THREE DAYS IN AUCKLAND
If you’re planning a trip to Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), you may be wondering what the best attractions are and what to visit first. Auckland is filled with urban adventures and has a lot to offer tourists and visitors, including fantastic dining options, a long list of amazing attractions, and fun day trips from the city. So we’ve collated the ultimate itinerary for a long weekend in the city.
If you’re planning to stay in Auckland for three days/72 hours, we suggest purchasing a 48-Hour Waiheke Explorer Combo and using the extra day to visit the enchanting Waiheke Island.
Hop on the Explorer Bus in Downtown Auckland – but you won’t be on for long – as the bus next stops near the SkyCity complex. With so many great attractions in one location, including the Sky Tower, Wētā Workshop Unlimited and the All-Blacks Experience, it would be easy to spend the whole day here! There are plenty of activities to get your heart racing, whether that be a SkyJump, a Sky Walk, or trying your luck at the Casino!
We highly recommend sampling the dining options here as well, as a lunch above the clouds at Orbit 360 is certainly an experience to remember. Or, if solid ground is more your style, the poutine and chicken salad sandwich at the Federal Delicatessen is sure to go down a treat!
In the afternoon, discover an amazing underwater world hidden under Tamaki Drive. SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s showcases over 30 animal exhibits, containing over 80 different species in spectacular habitat displays, including the world’s largest Antarctic penguin colony exhibit and amazing underwater viewing tunnels. Plus experience a walk-through replica of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic hut, complete with authentic memorabilia so you can learn what it was like to live in the coldest place on Earth 100 years ago.
Once you’re above ground again, we recommend taking a walk along Tamaki Drive to Mission Bay. The beautiful waterfront suburb contains several excellent bars and restaurants with stunning views of Rangitoto to enjoy while you finish off your day.
Hop back on the bus, it’s time to learn about the history, culture, and natural wonders of the City of Sails. We highly recommend visiting the Auckland Art Gallery and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Art enthusiasts will love the Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), the largest art institution in New Zealand, with a collection of over 15,000 works.
From the gallery, kick back and enjoy the onboard commentary as you journey out to the Auckland Domain to visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum. With three expansive floors telling New Zealand’s story, the Auckland War Memorial Museum contains three levels full of treasures, artifacts and stories. Both the Art Gallery and Museum have excellent cafes, so are perfect for a pit stop to refuel whenever you’re ready.
On the bus once more, with your last attraction of the day being the shopping hotspot of Newmarket. Whether you’re wanting to explore the side streets in search of New Zealand designers or hit the Westfield mega-mall, there’s certainly something for everyone to enjoy.
And after you’ve had your retail fix, relax and take in a movie at EVENT Cinemas Newmarket, located inside the Westfield Shopping Centre, or if you’re looking to catch an arthouse film, the Rialto Cinema is also located nearby.
It’s finally time to run on ”Island Time”. After a busy 48 hours, slow down and enjoy a ferry journey out to one of Auckland’s treasure islands. Using the Waiheke Island Explorer hop on hop off bus, hit Oneroa or Onetangi Beach for a swim before visiting one (or more!) of the island’s award-winning wineries for a meal or a cellar door tasting. If beaches or wineries aren’t your thing (but why wouldn’t they be?!) there are plenty more activities to do on the island, including Eco-Zip tours, or boutique stores to explore in Oneroa Village. It’s safe to say that by the time the ferry arrives again, you won’t want to leave!