11 Amazing Things to Do in Auckland

Things to do in Auckland

Auckland is the most populated city in New Zealand, which is also a multicultural centre for food, music, art, and culture. Also known as Tmaki Makaurau, Auckland is a sprawling city that offers an amazing blend of urban experiences and lava-covered hills.

Check out this list of 10 amazing things to do in Auckland. This will get your trip off to a perfect start. Auckland is the city where for many the adventure in New Zealand begins. But everyone is so curious about the rest of the country that they often forget to do fun things in Auckland. We are going to change that.

Everything on the list is nice and central and can be easily reached on foot or by bus. When booking your hostel, you can immediately check how close you are to the attractions in our top 10, and I can assure you; that you’ll have the time of your life and may want to stay there forever. However, all good things must, unfortunately, come to an end, so we would love to make sure you will make the best out of your stay in the region of Auckland.

TRAVEL TIP: Before going on an adventure in Auckland, make sure to keep your belongings safe. Check out mindmybag.com and their various luggage storage locations in Auckland.

Auckland Museum

Auckland Museum
Auckland Museum

The Auckland War Memorial Museum (or Auckland Museum for short) is the best place to learn about New Zealand’s history, its people, and everyone’s role in the Pacific. The Auckland Museum is definitely worth a visit. The museum is located in the middle of the Auckland Domain, that big park in the middle of the city. Admission costs NZ$25 for international visitors. For all that you get to see at the Auckland Museum, this is well worth it. A unique cultural experience.

What are Auckland Museum’s opening and closing hours?

The Auckland Museum is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Mon to Fri except for Tues); 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM (Tues), and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Sat to Sun).

Is there an entry fee for Auckland residents?

For Auckland residents and members, general admission access is free; for visitors (not living in Auckland), it’s NZ $25.

Shopping in Parnell

Shopping in Parnell
Shopping in Parnell

If you’re looking for clothes, homewares, electronic devices, books, beautiful art, fresh flowers, a special gift, or pieces of jewelry, Parnell is the place to go. Take a stroll at Parnell and visit a world of exceptional design shops, amazing eateries, excellent art, and eccentric stores that provide a certain service that is simply unavailable anywhere in Auckland.

Auckland as a whole is a great place to shop, as you’ll see when you walk down Queen Street. Along that wide and long street, you will find many stores and a number of shopping malls. Really nice and unique shopping is done in Parnell, the area you will encounter if you go from Queen Street straight through Albert Park and Alten Park, then via Parnell Rise you enter Parnell (or take the Inner Link Bus). In Parnell, you will find all kinds of boutiques and independent stores with jewelry, art, chocolate, and more. Plus cozy restaurants and cafés. Parnell is a really nice area.

Is there parking at Parnell when going shopping?

There is free parking from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Rates for the first 2 hours are $2.50 each and for succeeding hours are $5 per hour. However, on weekends and federal holidays, parking is free at Parnell Road.

Viaduct Harbour

Viaduct Harbour
Viaduct Harbour

Viaduct Harbour offers a variety of fun and enjoyable activities, including a spa, beercycle, food tours, a sky tower, a maritime museum, and park wandering.

If you are at the end of Queen Street (near the water and the Ferry Building), turn left and walk to the harbour or Viaduct Harbour. There you will find (in addition to the many yachts and boats) many restaurants and cafes. If you walk a little further, you’ll come to the Wynyard Crossing bridge. There are many benches, and you can sit on the steps near the water. It’s great to hang out in the summer with your feet in the water of the Viaduct Basin while enjoying a bowl of sushi or a pie you just bought (lunch tip!). Summer living is easy to do in Auckland.

Which tourist destinations are close to Viaduct Harbour?

Some of the closest tourist destinations from Viaduct Harbour are Big Street Bikers, Beercycle, Yonder Star, Sofitel SPA, and Amada Cruises.

Where are the hotels around Viaduct Harbour?

Some of the hotels around Viaduct Harbour are QT Auckland, Marsden Viaduct Hotel, Travelodge Hotel Auckland Wynyard Quarter, and Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour.

Industrial with fish: Silo Park and Fish Market

Silo Park and Fish Market
Silo Park and Fish Market

After you’ve had a nice rest at the Viaduct Basin, you can continue walking straight ahead along the former quays of the cargo port, where all sorts of hip cafes are now located in industrial style. You will also come across the Fish Market, where you can buy the freshest fish ever. And it is the best place for the classic New Zealand dish: Fish & Chips (with a bottle of L&P lemonade on the side). The park at the end of the street is Silo Park, recognizable by the high silos that are still there. You can lie in the grass, enjoy outdoor movies in the summer, food trucks, markets, and more. Silo Park really never gets boring. Just look at the many free events organized there in the (after) summer.

Are there any parking areas at Silo Park and Fish Market?

Yes, the parking area is situated in Wynyard Quarter at the intersection of Madden and Daldy Street. Customers are entitled to 2 hours of free parking when they register at the pay station.

View Auckland from above: Sky Tower

View Auckland from above: Sky Tower
Sky Tower

The foundations of the Sky Tower, which are more than 15 meters deep and are intended to distribute force loads, are built from high-strength, high-performance concrete. This iconic tower is not to be missed in Auckland. It’s also the ideal navigation point if you’re at a loss for where to go. Walk up to the tower, and you’ll be back on Queen Street in the centre in no time. A visit to Auckland is therefore not complete without a visit to the Sky Tower. You can go up and enjoy the view, or you can jump off (a bit different than a bungee jump), but you can also walk on the roof if you choose the Sky Walk. All info and prices for your visit to the Sky Tower can be found on the official website.

How much does it cost to go up the Sky Tower in Auckland?

Ticket costs $25 for adults – 15 years and up, $13 for children – 6 to 14 years, and free if the child is 5 years under.

Why is the Auckland Sky Tower famous?

The Sky Tower in Auckland is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand. The Sky Tower is 328 metres tall and offers crystal-clear views of Auckland for 80 kilometres in every direction.

Sushi and other good food in Auckland

Sushi and other good food in Auckland
Sushi and other good food in Auckland

If you love sushi, New Zealand is the place to be. It’s as delicious and fresh as you’ve ever tasted. Once back in your own hometown, you won’t want the boring, old sushi they serve here anymore… Once you arrive in Auckland, you will see how much choice there is in sushi, from small independent restaurants to chains like St. Pierre’s (which you will often find in shopping malls). For $6 to $10 you can have a delicious bowl of sushi. But besides all the delicious sushi, you will also find super New Zealand food (Fish & Chips or the gourmet burgers at Burger Fuel or Velvet Burger) and many other international cuisines: Indian, Italian, Thai, and many more. There is a wide choice of simple, good, and affordable food away from home, from cozy coffee shops to street food-style eateries.

What is the favourite type of sushi in NZ?

As Auckland is the area that loves Japanese culture the most, Miso and Saki are at the top of the trending list for the favorite type of sushi.

Climb the dormant volcano, Mt. Eden

Mt. Eden
Mt. Eden

If you want to have a nice active morning or afternoon, then a hike up the dormant volcano Mt. Eden in Auckland’s eponymous district is for you. Since you’re going to be pretty active that day anyway, the best way to get there is by bus (check with your hostel staff for more info and bus times to Mt. Eden). The way to the top of Mt. Eden is well-marked, you can best use one of the hiking trails to walk up.

How long does it take to climb Mt. Eden?

It would take an hour to walk up Mt. Eden in Auckland.

How far is Mt Eden from Auckland CBD?

It would take approximately 15 minutes to drive from Auckland CBD to Mt Eden via Dominion Rd/Rte 4.

Across: Devonport (and Takapuna)


About Queen Street and the Ferry Building mentioned earlier, from there you can take the ferry to Devonport – the district directly opposite the centre of Auckland. Devonport is a laid-back seaside community featuring sophisticated cafes, seafood eateries, as well as traditional Kiwi bars, and fish & chip stores.

Takapuna is a little further away and is best reached by bus or car. The crowded white-sand beach and coastal eateries offering fish and chips in Takapuna are well known. The triangle formed by Lake Road, Anzac Street, and Hurstmere Road is home to bustling pubs, student-friendly nightclubs, sushi bars, and Korean barbecue restaurants.

Is swimming possible at Takapuna?

Absolutely! Enjoy the ocean by swimming, paddling a kayak, or using a paddle board. You get access to the entire beach at low tide, and access to other water sports is provided by the close-by Takapuna Beach boat ramp.

Doing an evening movie or theatre in Auckland

Sky World Indoor Entertainment
Sky World Indoor Entertainment

Fancy doing nothing for a change in Auckland? Well nothing, just have a relaxing evening and chill out at the movies or a theatre show or comedy. The Skyworld Indoor Entertainment Centre houses the film complex of Event Cinemas where all the popular (international) movies are shown. There is also a bowling alley, pool tables, and many slot machines, If you are more in the mood for alternative movies or movie house-style films, you can go to Rialto Cinemas in New Market (near Parnell). For theatre and stage performances, there is the Civic Theater, just a three-minute walk from the Auckland Art Gallery.

What time does the Sky World Indoor Entertainment Centre opens and close?

The Skyworld Indoor Entertainment Centre is open from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM (7 days a week).

Hip and funky: Britomart


Tourists are drawn to Britomart because of its distinctive and vibrant atmosphere. Just by strolling around, you can observe a cutting-edge concept that lets you create your own bowl of positively transformative goodness. It provides lively AV Clubs, designer stores, award-winning restaurants, pubs, and healthy foods.

The area around the Britomart Transport Centre has been transformed from a forgotten area into a hip part of Auckland. You will find luxury boutiques and trendy restaurants. Definitely worth a walk. Or to relax on the grass with a drink. Or to go to the City Farmer’s Market for delicious local ingredients or dishes; fresh, organic, and directly from the farmer.

What are City Farmer’s Market’s opening hours?

City Farmer’s Market in Britomart is open from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM every Saturday.

Enjoy music or a (craft) beer in Auckland

The Brit, Auckland
The Brit, Auckland

Pubs and nightlife venues are plentiful in Auckland. Whatever your taste, you’ll never be bored in this one. A few places where you can definitely have a good time:

  • The Brit (former Northern Steamship Co) – For the real pub feel, head to The Brit at Britomart. After work, have a beer with fries or other NZ snacks. When the weather is nice you can sit on the small terrace and watch the cruise ships leave the harbour.
  • Danny Doolan’s – an Irish pub near Viaduct Harbour where it is very busy but very cozy on weekends. There are also often small or unknown bands performing.
  • Various pubs and bars on Vulcan Lane, a side street of Queen Street. Go for a craft beer to Vulture’s Lane, Belgian coziness in The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe; or one of the other bars.

And for travellers who like tasty preparation, drink a New Zealand beer in advance!

What are The Brit’s opening hours?

The Brit is open from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM (every day except Sundays)

What are Danny Doolan’s opening hours?

Danny Doolan’s is open from 12:00 PM to 2:00 AM (Tue), 4:00 PM to 2:00 AM (Wed to Thu), 4:00 PM to 4:00 AM (Fri), and 11:00 AM to 2:00 AM (Sat & Sun).

What are The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe’s opening hours?

The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe is open from 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM (Sun to Thu) and 10:30 AM to 12:30 AM (Fri to Sat).

There’s much more to do in Auckland

And that’s just 10 more things to do. Auckland has a lot more to offer.

  • Hiking or biking, for example from Half Moon Bay.
  • Free events, like the Lantern Festival or free concerts.
  • Cuddling with cats at the Barista Cats Cafe.
  • Enjoying a delicious beer. Check out the prices of a beer in the city here.
  • Since February 2017, 29 new places to camp for free in the city.

So you can have fun for at least a few days in Auckland. There is no reason to leave the city immediately because Auckland is really super cozy.

facebook twitter linkedin instagram chevron-right
To top