Guest post from Linda at Indie Travel Podcast
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, but for some reason, visitors to the country tend to pass through with hardly a glance. Make sure to include at least a full day in your itinerary to experience some of what the City of Sails has to offer.
Auckland is a harbour city, so getting out on the water is a must! If you’re looking for a hike, catch the ferry to Rangitoto Island and walk to the top of this iconic volcano. Bring a packed lunch, there are no shops on the island.
If you’d prefer a more relaxed day, take the ferry to Devonport for a wander around the shops. The adventurous can walk or bus along to North Head to check out the gun emplacements from the Second World War, or just relax in the park and soak up Devonport’s atmosphere.
It’s not a healthy option, but it’s traditional! Find a bakery and buy a hot, savoury pie — my favourite is steak and cheese. Wash it down with New Zealand’s soft drink, L&P.
Make your way back to the city centre and spend the day exploring. A trip to the top of the Sky Tower will give you views for miles, so that’s a great place to start. There’s a great art gallery, and the museum is a good choice for rainy days.
Make your way back to the city centre and spend the day exploring. A trip to the top of the Sky Tower will give you views for miles, so that’s a great place to start.There’s a great art gallery, and the museum is a good choice for rainy days.
If you’d prefer a bit of adventure, consider the sky jump bungee off the sky tower, or head to another of Auckland’s symbols, the harbour bridge. You can jump off that too!
Auckland is an incredibly cosmopolitan city; you’ll be able to find almost any cuisine you fancy. Head to the top of Queen Street (past Aotea Square) to find a range of Japanese and Korean restaurants, or check out this list for fine dining suggestions. Alternatively, catch the bus to Kohimarama or Mission Bay, buy some fish and chips from a small fish and chip shop, and eat them on the beach.
If you’re a theatre enthusiast, head to a show in the city centre- there’s always something on. Comedy is popular, and if it’s summer you may be able to catch an outdoor Shakespeare performance.
If a drink or two is more your thing, make your way to the Viaduct waterfront area, where there are dozens of bars and restaurants to choose from. The Wynyard Quarter, just across a small bridge, continues the theme.
Where to stay
Auckland’s city centre is pretty small, and if you choose a central hotel you’ll be able to see a lot of the sights on foot. However, if you prefer apartment rentals, suburbs like Parnell, Ponsonby, and Mission Bay are pleasant with good public transport connections.
Auckland’s a great base for day trips to nearby wine regions or a hike in the Waitakere Ranges. Hire a car and head north to visit the Bay of Islands, or make your way south to see more of the country: Rotorua’s hot springs, the Great Lake Taupo, mountains, forests, and endless beaches.
It’s easy to spend weeks in New Zealand, and there’s plenty to see- just make sure to spend some time in Auckland first!
About the Author
Linda Martin is a New Zealander who started travelling around the world in February 2006 with her husband Craig and got hooked. They’ve been professionally homeless since then, and in late 2006 they started the Indie Travel Podcast to share tips and stories about independent travel. As well as ITP, they also run a website development and hosting business, Performance Foundry.
Check out their fantastic sites and find out more here!