Planning a trip to Auckland? Get some inspiration on what to do while you’re there with our idea of a perfect three-day itinerary. History, culture, entertainment, restaurants… Pack it all in at a comfortable pace and don’t miss a thing!
Astride an isthmus between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the largest city in New Zealand enjoys an idyllic location that will allow you to discover many natural wonders and remarkable sites during your stay.
Upon your arrival in the city of sails (here, the rate of yachts per resident is the highest in the world), get your bearings from the top of Mount Eden. This dormant volcano is the highest natural point in the city and thus offers a beautiful view over Auckland. From here you will have the opportunity to marvel at the city’s peculiar position, stretching from one end to the other of the isthmus, seeming to cut the ocean in two. At the foot of the volcano is Eden Park stadium, one of the most famous rugby stadiums in the world. It regularly hosts the All Blacks, the New Zealand team which has been crowned world champion several times.
Next, head north towards the Auckland Domain, Auckland's oldest and largest park. Within the park, you will find the Auckland War Memorial Museum, one of the country's most important museums. This is a great chance to learn more about New Zealand, its nature and its military history. You will also discover the history of the Maori and Pacific peoples.
To round off the afternoon, return to the city and set your sights on the top of the Sky Tower. At 328 metres it is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. Thrill-seekers can bungee jump from the top, but you can also just go up to contemplate the city laid out beneath you.
In the evening, you will find the Viaduct Harbour area buzzing with people of all backgrounds. Grab a table at one of the bars with outdoor areas, sit back and watch the harbour activity. Opposite the Sky Tower, a bar called "Pastis" offers a little slice of France in the heart of Auckland.
The next day, take the boat to the volcanic island of Rangitoto, north of Auckland. The island is a nature reserve and its volcano is the largest in the region. Here you can appreciate one of the main qualities of New Zealand: its astonishing natural beauty. From high up on the volcanic slopes you will have a beautiful view over the bay of Auckland.
From Rangitoto, you can easily get to Motutapu, separated from Rangitoto by a narrow channel – just five metres wide – that is spanned by a bridge built during the Second World War. On Motutapu, you’ll find many Maori archaeological sites, and will marvel at the geology which is completely different from that of its neighbouring island. The island is criss-crossed with numerous hiking trails.
In the evening, return to the centre of Auckland, and make your way to Karangahape Road, known by locals as K Road. This is one of the main streets running through the city centre, and you should have no trouble finding a restaurant or bar that you like the look of.
The next morning, head to One Tree Hill, a volcanic peak rising 180 metres above the town, located in the south of the city. A little further out than Mount Eden, it is a haven of peace and quiet. A pleasant walk will take you to the top, from which you can see the two ports of Auckland, each opening onto a different sea. This is an important spot for meditation, particularly for the Maori people.
In the afternoon, return to the coast, catch the boat and explore Waiheke Island, the most populated island in the bay. It is particularly known for its fine quality of life, which attracts many artists and celebrities. You will find beautiful beaches and several art galleries and craft shops. And take the opportunity to sample some of the wines from the many vineyards on the island.
For your last night in Auckland, follow your heart’s desire. You could, for example, dine at the top of the Sky Tower to give you a last glimpse of the city spread out beneath you, or you could opt to stroll around the vibrant harbour area for much of the evening.
Your three day stay in Auckland should allow you to discover the many elements that make up New Zealand, with its history and its cultural mix, its beautiful beaches and volcanic peaks, islands and mountains. If you can spend a little more time in the city, take the opportunity to explore its more remote beaches, like the beautiful beach of Piha, or spend a little longer exploring the islands.