Auckland is located on the North Island of New Zealand. I also learnt rather swiftly on our arrival that it is known as the City of Sails.
While I had always wanted to go to New Zealand, I hadn’t given too much thought to what I would do once I was there. So if you find yourself in this situation then read on as I have the 5 top things to do when you visit.
My Top 5 Things to do in Auckland
Catch the ferry to Devonport
Well, you can drive if you like but seriously in a city with so much water around you just need to get on it. Devonport is a small harbourside suburb which has so much character. It has a beautiful waterfront parade that gives stunning views over the Waitemata Harbour. You also need to ensure you go up Mount Victoria and North Head. Mount Victoria is the highest volcano on the Auckland Harbour. Wandering on the top also gives you stunning views of Auckland and Rangitoto Island.
If you can be in Auckland for New Years, then you will get to see this tower in all its glory.
Fun Fact : Auckland is the first city to see the new year in.
The Skytower has lots of options for those adventurous and those not so adventurous. You sky bungee jump off the side, walk on the edge with a harness or enjoy the views from inside the viewing platforms. The 360 views of the city and harbour show you are stunning. You also get to see just why it is the city of sails with all the boats in the water.
Like Devonport, this is another place that you need to get on a ferry to explore. This island is a little piece of paradise. It has sweet boutique shops with lots of lovely gifts, quirky eateries and most importantly a whole lot of wineries. I highly recommend visiting Goldies, which is associated with Auckland University. The island is small and easily covered by hire car, or there is a hop-on-hop-off bus that you can go from winery to winery and a quick pit stop at the beach.
This is a lovely area just by the ferry terminals. Full of huge mega yachts, stylish waterfront apartments, upmarket restaurants and lots of communal space for tourists and locals alike to share. There is a library in a shipping container with deck chairs for you to sit and read and absorb the laid back atmosphere. This is a great part of Auckland to enjoy both during the day and in the evening.
Adjacent to the Viaduct Harbour is the Maritime Museum which is certainly worth the entry price and gives you an insight into the maritime history of both Auckland and New Zealand. It has extraordinary exhibits, and you will be surprised just how many boats they have in there. The collections are interesting and informative that leave you walking away feeling a little bit more educated about the sailing world and New Zealand’s Maritime history. You can also book to go out in a historic boat on the harbour if the weather is right