in Auckland|©Ray Tomes

It is often said that a good way to get to know a place is to try its cuisine, and this is what these specialized tours offer. An expert guide will lead you through markets offering wine, jams and fresh produce, and tasty dishes in a tour lasting around 4 hours.

Visiting the Auckland Fish Market and Farmers Market is an essential part of the best food tours. The guide will tell you about local ingredients and recipes, and then you will enjoy lunch with your tour companions, which are usually no more than 6 people. Many tours include all food and beverage tastings, though not all.

Some food tours also show you the most representative sites of the city and usually include stops at some of them, such as Mount Eden and Auckland Park. This is an excursion that children can do, but be sure to mention if they have any special dietary requirements.

These tours usually include a wine tasting of local wines, as there is an important wine production in Auckland. If you are particularly interested, you can book a more specific wine tour, to tour and experience the best of the region's vineyards.

Details of interest

  • Price: around 150€ per person.
  • Duration: between 40 minutes and 2 hours depending on the tour.
  • Means of transportation: minivan.
  • Advantages of this option: in a tour with a guide you will be able to learn about the tastes, ingredients and typical recipes of Auckland.
  • Disadvantages of this option: portions may be small.

8. Bicycle tour of Auckland City

BIKE TOUR|©Antoine
BIKE TOUR|©Antoine

If you want to try a different way of getting to know the picturesque city of Auckland, I recommend touring it on an electric bike. These half-day tours, which take you to discover the city in an experiential way, are most entertaining.

On these tours, you will ride through the favorite places of locals and tourists, and get to know the most emblematic neighborhoods, such as Parnell Village. Please note that food and beverages are usually not included, so be sure to bring your snacks and water bottle.

Electric bike tours are great because they are conducted with specialized guides who tell you passionately about the culture and history of the area and answer all your questions. They are done in small groups and provide you with all the equipment you need, including a helmet and a raincoat in case it rains.

Due to the characteristics of the tour, most of these tours cannot be done by children, and may have conditions regarding the weight and height that the bicycles can support. Remember to wear appropriate clothing and footwear to better enjoy the tour.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 87€ per person.
  • Duration: between 3 and 4 hours.
  • Means of transport: electric bicycle.
  • Advantages of this option: you will have the chance to see the sights of Auckland in an entertaining way.
  • Disadvantages of this option: does not include refreshments. It is not suitable for children.

Book a bike tour in Auckland

9. Kumeu Winery Tour

Planting in Kumeu|©Karl Hipolito
Planting in Kumeu|©Karl Hipolito

Auckland is home to a wine region of Croatian origin, dating back to the 1930's. It is the Kumeu Winery, located in the northwest of Auckland, not far from downtown. Besides tasting delicious wines, visiting this winery is an opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

These tours usually include the transfer from the hotel or meeting point, a typical coastal lunch at a local restaurant and the tasting of the best wines selected from internationally renowned wineries. All this while enjoying the paradisiacal landscapes of the ocean coast.

This activity is ideal for relaxing, as it is done in small groups. The wineries that are toured are 3, and may vary the wineries depending on the day you go. The good thing is that wine tastings and lunch are included, and many of these tours are open to children and babies.

If wine is not your thing, you can sign up for a beer tour of Auckland, which will show you the city from a different point of view.

Interesting details

  • Price: from 160€ per person.
  • Duration: approximately 5 hours.
  • Means of transport: minibus.
  • Advantages of this option: lunch in a restaurant and tastings in the different wineries are included.
  • Disadvantages of this option: not accessible for wheelchair users.

Book the Kumeu wine tour

10. Coast and rainforest tour

Auckland Coast|©Gurtej Singh
Auckland Coast|©Gurtej Singh

A few 30 minutes from downtown Auckland, you will find the Arataki Visitor Center, which is the gateway to the coastal rainforest and all the natural grandeur of this place. This is a highly recommended tour if you want to appreciate the flora and fauna of the place, and learn much more about the history and culture of the Maori.

The excursions to the rainforest and western beaches are always conducted with qualified guides, with a lot of knowledge of the place, who inform and explain everything about the area, and clear all the doubts that arise, while you walk into the nature.

In many of these tours, lunch is usually included. Picnics are held on the coast with soft drinks, coffee or tea, with cookies. Prepare appropriate and comfortable clothing and footwear for this excursion, bearing in mind that the hike is long and includes stairs, and that it takes place in almost all weather conditions.

Details of interest

  • Price: around 100-160€ per person.
  • Duration: approximately 5 to 7 hours.
  • Means of transport: minibus to and from the site and then on foot.
  • Advantages of this option: you will learn with an expert guide everything related to Maori culture, and the importance of traditions, as well as all the information about the flora and fauna.
  • Disadvantages of this option: you must be in good physical condition.

Book a tour of the beaches and the rainforest

11. Dolphin and whale watching cruise

Bay of Islands|©Karel & Denise
Bay of Islands|©Karel & Denise

If you are passionate about marine wildlife, or you are curious to see them in their natural environment in a non-intrusive way, you can sign up for this dolphin, whale, bird and other marine mammal watching cruise in the Hauraki Gulf. It is a tour of about 4 hours that usually takes place in the morning.

It is a perfect tour to do with children, as the guide tells you all about these ocean animals and you can learn a lot about their way of life. In addition, many of the tour companies contribute to the conservation of these marine species.

Most tours do not include food and drinks, but you can buy them on board or bring your own food if you prefer. It is also advisable to bring a raincoat, hat and sunscreen.

Details of interest

  • Price: around 100€ per person.
  • Duration: 4 hours and a half approximately.
  • Means of transportation: cruise.
  • Advantages of this option: you will be able to see dolphins and whales in their natural habitat, and contribute to their conservation.
  • Disadvantages of this option: does not include food and beverages. The sighting of marine animals is not guaranteed.

Book a dolphin and whale watching cruise