The Outsider's Guide to Auckland

To the newcomer, a trip to New Zealand's largest city may seem somewhat daunting. However, with so much to explore and discover, Auckland caters for each and every type of traveller. Follow our guide to some of the city's premier attractions and acquaint yourself with Auckland's must-see spots.


To best discover the region's hidden gems, check out our Auckland car rental options for convenience and peace of mind while exploring the 'City of Sails' with your own set of wheels.

Piha Beach

Widely-recognised as the birthplace of surfing in New Zealand, Piha Beach is a popular destination for Aucklanders as well as tourists. Winding your way through the lush and picturesque Waitakere Ranges, your first view of the famed black sand beach will unveil the spectacular Lion Rock; a 16 million year-old volcanic neck extending into the Tasman Sea. While an exhilarating surf is one option, Piha offers much more than world-class waves.


Only a short trek away, the stunning Kitekite Falls offer a tranquil respite from the action of the beach, and is an ideal place for a mid-morning or afternoon picnic. The native forest here is full of surprises – make sure to visit The Gap and experience the blowhole at low tide. Round out the perfect Auckland day with a stunning sunset over the sea.




Continue your adventure up Auckland's west coast to Muriwai. Another scenic drive through the Waitakere Ranges awaits – and it may well be worth stopping off to discover Bethells Beach on the way.


Popularly known as a top surfing destination, Muriwai offers much more than just idyllic waves. A stroll along the coastal boardwalk will highlight the beach's magnificent shoreline. But you won't be the only one enjoying the remarkable scenery; the local gannet colony (the only of its kind in the region) enjoys a premium cliff-top panoramic view over the Tasman Sea. With a short trek, you'll be breathtakingly close to this spectacular nesting ground.


For those looking for a change of pace, visit the Muriwai Golf Club and play 18 holes in the sea breeze.

Waiheke Island


From the western coastline to the eastern shores, Waiheke Island is a serene retreat just a half hour ferry trip from Auckland. Locally known as the Island of Wine, Waiheke houses some of New Zealand's finest boutique vineyards. Treat yourself to spectacular views over the Hauraki Gulf towards Auckland, while enjoying a delectable degustation tour at the Peacock Sky Vineyard. The lush greenery of the vineyard is utterly intoxicating (as is the wine).


Make sure to treat yourself to an unforgettable flying fox experience with EcoZip Adventures Waiheke Island. With a birds-eye view of the natural flora and fauna, you'll come to appreciate the delicate balances of the local environment, as well as the spectacular landscapes of the region.

Rangitoto Island


One of the enduring landmarks of Auckland, Rangitoto Island provides a brilliant backdrop to the Hauraki Gulf. Once at the top of this dormant volcano, you'll be treated to memorable views of the city. With the option of taking a tour or embarking on your own exploration of the many tracks and trails around Rangitoto, you'll be amazed by vast array of native vegetation.


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