Best Things To Do in Auckland

Here you will find a list of the best things to see and do in Auckland so you won't miss anything. Get ready for beautiful nature and a cosmopolitan city.

Lorena Morales

Lorena Morales

9 min read

Best Things To Do in Auckland

Vista de Auckland |©Glen Armstrong

Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and has a privileged location on the shores of the Pacific. It is a place where you can visit beaches, hills, extinct volcanoes and experience the diversity of landscapes of Oceania concentrated in one place.

But the attraction of this city is not only in the natural beauties, as it is a very active city where you can enjoy the intense cultural and nightlife and many options of tours in Auckland for you to enjoy to the fullest.

1. Meet the filming set of The Lord of the Rings

Hobbiton|©Hamed Al-Raisi
Hobbiton|©Hamed Al-Raisi

During your stay in Auckland, you can't miss the incredible film set of the movies The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It is a dreamlike setting located in the hills of the village of Matamata, about 160 km from the city.

If you take a tour to the Hobbiton film set, you will undoubtedly be fascinated by visiting the dens, the Shire and the Green Dragon Inn. There you can also enjoy a nice beer as if you were part of Middle Earth.

Please note that the set can only be visited when booking a guided tour to Hobbiton. Tours usually depart from Auckland by bus or car to the south and are full day tours.

Book a Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Tour

2. Admire the beauty of the city from its highest point

Sky Tower from Bottom|©Vadim Kudabaev
Sky Tower from Bottom|©Vadim Kudabaev

Undoubtedly, the epicenter of Auckland's tourist attraction is the Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. With its 328 meters high, it is the best place for you to enjoy a great 360-degree panoramic view of the big city.

From the tower you can see the landmarks of Auckland and also the volcanoes that surround it. That is why Sky Tower is always among the most recommended attractions, whether for short or 3-day stays in Auckland. In Sky Tower you can also find varied gastronomic options, since it has 3 restaurants and cafes where you can have lunch, dinner or refreshments.

And if you like extreme sports, in the Sky Tower you will satisfy all your expectations, since in this building you can sign up for activities such as skyjumping, a jump of 192 meters, and skywalking, a walk along the outer ring of the tower where there are no handrails.

More information

  • Location: Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD.
  • Hours: Monday and Tuesday 9.30am to 6pm and Wednesday to Sunday 9.30am to 8pm. Last admission is half an hour before closing time. Activities take place from 10 am to 5 pm.
  • General admission: about 25 EUR per person, 11 EUR for children under 14 and free for children under 5. Discounts are available for couples and families.
  • Value of the activities: Skywalk costs about 90 EUR per person and Skyjump, about 140 EUR per person (minimum age 10 years). It is recommended that you book these activities on the Sky Tower website.
  • Tip: if you visit Auckland in November you can not miss it, as it celebrates the annual Guy Fawkes Festival, which offers a great fireworks display.

Book a guided tour of Auckland

3. Tour Auckland's main thoroughfare

Queen Street, Auckland|©allhails
Queen Street, Auckland|©allhails

One of the main attractions of Auckland is Queen Street, its main street. Walking along this artery of the city, considered the commercial heart of Auckland, will give you the chance to experience the best of local dining, entertainment and shopping, while admiring the city's iconic historic buildings.

It is also often visited when booking a guided tour of Auckland, so you don't have to walk it alone.


On Queen Street you will find stores to suit all tastes and budgets, from big brands to small businesses. It is an excellent opportunity to go out in search of gifts, so you can't miss it in your itinerary through Auckland. 10 Things to do in Auckland at Christmas.


Queen Street offers outdoor events at any time of the year. More specifically, this street is home to New Zealand's largest arcade. Options include movies, sensory maze, miniature golf, bowling and arcade games.


Queen Street is a street full of restaurants, cafes and food businesses that offer, in addition to the typical local dishes, classic French, Scandinavian, Asian, and Mexican dishes, among others. That's why a tour of this street is usually included in Best Food Tours of Auckland.

Also in Queen Street there are tours of beer in Auckland and cider, two characteristic products of New Zealand that invite you to know the city from a different point of view.

Book a guided tour of Auckland

4. Learn about Auckland's cultural heritage

Auckland Art Gallery|©Ash Moore
Auckland Art Gallery|©Ash Moore

Auckland is a city that offers many cultural options, among them, the great variety of museums with historical exhibitions, science, classical art and contemporary art. In these museums you will find from Maori treasures and relics of the war era, to aviation and maritime exhibitions, among others.

Here is a list of the best museums in Auckland, so you can visit the ones that interest you the most:

  • The Auckland Art Gallery, which is the largest art museum in New Zealand with a large collection of paintings, sculptures and multimedia exhibits.
  • The Auckland War Memorial Museum, where you can learn about New Zealand's military history and achievements. It was created as a tribute to the citizens who lost their lives during the First World War.
  • The MOTAT, which is the Museum of Transport and Technology and features technological and aviation exhibits.
  • The Maritime Museum of New Zealand, whose exhibits will allow you to learn about the life of the first settlers of the region. You can also take a ride on an antique ship.
  • The Howick Historical Village, where you can see the exact recreation of a colonial village in the suburb of Howick, with original Victorian houses and cottages.

Outdoor cultural activities

If you are interested in learning more about the city's cultural heritage and visit Auckland in October, you can't miss the Auckland Heritage Festival, which also has free admission.

And if you prefer to know the heritage of the city in a different way, a good option is to book a bike tour of Auckland and tour Auckland on wheels, it is also a fun way to visit the most representative sites.

Book a bike tour in Auckland

5. Tour the wonderful natural sites of Auckland

Mercer Bay Loop Walk|©Martin Wilson
Mercer Bay Loop Walk|©Martin Wilson

If you like hiking and connecting with nature, in Auckland you will find many places to go with landscapes that seem out of a fairy tale. You have several options to choose from depending on the difficulty you are looking for in your tour, the distance and the time you want to walk.

  • The Mercer Bay Loop walk: is one of the best things to do in summer in Auckland. It is a low difficulty circuit through the Waitakere Ranges rainforest.
  • The Te Henga Walkway hike: perfect if your physical condition allows something more demanding. It is 10 km long along the west coast of Auckland.
  • Kitekita Falls Trail of about 3 km.
  • Karekare Falls Trail, less than 1 km long. These last two are ideal if you visit Auckland in December, when the high season has not yet started.

And if you prefer to explore nature in a group, I recommend booking a tour of Auckland's beaches and rainforest.

Book a tour of beaches and rainforest

6. Enjoy the beach and the sea

Auckland beach|©barry
Auckland beach|©barry

In Auckland the weather is mild all year round, so there is no excuse to miss its incredible beaches and for all tastes, as some are urban and very frequented by tourists. Others, on the other hand, being more isolated, offer a more serene atmosphere and are perfect for connecting with the natural environment.

You can also take advantage of your stay in the city to take a cruise on the sea, such as booking a cruise around the port of Auckland.

There are many options for Auckland harbor cruises, but all usually last about two hours and include dinner. They are ideal for enjoying Auckland at night and appreciating the beauty of the sunsets from the waters.

Book an Auckland Harbour Cruise

7. Delve into the old suburb Parnell Village

Parnell Village, Auckland|©Maureen M.
Parnell Village, Auckland|©Maureen M.

Just minutes from the city center is Auckland's oldest and most affluent suburb, a place steeped in history and heritage that also boasts the trendiest places to eat, shop and enjoy: Parnell Village.

There you'll find, among other things, Auckland's best designer stores, select jewelry stores showcasing handmade goods, and art galleries with productions by artists from all over New Zealand.

It is one of the Hop on Hop off bus stops in Auckland, which is one of the easiest and most comfortable ways to tour the city, so don't hesitate to book an Auckland bus tour.

Book an Auckland bus tour

8. Discover Auckland's markets

Farmers Market at Britomart|©White Heron Dairy
Farmers Market at Britomart|©White Heron Dairy

Visiting the markets of Auckland is an experience not to be missed if you want to get to know the local culture and buy local produce. There are several markets to choose from and each one has its own unique charm, so here is a list of some of the most popular in the city and its surroundings:

  • The Clevelan Farmers Market, which offers very fresh local produce, such as freshly picked fruits and vegetables, honey and jams. It is located on a farm on the outskirts of the city and is open on Sunday mornings.
  • Britomart Market, a market with many food and drink stalls that also sells fresh local produce and handicrafts. It is located in the center of the city and is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. approximately.
  • Avondale Market, which has over 100 stalls selling everything from fresh produce to clothing and books. It is open on weekends in the evenings.

During the winter months is usually when they are less crowded. So if you are visiting Auckland in July or wondering what to do in August in Auckland, keep in mind that visiting the markets can be a very good option to have a nice time in the cold.

9. See the city from the inactive volcanoes

volcano in Auckland|©Brian Aslak
volcano in Auckland|©Brian Aslak

That Auckland is built in an area of dormant volcanoes is the first thing we learned when we took the transfer from the Auckland airport to the hotel. It turns out that there are more than 50 volcanoes in the region and visiting them is a great opportunity to admire the best panoramic views of the city.

At 196 meters, Mount Eden is the highest in and around Auckland. From its summit, you can get incredible 360-degree views of Auckland, its harbor and the Pacific. Located only about 5 km from the city center, it is one of the best excursions you can do from Auckland.

Mount Maungauika, which was a military fortress during the world wars, is also a place that offers a privileged view from the heights. It is ideal if you visit Auckland in February, when temperatures are warmer and you can enjoy the outdoors.

10. Enjoy the plant wonders of the Winter Garden

Auckland Domain Wintergardens|©Barry Peck
Auckland Domain Wintergardens|©Barry Peck

Wintergarden, the winter garden, consists of two large domed-roofed greenhouses, one of which has a tropical climate as it is heated. The site has been created especially for Auckland's wintertime enjoyment of plant species from around the world.

The Wintergarden is located within the city's oldest park, the Auckland Domaine, and admission is free. If you visit Auckland in June, when temperatures are cooler, you can tour the warm greenhouse and admire tropical plants and flowers.

Wintergarden also has a large fern garden at the back and a place where you can have breakfast, lunch or tea, the Winter Garden Pavilion Café, with a beautiful view of the gardens.