This beautifully landscaped zoo is home to 138 different species and over 875 animals and it as the largest collection of native and exotic animals in New Zealand. The zoo is conveniently located just minutes from central city and truly has a lot to see including events, animal encounters, behind-the-scenes experiences and more.
This tropical butterfly bastion shows off a variety of 800 free-flying tropical butterflies on luscious grounds with waterfalls, ponds, flourishing foliage, turtles, fish and exotic birds. Ride the miniature Red Admiral Express train through the grounds and stop at the Buttermilk Farm petting zoo.
A dormant volcanic island - only a 25-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland - makes up part of the gorgeous scenery of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Hike to the summit of the volcano or stroll through the lush landscape of the lower fields. Accessible only by ferry (Fullers Auckland Harbour Cruises)
Cruising Auckland’s harbour is a spectacular way to see the city and its surroundings from a different perspective. Several different companies offer day, afternoon, dinner and overnight cruises for different prices: Island Escape Cruises +64 9 358 1717 www.islandescape.co.nz Fullers Auckland Harbour Cruises and Ferry Services Auckland Ferry Building +64 9 367 9111 [email protected] www.fullers.co.nz 360 Discovery Pier 4, 139 Quay Street, Downtown Auckland +64 9 307 8005 [email protected] www.fullers.co.nz
Set in one of the country’s finest heritage buildings, the museum has a wonderful display of over 2000 priceless Maori and Pacific treasures and artefacts, showing its culture and history. There is also a war memorial for the Auckland province, mainly to those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. Auckland Museum is the only venue in Auckland where visitors can also experience a Maori cultural performance daily. (3 times a day and last for 30 minutes.)
Located just outside Auckland, Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium houses thousands of marine animals from hundreds of species, including fish, turtles, sharks, penguins, stingrays as well as underwater viewing tunnels. This is truly a top attraction for the whole family and should definitely be on your to-do list when here.
Dedicated to one of New Zealand’s national obsession, this museum explores 1,000 years of seafaring history. Visit the themed galleries to learn how the first Polynesians got here or learn more about NZ’s most famous maritime pioneer among other things. New Zealand National Maritime Museum is a suitable attraction for both young and old.
The Sky Tower stands 328 meters tall, is an icon of Auckland’s skyline and is an exciting hub of adrenaline activities such as SkyJump or a place where to enjoy superb dining and breath-taking 360-degree views. At the base of the Sky Tower you will find the SKYCITY Auckland entertainment complex with restaurants, casino and a theatre. So when in Auckland, make sure not to miss this amazing attraction.
An archetypal planetarium with a guided tour of the Southern Hemisphere sky, Auckland Stardome Observatory is a unique and fun learning experience for all ages that allows you to observe the wonders of the universe. It doesn’t come as a surprise, that this is one of the Auckland region’s most popular and best loved attractions.
New Zealand is famous for its white wines, particularly its Sauvignon Blanc. A visit to a few of Auckland’s most renowned vineyards is a treat for any wine enthusiast. They will also ship any wine that you purchase on your tour for a very reasonable fee. You can also do some wine tasting at one of the Glengarry stores. (www.glengarrywines.co.nz) Or take wine tasting tour with Wine Trail Tours:
The ultimate island retreat with vineyards, olive groves and beautiful beaches, Waiheke Island is only a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. Known as the island of wine where some of New Zealand’s best red wines comes from. Due to the easy accessibility, Waiheke is an ideal day trip or why not stay over the night at any of the hotels?
With crystal clear waters and masses of colourful fish, Goat Island (New Zealand’s first and most accessible marine reserve), is a magnet for snorkelers and divers, located only an hour from Auckland’s city centre. Take the highly popular Glass Bottom Boat Tour, a fun and educational adventure for guests of all ages where to explore fish, fauna, marine life and birds that flourish in this protected reserve.
This horse riding experience takes you over the deserted white sands of Pakiri beach, through pine forests and past fresh water lakes. Owners Laly and Sharley Haddon are descendants of the Maori chief Te Kiri of Ngati Wai, and have a strong connection to the land and its ancestors. The Pakiri Horse Rides Farm is situated on lands that have been handed down for generations.
Discover an ancient Maori trail in the modern heart of Auckland City. The experienced guide will bring Auckland´s unique landscape alive by storytelling, song and customs. You will hear stories passed from generation to generation and experience Auckland’s most illustrated locations.
The Waitakere Ranges (Auckland's largest regional park), located only 30 kilometres from downtown Auckland, is the perfect place where to enjoy tranquillity and unique flora and fauna. One tour company who takes you to Waitakere Ranges is the multi-award winning tour company Bush and Beach Ltd who also offers other amazing tours, such as Hobbiton movie set tour, wine and food tours as well as city tours.
Auckland is home to the world’s first harbour bridge bungy jump, operated by the bungy originals – AJ Hackett Bungy. Jumpers leap over the Waitemata Harbour and are offered the experience of a lifetime! The bridge is 40 meters high and if you really want it to be even more thrilling, opt for a water-touch and enjoy a nice ocean dip!
Auckland Bridge Climb is a 1½ hour climb under, in, through and over Auckland’s iconic harbour bridge. Accompanied by a climb leader, this activity offers unique 360 degree views of the Hauraki Gulf, Viaduct Harbour and cityscapes. Full commentary covers the history, geology, geography and culture of Auckland, as well as some colourful secrets.
Stretching from Puhoi to Pakiri, the Matakana Coast is dotted with deserted bays with small islands and recreational reserves and offers some of the finest wines, arts, crafts and visitor attractions in rural New Zealand, all within an hour drive north of Auckland. Matakana also aims to be the first ‘Slow Food’ town in New Zealand.
A world-renowned wildlife sanctuary, Tiritiri Matangi is one of only two Open Scientific Reserves in New Zealand, situated in the Hauraki Gulf only a 75-minute ferry ride away from central Auckland. This is a protected haven for native and endangered species, and a true paradise for anyone who loves the nature and bird watching.
Situated at the top of the SkyTower building, 190 metres above the ground, Orbit Restaurant offers superb views of the city while rotating once every hour. A restaurant that offers a modern dining experience and where to relish delicious kiwi-inspired à la carte menu that features the best local and seasonal produce.
The restaurant, situated in the heart of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest marina, Westhaven, overlooking over thousands of yachts. A luxurious interior compliments the breath-taking views in this award-winning restaurant where the menu offers premium beef cuts and quality seafood, cooked with modern techniques while maintaining respect for traditional methods.
Named after an ancient district in Kyoto, Gion is a stylish, chic restaurant in the trendy Parnell area. Traditional sushi and inventive Japanese cuisine is served in a relaxing and warm environment. On the menu, you will find dishes like squid ring tempura, beef teriyaki and salmon sashimi.
Soul’s open air style dining is very popular among local business luncheons and international guests alike. The bistro prides itself on using the fines and freshest local produce, where seafood is an important ingredient. Grilled snapper, seared tuna but also meat dishes like pork belly schnitzel and roast lamb rack are all on the menu.
This French Café is consistently rated as the best fine dining restaurant in Auckland. The décor is intimate and sophisticated, and the food demonstrates owner and Chef Simon Wright’s total dedication to detail and quality. The menu offers contemporary European cuisine with fresh New Zealand ingredients and the wine list encompasses the best local labels as well as fine French wines.
The Engine Room, on Auckland’s Northcote Point, is a modern European restaurant set in a classic art deco building. The food is a blend of international peasant cuisines, modern bistro and revisited bistro classics. The local restaurant was the supreme winner of the 2007 Metro Restaurant of the Year awards.
Tony and Beth Astle have been running Antoine’s since 1973, and have earned the distinction of having owned and operated the longest running restaurant in New Zealand! Antoine’s provides the silver service with a modern approach and has a Nostalgia menu with long-time favourites and a weekly changing menu featuring modern New Zealand cuisine with French and Asian overtones, as well as seasonal New Zealand specialities.
The authentic tasty Thai food and the friendly service is what attract both locals and tourists to visit the restaurant. It is located in a cosy courtyard, down a small alley in Parnell. The fresh food is beautifully presented and make sure to get here with an empty stomach since the staff serves good sized portions.
Lord Nelson started as a simple kiwi steakhouse over 38 years ago and has expanded ever since. This popular restaurant serves some of the best succulent steaks in town but also offers fresh seafood, lamb, venison and chicken. The attentive staff serves big portion so make sure to get here with an empty stomach.
The name says it all, when dining here you will for sure get a full NY pizzeria experience, everything from the smell, the ovens, cosy booths and the vibrant ambiance will transport you to the Big Apple. Even all of their base ingredients are imported to New Zealand like Wisconsin mozzarella, California tomatoes, New York State milled flour, pepperoni, and meatballs.
Paneton offers delicious French baked goods, full breakfasts and coffee drinks, available for sit down or take away. This stylish bakery/café is well known for supplying top quality freshly baked bread and pastries and done it for over 25 years. So, if you have a sweet-tooth, make sure not to miss this place.
This is a trendy and yet a casual neighbourhood eatery, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. The café is nestled in suburban Parnell across from the well-known Rose Gardens and is very popular among the locals. Try the chocolate and coconut drink, a delicious combo that can´t go wrong.
Superb coffee and a variety of breakfast, brunch and lunch options make this busy café very popular amongst local Ponsonby and Grey Lynn residents. In addition, you can find freshly squeezed juices and smoothie on the menu and it all can be enjoyed in a casual, vibrant atmosphere.
Takapuna Beach Café has a beautiful location by the beachfront and offers an all-day menu that features fresh and healthy meals, which are prepared with locally sourced, ingredients. If you are craving for something sweet, then you should not miss their homemade gelato that comes in many yummy flavours.
If you are a big fan of ice cream, then do not miss this ice cream heaven, Giapo, where they serve original ice cream flavours. The owner has taken ice cream to a completely new level, experimenting, using art and science to create ice cream masterpieces. You almost need to pop in to see what all the fuss is about; it will be a gastronomical ice cream experience you will not forget.
At Little Bird Unbakery, they believe food should be three things: "mostly raw, definitely organic and full of goodness" so when dining here, you will be able to enjoy food made from scratch and free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. The fresh, healthy food, is served by friendly staff in a vibrant atmosphere and you can for sure eat here with a good conscience.
Situated in the city centre, opposite the Civic Theater, Remedy Coffee has an inner city vibe and is most of the time packed with regulars and delighted newcomers. Free WiFi is available as well as board games and an old school arcade machine. On the menu, you will find silky smooth coffee including sandwiches, wraps, bagels and much more.
It is all about pleasuring your sugar cravings when entering this cosy cafe that is so popular among many Aucklanders. Here you can sink your teeth into fresh pies, tasty pastries, doughnuts and cakes, which are all handmade from scratch. If the hunger kicks in, don´t worry, there is also food on the menu.
Another place not to be missed (especially if having a sweet tooth) is the famous Chocolate Boutique, a combined chocolaterie and café. Enjoy a range of desserts and sweet treats while soaking up the European vibe this café is oozing. Try their world-renowned Italian denso hot chocolate or the iced chocolate drink.
Opened in December 2011 and is located in the front of the old Victoria theatre in Devonport. Stylish and lively surroundings, with tasty treats and an enviable wine list. Didas Devonport is an ideal location for a drink and tapas prior to a movie, a late afternoon drink or a night out to catch up with friends. It is located 12 minutes from Auckland by Ferry.
The Fox is your typical sports bar, located in the heart of Auckland’s stunning Viaduct Harbour. Claimed to be one of the best places to watch sport, a place where all the major international and New Zealand sports are shown. The atmosphere is always on top and you can come here for lunch or dinner, either way you will not regret your choice.
Take the elevator 53 floors up and you will find this chic bar with a stunning view across the vibrant city of Auckland and with a decor that reminds of the 1930s Art Deco Italy. Be prepared to have a delicious cocktail with an exclusive New Zealand twist and when desiring for food, the menu provides small tasty seasonal plates.
Cassete Nine has multiple personalities, during the day you can come and grab a burger or a hot dog. At night, this is one of the party places in town with both DJ´s and local bands playing. Truly, a fun place that attracts a mix of people of all ages both locals and travellers.
Try your luck at SKYCITY Auckland Casino, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers a non-stop fun and excitement for their guests. All the most popular casino games are housed here including great live entertainment. When the hunger and thirst reminds you, there are great food and bar options here.
Situated on the third level of SKYCITY Auckland, Twentyone is a place to head for when looking for an epic night out with tasty cocktails and listen to the hottest DJs. The interior design is luxurious, creating a more of a sophisticated ambiance, making it a great place for after work drinks or late night clubbing.
With ultra-modern lounge atmosphere, dance the night away at one of Auckland’s premier nightlife destinations. EIGHT NightClub has some pretty cool state of the art LED lighting, unrivalled sound systems and some of the best DJs from New Zealand plays a mixture of the hottest pop music - come and see what it is all about!
High Street and the shopping area known as Chancery, are home to many fashion boutiques and designer stores – including Karen Walker, a famous Zealand fashion designer. The area, which also encompasses Vulcan Lane, O’Connell and Lorne Streets, is popular for trend spotting and streetwear shopping.
Built in 1901, this former city rubbish incinerator had its own electricity-generating steam boilers, heated by the rubbish-burning furnace, and stables for horses which pulled the garbage carts. Since its 1972 restoration, Victoria Park Market is now known for its maze-like collection of stalls, barrows and shops where you can find plenty of arts, crafts, clothes and ethnic specialities. There are more than 85 shops, cafes and restaurants housed here.
Nuffield Street, Newmarket, is a boutique-style destination with not only exclusive designer fashion fashion shops, but also dining places and homeware stores. The 29 new stores opened in August 2006, with nine of these brand new to New Zealand. Some of the stores located here are French Connection, Karen Millen, Mimco and Witchery.
Parnell Village is a historic shopping area five minutes east of the city with charming boutiques and cafés. Here you can explore designer stores, fine art and quirky shops offering everything from clothes, home decor to diamonds. Along Parnell Road, you will find art galleries that house local New Zealand artwork.
Ponsonby Road is a shopping destination for fashion aficionados and offers an array of clothing, furniture and designer lifestyle shops. Ponsonby is a five minute drive west of the central city with a combination of contemporary shopping and café dining. This is a late 19th-century neighbourhood full of wooden villas!
Each Saturday and Sunday the French-style Farmers Market takes place at the car park beside French store La Cigale in Parnell. The emphasis is on seasonal fruit and vegetables (organic or spray free whenever possible), artesian bread, cheese, confectioneries, oils, spices and homemade preserves. It’s a great place to pick up supplies for a weekend picnic.
Ideally located in the heart of Auckland, Sylvia Park Auckland boasts a mix of retail shops, offering everything from fashion, accessories, footwear to beauty and home decor. There are more than 200 stores here, including dining and a cinema complex. A premiere retail and fashion destination, where you will definitely find what you are looking for.
The Auckland International Airport services all of Auckland. Located 21 km south of the City Center and it is easily accessible by bus, shuttle or taxi. Skybus is Auckland’s airport transfer service that runs between Auckland City Centre and Auckland Airport. They operate 24 hours a day and the bus transfer takes about 40-60 min. Tickets can be bought at the Airport Ticket Kiosks (situated by the SkyBus bus stops at the airport) or from the bus driver (cash only). You can also buy your ticket online and some hotels. There are only licensed taxi and shuttle companies at the designated taxi ranks at the terminal buildings, all to make sure that you will get a high standard of service. The taxi rank are outside the arrivals area at the international terminal as well as the domestic terminal. You can pre-book or just turn up at the terminal rank.
Due to its recent growth spurt and the international interest developing in Auckland as a tourist destination, traffic has gotten more congested than it was 5 years ago. Given this, Auckland is still a relatively small city and the traffic is still manageable compared to other large cities. The easiest way to get around Auckland is with Link bus services. Just look for the red, green or yellow buses. The buses run on such a frequent basis so no need to look at the timetable. You only need to head to the appropriate bus stop and wait for your bus. Take the red bus (The CityLink) when travelling within the city centre, the green bus (The InnerLink) to get around Auckland's inner city and the amber bus (OuterLink) when travelling around the inner suburbs of Auckland. For more detail and information, see website below. You can buy your ticket from the bus driver (cash only) or get the AT HOP smart card that can be bought online or at a ticket office. One ticket office is Britomart customer service centre. (Ground floor Britomart Transport Centre, 8-10 Queen St, Auckland)