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Best Things To Do in Auckland

New Zealand's most populous city boasts some of the country's best museums and cultural institutions, including the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. Family-friendly attractions range from the city's Sky Tower to animal-centric spots like the Auckland Zoo and the Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary. Nature lovers will appreciate the breathtaking landscapes found at Waiheke Island, Mount Eden and Rangitoto Island. And just a few hours outside of the city, travelers will find iconic Kiwi attractions, such as the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and the Hobbiton Movie Set.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Auckland

Free
Situated just off the coast of central Auckland across from Devonport is Rangitoto Island, a volcanic island known for its superb hiking trails and panoramic views. Multiple trails are available for island exploration, including the popular Summit Track, which takes hikers through lava fields and the world's largest pohutukawa forest to the island's summit.
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Hiking Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Rangitoto Island
Situated just off the coast of central Auckland across from Devonport is Rangitoto Island, a volcanic island known for its superb hiking trails and panoramic views. Multiple trails are available for island exploration, including the popular Summit Track, which takes hikers through lava fields and the world's largest pohutukawa forest to the island's summit.
... more

#2

#2 in Auckland

Free
Imagine New York's Central Park but with a New Zealand twist, and you've got Cornwall Park. This sprawling park, which sits on a volcanic cone, offers an abundance of greenery, plus unique features like the remnants of a pre-European Maori fort and the remains of Sir John Logan Campbell, the park's donor. One of the park's greatest assets is its lookout point: Don't leave without taking in the views at One Tree Hill.
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Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Cornwall Park
Imagine New York's Central Park but with a New Zealand twist, and you've got Cornwall Park. This sprawling park, which sits on a volcanic cone, offers an abundance of greenery, plus unique features like the remnants of a pre-European Maori fort and the remains of Sir John Logan Campbell, the park's donor. One of the park's greatest assets is its lookout point: Don't leave without taking in the views at One Tree Hill.
... more

#3

#3 in Auckland

Free
One of the top attractions in Auckland, without question, is Mount Eden. This dormant volcano, which is completely covered with grass, offers some of the best views of downtown Auckland. It's also the highest natural point in Auckland.
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Natural Wonders Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Mount Eden
One of the top attractions in Auckland, without question, is Mount Eden. This dormant volcano, which is completely covered with grass, offers some of the best views of downtown Auckland. It's also the highest natural point in Auckland.
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#4

#4 in Auckland

Free
Tucked along the North Island's west coast less than 17 miles away from the city center, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park boasts 40,000 acres of forest and beaches. Everything from hiking and biking to bird-watching and strolling along the park's black sand beaches can be enjoyed here. Must-see landscapes in this sprawling parkland include Piha and Whatipu's beaches and Fairy Falls waterfall.
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Beaches Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
Tucked along the North Island's west coast less than 17 miles away from the city center, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park boasts 40,000 acres of forest and beaches. Everything from hiking and biking to bird-watching and strolling along the park's black sand beaches can be enjoyed here. Must-see landscapes in this sprawling parkland include Piha and Whatipu's beaches and Fairy Falls waterfall.
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#5

#5 in Auckland

This world-famous natural wonder, which is situated about 120 miles south of Auckland, features a boat ride through Glowworm Grotto, where thousands of glowworms illuminate the cave ceiling. These bright, tiny creatures can only be found in New Zealand.
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Natural Wonders Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
This world-famous natural wonder, which is situated about 120 miles south of Auckland, features a boat ride through Glowworm Grotto, where thousands of glowworms illuminate the cave ceiling. These bright, tiny creatures can only be found in New Zealand.
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#6

#6 in Auckland

Free
Whether you're a foodie, a thrill-seeker or a beach bum, odds are you'll love exploring Waiheke Island. Found within the Hauraki Gulf near Rangitoto Island and Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary, Waiheke Island features several vineyards and olive groves, multiple white sand beaches and a variety of shops and restaurants. For adventure junkies, book a zip lining excursion with EcoZip Adventures.
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Beaches Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Waiheke Island
Whether you're a foodie, a thrill-seeker or a beach bum, odds are you'll love exploring Waiheke Island. Found within the Hauraki Gulf near Rangitoto Island and Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary, Waiheke Island features several vineyards and olive groves, multiple white sand beaches and a variety of shops and restaurants. For adventure junkies, book a zip lining excursion with EcoZip Adventures.
... more

#7

#7 in Auckland

Less than 4 miles southwest of downtown Auckland is one of Auckland's premier animal attractions: the Auckland Zoo. This sprawling animal sanctuary, which boasts the largest number of exotic and native animals in New Zealand, features everything from fur seals to lions to brown kiwis.
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Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Auckland Zoo
Less than 4 miles southwest of downtown Auckland is one of Auckland's premier animal attractions: the Auckland Zoo. This sprawling animal sanctuary, which boasts the largest number of exotic and native animals in New Zealand, features everything from fur seals to lions to brown kiwis.
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#8

#8 in Auckland

Bird lovers and outdoor enthusiasts cannot miss a chance to visit Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary. Located on Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf (and within view of Rangitoto Island and Waiheke Island), this wildlife sanctuary is considered one of New Zealand's most successful conservation projects. Notable wildlife found on the island include little spotted kiwis, tuis, tuataras and South Island takahes.
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Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary
Bird lovers and outdoor enthusiasts cannot miss a chance to visit Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary. Located on Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf (and within view of Rangitoto Island and Waiheke Island), this wildlife sanctuary is considered one of New Zealand's most successful conservation projects. Notable wildlife found on the island include little spotted kiwis, tuis, tuataras and South Island takahes.
... more
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#9

#9 in Auckland

Free
For some of central Auckland's best restaurants and bars, consider visiting the city's waterfront Viaduct Harbour. This Auckland precinct, which some compare to Sydney's Darling Harbour, features more than 30 watering holes and eateries, plus a marina, the New Zealand Maritime Museum and several hotels.
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Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Viaduct Harbour
For some of central Auckland's best restaurants and bars, consider visiting the city's waterfront Viaduct Harbour. This Auckland precinct, which some compare to Sydney's Darling Harbour, features more than 30 watering holes and eateries, plus a marina, the New Zealand Maritime Museum and several hotels.
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#10

#10 in Auckland

Located in the southwest corner of Albert Park, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki is a necessary stop for art lovers. Inside, travelers will find more than 16,000 historic, modern and contemporary art pieces, the oldest of which was created between the 10th and 12th centuries. Notable exhibits include The Maori Portraits gallery and the obliteration room with pieces by Yayoi Kusama.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
Located in the southwest corner of Albert Park, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki is a necessary stop for art lovers. Inside, travelers will find more than 16,000 historic, modern and contemporary art pieces, the oldest of which was created between the 10th and 12th centuries. Notable exhibits include The Maori Portraits gallery and the obliteration room with pieces by Yayoi Kusama.
... more

#11

#11 in Auckland

The main objective of the Auckland War Memorial Museum is to tell the story of the Auckland region. To that end, the museum, which is housed in a memorial that honors fallen service members, hosts exhibits that focus on Pacific Island communities (namely, the Maori people), the area's natural history and New Zealand's military history.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Auckland War Memorial Museum
The main objective of the Auckland War Memorial Museum is to tell the story of the Auckland region. To that end, the museum, which is housed in a memorial that honors fallen service members, hosts exhibits that focus on Pacific Island communities (namely, the Maori people), the area's natural history and New Zealand's military history.
... more

#12

#12 in Auckland

Free
This suburb of Auckland hosts a spectacular view of the City of Sails, so bring your camera. Aside from being a quaint spot to dine and shop, it also features a naval base. For a laid-back day of meandering past colonial architecture and along peaceful beaches, Devonport is the place to go.
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Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Devonport
This suburb of Auckland hosts a spectacular view of the City of Sails, so bring your camera. Aside from being a quaint spot to dine and shop, it also features a naval base. For a laid-back day of meandering past colonial architecture and along peaceful beaches, Devonport is the place to go.
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#13

#13 in Auckland

Located roughly 110 miles southeast of Auckland on a working sheep farm, the Hobbiton Movie Set is a must for fans of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" movies. It's the country's only set left from the films and features the movies' famous hobbit homes and The Green Dragon Inn, plus plenty of greenery.
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Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Hobbiton Movie Set
Located roughly 110 miles southeast of Auckland on a working sheep farm, the Hobbiton Movie Set is a must for fans of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" movies. It's the country's only set left from the films and features the movies' famous hobbit homes and The Green Dragon Inn, plus plenty of greenery.
... more
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#14

#14 in Auckland

Perhaps the most noticeable building in Auckland's skyline is the Sky Tower. At the top, visitors can take in 360-degree views of the city, eat at the cafe or one of two restaurants (including one that revolves) or walk around or bungee jump off the attraction's 53rd-floor platform. A gift shop is available as well.
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Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Sky Tower
Perhaps the most noticeable building in Auckland's skyline is the Sky Tower. At the top, visitors can take in 360-degree views of the city, eat at the cafe or one of two restaurants (including one that revolves) or walk around or bungee jump off the attraction's 53rd-floor platform. A gift shop is available as well.
... more

#15

#15 in Auckland

To learn about the City of Sails' ties to the sea, check out the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Located in the Viaduct Harbour precinct, this museum is packed with artifacts documenting New Zealand's rich maritime history. You'll find rooms that depict everything from a 19th-century steerage cabin to a 1950s beach shop, as well as items like a Maori dugout canoe, paintings of steam ferries and NZL 32, the yacht that won the America's Cup in 1995.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
New Zealand Maritime Museum
To learn about the City of Sails' ties to the sea, check out the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Located in the Viaduct Harbour precinct, this museum is packed with artifacts documenting New Zealand's rich maritime history. You'll find rooms that depict everything from a 19th-century steerage cabin to a 1950s beach shop, as well as items like a Maori dugout canoe, paintings of steam ferries and NZL 32, the yacht that won the America's Cup in 1995.
... more

Tours Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend

Recreation Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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