Discover Auckland

Experience a beautiful harbour city known for stunning natural landscapes, creative cuisine and awesome outdoor adventures.

New Zealand's largest urban environment, Auckland is home to 1.5 million people who bring a rich diversity to the region's food, arts and cultural experiences. Enjoy spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf Islands, native forest ranges, twin harbours and sparkling cityscape. With three local wine regions, surf and harbour beaches, native bird sanctuaries, marine reserves and seaside regional parks, there's always something wonderful to do or see here.

It's all pretty special, which is why Lonely Planet, the world's go-to travel authority, has named Auckland the number one city to visit in its 'Best in Travel 2022' book. From Auckland you can easily extend your holiday to the rest of New Zealand. We offer non-stop flights to 15 provincial cities and one-stop connections to most other destinations.

Head to Britomart, Princes Wharf, Viaduct Harbour, North Wharf or the Sky Tower for some of the best restaurants in Auckland with harbour views. Along Ponsonby Road you'll find boutique shops and a huge range of hip eateries and bars. Inner city suburbs like Parnell, Devonport, St Heliers, Mount Eden and Kingsland are always a good choice for restaurants, cafes and bars with a relaxed village vibe.

With three distinct Auckland wine regions to choose between, you're never far from a great wine tasting experience and a delicious alfresco meal amidst the vines. Take a tour west to some of New Zealand's oldest winemakers, north to the country village and vineyards of Matakana or catch a fast ferry to Waiheke Island, home to more than 20 vineyards and wineries.


Hop on a bus or train to go shopping in Auckland

We recommend you arrive in Auckland with space in your luggage, because shopping is something this city does extremely well. You'll find a pleasing blend of mega-malls and traditional street-side shopping centres, as well as newly-developed downtown retail precincts. Here are a few of the best:

Westfield Mall Newmarket

It's Auckland's hottest spot for shopping and New Zealand's home of luxury. With a curated mix of over 200 shops and a new line-up of flagship boutiques from luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Moncler, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Partridge Jewellers, Jimmy Choo, Coach, Michael Kors and Mulberry, this modern retail experience is as good as it gets. And it's not all about shopping; enjoy rooftop dining, plenty of quick eats and an entertainment precinct. If you're staying near the CBD, catch the train from Britomart.

Sylvia Park Shopping Centre 

Newmarket's biggest rival has to be Sylvia Park, a Mt Wellington mega mall that also has 200+ shops. Train is the best way to get there if you don't have a car. The shopping area is vast, with wide promenade areas for walking and several food court areas.

Commercial Bay 

Commercial Bay ticks all the wishes on your list - great shops, beautiful hospitality environments, enjoyable public spaces and internal access to public transport.

Ponsonby Road shops

Strolling down Ponsonby Road is an iconic Auckland shopping experience involving nearly two kilometres of eclectic shops. You'll find everything from Kiwi designer fashion (Karen Walker, World and Kate Sylvester) and recycle boutiques to jewellery, food and toys. It helps that every second shop is a restaurant or café.

Takapuna shops

In Takapuna you can combine a day at the beach with a couple of hours around the shops. Most of the retail action is on Hurstmere Road between Anzac Street and Lake Road, or walk for five minutes to discover Shore City, one of Auckland's first shopping malls.

Britomart shops

For a mix of the world's best brands and premium NZ brands, Britomart is the place to take your credit card out for some exercise. Tiffany & Co, Jo Malone, Ted Baker and Sass & Bide rub shoulders with Kiwi greats like Trelise Cooper, Zambesi, World and Kathryn Wilson.

Escape to magnificent islands

Waiheke Island is the most popular, and populated, island in Auckland. It's loved for beautiful sandy beaches, vineyards, olive groves and an arty laid-back lifestyle. Waiheke Island is only 40 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, so many of the island's residents commute to and from the city each day.

Auckland's vast Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park includes more than 50 islands and five marine reserves. Most of the islands are public conservation parks, perfect for day visits spent hiking or relaxing at a beach in the arms of nature. Rangitoto Island is the youngest of all. Stepping ashore here is like landing on another planet and hiking the lava-rock path to the crater summit is rewarded with spectacular 360° views. Tiritiri Matangi Island, aka Tiri, is a predator-free sanctuary for some of New Zealand's rarest bird species. Their populations have flourished here and birds fly close by, showing no fear of human visitors.

Immerse yourself in art and culture

Auckland Museum is a treasure trove of local and international cultural artefacts and the guardian of the world's largest collection of Māori taonga (treasures). Through a series of permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museum provides fascinating insights into New Zealand's past and our place in the world. Several times a day, a highly acclaimed Māori cultural performance takes visitors on a journey through the story of Auckland and New Zealand.

Just off Queen St, and alongside Albert Park, the Auckland Art Gallery is where you'll find 17,000 works, including major holdings of New Zealand historic, contemporary and modern art. Regularly changing exhibitions feature pieces from the gallery's collections and beyond.

For outdoor art experiences check out the region's sculpture parks and trails, such as the whimsical Sculptureum in Matakana, about an hour north of downtown Auckland by car.

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Top 10 things to do in Auckland

  1. Climb a summit
    Walk to the summit of any Auckland volcanic cone for amazing views of the cityscape, sparkling harbours and gorgeous sunsets.

  2. Visit an island
    Each Hauraki Gulf Island offers unique experiences from bird sanctuaries, nature walks and volcanic landscapes to beaches, adventures and wineries.

  3. Go boating
    Sail, kayak, jet boat, go fishing or simply catch a ferry to get out on the water and find out why Auckland's such a sailing mecca.

  4. Unwind at a beach
    Catch some waves or stretch your legs along the west coast beaches, or enjoy golden sands and clear waters on the east coast.

  5. Satisfy your inner foodie
    From fine dining to street eats, Auckland offers a huge range of local and international cuisines.

  6. Discover delicious wines
    With three local wine regions to choose from, there are some excellent guided vineyard tours and wine trails to investigate.

  7. Immerse yourself in art and culture
    The rich ethnic diversity of Auckland has created a fascinating history and a wealth of artistic and cultural experiences, which you can explore at museums, galleries and events.

  8. Get your heart racing
    Climb the harbour bridge, jump off the Sky Tower, zipline through the forest or take a Harley Davidson motorbike tour.

  9. Meet the local marine life
    Go dolphin and whale watching on the Hauraki Gulf, snorkel or dive at Goat Island Marine Reserve, or head to Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium.

  10. Hike or bike in the forest
    Follow the walking tracks in one of the many regional parks or hire a bike and hit the forest trails at a mountain bike park, like Woodhill.

Keep exploring Auckland

Essential Information

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Best time to visit Auckland

Many people choose to visit Auckland in summer and autumn, so if you prefer things less crowded come in winter or spring. The almost-subtropical city is New Zealand's warmest main centre and one of the sunniest, with warm humid summers and mild damp winters. Average highs range from 24°C in summer to 15°C in winter. The weather can be changeable, so pack a small umbrella or rain jacket.

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How much will it cost?

This will depend on your tastes and what you want to do. As a rough guide, not including air travel and hotels, you should allow about NZD $100 to $150 a day per person for food and entertainment.

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If you visiting Auckland from overseas you might need a visa to holiday in New Zealand, depending on where you're from and how long you're staying. See the visa-waiver list.

Auckland skyline image courtesy of George Clerk; Rangitoto image courtesy of Chris McLennan; Delamore Lodge image courtesy of Chris McLennan Photography; Poi image courtesy of ATEED