• Sign in / uponeworld
    Cathay Pacific
    10 things to do in Auckland, New Zealand
    Discover the City of Sails
    Best things to do in Auckland, the city of sails.
    Find the best fares to
    Auckland

    Auckland is New Zealand’s beating metropolis, ringed by volcanoes and whale-filled gulfs. It’s one of the most accessible points in the country with numerous flights from Hong Kong available with us, promising outdoorsy adventures with a colourful splash of history. 

    While Lord of the Rings fans will have to venture further afield to see Hobbiton and other filming locations, Auckland is a fantastic place to start your New Zealand journey. Here are a few of the best things to do in the City of Sails. 

    Whale Watching Auckland
    Whale Watching Auckland
    Whale Watching Auckland

    1.  Have a fin-tastic time 

    Auckland is just one of the gems along the Hauraki Gulf, an expanse of coastal water filled with sea creatures. Join a whale and dolphin watching tour to see the best of them, as the protected Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is home to rare species of whales, dolphins and seabirds. For those who want to learn a bit more about these flippered friends, Whale Watching Auckland offers tours on their marine research boats led by expert guides. Keep your eyes peeled and you might even spot a humpback whale.  

    Auckland Art Gallery
    Auckland Art Gallery
    Auckland Art Gallery

    2. Discover centuries of Auckland art history 

    Gigantic kauri wood-hewn columns greet visitors as they enter the Auckland Art Gallery , setting the tone for the experience to come. With 17,000 works in its collection, it’s easy to get lost exploring the works of great Māori and Pacific Island artists throughout the ages, in addition to art from emerging Kiwi names. You’ll also find lovingly curated international works dating back hundreds of years spread throughout the heritage building’s galleries. You can also join a guided tour to learn more about the history of New Zealand creativity.

    Auckland's Sky Tower
    Auckland's Sky Tower

    3. Jump off the 328m Sky Tower 

    Rising like a needle over the Auckland skyline, the 328m high Sky Tower offers the best views of the city from its 360-degree platform. It isn’t just a cool place to watch the sunset, however – you’ll also find a casino, an immersive rugby All Blacks’ experience and tons of restaurants and bars soaking up the views. Thrill-seekers should book ahead if they’re keen to throw themselves off the tower with the SkyJump – a modified bungee jump off of a 192m high platform – or the SkyWalk, where visitors get to walk around the rim of the building. For those who still want an adrenaline rush on solid ground, the VR SkySlide experience takes visitors across a virtual rollercoaster slide which zooms past the Auckland skyline. 

    Mount Eden

    Credit: Getty Images

    Mount Eden

    Credit: Getty Images

    4. Scale Mount Eden 

    This sacred mountain is the tallest volcano in Auckland and you’ll find pictures of its verdant volcanic cone in all your guidebooks. Overgrown with lush greenery, bring a camera to snap the Auckland skyline from the top. Once inhabited by ancient tribes in the past, modern residents have transformed Mount Eden village into a thriving community filled with some of Auckland’s best indie shops, cafes and restaurants. World-class cricket and rugby matches are also held at the gigantic Eden Park stadium – not to be confused with Eden Garden , a memorial garden filled with stunning local flora.    

    Viaduct Harbour's Hello Beasty
    Viaduct Harbour's Helly Beasty
    Viaduct Harbour's Hello Beasty

    5. Wander the waterfront 

    Gleaming superyachts, buzzy restaurants and trendy shops line Auckland’s waterfront, with neighbourhoods like Viaduct Harbour and Queen’s Wharf becoming popular hangout spots. Grab a table at Hello Beasty or Grand Harbour Chinese for some of the best Asian fare in the city, or head to the heritage-listed events space Shed10 in Queen’s Wharf, where there’s always something on.  

    Auckland Domain
    Auckland Domain

    Credit: Getty Images

    Auckland Domain

    Credit: Getty Images

    6. Traipse through the Auckland Domain 

    The city’s oldest and largest park, Auckland Domain is 75 hectares of neat green lawn. Built on the site of a former volcano called Pukekawa, it has drawn in visitors over the centuries to explore its botanical Wintergardens enclosures, native forests and amphitheatre located in what was once Pukekawa’s volcanic cone. History buffs can also stop by the Auckland War Memorial Museum, a tribute to those who have laid down their lives for the country. 

    Otara Markets

    7. Bargain hunt at Otara Markets 

    Otara Markets has been running for decades and in that time, this sprawling flea market has only grown in size, with stalls touting everything from vintage finds to exquisite pieces hewn by Maori and Samoan craftspeople. Running on Saturdays from 6am, it’s a fantastic way to spend a morning or afternoon. You’ll find a range of street food vendors and live music acts, giving a laidback charming feel to weekends in the city. 

    Waitakere Ranges

    Credit: Getty Images

    Waitakere Ranges

    Credit: Getty Images

    8. Hike the Waitakere Ranges 

    Get your hiking gear on and head out to the Waitakere Ranges, where waterfalls, forests and black sand beaches provide natural spectacles for eager trailwalkers. Sites such as the grand Karekare Falls and the birdwatching hotspot Muriwai should be at the top of every to-do list. Unfortunately due to a disease affecting New Zealand’s scarlet kauri trees, some of the trails occasionally close to facilitate their recovery – keep an eye on Auckland Council’s up to date map on trail opening details before your visit.

    Waiheke Island

    Credit: Getty Images

    Waiheke Island

    Credit: Getty Images

    Waiheke Island

    9. Wine your way through Waiheke Island 

    Squeeze in a day trip to Waiheke Island , New Zealand’s famed ‘Island of Wine’. Its fertile soil is home to striking forests and – as you’ve probably guessed – vineyards, with over 30 different wineries producing some of the country’s – and maybe the world’s – best wines. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, this charming place is also filled with sun-drenched landscapes ideal for watersports, cycling and other nail-biting adventures. From coastal forest walks to deep sea fishing along the Hauraki Gulf, there’s more to Waiheke than just vino. You might just even be tempted to stay a second night. 

    Rangitoto Island

    Credit: Getty Images

    10. Trek across Rangitoto Island

    Crimson pohutukawa trees fill Rangitoto Island, a mysterious volcanic isle which emerged from the water six centuries ago. An easy day trip from Auckland, Rangitoto is accessible by regular ferries from Auckland’s downtown pier, and hikers should make the island a priority. You’ll find most people tackling Rangitoto Summit Walk, which winds across charcoal lava fields and through the world’s largest pohutukawa forest, eventually revealing panoramic views of Auckland at the apex of the walk. With lava caves, secluded beaches, kayaking spots and shipwrecks for divers to explore, just remember to pack your own lunch and water as there are no shops on the island .

    Hero image: Getty Images 

    More inspiration

    Auckland travel information