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How to Tackle Auckland as a First Timer

How to Tackle Auckland as a First Timer

New Zealand’s largest city and the first port of call for many visitors to the North Island, Auckland has plenty to tempt travelers—beautiful beaches, atmospheric neighborhoods, and an abundance of cultural sites. To help you plan your trip, here are our tips for first-time visitors to Auckland.

Take a Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

While Auckland’s central sights can be reached on foot, a hop-on hop-off tour will take you to the coastal neighborhoods and scenic vista points dotted around the city. Jump off to visit the Auckland Museum or Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE® Aquarium, climb One Tree Hill or Mount Eden, or explore Parnell Village.

Visit the Sky Tower

Ride the elevator up to the 1,076-foot-high (328-meter-high) Auckland Sky Tower, New Zealand’s tallest building, and take in panoramic views that span the entire city. Adventurous travelers can brave the Skywalk or Skyjump, but a drink at the Sky Lounge and a visit to the 360-degree observation deck are equally worthwhile. 

Explore Auckland’s Waterfront

An atmospheric spot for a walking, bike, or Segway tour, Auckland’s waterfront is buzzing with activity day and night. Come in the evening hours to browse the night markets in the Wynyard Quarter, enjoy a seafood dinner at a harborside restaurant, or go barhopping around Viaduct Harbour.

Cruise the Coast

Getting out on the water is a must for first-time visitors to Auckland. Set sail on a romantic dinner cruise around Auckland Harbour, or hop on a ferry and enjoy wine tasting on Waiheke Island or hike volcanic Rangitoto Island.

Visit Hobbiton

If you only have time for one day trip from Auckland, make it a trip to Middle Earth. Just two hours from Auckland, the Hobbiton™ Movie Set takes you behind the scenes of theLord of the Rings andThe Hobbit films, and day trips are often combined with other North Island attractions such as Rotorua or the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

Take a Hike

Auckland is ringed by volcanoes, which offer numerous opportunities for hiking. Tackle the famous coast-to-coast hiking trail, which runs all the way from Waitemata Harbour to Manukau; climb to the top of One Tree Hill; or hike to Auckland’s highest viewpoint, Mt. Eden. 

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8 Tours and Activities | All Auckland Tours

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Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip from Auckland

Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip from Auckland

star-5
683
Visit a pair of New Zealand's must-see attractions with this combo tour from Auckland to the Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Peek into Hobbit Holes, frolic in the Shire, and get a drink at the Green Dragon Inn on a guided tour of Middle-earth, followed by a Kiwi-style lunch. In the afternoon, explore Maori myths and history on a boat ride through mesmerizing caves lit by thousands of glowworms, and finish with a drive through some of the North Island’s most majestic scenery.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$171.16
Price varies by group size
From
$171.16
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Half-day Discover Auckland City Sightseeing Tour

Half-day Discover Auckland City Sightseeing Tour

star-5
304
Take in the highlights of New Zealand’s largest city on this half-day tour of Auckland and benefit from an expert guide and small group size. Admire views of Auckland Harbour and drive over the Harbour Bridge; gaze out over the city from the top of Mt Eden; visit K Road, the Auckland Domain, and the Mission Bay beaches; and explore atmospheric neighborhoods such as Parnell, Ponsonby, and Northcote Point.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.89
From
$50.89
Taking safety measures

Auckland Hidden Gems Tour- A personalised introduction to Auckland

Special Offer

Auckland Hidden Gems Tour- A personalised introduction to Auckland

star-5
172
Step off the tourist trail and discover hidden corners of New Zealand’s largest city on this Auckland express bus tour. Travel with your guide to One Tree Hill, Mt. Eden Volcano, the Wintergardens, Parnell Village, and the historic Holt Trinity Church. Visit Bastion Point for panoramic views over Waitemata Harbour, delve into Auckland’s rich maritime history, see a working farm in action, and gain insight into the native Maori heritage for which New Zealand is famous.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.52
$65.65
$13.13 savings
From
$52.52
$65.65
$13.13 savings
Taking safety measures

Waiheke Island Explorer Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Waiheke Island Explorer Hop-on Hop-off Tour

star-4
119
Explore Waiheke Island at your own pace, with all-day tickets for a hop-on, hop-off island explorer bus. Plan the perfect day with help from the onboard host, then see the things that interest you most, choosing from 8 stops near vineyards, galleries, beaches, and trailheads. This full-day Waiheke Island experience offers a personalized combination of nature, culture, and food, and departs from Matiatia every 30 minutes throughout the day.
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  • 6 hours
From
$34.52
From
$34.52

Full-Day: Auckland Scenic Tour- 8 HOURS

Full-Day: Auckland Scenic Tour- 8 HOURS

star-5
91
Make the most of your time in Auckland with a small-group tour that crams all the city’s best bits into just one day. Snap photos of Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Sky Tower and One Tree Hill; take in the views from Tamaki Drive and Mission Bay; explore vibrant neighborhoods like Ponsonby; and visit off-the-beaten-track attractions like Muriwai Beach, the Auckland Domain and Parnell.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.68
Price varies by group size
From
$100.68
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

The Classic: our most popular electric bike tour of Auckland's Highlights

The Classic: our most popular electric bike tour of Auckland's Highlights

star-5
134
Enjoy cycling around Auckland without all the effort in the hilly city, on an electric bike tour. Travelers with varying levels of fitness and cycling experience can ride together, making this a great family trip. You will be fitted with a headset so you can listen to your guide’s commentary as you cycle around the city and learn something new.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.58
From
$99.58
Taking safety measures

Local Night Markets and Auckland's Amazing Night Lights

Local Night Markets and Auckland's Amazing Night Lights

star-4
6
Benefit from a small-group experience of Auckland at night on a half-day tour that visits night markets, viewpoints, and other scenic destinations. Have time to enjoy the night market, watch the sunset from Mount Eden, and snap photos of the twinkling Harbour Bridge, and also check out the Auckland Domain, Mission Bay, and Wynyard Quarter. Your guide shares commentary along the way, and hotel transfers are provided.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$99.58
Price varies by group size
From
$99.58
Price varies by group size

Skip the Line: Auckland Sky Tower General Admission Ticket

Skip the Line: Auckland Sky Tower General Admission Ticket

star-4.5
283
Auckland’s Sky Tower has stood 1076 feet tall (328 meters) over the city since 1994, and is one of its most popular attractions, especially for first-time visitors. Save money and time by pre-booking your general Sky Tower admission ticket, which allows you to spend one to two hours at three observation levels. Get quickly orientated and spot key landmarks such as the Harbour Bridge, Mount Eden, and Waiheke Island.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$23.01
From
$23.01
Taking safety measures