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Auckland
Travel Guide

Nature experiences abound in this city surrounded by harbors and rain forest. Go island hopping, dine out on the water or peer into the crater of a volcano.

Auckland is as much a gateway to a natural playground as it is an urban paradise, with museums, shopping and fine dining. The biggest city on New Zealand’s North Island has coast on one side and mountains on the other. Manukau Harbour is to the southwest, the Hauraki Gulf and its islands to the east, and the rain forest-covered Waitakere Ranges to the west. Take the glass elevator at the Sky Tower in downtown Auckland for a spectacular view of the cityscape, mountains and harbor from a height of 722 feet (220 meters).

Auckland is built on and around several extinct volcanoes. The suburb of Mount Eden is built on the side of a cinder-cone volcano. Climb to the top to look into the 164-foot (50-meter) deep crater. The gardens in Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, flourish in the volcanic soil and natural springs of the Pukekawa volcano. Learn about Auckland’s natural history, the culture of the Maori people, and local art and crafts in the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which is located on the highest point of the Domain.

Navigating Auckland is easy, with buses, trains and ferries servicing the downtown area. You can take the hop-on, hop-off Explorer Bus for commentary and sightseeing. Rent a car to venture out of the city.

There are 138 species of wildlife housed in the award-winning habitats of the Auckland Zoo. Catch a glimpse of the iconic kiwi and get up-close to rhinos, elephants, lions, cheetahs and primates.

Sailing boats and super yachts moor in Viaduct Harbour, home to the maritime museum and more than 30 bars and restaurants that line the water. Ferries leave from here for the islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Waiheke Island, a 40-minute ferry trip away, is a great place to hike, sample gourmet food and see stunning beaches.

Head to the hills behind Auckland to hike and camp in the wilderness. Many miles of trails wind through the rain forest and along the coast in the Waitakere Ranges. For serious “trampers,” as hikers are known in New Zealand, there’s the challenging 46-mile (75-kilometer) Hillary Trail, which includes three nights camping and four days tramping. Many visitors go for a day trip through the ranges by rental car or tour bus.

Auckland Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Auckland

Top Hotels in Auckland

SkyCity Hotel
SkyCity Hotel
4.5 out of 5
Corner Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland
The price is $149 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps from SkyCity Casino and Sky Tower. Viaduct Harbour and University of Auckland are also ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,409 reviews)

"Great location. Close to shops and restaurants. Staff friendly and helpful"…"

Reviewed on Feb 20, 2021

SkyCity Hotel
The Grand by SkyCity
The Grand by SkyCity
5 out of 5
90 Federal Street, Auckland
The price is $167 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps from Sky Tower and SkyCity Casino. Auckland Ferry Terminal and University of Auckland ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,263 reviews)

"Excellent location. Close to shops and restaurants. Staff very friendly and helpful"…"

Reviewed on Feb 20, 2021

The Grand by SkyCity
Hilton Auckland
Hilton Auckland
5 out of 5
Princes Wharf 147 Quay Street, Auckland
The price is $144 per night from Mar 28 to Mar 29

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Auckland Ferry Terminal, Viaduct Harbour, and SkyCity Casino. ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (956 reviews)

"Really amazing harbour view and excellent service from staff however there is a huge pole that blocks our view from the room and the bed was uncomfortable because they brought 2 single beds together and too bulky in the middle; the pool were unavailable due to maintenance"…"

Reviewed on Feb 16, 2021

Hilton Auckland
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Auckland

Avani Auckland Metropolis Residences
Avani Auckland Metropolis Residences
4.5 out of 5
40 Kitchener Street, Auckland
The price is $119 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury apartment building is steps from High Street and Queen Street Shopping District. University of Auckland ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,022 reviews)

"Excellent central location. Nice rooms, quick easy checkin. Very professional operation."…"

Reviewed on Feb 19, 2021

Avani Auckland Metropolis Residences
Auckland Harbour Suites
Auckland Harbour Suites
3.5 out of 5
16 Gore Street, Auckland
The price is $86 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of La Cigale Market at Britomart and Queen Street Shopping District. ...

3.7/5Good! (2,475 reviews)

"This accomodation had everything we needed alongside a spectacular view. The only critique was due to water coming down from the deck above and splashed through the open sliding doors. Other than that the customer service was amazing and it was simple, enjoyable process."…"

Reviewed on Feb 14, 2021

Auckland Harbour Suites
VR Auckland City
VR Auckland City
4.5 out of 5
188 Hobson Street, Auckland
The price is $51 per night from Mar 29 to Mar 30

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Aotea Centre, Sky Tower, and SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre. ...

3.8/5Good! (2,908 reviews)

"Second time staying here. Check in was easy and fast, room was good as well. Found onsite parking a little difficult as parks were small and tight but overall happy with stay and would rebook."…"

Reviewed on Feb 13, 2021

VR Auckland City
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Auckland

Renting a car is a good idea if you want to explore the wider area around Auckland. However, Auckland itself and many popular destinations nearby are covered by a good public transportation network. Ride the bus or the train to get everywhere you need to go in the city. Ferries are also available to take you out to the islands. Buy a reloadable AT HOP card to pay for all your public transportation. Visit the Auckland Regional Transport Authority website.Browse Auckland rental cars.

Best time to visit

Auckland is warmest between December and early March. However, the sunny weather in these months brings an influx of tourists, pushing up accommodations prices and making some parts of the city feel crowded. Visit in the shoulder seasons, March to May and September to November, to avoid the peak season. The pleasant weather will still allow you to enjoy Auckland’s many outdoor activities.

Popular places to visit in Auckland

Top things to do in Auckland

Reviews of Auckland

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
466
5 - Excellent 52.47747747747748%
4 - Good
343
4 - Good 38.626126126126124%
3 - Okay
71
3 - Okay 7.995495495495495%
2 - Disappointing
8
2 - Disappointing 0.9009009009009009%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

*MONS*

Jun 1, 2020

Wonderful restaurants, shopping, and the ferry were all near by. Definitely would recommend taking a food/bar tour around the city. Highly recommend taking a day trip to Hobbiton as well.

5/5 - Excellent

Reggie

Apr 15, 2020

Beautiful city. Would love to go back and visit the rest of New Zealand.

3/5 - Okay

Diana

Apr 3, 2020

Not tourist friendly. It was OK.

5/5 - Excellent

Carlos

Mar 23, 2020

Such a great city and country throughout. I would honestly love to move there one day best of both city wise and country sides man you just have to experience New Zealand for yourself, don’t miss out.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 22, 2020

Lots of fun places to visit, unique finds and food to enjoy.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 22, 2020

Nice city despite the chaos of construction.

Cities near Auckland