What to do and see in Auckland, North Island: The Best Places and Tips

The Māori call Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau — a maiden desired by 100 lovers, and a valuable territory fought over for centuries for its fertile land and natural harbors on the Pacific Ocean (to the east) and Tasman Sea (to the west). Today, it’s New Zealand’s largest city: A vibrant and diverse place where nature and urban life go hand-in- hand, with 48 volcanic cones, more than 50 islands, and 29,000 km of coastline and beaches just minutes away from the arts and shopping of the central city.

1. Sky Tower

Victoria Street | Corner Federal Streets, Auckland Central, Auckland 1010, New Zealand Sights & Landmarks, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Excellent
52%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 10590 reviews

Sky Tower

Auckland's Sky Tower is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere, this tower is more than 300 metres high. Offering stunning views, along with award winning restaurants, a gift shop and an opportunity to push your limits by walking the outside of the viewing platforms, or by jumping off from 192 metres above Auckland's CBD. Off Peak Season - (1st May - 31st Oct) 9:00am - 10:00pm daily - Last tickets sold at 9:30pm Peak Season - (1st Nov - 30th Apr) Sun - Thurs: 8:30am - 10:30pm - Last tickets sold at 10:00pm Fri & Sat: 8:30am - 11:30pm - Last tickets sold at 11:00pm

Reviewed By DiscerningTourist - Nottingham, United KingdomNottingham, United Kingdom

Great views of the city day & night

What fantastic views we experienced whilst visiting the Skytower both day and night. Having bought a 24 hour pass we visited in both daylight and at night-time and it enabled us to obtain a great orientation of the city. Was impressed too by the choice of

2. Mount Eden

Access off Hillside Crescent | Mount Eden Road, Auckland Central, Auckland 1024, New Zealand Nature & Parks, Volcanos
Excellent
57%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3585 reviews

Mount Eden

A trip up the highest volcanic peak in mainland Auckland offers striking views of the downtown area and harbor.

Reviewed By Beckysbell - Chippenham, United KingdomChippenham, United Kingdom

Don't bother with the Sky Tower

Mount Eden or Maungawhau offers fantastic views around the whole of Auckland on a clear day.You can get an Uber up here for around $12 making it better value than the sky tower. You also get to see an extinct volcano crater.Beautiful 350' views across the

3. Auckland War Memorial Museum

| The Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland Central, Auckland 1010, New Zealand Museums, Specialty Museums, History Museums, Military Museums More
Excellent
61%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6246 reviews

Auckland War Memorial Museum

Discover the history and culture of New Zealand through this memorial to those who sacrificed their lives in wartime.

Reviewed By 494PatriciaS - Monmouth Junction, New JerseyMonmouth Junction, New Jersey

Impressive Collection of WWI and WWII Artifacts

We were surprised at the extensive collection of memorabilia and exhibits documenting all the wars New Zealanders participated in, and the roles played by other countries who helped defend New Zealand — such as the U.S., Canada and the U.K. There is an im

4. Karekare Beach

126 Lone Kauri Rd, Auckland 0772, New Zealand Outdoor Activities, Nature & Parks, Beaches
Excellent
69%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 134 reviews

Karekare Beach

Reviewed By Mightymurph - Auckland, New ZealandAuckland, New Zealand

Romantic Getaway!

My girlfriend bought me here and it was stunning. Everything around this beach. Gorgeous black sand, crashing waves, walks all around. Incredible.

5. Auckland Botanic Gardens

102 Hill Rd, Manurewa, Auckland 2105, New Zealand Nature & Parks, Gardens
Excellent
63%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 319 reviews

Auckland Botanic Gardens

"Where ideas grow'. Explore a garden of national significance that can delight, inspire, entertain and relax your senses. The collections of natives and exotics are complimented by lakes, the award winning Potter Children’s Garden and a growing collection of large scale outdoor sculpture by New Zealand artists. Pack a picnic or enjoy lunch at Cafe miko, located in the Huakaiwaka Visitor Centre with views out over the gardens. Enjoy the changing centre displays introducing you to the beauty and fascinating facts about plants. View many of our sustainable initiatives from vegetated swales to green roofs. Only 20 minutes from the city or airport Auckland Botanic Gardens is open every day of the year and entry is free.

Reviewed By Jana R

A free, lovely place to visit in the city

We were lucky to have a gorgeous day for our visit to the gardens, but I think it would be beautiful just about anytime of year. We brought a picnic and spread out a blanket in one of the many gardens, and pretty much had that area all to ourselves. It wa

6. Tantalus Estate Vineyard & Winery

70 - 72 Onetangi Road | Onetangi, Auckland, Waiheke Island 1971, New Zealand Food & Drink, Wineries & Vineyards
Excellent
82%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 203 reviews

Tantalus Estate Vineyard & Winery

The newest edition to Auckland’s vineyard destinations has been honored with international accolades for our estate-grown wines, plus national awards in architecture and design, building craftsmanship, cuisine and dining. The idyllic sloping vineyards of the family owned Tantalus Estate are located in the heart of the Onetangi Valley - a gentle picturesque twenty-acre vineyard in Waiheke’s renowned wine growing region. Complete with olive groves, macadamia trees, an apiary, kitchen gardens, native trees and boardwalks, Tantalus Estate is a destination not to be missed.

Reviewed By 311christine - London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom

Fantastic setting and excellent food

We decided to treat ourselves to lunch here to celebrate the last day of a seven week plus trip around New Zealand. We weren’t disappointed. The views were lovely and the food was excellent. Shane our waiter was a great advert for tantalus, very friendly

7. Rangitoto Island

Auckland Central, Auckland, New Zealand Nature & Parks, Volcanos, Islands
Excellent
64%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2129 reviews

Rangitoto Island

This volcanic island, which last erupted 600 years ago, offers bird-watching, swimming, fishing, walking trails, colorful flora and spectacular views from the summit of its cone-shaped mountain.

Reviewed By Astravelercom - Klaipeda, LithuaniaKlaipeda, Lithuania

Unique island, perfect for a half day trip!

If you have added islands of Auckland to your itinerary, then you should visit the Rangitoto Island. Here, you will be able to gain knowledge on volcanic fields and its history. I would advise you to book the Rangitoto Island Tour so that a knowledgeable

8. Devonport

Auckland Central, Auckland, New Zealand Nature & Parks, Bodies of Water
Excellent
51%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4356 reviews

Devonport

Reviewed By whisky774 - Auckland Central, New ZealandAuckland Central, New Zealand

Fantastic Views

Taken our visitors from Scotland into Devonport walked up Mt Victoria and the views just stunning and the history very interesting.We had bought fish and chips from catch 22 for lunch and that was delicious gave us the sustenance to walk around Devonport

9. Waiheke Island

| Hauraki Gulf, Auckland Central, Auckland 1081, New Zealand Nature & Parks, Islands
Excellent
72%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2306 reviews

Waiheke Island

Reviewed By 804katek - Auckland Central, New ZealandAuckland Central, New Zealand

Woo hoo Waiheke!

I absolutely love visiting Waiheke Island, especially Tantalus vineyards. The entire island is set up for enjoyment and history of the kiwi culture. This was my 2nd trip to the island and it is such a pleasure to be able to move around the island so effor

10. Tiritiri Matangi Island

Auckland Central, Auckland, New Zealand Nature & Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Islands
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 1831 reviews

Tiritiri Matangi Island

Reviewed By petah2013 - Sydney, AustraliaSydney, Australia

My trip on the 22nd April

I love this place. The bird life is prolific. A special place. I saw birds that are not normally seen. It was a calm atmosphere. I thoroughly recommend a visit if you haven’t been there. It is an “all day” trip but I couldn’t think of a better way to spen

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