3-Day Guide to Auckland for Adventurers

6 min read

Adventurous visitors to Auckland can enjoy a beautiful city on a waterfront, great nightlight and exciting adventures. For example, you can go on a guided jumping experience off the Harbour Bridge or the iconic Sky Tower. Auckland also has lots to offer in terms of island-hopping tours and nature trips, with included stops at places like Mount Eden (involves a little trek), Rangitoto Island (a volcanic island) and the Waiheke Island (famous for its wine). Road trips around the North Island or the South Island in New Zealand are also highly recommended!

For places with cultural and historical significance, be sure to add the One Tree Hill (and the surrounding Cornwall Park) and the Auckland War Memorial Museum to your itinerary. One Tree Hill is just one of the many interesting suburbs you'll find in the city, so do some research before you arrive here to figure out what neighbourhoods to stay in Auckland. Within the city, there are great restaurants and cafés to get good food from. To start your food crawl, dine at The Grove for a firsthand taste of the local cuisine.

  • 3 day itinerary
  • Average of 3 stops per day

Auckland up a Hill

Top of Mt Eden
One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie)
Cornwall Park
Mount Eden

Aside from Auckland's pristine beaches and the surrounding sea, it also has peaks that match the beauty of its waters. Kick-off your tour with a visit to One Tree Hill, which is a prime spot for reflecting or admiring the view. This volcanic peak is frequently visited by the locals and tourists for its calming scenery.

Nearby is also Cornwall Park, where people can have picnics, jog, bike or take part in other leisurely activities. Lastly, if you're looking for a great view of the city, you can do a quick hike to the peak of Mt Eden. The majestic from this climb reveals the expanse of the Hauraki Gulf, a great way to start a trip to Auckland.

One Tree Hill - Maungakiekie

One Tree Hill is a great starting point for your tour. It is also known as Maungakiekie and was considered to be the most important Maori village before colonialism. Its notable features include an obelisk and a bronze statue of a warrior. The hill stands on what is now called the One Tree Hill Domain, which you can explore. An observatory, restaurants and gardens, among other attractions, are also present in this area.

Cornwall Park

Cornwall Park prides itself as an oasis within the city, and it is easy to see why. It covers heritage areas and has lush greenery all over. This is a good place to rest, play and people-watch. Birds can also be spotted here as well as cattle from the local farmlands. Visitors can have a picnic in the park, go biking or participate in some sports. The park has authorized clubs and clinics for tennis, cricket, rugby, archery and more.

Mount Eden

A hike up Mount Eden is a short, but sweet one. The scoria cone (Mount Eden proper) is called the Maungawhau, which translates to "Mountain of the Whau tree." It is also called Mt Eden after an Earl named George Eden. This dormant volcano is visited by tourists as it is the highest natural point in Auckland and it has a fantastic view.

Leap of Faith in Auckland

Auckland Skyline
Auckland Museum
Jumping from the Sky Tower in Auckland

Your second day in Auckland will focus on learning more about the region’s rougher brush with history followed up by an adrenaline-filled adventure. First off, visit one of New Zealand’s most important museums, the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It is home to many historical items plus a war memorial that has been dedicated to those who died in the First and Second World War.

For your second stop, visit the iconic city landmark, the Sky Tower. This tower does not only offer a great view of the city, but also a chance to literally jump off of it. After an adrenaline-filled bungee jump, head to one of Auckland's top-rated restaurants in town, The Grove, for a post-tour meal.

Auckland War Memorial Museum

The Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira (or the Auckland Museum) covers not only items and documents from war, but many other aspects of New Zealand's history. See exhibits and displays on natural science, military history, ethnology and other documentary heritage in the form of archives, manuscripts and correspondence.

The war side of the museum pertains to the memorial of those who lost their lives in World Wars 1 and 2. During the winter, the museum also holds After Hours here. It is a fancy affair where guests get to dress up and explore the museum with good food, company and music.

Sky Tower

The Sky Tower is an iconic landmark in New Zealand that is located at the heart of Auckland's Business District. You can first get a great view of the city from its observation deck and then literally take your tour to a whole new level by going bungee jumping off of it. If you think bungee jumping is only fun from cliffs or over bodies of water, then you really need to try this form of bungee jumping out! Book a sky tower jump or skywalk session at accredited agencies and you're good to go.

The Grove

After jumping off the Sky Tower, treat yourself to a great meal in the city. The Grove is a local favorite and offers great New Zealand cuisine with a French twist. It is a bit pricey, but is a great introduction to the local food. It is a premium place for degustation dining, which makes sure every meal is tailored to your preference. This is also a good starting point for your Auckland food crawl as the Central Business District is lined with restaurants and pubs one can enjoy one after the other.

Island Hopping

Waiheke Island
Auckland Harbour Bridge
Auckland Harbour Bridge by pixelia
Rangitoto Island
Vineyard at Waiheke Island

The Auckland Harbour Bridge is a major motorway in the city, and adventurous tourists can also break up their trip with a bungee jump here too if they didn’t manage to jump at the Sky Tower yesterday.

Afterwards, hop on a ferry to go to Rangitoto Island, which is a volcanic island that can be explored via kayak. See the Pohutukawa Trees and black lava caves while on this island. Finally, visit Waiheke Island, Auckland’s wine island, for its local drinks. You may also book a winery tour here. Aside from the wine, this island also offers fun water activities, such as kite-surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and others!

Auckland Harbour Bridge

The Auckland Harbour Bridge is a major motorway in Auckland, and it also offers an exhilarating jump-off for adventurous souls. If you were not able to bungee jump from the Sky Tower (or just want to jump again), you can do it right here at the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

AJ Hackett organizes safe and fun 40-meter bungee jumping activities right off this bridge. For those who just want to appreciate the view, a bridge climb can also be arranged.

Rangitoto Island

For the second-to-last stop, make it a fun trip to Auckland's youngest (and largest) volcano, the Rangitoto. The name of the Island is derived from the Maori term that means "bloody sky,” which pertains to a certain captain who was said to have been badly wounded on this Island lifetimes ago.

Ferry trips operate on a regular schedule. Visitors can take guided tours to see the crater and the black lava caves, or take a kayak trip around the island. This is also home to the largest Pohutukawa forest in the world. Take snapshots of the vibrantly-coloured Pohutukawa tree, which is also a symbol of its strength thanks to its ability to survive in less-than-ideal rocky environments.

Waiheke Island

Close your Auckland adventure with a trip to New Zealand’s second largest island, after the Great Barrier Island, Waiheke Island. Many tourists try out this place as there are many water activities to do on Waiheke Island, like swimming, boating, kayaking, kite-surfing and more! For those who prefer a quieter time, visit Oneroa Beach. Zip-lining, offered by the Flying Fox, is also available here and takes guests for a ride over lush forests.

End your day with a good glass of local wine as Waiheke Island is also called Wine Island. Winemakers have created optimal grape-growing farm environments to create their wine and their award-winning Syrah. Go on a wine tour or take bottles home with you to enjoy.

This article was first published on Jul 18, 2019 16:55 UTC.

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