7 of the Coolest Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand


Mostly modern in its architecture, New Zealand's biggest urban area (pop. 1.7 million), is set amid a gorgeous landscape and offers a cosmopolitan mix of culture, a spot of history, dining, shoppinardg, nightlife, and plenty of great attractions in the greater region, including vineyards, beaches, and adventure on its surrounding waters. If you're planning a visit here, you can be sure of dozens of activities to make it a memorable one. Here are seven of the most exciting when you visit the "City of Sails."

Visit the Auckland Zoo

A little under four miles southwest of downtown Auckland is one of New Zealand's leading animal attractions -the Auckland Zoo. This large animal sanctuary is home to the largest number of native and exotic animals in New Zealand - from brown kiwi to fur seals, and lions. Visitors and locals alike gush about the Auckland Zoo. There is enough roaming space for the animals and a lot of people-friendly facilities. Visitors to the zoo praise their conscientious efforts to take care of the animals. There is so much to see that you could easily spend a whole day here.


Sky Jumping and Sky Walking at Sky Tower

The Southern Hemisphere's tallest freestanding tower (328 metres), used for communications and also with a public observation deck and three eateries, is also home to a couple of thrill attractions. SkyWalk is a walkway around the outside of the tower with no handrail, 192m from the ground (don't worry, you're in a harness). Or you can choose SkyJump, plummeting downward at 85 kilometres per hour (then bouncing back up). A bit of adrenaline, anyone?




Taste the South Pacific


New Zealand has a strong cultural influence from the South Pacific, located as it is not far from islands like Vanuatu, Tonga, and Fiji, all popular holiday and cultural spots for New Zealanders. If you visit the Four Shells Kava Room, you should try the famous traditional South Paciic drink called kava, made from ground roots but it packs a punch and is unlike anything you've ever tasted before.




Visit the Auckland Art Gallery

Home to more than 15,000 works by Kiwi and international artists, this fantastic museum is free of charge, and also stages regular temporary exhibits as well as talks and other events. A must for the culture vulture!






Cruising and Beaching on Waiheke Island

Get on board the ferry for an amazing 40-minute cruise through the mesmerizing Tamaki Straits to this island of holiday homes, vineyards, beautiful beaches, and various outdoorsy activities.



Birding in Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary

Take an hourlong boat ride out to this 2.2 -square-kilometre island sanctuary in the Hauraki Gulf, home to scores of indigenous (some endangered, even nearly extinct) species especially of birds. You can get guided tours along its trails through dense forests filled with birdsong.


Explore a Volcanic Island

Also in the Hauraki Gulf, you cam paddle a kayak or take a ferry out to Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano not far from downtown Auckland. Walk through the forest trails and on the old lava flows to the top for extraordinary views of the harbour and city. The entire excursion should last between 3½ and four hours.

More info: AucklandNZ.com.



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