Welcome to Auckland
New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!
The Hauraki Gulf and Waiheke Island
There are over 50 islands in the Hauraki Gulf, which lies between the Waitemata Harbour and Coromandel Peninsula. The two largest are Waiheke and Great Barrier and these are easy to access by ferry from downtown Auckland. The most distinctive island is Rangitoto – the most recent and the largest of the approximately 50 volcanoes of the Auckland volcanic field. You can take a day trip to see Rangitoto close up. Otherwise why not explore the harbour with a cruise or even take a whale and dolphin safari! The best island to visit for a day or to stay on for a family-friendly, beach getaway is Waiheke Island. It’s just 40 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland and this holiday haven has beautiful beaches, wonderful walks, native forest reserves and plenty of family restaurants, cafes and wineries. While you're there, check out the fantastic Eco Zip Adventure
Devonport and North Shore
Only 15 minutes by car, or 10 minutes by ferry from Auckland’s Queen Street, is the historic seaside village of Devonport – one of the earliest settled areas of Auckland. You will find cafes, craft fairs, walking tracks and good swimming beaches. You can even explore Devonport by Magic Broomstick Segway Tours!
Takapuna This popular one kilometre beach has a reserve and picnic area and is only a short walk to cafes and shops and ten minutes drive from Auckland and the North Shore. Said to be the best urban beach in Auckland, Takapuna offers safe swimming and white sand as well as beautiful views of the harbour.
North of Auckland – just a stone's throw!
Warkworth 40 minutes drive from Auckland brings you to this captivating historic village on the banks of the Mahurangi River. As well as the nostalgic charm of Warkworth’s heritage buildings and boutique shops, its scenic native bush and meandering riverside boardwalk make it a great place to explore.
Matakana just 45 minutes north of Auckland lies the picturesque Matakana village and wine region – their Saturday Matakana farmers market is a ‘must-visit’. Matakana is also the gateway to the beautiful east coast beaches, fishing villages and regional parks that surround the region.
Goat Island New Zealand’s first marine reserve is a little over one hour’s drive from Auckland but well worth it with fantastic beaches and easy snorkelling with masses of colourful fish.
Under an hour from the city centre brings you across the Waitakere Ranges and onto Auckland’s wild West Coast where you can explore lush native rainforest, scenic coastline and windswept black-sand beaches.
The most famous and popular beach is Piha with its iconic Lion Rock, exciting surf and remote feel.