Sightseeing · Things to do

Auckland: Six things not to miss

New Zealand is often branded as the adventure capital of the world. It’s the birthplace of the adrenaline accelerating activity the bungy jump and there’s ample stories from travelers that have jumped out of a plane that stands hundreds of feet from the ground. But my whistle stop tour of Auckland was only going to allow me to do certain activities. Here’s some I’d recommend:

1. Sky Tower. Priced at around $26, this won’t break the bank. But it will offer you the chance to see just how beautiful Auckland’s landscape is.

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2. The Auckland Museum. For Aucklanders its free entry. For visitors it costs about the same as Sky Tower. Offering a myriad of cultural learning, the museum focuses on Maori history, WW1 and WW2, as well as Natural Sciences – the “Volcano Room” is an interactive experience not to be missed!

3. Waitakere Estate. It’s a four star hotel, so I’m not suggesting you book in for the night if the purse strings are tight. But it’s certainly worth taking a drive up to see the views from the estate. The dense jungle-esque greenery of the ranges contrasts beautifully to that of the city’s modern skyline. I was fortunate enough to stay in the hotel as my brother chose this location for his wedding. If you do have a few extra dollars lying around and fancy a treat, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Rooms are typically around $100. Brekkie not included.

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4. Piha beach. Wow. Just wow. It’s a fair bit West of the city, but Piha beach places you at what feels like the epicentre of natural beauty. Gusts of fresh air as you walk along the sea front, married with stunning hillsides and the pounding crashes of waves against the cliffs – here, I felt insanely relaxed and as close to nature than I’ve ever been.

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5. The Viaduct. Auckland is the City of Sails and at the Viaduct you get the opportunity to grasp just why. It’s home to hundreds of beautiful yachts and sail boats, and taking a walk around to see how they other half live is surprisingly fascinating. If you fancy a cheeky sail yourself, I’d recommend signing up to one of the trips that run from the marina area daily. They start at around $75 for an hour and a half and it’s worth every cent just to be out on the water.

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6. Waiheke Island. Just a short trip on a ferry from the CBD, Waiheke Island boasts its own micro climate, as well as plenty of beautiful vineyards. Wine. Yes. If you aren’t into wine tasting, then there’s plenty of others things to get acquainted with: walks, beaches and the like. Take your pick and enjoy this awesome island.

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Auckland has SO many other activities. The list above is by no means exhaustive. One thing for sure is that whatever your budget, this city will have something to offer.

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