Things to see and do while backpacking in Auckland, New Zealand.
Check out tips from other travellers and bloggers and their experiences in Auckland, New Zealand.
If you're already planning to visit Auckland, New Zealand - scroll to the next section for a list of the best places to stay.
3. Hot Water Beach – The Coromandel
To get there: Hot Water Beach is located on the Coromandel Peninsula between Hahei and Tairua. If you’re arriving or staying in Auckland it is approximately 2 1/2 hrs drive from the city center.Nicola Amy
Pasifika and International Cultural Festivals 2016 in Auckland
SUMMERTIME IN AUCKLAND: IN HONOUR OF PACIFIC ISLANDS AND WORLDWIDE CULTURES During my stay in Auckland, I could notice that the number of foreign people moving in there has been increasing and I observed how the city accepts that the population is becoming international. I mainly remember of two Festivals to discover Pacific Islands and various cultures settled in New Zealand.Lusi
Moral of the story, if you’re in the country for a week, a month, a year or more, be sure to take the time to head north and visit the Kai Iwi Lakes. If you don’t have time to set up camp for a night, at least come for the day. With only 3 hours drive to Auckland City, there really is no excuse to miss out on this magical piece of New Zealand.Jacqui Allison
8 Not To Miss Wineries of New Zealand
The first wine tour I took was on Waiheke Island. It was 2009 and I had no idea the door I was about to unlock. Waiheke Island, located 18 kms east of Auckland, New Zealand’s capital, is a bit of an anomaly. Blessed with warm, sunny weather and fertile volcanic soil, Waiheke is home to 25 vineyards on 92 sq kms. This means, the island is densely packed with amazing food and wine.Barbara Lee
Auckland – Things to do:
I’ve wanted to explore New Zealand for some time now. After living in Australia for nearly two years, its neighbouring country has appealed to me in that time. After meeting fellow travellers and New Zealanders speaking about the country, the beauty of the natural landscape, endless activities and kind people, I was finally able to make the trip. My mom and I spent roughly three weeks road tripping the North and South Islands in a campervan, seeing as much as we could see on the open road. From my personal experiences, here are my tips and recommendations for the highlights of the North Island and everything in between. Campervan Rental and Freedom Camping First things first, if you’re looking to road trip New Zealand – which is the best way to see the country in my opinion, having a reliable campervan is important. Depending on what time of the year your going you might need to look into booking sooner rather than later. I just completed this trip in January, which also happens to be school holidays for New Zealand and Australia. To say the least, it was busy and had limited options for a rental even months before departing. We ended up renting a comfortable van for two with Eurocampers. Everything was included and supplied, from cooking pots and pans to towels and sheets for the bed. Free pick up and drop off from airports are included which is convenient and a great way to save if you’re on a budget. In New Zealand, Freedom Camping is generally a field or parking lot where you can park up your vehicle and sleep for free. Before this trip and what I didn’t realize about freedom camping is that your vehicle must be self-contained – this meaning you need to have your own facilities on board with you and the certified fully self-contained vehicle sticker which is generally located on the front or rear window of your vehicle. Conditions and fines do apply so please be cautious of this. I used the free app – campermate – which can locate all the closest freedom campsites, or paid campsites within your area. I found this app to be extremely helpful since not all freedom camping is labelled. If freedom camping isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other paid campsites, hostels, motels, etc. Auckland – Things to do: •Sky Tower – option to Skyjump/Skywalk •Mt. Eden •Mission Bay •Parnell / Gardens •Queen Street (Shopping) •Art Gallery •Auckland Museum •Botanical Gardens Sitting at about 1.5 million people, New Zealand’s largest population resides in Auckland. It’s a clean, lush city with plenty of hidden gems and alleyways which make you fall in love with the city. If you plan on being in Auckland for a few days I would highly recommend each of the above places or activities – each have something different to bring, whether you’re a solo traveller or a family with children. Mission Bay and Parnell are my favourites. Mission Bay’s beach town atmosphere will leave you wanting to come back for more, even if its just a quick refreshing dip in the ocean on a hot summers day. Parnell’s quaint streets filled with cafes, restaurants, lane ways, galleries and rose gardens make an afternoon stroll an absolute delight. Bike rentals are a popular choice throughout the city, its a great way to see a bit of the extras while getting some exercise. If biking isn’t for you, public transport is a great reliable option for those outer suburbs! Coromandel Peninsula Even though Auckland was great to see for a couple of days, I was excited to get out of the city and on the road to see the true countryside of New Zealand. As we drove along the Coromandel Peninsula along highway 25 on route to the town Coromandel, I was blown away by the picturesque views and combination of seaside cliffs with lush rolling hills. The roads are extremely windy so if you get car sick easily make sure to take this into consideration beforehand. Every bend and corner we took seemed more stunning than the last, pulling over for pictures and appreciation of the naturally beautiful countryside every chance we got. Coromandel Highlights and Must Do’s! •New Chums Beach •Cathedral Cove •Hot Water Beach •Waitomo Caves Hundreds of people flock during low tide to hot water beach, you have a 2-3 hour window where if you dig deep enough hot water will bubble through the golden sand creating your own natural hot springs! Hobbiton Roughly 20 minutes outside Matamata you’ll find Hobbiton. The price for a standard tour of Hobbiton is $79 per adult. Coming from someone who hasn’t finished reading the books or watched the movies I would highly recommend experiencing Hobbiton. Even though my lack of knowledge of the films wasn’t ideal, I was still able to appreciate Hobbiton for what it was; truly magical. The details in which how Hobbiton came to be are extremely fascinating and its a undeniably remarkable film set. At the end of the tour a complimentary drink is even included at The Green Dragon! Wellington Approximately a five hour drive from Taupo, we finally reached the very bottom tip of the North Island and the Capital of New Zealand; Wellington. I had really been looking forward to Wellington, I’d met fellow travellers who had nothing but good things to say about the funky city. As soon as we were entering along the water I knew I’d like it, I became in lust with all the homes up in the hills looking down over the city and waterfront. We spent a lot of time on Cuba Street – plenty of shops and cafes. We lucked out and happened to be there on the weekend, stumbled into the Harbour-side Markets which are set up every Sunday – they were fabulous! The active and lively city vibrates a wonderful atmosphere to be a part of. It was quiet nice just to roam the streets and get lost a little to see what we might find. You can discover a 360 degree view of the city from Mt. Victoria – roughly a two and a half hour return walk up the mountain for the spectacular view of Wellington. There are also plenty of bike and walking trails throughout the area for all ages if you don’t want to complete the full hike. If the trek isn’t for you, it makes for a nice drive in and around the windy roads up towards the top of the mountain. From Wellington, you can take a ferry over to the south island which is about 3 hours. New Island, new adventure… Please keep an eye out for the South Island: Part 2, coming soon!jenrussell
There are many ways you can travel the country. Most cities such as Auckland and Wellington have good public transport systems and it is fairly easy to get around. Living in Wellington I have found navigating the bus system easy. It is $2 per zone and $1.66 if you have a Snapper card. I often travel from the train station to the end of Courtney Place which only costs me $2. Each bus stop has time tables up so you can see when the next bus will arrive. You can also look up your travel route on the Metlink website if you are unsure which bus route to take. I often check the website to see when the next bus is coming before I leave the house.kaya-williams
What to do three Days in Auckland
Me and my boyfriend arrived at the 24th of December in Auckland, early in the morning. We did not expect anything, just called our car rental agency and waited for them outside the airport. Due to the winter season in Germany, we were happy to have summer in New Zealand at that point of time. It was a bit cold at 4 AM, maybe around 14 degrees. But with the sun rising, temperatures got up to 19 degrees – we felt very comfortable.Anne Watermann
2. Picking Queenstown
Now, even though it was up in the air between us as to where we were going to plonk ourselves for the year, I knew in the back of my mind Queenstown was my one. I assured Lewis that I was right, and being a good lad, he agreed. We flew into Auckland with the plan to buy a cheap car and drive down to the South Island.Katie Cleary
Quick facts about Mount Ngauruhoe
Whether or not you are a Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fan– in New Zealand you will sooner or later come across sites which have been part of the movie. One of it is Mount Ngauruhoe (2287 metres), an active volcano and one of the three mighty mountains of the Tongariro National Park on the North Island of New Zealand. With a few digital adjustments Peter Jackson transformed Mt Ngauruhoe into the fiery Mt Doom and made it known world-wide. While some of the LOTR movie sites like the Hobbiton require a fortune for their tours, climbing the “Mt Doom” is a free activity and also by far the more adventurous one. The hike is by no means one for the faint-hearted. The ascent is steep and you walk on gravel – good footing and fitness are required. But once you reach the top your efforts will be rewarded with breathtaking views. Quick facts about Mount Ngauruhoe Mt Ngauruhoe is one of many hikes in the Tonariro National Park. Tongariro National Park is New Zealand’s oldest national park and has been approved by UNESCO as cultural and natural World Heritage Site. It is located halfway between Auckland and Wellington. The hike starts from Magatepopo hut on 1100 metres, it is 19 km long and takes about 6-7 hours to complete, Mt Ngauruhoe is an active volcano, its last eruption was in 1977 – before setting out check the weather condition and current volcanic status with the DOC visitor center situated in Whakapapa Village or online. You could include the summit trip to Mt Ngauruhoe also as a side loop in the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing – it takes about 3 hours return from the South Crater The level for the summit climb is difficult and good shoes and experience are recommended Strolling through the Mangatepopo Valley to the Soda Spring The Mangatepopo hut, the starting point for the summit tour to Mt Ngauruhoe, is nestled among a unique scenery. While the majestic cone of the volcano sits on one side you can see the peak of Mt Taranaki in the west. After one last toilet stop we took off through the giant Mangatepopo valley which has been carved out by the glacier. For about 45 minutes we walk on a well maintained, fairly flat track, along high grass and little streams. Board walks even make sure that we won’t get our feet wet in the damper part. Coming from Switzerland, where most of the hiking paths are natural, we were a bit amused that the trails were so well maintained. But it’s convenient and allows you to look around and study the interesting lava formations and boulders without stumbling over rocks.Melanie
Cape Reinga – The place where New Zealand begins!
For those already googling it up and looking at this place on the map, you must be wondering that this is a pretty long distance from the Bay of Island (cities like Pahia and Russell) and if its actually worth the drive. Fear not because a lot of companies provide full day tours from Pahia and Russell. And for those who are planning to visit cities like Auckland from across the globe I’d still say, hire a car and drive up to Bay of Islands and then invest a day visiting Cape Reinga. You will remember this day all your life. The place is majestic and witnessing the two Great Seas / Oceans come together will make you believe even more in the Greatness of the Creator of this World.Hina
First thing first, How do I get to Wellington?
Chances are if you are travelling to New Zealand you will be arriving in Auckland, and you will be in the country to either explore the beautiful South Island (Queenstown, Wanaka, Christchurch) or to explore the upper half of the North Island (Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo). These are all beautiful regions to explore, but unfortunately these popular routes do not include Wellington. The city of Wellington is a little bit like the younger Kardashians-Jenner sisters when compared to the more tourist populated towns, it is a lot less explored and ventured, unlike its older, more established relatives, though contains a youthful attitude which will capture your attention. There are numerous flights per day from Auckland and with it only taking an hour in the sky there is really no excuse, so book it here and don’t be too surprised when there is a mountain outside your window, that’s just Mt Ruapehu standing proud at over 9000 ft. Now, if you have a more leisurely trip planned I highly recommend you bus and explore more of NZ while you are at it. Mana and Naked Bus companies provide an excellent service, cheap prices and if you’re looking you travel extensively throughout the country they offer a ‘passport’ giving you a maximum amount of rides for a good set price.Tasha Amy
The Adventure Begins
My boyfriend and I calculated both money and how much time we could realistically take away from our lives and came up with the magic number – five weeks to hit both North and South. What we realised early on is that five weeks is an odd amount of time to visit any new place – while it’s more than enough time for a traditional holiday, when trying to fit in an entire country, it has the disadvantage of limiting how much sightseeing you can do balanced with the amount of time you spend traveling from place to place. Considering we wanted to journey from Auckland to Wellington, catch a ferry and do a loop of the South Island, trying to organise ourselves to make every minute count was essential. So I spent months pouring over travel guides/websites and blogs, creating a priority list of everything we needed to see, and then a secondary list for everything else we wanted to see.Anika Aylward Blake
Travelling for One: Auckland, NZ
Exploring Auckland, New Zealand Day 1: AucklandFergielyn Maneja Catayoc
Goat Island snorkelling:
With our car packed with surfboards, skateboards, snorkelling gear and camping equipment we set off on a roady to the tip top of New Zealand: Cape Reinga. Starting in Auckland we made our way to Goat Island for a snorkel amongst some of the biggest Snapper I have ever seen. Goat Island is approx. 2.5 acres of NZ’s first marine reserve, it is sacred to the local Maori and is a popular tourist destination in the Summer season.Sophie
Whangarei: A destination
Whenever I tell someone I’m from Whangarei (fun-ga-ray), New Zealand, the most common response is “oh I think I’ve driven through there on the way to (insert more touristy spot up north)”. Anyone overseas usually has absolutely no clue until I say that it’s two hours north of Auckland. I’d like to champion my hometown as a destination rather than just a few houses and traffic lights whizzing by out the car window, or a name nobody can pronounce!Jess Anderson
Coming from Vanuatu and the Pacific.
When we arrived in Wellington, the city had already earned to our eyes its infamous nickname: Windy Wellington. Indeed, when my girlfriend was on her last leg from Auckland to Wellington her plane couldn’t land because of a heavy storm developing over our holiday’s skies. For my part, I had sneaked in through the gales as I had come in a day early from the wonderful archipelago of Vanuatu via Suva airport in Fiji (a 24 hour trip for some actual 6 hours of flight due to poor planning on my part).Sandgi Sariani
NEW ZEALAND’S GEM: RAGLAN
Manu Bay, Raglan beach waves. NEW ZEALAND’S GEM: RAGLAN Many people I meet abroad say “oh yes I’ve been to New Zealand… I’ve been to Auckland.” My response is always along the lines of “well you’re going to have to go back, and add Raglan to your list.” Don’t get me wrong, Auckland can be super fun and it has it’s perks, but New Zealand definitely has so much more to offer. And I like to think the place I call home is New Zealand’s hidden gem. A small beach town on the west side of the North Island, called Raglan. RAGLAN It sits 45 minutes from the city of Hamilton allowing you to enjoy the quietness and relaxing life by the beach yet still in driving distance to the hustle and bustle of the city. The drive alone has you envisioning yourself in Jurassic Park, with the windy narrow roads that wrap around the mountains while having a peek at the windmills as they peer through the hills. It truly is a sight in itself. Raglan is a tourist hot spot famous for it’s left side break and is a popular surfing destination. People flock to experience the laid back lifestyle but still it offers something for everyone. So, let’s talk! The top 10 things to do in Raglan! 1. Bridge Jumping Bridge jumping Raglan beach.J
New Zealand : the land of wonders
I took a Emirates flight from Prague to Auckland via Dubai. My ticket was around 780£ and I had a ten-hour long transfer in Dubai Aiport. Luckily I got a call from Emirates a few weeks prior to departure saying that my ticket allows me to use a free hotel and transfer service – duh. When I arrived in Dubai I made to the minibus which would take me to the hotel. The hotel was really nice and it included a free breakfast. My room was for two people, both beds were big and really comfortable. After taking a shower I headed straight to bed and woke up the next day with a morning call from the reception. The hardest part of my getting-to-paradise was ahead. Almost 19-hour long flight with a transit in Melbourne.ali-derbi
5 Reasons You Should Visit Auckland, New ZealandAnjali Kay
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