Auckland Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Discovering one by one the must-see destinations of Auckland will not be a complicated task during your stay. Avoid long walks and tour the city aboard its tourist bus.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

Auckland Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Transito en Auckland |©pydum

Auckland is a city belonging to New Zealand with many tourist destinations to visit: the iconic Sky Tower viewpoint, the Mission Bay beach promenade, the zoo, Mount Eden, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, among others. Whether outdoors or indoors, fun is guaranteed.

Among the best things to do in Auckland is the scenic tour that you can take aboard the city sightseeing bus during the day. You can make the full circuit to see the city from the second floor of the bus, while listening to the history of each place as you pass by. In addition, you can get on and off as many times as you wish at the assigned stops, in order to visit the attractions of your interest.

The best tourist buses in the city

Yellow bus in Auckland|©Hobgoblin737
Yellow bus in Auckland|©Hobgoblin737

The Auckland sightseeing bus is the best option to tour the city without complications. Basically, you will be doing a guided sightseeing tour, but with the freedom of being able to get off at the desired stop to visit a certain destination and, hours later, get back on another bus. In addition, with the bus you have the option to save time and money because it also offers you access to combined tickets (tour + entrance to two attractions).

This tour in Auckland's bus with free stops takes place during the day and has a single route or circuit, belonging to the company Auckland Explorer Bus. The ticket to this experience is valid for 24 or 48 hours, depending on the option you select, and incorporates a series of commentaries through headphones. You will learn a little about the history of the city and the attractions as you pass by.

During the tour, you will be able to contemplate an urban and coastal panorama from the second floor of the bus. You will see the city streets, building facades, monuments, parks, hills and the crystal clear waters of the sea. You will pass through the Newmarket district, the Auckland Art Gallery, among other hidden corners of the city.

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Different Auckland sightseeing bus routes

Grey bus on avenue|©Ian Lynas
Grey bus on avenue|©Ian Lynas

The Auckland sightseeing bus has a unique route. It is a circuit that will allow you to discover the city center and the attractions located in the waterfront area. Along this scenic route, you will have a number of stops, where you can hop on and off at your convenience.

Some of them are:

  • Stop 1 (23 Customs Street East): you will find the first stop right in the center of Auckland. From there you can access the cruise ships, Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari, Britomart and Wynyard Quarter.
  • Stop 2 (corner of Hobson Street and Victoria Street W): there you will visit the famous Sky Tower, the special effects workshop at Wētā Workshop and All Blacks Experience.
  • Stop 3 (Wellesley Street East): you can take a look at the Art Gallery and Queen Street, Albert Park and Town Hall.
  • Stop 4 (359 Broadway): if you stop here, you'll enjoy the city's shopping district, Newmarket.

Other highlights where you can stop are usually:

  • Stop 5 (south entrance Auckland Domain): where is located one of the best museums in Auckland with important historical and cultural samples of New Zealand.
  • Stop 6 (Corner of St Stephens Ave and Parnell Rd, Parnell): this is a must stop if you are an enthusiast of sacred art and gothic architecture, as the Holy Trinity Cathedral is located there.
  • Stop 7 (Parnell Village bus stop outside of 279 Parnell Rd): in this area you will enjoy restaurants such as

Blue Elephant, Parnell 149 among others. In addition, you will see a number of historic buildings.

  • Stop 8 (Hapimana Street, Tamaki Dr, Orakei): when you get off the bus at this stop you can head to the Bastion Point Overlook and walk to Mission Bay Beach.
  • Stop 9 (23 Tamaki Dr, Orakei): you will have the opportunity to stop at Ses Life Kelly Tarlton's to observe rays, penguins, sharks, among other marine animals.

In any case, you can check the map of the route beforehand. This way, you will know which are the places where you want to stop.

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Advantages of using the Auckland Day Bus Tour

Auckland bus tour|©NETransport
Auckland bus tour|©NETransport

Among the best Auckland tours you will find the sightseeing bus tour with free stops at the most popular destinations. It is a very convenient circular route to explore the city avoiding long walks.

Whether you want to take a scenic drive through the city, or make a tour that allows you to stop and visit some attractions on your way, with this tour you get several advantages. Some of them are:

  • You will learn how to orient yourself in the city, since you will know the streets and the exact location of the tourist attractions.
  • You will be able to get on and off the bus as many times as you wish during 24 or 48 hours, using the same ticket.
  • You will learn part of the history of the city and discover some interesting facts about each of the attractions. All this, thanks to the commentary you will hear on the bus.
  • You will take amazing pictures from the second floor of the bus, capturing different panoramic views of the city.

Other advantages: Access to combined experiences

The Auckland sightseeing bus has a combined option with direct access to up to two attractions, which will save you significant time and money. You will be able to visit certain attractions without having to pay any extra entrance fee or queue at the ticket office.

Among the combined options to select you will find these:

  • Tour + one attraction: you can choose between the Sky Tower, the Wētā Workshop Unleashed, the All Blacks Experience, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life or the Explorer to Waiheke Island Paradise.
  • Tour + two attractions: you can choose between Sky Tower and Sea Life Kelly Tarlton, Sky Tower and Auckland Museum, Sky Tower and All Blacks, Sky Tower and Wētā Workshop or the Auckland Museum and Sea Life Kelly Tarlton.

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How long is the full Auckland sightseeing bus tour?

Bus tour on the street|©Kieran Proctor
Bus tour on the street|©Kieran Proctor

The full non-stop day sightseeing bus tour usually lasts approximately 60 minutes. However, if you decide to stop at the different attractions to enjoy them, then the time of this circuit could be extended to a full day.

Basically, the duration of the Auckland sightseeing bus tour route will depend on you. You can embark on the sightseeing tour and take a look at the city from the comfort of the second of the bus, which is ideal if you don't have much time during your stay.

You will also have the opportunity to hop on and off at the assigned stops to visit at your own pace the attractions that suit your tastes. For example, you can stop at Parnell Village (stop 7) and take advantage of the wide variety of restaurants concentrated there to embark on one of the best food tours in Auckland. Afterwards, you will board another bus to continue the tour.

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What will I see from the Auckland sightseeing bus by day?

Sky tower and the Auckland bus|©Clare Pulling
Sky tower and the Auckland bus|©Clare Pulling

From the Auckland sightseeing bus you will enjoy a panoramic view of the city. You will move through the main streets in the center of Auckland and its waterfront area. In this way, you will have at your disposal an amazing contrast between the best urban and natural scenery.

You will be amazed with the iconic image of the Sky Tower and the emblematic Gothic facade of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. You'll also pass through Parnell Village, with a panorama comprising sleek modern buildings, the park paths of the Auckland Domain and a distant view of the bay.

The circular route will give you a fairly unobstructed view of Waitematā Harbour as you pass Bastion Point and the majestic Mount Eden, located just around the volcanic peak Maungawhau. This especially during your visit to Auckland in summer, as when the sun's rays bathe these settings in light, they create a magical atmosphere.

You will also see the exterior of SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium, the Auckland Art Gallery, the botanical park, the Newmarket shopping district, among other corners of the city.

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How much does the Auckland sightseeing day bus ticket cost?

Range of money|© Alexander Mils
Range of money|© Alexander Mils

The Auckland sightseeing bus offers you a couple of passes: a 24-hour pass, whose average cost is 50 ¤, and a 48-hour pass, with a price starting from 60 ¤. You can select the option that best suits your needs.

In addition, each pass incorporates reduced and special prices. In fact, you have the combined option, which allows you to add the entrance to some specific attractions.

24-hour pass

The 24-hour Auckland Sightseeing Bus Pass is a good alternative to explore the city and its main attractions in a short time. The cost of the adult ticket is around 50€, while the children's ticket is around 25€. And, if you travel as a family (two adults and two children), the value of the pass starts at 130€.

48-hour pass

If you plan to spend 2 to 3 days in Auckland, then the 48-hour pass is the best option. You will have more time to get on and off the bus at the desired places, so you will be able to see a greater number of attractions.

The price of the 48-hour pass for adults is around €60, while the children's pass is approximately €30. Meanwhile, the family ticket (two adults and two children) has an average value of 160€.


With the combined option of the Auckland sightseeing buses, you can make the circular tour of the city with free stops and, in addition, have the ticket for up to two attractions. You can select between three combos, incorporated in both the 24-hour pass and the 48-hour pass.

Certainly the combinations available in the aforementioned passes are identical, but the prices vary between them by an average of approximately 10 ¤ and 5 ¤. These are the options that you can access:

  • 24-hour explorer bus + Sky Tower: the cost is approximately €80 (adult) and €35 (children).
  • 48-hour explorer bus + Sky Tower: the approximate value is 90€ (adult) and 40€ (children).
  • Explorer Bus 24 hours + Auckland Museum + Kelly Tarlton: the price starts at 110€ (adults) and 60€ (children).
  • 48 hours explorer bus + Auckland Museum + Kelly Tarlton: the amount to be paid is around 120€ (adults) and 65€ (children).
  • 24-hour explorer bus + Waiheke Island: the value of this tour and the entrance to the Auckland cruise on the majestic Waiheke Island is 120€ (adults) and 60€ (children).
  • 48-hour explorer bus + Waiheke Island: the tour and boat ride to access the island has an average cost of €130 (adults) and €65 (children).

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Auckland daytime Auckland sightseeing bus schedule

Auckland Explorer|©James Peter
Auckland Explorer|©James Peter

The Auckland sightseeing bus is available daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This is a schedule that, although it might seem a bit short, is quite convenient, as it accommodates the opening and closing times of the main attractions.

Each bus passes the assigned stops every 30 minutes, so you will enjoy a regular service throughout the day. However, if you visit Auckland in July or during the month of August, which are considered high season, you will get a large traffic flow. In this regard, the waiting time at bus stops may be a little longer.

Therefore, it is best to arrive at the first stop (Downtown Auckland) at 9:00 am. This way, you can make the most of your time and the tour route, being able to hop on and off the bus at your leisure to visit the attractions you have incorporated into your itinerary.

The last bus departs at 4:00 pm and the tour ends at 5:00 pm. This is a very convenient time if, for example, you need to connect at 18:00 or 19:00 hours with the transfer service to the Auckland airport to return home, but first you want to take a scenic tour to say goodbye to the city.

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How does the Auckland sightseeing bus operate?

Explorer yellow bus|©Hobgoblin737
Explorer yellow bus|©Hobgoblin737

Using the Auckland sightseeing bus is very easy. All you have to do is select and purchase the pass that suits you best during your stay. You will then receive a physical or digital QR code, which you will have to scan when you get on the bus. This way, you will activate the pass, having from that moment 24 or 48 hours to enjoy the service.

Every time you get on the bus you must show the code to the driver to validate it. The same applies to the combined option. When you arrive at the attraction, you will have to scan the QR code directly at the ticket office without queuing or making any payment. But remember that this pass can only be used once to access the attractions highlighted on it.

In the case of the 48-hour option, you can visit one attraction one day and the other the next day. However, when it comes to the bus tour, you can scan the code as many times as you wish throughout the day. This gives you the freedom to stop at the attractions or districts of your choice.

For example, you could get off at stop 4 (359 Broadway) and take advantage of this shopping district to do some shopping. Also, connect with one of Auckland' s best beer tours and embark on a tour of the bars, breweries and restaurants, which abound in this region. At the end, hop back on the bus and stop at another destination.

Book a bus tour of Auckland