Auckland is nestled in a bay on the North Island of New Zealand, facing the Pacific Ocean on the east and the Tasman Sea on the west. One of New Zealand’s largest urban areas, Auckland is known for its vibrant Maori community, waterfront seafood restaurants, and picturesque harbors. A must-see is the Sky Tower – standing at 328 meters above sea level, it’s the tallest freestanding building in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Enjoy a beach getaway at Piha Beach or Muriwai Beach, both of which offer some of the country’s top surf spots. For a spot of nature, hop on a bout and tour the many island northeast of Auckland. Animal lovers can organize a trip to the islands of the Hauraki Gulf – Tiritiri Matangi Island is a sanctuary for birds and other native species of New Zealand.

    What to see & do in Auckland

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    • 10 Best Things to Do in Auckland

      Some of the best things to do in Auckland highlight its vibrant Maori community, waterfront seafood restaurants and bars, as well as a dazzling skyline. Nestled in a bay on the North Island, the city faces the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Tasman Sea. What Auckland lacks in natural wonder tourist attractions — no small feat in nature-rich...

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    An Auckland city break combines urban style, Polynesian culture and on-the-edge activities. Five-star hotel bars offer elegant nightlife spaces while promenades at the waterfront bustle with all kinds of people, and all sorts of activity.

    Auckland is not the adventure sports centre of New Zealand but nearby opportunities for kayaking and other outdoor activities abound. Auckland is a particularly good destination for young families, with several swimming pools and leisure centres designed just for the little ones.

    Outdoor pursuits

    Make the most of the waterfront location on an Auckland city break. Go swimming at inner-harbor beaches, scuba diving in marine reserves and kayaking at nearby Okahu Bay. The Harbour Bridge provides bungy-jumping and the Sky Tower attraction, looming over Auckland lets brave souls freefall off the top. For a more leisurely pace, the coast-to-coast walkway between Waitemata and Manukau harbors is an enjoyable 15km self-guided walk. Sightseeing cruises ply the harbor and sailing tours ride the waves in America’s Cup yachts.

    Auckland on a plate

    Award-winning restaurants in Auckland cluster on Viaduct Harbour and neighboring Ponsonby and Parnell roads. This is a food-loving city. Sophisticated restaurants at fashionable Auckland hotels and food courts offering global cuisines compete with Pacific Rim eateries, waterfront seafood specialists and Italian cafés serving serious coffee. Late-night drinks are poured in Viaduct Harbour’s glamorous bars, and wine aficionados seek out New Zealand specialties at wine bars in the inner city.

    Auckland for kids

    Auckland has a huge sense of fun, with jaw-dropping views from Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere, and indoor skiing year-round at Snowplanet. Penguins are a hit at Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter, and kiwis and other native animals feature at the zoo. Go swimming at safe Mission Beach, and fire young imaginations at the Maori Treasures Gallery and discovery center at Auckland Museum.

    Street scenes

    Auckland locals crowd the top nightlife streets like Ponsonby and K Road seven nights a week. Safety is assured even if the crowds seem large and unmanageable and the red light strips, particularly on Ponsonby Road, are surprisingly classy and the range of bars means that there is generally something to suit everyone.

    Live music

    New Zealanders love live music, particularly folk and hip-hop and Auckland is very much the capital of the country's live music scene. Clubs like Envy present live acts most nights a week while many restaurants and cafés offer ‘open-mic' nights and regular return acts.

    Sky City

    No-one could miss this thriving complex of new Auckland as the Sky Tower looms about a thousand feet about street level. At the top is a revolving restaurant and observation deck while closer to earth is everything from a casino to a five-star hotel.

    Movie theater and theatre

    The gorgeous Civic Theatre hosts large Broadway musicals as they tour through the Asia-Pacific and a large number of commercial and art house movie theaters in the area should delight all kinds of movie lovers. Regular film festivals attract filmmakers and filmgoers from all over the world.

    Night-time cafés

    Join the crowds at the waterfront particularly at Mission Bay to choose just the right restaurant that suits your mood, or simply take in a coffee or beer and enjoy the sea breeze, and the people watching. In the cooler months, gas heaters insure outdoor comfort.

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