Holidays in Auckland provide the ultimate blend of city sightseeing and nature. Situated in New Zealand’s North Island, it is the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan city and is a vibrant hub of high-end boutiques, world-class museums and award-winning restaurants and bars. Also known as the ‘City of Sails’ due to the number of yachts in its two stunning harbours, Auckland is a haven for watersports enthusiasts. Adventures include everything from kayaking and rafting to surfing and sailing. You can even go dolphin or whale spotting, or head underwater for unobstructed views of sharks and the other colourful sea life.
There is more to Auckland holidays than the urban metropolis. The city itself is surrounded by natural attractions, including Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano, and Waiheke Island, known for its many beautiful wineries and vineyards. The Waitakere Ranges are also just a short drive away and are home to 16,000 hectares of native rainforest, picturesque waterfalls and dramatic black sand surf beaches. With 155 miles of trails, this is an incredible place to explore on foot.
Auckland holidays: a food and wine lover’s paradise
Auckland holidays offer a melting pot of cultures and traditions. The city is home to many incredible restaurants, and food and wine producers. The foodie scene has access to delicious and fresh natural ingredients. Top of your list of foods to try should be the freshly-caught seafood, sweet fruit from the Bay of Plenty, and locally-sourced meat. There will always be plenty of local wine to wash your food down, and highlights include intense cabernet blends and bold syrah.
For a holiday full of culture, natural sights and cosmopolitan cities, book an Auckland multi-centre holiday and explore the best of New Zealand. Located almost at the very north of the North Island, the city provides the perfect starting point for those wanting to explore New Zealand from top to bottom.
Great sample itineraries
Set around two large harbours, holidays in Auckland offer something for everyone. Get inspired by our selection of popular itineraries for Auckland holidays.
Auckland To Christchurch Tour
Escorted Tour South Island New Zealand
Explore all aspects of New Zealand’s culture – from women’s rights and Māori culture to its beautiful wildlife. Children will love the Secret World of Butterflies which displays some of the island’s most colourful creatures. See Māori cultural performances and learn about this fascinating culture or see ancient artefacts and discover the history of this wonderful country.
Visit a volcanic island
Auckland is built in the middle of a spectacular volcanic landscape, which is full of rugged terrain and black sandy beaches. Rangitoto Island was created by a dormant volcano and can be reached via the ferry from Auckland’s harbour, as well as by kayak. Climb crystallised lava flows and reach the top, from where you can take in some magnificent views of the bay below.
Explore Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Auckland’s Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki, celebrates New Zealand’s fascinating culture, both past and present, and is home to the largest permanent collection of New Zealand art in the world. Set out over four floors it is one of the city’s most spectacular buildings and is home to over 700 years of artworks. Tours leave twice a day, or you can explore at your own pace.
Sail on a racing yacht
Auckland is home to two harbours, each of which is filled with luxury yachts and sailing boats and gives the city its nickname – the ‘City of Sails’. Spend the day on a racing yacht with an expert crew and admire views of the harbour and sparkling bay beyond. Learn to hoist the sail, steer the boat and beat the competition before enjoying a delicious lunch on board.
“Head to the suburbs and explore the trendy residential area of Ponsonby. It’s only 10 minutes from the city centre and home to a selection of restaurants, bars and street food stalls.”
“Sports fans can watch cricket matches for free if you head to Victoria Park on the weekends. This is when the amateur teams play, so it’s a great way to take in a game.”
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Auckland holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.
Fireworks from Sky Tower
If you’re planning Christmas in Auckland, make sure to see in the New Year in the city. Spectators can enjoy the stunning fireworks from Auckland’s Sky Tower. Shooting from the iconic building, there are various vantage points dotted around the city to countdown to the New Year.
Millions of New Zealanders and Australians celebrate ANZAC Day on April 25th every year. This is a day of remembrance for all New Zealanders and Australians killed in the war. There are a series of dawn services, ceremonies and events.
Waitangi Day is the National Day of New Zealand, which celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. It’s held as a public holiday so expect lots of locals at the event. The official celebrations are held at the Waitangi National Grounds in the Bay of Islands. There are many other celebrations throughout the city, with activities such as hangi, dances and tree-planting to commemorate the coming together of people.
Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Auckland holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.
The surrounding oceans of the North Islands mean that Auckland dishes up some of the best seafood in the world. From crayfish caught from Kaikoura to salmon served as sashimi, smoked or grilled, or green-lipped mussels, there is a wide variety to choose from.
Auckland has a rapidly growing craft beer scene to match New Zealand’s famous wines. The city’s breweries and bars serve some of the best New Zealand produced drinks, as well as international bottles. Check out one of the city’s craft beer hotspots and bask in the sun as you quench your thirst.
Sample handmade cheese and get your carb fix with fresh bread, or taste gourmet, free-range meats at one of Auckland’s popular farmer’s markets. Make sure you arrive hungry, so you can eat your way through an eclectic range of stalls, which sell everything from fish to fudge.
Wineries and boutique vineyards
Whether you fancy a day of wine tasting or a sit down meal with wine, Auckland boasts many renowned wineries for amateur tasters to established sommeliers. While you are enjoying Auckland travel, ensure you head to one of the many vineyards, such as Cable Bay, Waiheke Island or the Ascension Wine Estate in Matakana.
Handmade olive oils
Visit one of Auckland’s stunning olive groves, where you can see how olives are picked from the trees at the perfect time for optimal flavours and colours before being pressed and processed to make gourmet olive oil. Enjoy these olive oils for culinary purposes, as well as other artisan olive oil products, such as soap, tea and honey.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
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The Hayes & Jarvis Way
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