Auckland has a lot to offer, something for all ages and tastes. Auckland City is frequently voted in the top 5 best cities to live in, based around two large harbours, the city has access to lots of water based activities, fishing, sailing, exploring islands, golf, cruises, with superyachts and cruise ships often in the harbour. The city also has the tallest free standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, offering amazing views across the city and harbour, where you can walk around the perimeter or jump off the top! Auckland also has lush inner city parks, waterfront cafes and bars, a vibrant café and bar scene, museums and art galleries. Below are a few of Luxury Adventures favourite Auckland experiences.
Rangitoto Volcano: Rangitoto Island is a volcanic island, rising 260 metres above sea level in the Hauraki gulf, Auckland harbour. There are a few ways to see Rangitoto, you can hop on the ferry, which takes 25 minutes from downtown Auckland and walk to the summit on a well formed track. It’s a steep but manageable walk, with spectacular 360° views over the harbour and back to Auckland city. About half way up the track you can view lava caves, these are well sign posted from the main track.
There are options to take a guided walk which not only takes in Rangitoto but the neighbouring island of Motutapu with it’s endangered bird life. Your guide will share their knowledge about the history and cultural importance of Rangitoto.
Or another cool and unique way to see Rangitoto is to kayak from downtown Auckland with a guide, and sunset is the best time to do this. Paddle across the Waitemata harbour, where you may see wildlife such as Little Blue Penguins and Cooks Petrels. As you land on the beach your guide will take you to the summit to enjoy the views, and upon return to the beach you’ll enjoy a true Kiwi style BBQ picnic before heading back to the city under the starlit sky. Ask the Luxury Adventures team if you would like a guided walking or kayak tour including in your itinerary.
Waiheke Wine tours: Waiheke, another of Auckland’s islands in the Hauraki Gulf, is known for its world class wines, as well as fantastic beaches, art galleries, craft breweries and great walks. You can hop on one of the regular ferries which run from downtown Auckland and this takes 35 minutes or alternatively a helicopter takes around 12 mins. The bus service on the island meets the ferry’s and runs around the island at regular intervals. Alternatively you can join a group tour, or we can arrange a privately guided tour with local experts . You can read more about Waiheke Island and the wineries in one of our previous blogs.
America Cup: The America’s Cup is the oldest international sporting trophy in the world, and Auckland has been selected to host the 2021 event. Luxury Adventures can arrange for you to sail in one of the America Cup Yachts that were once used in previous regattas. This is a fun and relatively inexpensive activity, hop on board and help sail the yacht, maybe take a turn at the helm, or hoist the sails Sail for 2 hours in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. For anyone who is interested in spectating at the 2021 America Cup event live in Auckland, we strongly recommend booking early as accommodation will book up very quickly. Contact the Luxury Adventures team for help with booking a a 2021 itinerary.
Auckland City tours: With two harbours, 48 volcanic cones, museums, inner city beaches, and art galleries Auckland city has many offerings. Beyond the city there are wineries, golden beaches on the east coast and on the west coast the black sand beaches of Piha, Murawai and Karekare. Just a 45 minute drive from the city centre is the Waitakere Ranges, more than 16,000 hectares of native bush, waterfalls, beaches, and you can bet it feels like a million miles away from the bright city lights. If you are short on time, Luxury Adventures can arrange bespoke tours for you, something to suit your individual requirements. Perhaps a city walking food tour with Auckland’s diverse culture? You can enjoy spice tours, Chinese and dumpling tours, food through the ages. Visit local restaurants for tastings and talk to chefs, and local food writers. Or perhaps combine a city tour with visits to the museum and art gallery in the morning and head out to the the Waitakere Ranges for a walk in the afternoon, finished off with a dip in the ocean at Piha beach. With our access to local guides we can ensure the tour is specific to your requirements.
Whales & Dolphins: There are many different species of whales and dolphins to be found in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, among them are the Bryde’s whales, Bottlenose dolphins, Common Dolphins, Sei Whale, Dwarf Minke whale, and Orca. Regular tours run all year round, from Auckland’s Viaduct harbour, which is easily accessible usually by foot from most central Auckland hotels. The tours operate daily in winter and twice daily in summer, you need to allow 4.5 hours in total for the tour. Costs are relatively inexpensive at around $150 per person. Let the Luxury Adventures team know if you would like to include a whale and dolphin safari in your honeymoon or vacation.
Luxury Adventures – Tailoring luxury travel in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific Islands since 1999.