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Beyond the bungee: What are the best things to do in Auckland?

Beyond the bungee What are the best things to do in Auckland

Ugh, another “top things to do” list about Auckland? Well, yes! But this one won’t bore you to tears with the same old predictable sights. 

No, sir, we’re going off the beaten track today – by uncovering hidden gems and finding enough good food to justify breaking that diet. 

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a foodie, or simply crave a break from the ordinary, our guide to the best things to do in Auckland has your back. So, buckle up, buttercup, it’s time to see why our city deserves a spot on your travel radar. 

Ascend the Sky Tower at night

Media from skytower_nz

Location: Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 363 6000

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Friday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 10:00 PM


Think of ascending the Sky Tower at night as an upgrade from regular sightseeing to a full-on urban adventure. Auckland’s “City of Sails” moniker becomes clear as the harbor twinkles with countless masthead lights!

Want extra thrill? Opt for the glass-floor viewing section and watch the city shrink beneath your feet. Since crowds tend to thin out during the evening, you can escape the daytime rush and fully indulge in that dazzling 360-degree view.

Join a kayaking tour to Rangitoto Island with Auckland Sea Kayaks

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Location: 384 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers, Auckland 1071, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 213 4545

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Joining a kayaking tour will make you learn about the volcanic origin of Rangitoto and how it emerged from the sea only 600 years ago – making it the youngest volcano in Auckland. Your guide will also point out lava fields, volcanic craters, and other unique geological formations.

One of the highlights of this tour is landing on Rangitoto’s black sand beach and hiking up to the summit for breathtaking views of Auckland. Make sure to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy amidst the pohutukawa trees. 

Also, keep an eye out for native birds like tieke (saddleback) and popokatea (whitehead) that have been reintroduced to the predator-free sanctuary.

Sail a heritage yacht with the Royal New Zealand Yacht 

Media from rnzys

Location: 181 Westhaven Drive, Westhaven Marina, Auckland 1011, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 360 6800

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM


New Zealand and Auckland in particular have a deep connection with the sea. Sailing a heritage yacht with the Royal New Zealand Yacht (a club founded in 1871) gives you a taste of this maritime legacy.

Unlike typical sightseeing cruises, you’re an active participant on a heritage vessel in this one. Here, you’ll learn some sailing basics, experience the camaraderie of teamwork, and come away with a newfound appreciation for the art of sailing. 

While you focus on the ropes and sails, don’t forget to look up! The Hauraki Gulf is dotted with islands and boasts incredible views of the Auckland cityscape – perfect for some memorable photos.

Visit Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium 

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Location: 23 Tamaki Drive, Orakei, Auckland 1071, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 333 9200

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM


Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium is an underwater world filled with over 30 exhibits and more than 80 marine species. From majestic stingrays to playful penguins, you’re in for a fascinating journey through the depths of the ocean without getting wet.

One of the highlights of your visit will undoubtedly be the Antarctic Encounter. Here, you’ll come face to face with a colony of adorable and inquisitive Antarctic penguins. 

But going here isn’t just about observing marine life, it’s also about education and conservation. You’ll learn about the importance of preserving oceans and the efforts being made to protect endangered species.

Experience the thrill of bungee jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge

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Location: 105 Curran Street, Westhaven Reserve, Herne Bay, Auckland 1011, New Zealand

Contact: +64 800 286 4958

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM


Think of it this way: it’s the ultimate test of nerves against panoramic city views. Imagine stepping out onto that platform, your stomach doing flip-flops in time with the waves below. The city’s cityscape blurs as you take that jump.

For a few incredible seconds, you’re flying, defying gravity… a pure adrenaline rush! And here’s where it gets extra-special: with AJ Hackett Bungy (pioneers of this crazy sport), you can choose your own thrill. 

Here, you can go for the classic bounce, or up the ante with a water touch – who doesn’t love a good splashdown? It’s all about conquering those jitters.

Navigate the night sky at the Stardome Observatory & Planetarium

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Location: 670 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland 1345, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 624 1246

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 10:30 PM


Forget battling city lights for some decent stargazing. Inside the planetarium’s 360-degree dome, it’s always a dazzlingly clear night. Plus, you’re not just handed a star chart and left to figure things out – you’ll have expert astronomers as your guides. 

These guides will show you how to find constellations, point out planets, and even share the fascinating stories behind celestial wonders. 

The best part? Stardome focuses on the night sky above Auckland, making it easier to navigate when you head outdoors afterward. And, if the weather cooperates, you can try out their telescopes to see those twinkling marvels up close. 

Discover New Zealand’s history at the Auckland War Memorial Museum

Media from aucklandmuseum

Location: Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 309 0443

Opening hours:

  • Monday & Wednesday to Friday – 9:30 AM to 10:30 PM
  • Tuesday – 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Let’s face it, some museums make history feel a bit… snoozy. Not this one! The exhibitions bring New Zealand’s stories to life in vibrant (and sometimes heart-wrenching) ways. Think: standing under the skeleton of a massive whale, gazing upon ancient Maori carvings.

But the museum isn’t just about artifacts – it’s also about people. You’ll learn about brave wartime sacrifices, influential explorers, and the diverse cultures that shaped the nation. 

Oh, and did we mention that there’s a Spitfire plane hanging from the ceiling and a life-sized Maori meeting house? This place offers a powerful sense of the past, giving you a whole new perspective on the Auckland you see today.

Explore Tawharanui Regional Park

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Location: 1181 Takatu Road, Tāwharanui Peninsula 0986, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 366 2000

Opening hours:

  • Open 24 hours


Nestled on a peninsula jutting into the Pacific Ocean, this 588-hectare regional park is an ecological gem bursting with native New Zealand flora and fauna. 

As you traverse the scenic coastal trails and forest paths, you’ll have the opportunity to spot some of the country’s unique birds specific to their natural habitat. Keep an out for the North Island brown kiki – this flightless bird can be found foraging in the undergrowth at night.

Make sure to visit Anchor Bay for a chance to see colonies of terns, shags, and blue penguins that call this home. If you’re lucky, you may even spot pods of orca and bottlenose dolphins frolicking offshore!

Enjoy a mid-morning meal at Odettes Eatery

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Location: 90 Wellesley Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 309 0304

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday – 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Thursday to Friday – 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Saturday – 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Sunday – 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM


This place knows how to elevate brunch beyond boring: think Mediterranean-inspired dishes crafted with fresh, seasonal ingredients and a pinch of culinary flair. From fluffy omelets to vibrant salads, their menu awakens your taste buds like a good cup of coffee does your mind.

The atmosphere adds to the charm – picture space that effortlessly blends breezy beach house vibes with urban sophistication. Add friendly service and you’ve got the perfect backdrop for leisurely chats or solo indulgence. 

But wait, there’s more! Odette’s cocktails are seriously tempting (their Odette’s Bramble is a must-try!), and if the weather’s right, you can snag a table on their sunny outdoor terrace!

Drink craft beers at Garage Project

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Location: 357 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland 1021, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 950 9980

Opening hours:

  • Monday – 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday to Thursday & Sunday – 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Friday – 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Saturday – 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM


What sets Garage Project apart? For starters, their ever-rotating lineup of beers. Here, you’re embarking on a flavor adventure that could include anything from a classic pale ale infused with local New Zealand hops to experimental brews that push the boundaries of what beer can be. 

Think of beers with wild ingredients like foraged herbs, native fruits, or even the occasional dash of seaweed. The point is, every visit promises something new, something daring, something that just might challenge your palate in the best way possible.

But it’s not all about the beer (okay, it’s mostly about the beer). It’s also about the vibe. This place serves up a laid-back, convivial atmosphere where you can rub elbows with fellow beer enthusiasts, chat with the staff, and maybe catch a glimpse of the brewing process.

Explore Auckland Zoo

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Location: Motions Rd, Western Springs, Auckland 1022, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 360 3805

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM


Covering over 40 acres of lush grounds, Auckland Zoo is home to over 135 species and more than 1,400 individual animals, making it one of the most comprehensive snapshots of global fauna in New Zealand 

Here’s the thing: visiting the zoo is an immersive experience that brings you face-to-face with the natural world in ways that are both enlightening and inspiring. Plus, with keeper talks and animal encounters, you’ll go beyond just observing to genuinely learn about these creatures.

By choosing to visit, you’re also supporting their important work protecting endangered species – a great message for curious kids and adults alike. 

Have a cocktail at Hi-So

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Location: 67 Customs Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Contact: +64 9 379 1860

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Thursday – 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 3:00 PM to 12:00 AM


If you’re craving a touch of luxury and a drink with a view, then Hi-So demands a spot on your Auckland itinerary. Nestled atop the stylish SO/Auckland hotel, this rooftop bar serves up some of the city’s most creative cocktails alongside seriously breathtaking views. 

The ambiance is just as enticing – think plush seating, mood lighting, and the dazzling Auckland skyline laid out before you. Come for sunset and bask in the golden hour, or dress up for an unforgettable night out. 

A must-try? Their signature “Gulf Spritzer” – a lighter spin on the classic Aperol Spritz that’s perfect for summer sipping.