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Auckland Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Auckland Nature & adventure

Auckland: Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise

1. Auckland: Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise

Climb aboard a 65-foot luxury catamaran conveniently docked in the heart of Auckland. Set sail on the "Dolphin Explorer" to take in the sights and sounds of the city from the water. Enjoy a quick tour past impressive landmarks, such as the Auckland Harbour Bridge, North Head/Devonport, and Rangitoto Island. Keep a close look out for Orca and Bottlenose Dolphins that regularly visit the waters close to the city. Then explore the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Get up-close viewings of whales, dolphins, and sea birds. The "Dolphin Explorer" is able to get much closer than whale watching operations in other locations. Learn about the fauna via expert commentary from the ship's skipper, gained from 15 years of running trips daily in the area.

Waiheke Island: Zipline and Native Forest Adventure Trip

2. Waiheke Island: Zipline and Native Forest Adventure Trip

Hosted on Waiheke Island, just 30 minutes by fast ferry from central Auckland, this 3-hour zipline adventure offers nature lovers a thrilling, state-of-the-art dual zipline flight over native forest. Enjoy a mini-tour of Waiheke's beaches, million-dollar properties, and boutique wineries en route to the zipline site, where you'll be geared-up for one of New Zealand’s most exciting eco activities. Soar along 3 dual ziplines, each more than 650 feet (200 meters) long. Glide smoothly, side-by-side with a partner or friend, over a working vineyard and stunning tracts of original and regenerating native New Zealand bush. Catch views of Auckland, Rangitoto, and the Hauraki Gulf, as you zip. On completion of the 3rd line, enjoy a spectacular interpretive walk back to the visitor center, while guides share stories of the local flora and fauna, and Maori and European history of Waiheke.

Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

3. Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

Begin the tour with a pick-up from your hotel in a comfortable minibus equipped with WiFi, charging ports, and onscreen entertainment. Be taken on a scenic drive through the New Zealand countryside as you head to the incredible Coromandel Peninsula. Head to your first stop, Cathedral Cove, a spot featured in the film the Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Cathedral Cove is one of New Zealand's most famous and beautiful beaches, and is a must-do activity for any visitor to New Zealand. As there are no roads to this beach, take a 40-minute bush walk to get there. Upon arrival, take some time to relax, sunbathe, swim, play sport, or just soak in the spectacular views. Later, enjoy time for lunch at a restaurant where you can try some local food, and can even have a beer if you choose (food and drinks not included). Continue to your next stop, the famous Hot Water Beach, where you can dig a hole in the sand to create a naturally-heated geothermal water bath. Finally, it's time to make your way back to Auckland, but not without stopping for a quick ice-cream and some more photos.

Auckland: Sunset & Night Sea Kayak Tour to Rangitoto Island

4. Auckland: Sunset & Night Sea Kayak Tour to Rangitoto Island

Kayak out to beautiful Rangitoto Island while the afternoon sun is slowly setting over Auckland and the Waitakere Ranges. Meet at the free pick-up point in Auckland. Then paddle out to Rangitoto Island in the setting sun. Once at the island, pull your kayak up to Rangitoto Wharf before embarking on a 1-hour, leisurely walk to the summit. From the top of the island you will be treated to the best sunset location Auckland has to offer. Enjoy a BBQ dinner while enjoying the stunning North Island views. Under the guidance of your kayak tour guide, paddle back to Auckland in the dark, watching the twinkling city lights of New Zealand's largest city getting closer and closer. Perfect for first-time kayakers as well as those more experienced, this unique, guided tour includes instruction, and a great, unique experience of Auckland.

Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

5. Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set.  Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your 2-hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour trip into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear secrets and stories about the making of the movies and finish your LOTR experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub, The Green Dragon Inn. After your LOTR experience, it’s time to head west towards the stunning Waitomo region. Along the way admire the incredible hydro dams, beautiful farmland, race horses, and the Kiwiana capital of New Zealand. Before arriving at the caves, stop by Waitomo homestead for lunch, and a little surprise. Once in Waitomo, explore the ancient and amazing caves and marvel at the many cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns before descending even further underground for your Glowworm Grotto experience. Board your glow-worm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms sparkling above you. Unique to New Zealand for over 120 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must-see for any traveler.  On the guided trip back to Auckland the sights continue with New Zealand's longest river, the Huntly power station, and the Maori Queens’ burial site.

Auckland: 9000, 13000, 16000, or 20000-Foot Tandem Skydive

6. Auckland: 9000, 13000, 16000, or 20000-Foot Tandem Skydive

Enjoy a scenic flight above Auckland as you reach altitude. When the plane gets to 20000ft, 16000ft, 13000ft or 9000ft (depending on which altitude option you book), the door will open. Strapped to your tandem instructor, freefall for up to 85 seconds with New Zealand's stunning backdrop. Reach a speed of up to 200km/hr and it will feel like you are flying. Enjoy the serenity of a beautiful parachute with amazing views in every direction.  Take part in an exhilarating, fun and safe skydiving experience. Then, relive the entire experience over and over with your one on one photo and video package available to purchase on the day. Based in Parakai, it is an easy 45-minute drive from Auckland City. Want to bring a support crew? The viewing deck is perfectly positioned so your friends and family can watch you land!

Leigh: Goat Island Guided Snorkeling Tour for Beginners

7. Leigh: Goat Island Guided Snorkeling Tour for Beginners

Begin your tour by meeting the team at the Goat Island Dive and Snorkel Center. Here, your friendly staff will get you kitted up with a mask, snorkel, fins, and a wetsuit. You will then drive in your own vehicle 2 miles (3km) to the Goat Island Marine Reserve, where you will meet with your snorkel instructor. Learn about the history of Goat Island and the marine life you are likely to meet at New Zealand's first marine reserve. The experience starts with an introduction to using the equipment and some snorkeling and swimming techniques. Before jumping in you'll receive a full, thorough safety briefing. Everyone will make their way to the water.  The group will stay in shallow waters while getting used to the equipment and the strange sensation of breathing while looking around underwater. Once everyone is feeling confident and comfortable, the group will make their way out to sea to continue the adventure. After the tour, you will be able to use the equipment for the remainder of the day to carry on exploring at your own pace. You will be part of a natural aquarium, with many varieties of colorful fish and marine life including Blue Maomao, Snapper, Eagle and Sting Rays, Blue Cod, Octopus, Kahawai, as well as Crayfish. Sometimes Dolphins or Orca visit the reserve and will often play with the snorkelers.

Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

8. Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Rotorua. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. As you drive, pass through the pass through the unique town of Tirau, the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade. Upon arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s most famous and historical sites including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa. From here enjoy the option to add on up to two of Rotorua's most popular activities and attractions (additional cost). Please add on the activities or attractions you would like to include during the booking process. Maybe head to the famous geothermal park and Maori cultural village of Te Puia, bathe in the geothermal waters of the Polynesian Spa, experience some farm culture at the Agrodome Sheep Show, or ride the gondola at Skyline! Or you can simply choose to explore the city at your own pace before your return to Auckland.

Rangitoto Island: Sea Kayak & Summit Hike Day Trip

9. Rangitoto Island: Sea Kayak & Summit Hike Day Trip

Explore the landmark of the Auckland region and see Auckland city from another perspective. The full-day adventure tour by kayak across Waitemata Harbor will take you to the area’s youngest and most active volcano. After your safety briefing and paddling instruction, you will kayak across the Waitemata Harbor, meaning “sparkling waters.” where you may see wildlife, such as Little Blue Penguins and Cooks Petrels. On arrival at Rangitoto Island, location for the largest and youngest of Auckland’s volcanoes, you will start a leisurely 1-hour hike to the summit. Walk up the pohutukawa-cloaked island exploring the baked scoria rocks, which support over 200 different native trees and flowering plants. Upon reaching the top you will be treated to the finest 360-degree views that the Auckland region has to offer. Return to the water’s edge, where a healthy, hearty Kiwi lunch will be awaiting you, with cold and hot drinks to match! If time permits, you might even enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea before the gear is packed back into the kayak to head home. Kayak back south, perhaps with the help of a sail to take you safely back to St Heliers Bay.

Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium General Admission

10. Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium General Admission

No trip to Auckland is complete without a visit to SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium. Experience the underwater world built by the famous diver and explorer Kelly Tarlton over 30 years ago. The Aquarium remains one of Auckland's leading attractions. SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium is just a 10-minute drive (6 km/3.7 mi) from downtown Auckland. See the cool and calm king penguins and cheeky gentoos interact and swim past as you walk through the Penguin Ice Adventure exhibit.  Touch a starfish or two at our Rockpool. Learn about our turtle rehabilitation program. Stand in awe underneath the Shark Tunnel as great sand tiger sharks, giant stingrays swim past and try find the hiding carpet shark Wobbegong. Explore Seahorse Kingdom to see the world's only public display of the rarely seen spiny sea dragons.

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Frequently asked questions about Auckland

What top attractions are a must-see in Auckland?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Auckland?

The best day trips and excursions from Auckland are:

Hobbiton Movie Set

Other Sightseeing Options in Auckland

Want to discover all there is to do in Auckland? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Auckland

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 583 reviews

Our guide, John, was an absolute delight. He made everyone feel very welcome on the tour, was very well informed, and was very friendly with all involved in the experience, from the tourists to the staff at Hobbiton and Waitomo. He even threw in some cheeky surprises (almost felt like we were in NYC at one point :P ) along the way. Amazing way to spend a day; I heartily recommend.

The tour guide was really knowledgeable and helpful to everyone. We enjoyed it a lot. I would strongly recommend visiting these two places. Overall, our experience with the tour agency was smooth and satisfying.

A load of fun and well worth doing while on the island. Guides are excellent and very professional - would definitely recommend!

The guide was friendly and engaging, I learnt a lot along the trip as well as seeing some amazing sights.

Brilliant tour and two very knowledgeable guides Jason and Jan. Thanks so much.