Check out some of the best day-trips that you can take from New Zealand’s largest city.

Known as The City of Sails, Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and a multicultural urban oasis of food, music, arts, and culture. You’ll find a fusion of sparkling waters, lush landscapes, and city sophistication here. So, if you’re visiting New Zealand, here are six day adventures that you should definitely consider doing on your first trip to Auckland.

Auckland City Highlights Tour

Make the most of your time in Auckland and join us on our Auckland City Highlights Tour! This small group, fully guided day trip combines culture and Auckland landmarks to form the ultimate Auckland experience. Some highlights include Mt Eden, culturally significant sites and stories, Auckland’s top landmarks, and the best scenic viewpoints. You even get the chance to add optional activities like the Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb!

Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise

Picture by Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safaris

Enjoy a 4.5-hour cruise on board the luxurious ‘Dolphin Explorer’ on this Whale and Dolphin Watching Half-Day Eco Cruise. On this tour, you’ll climb aboard a 65-foot luxury catamaran conveniently docked in the heart of Auckland. On your journey, you’ll explore the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park in search of encounters with its amazing and diverse marine wildlife. It’s an adventure of a lifetime!

Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Day Tour

We must include our Hobbiton and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Tour when talking about the best day trips from Auckland. This tour combines two one-of-a-kind North Island destinations in one adventure-filled day. Upon arriving at the first feature attraction, ‘Hobbiton’, you will board one of the big green Hobbiton buses and depart on a two-hour fully guided tour of the amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide. Then, you’ll make your way to the second feature attraction where you will be guided through the ancient and amazing caves seeing many different cave formations, including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns, before descending even further underground for your Glowworm experience.

Waiheke Island Wineries’ Tour

Visit the second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand while on a premium wine tour. Start your day by hopping on a morning boat to Waiheke Island, known as the island of wine, from Auckland’s Downtown Ferry Terminal, enjoying a 35-minute boat ride with views of historical Devonport and Rangitoto Island on the way. After meeting your guide once you arrive, you’ll visit four of the island’s finest wineries. Savour tastings at each of them, with an extended lunch break for your own free time at one of them.

Coromandel Peninsula Highlights Tour

If you’re looking for an escape to paradise, our small group, fully-guided day trip to the Coromandel Peninsula is the tour for you. On this trip, you’ll have ample time to enjoy Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, two of the main attractions in the area. After all, you are in the paradise of Coromandel and at a beach, you want time to relax and explore! You’ll also get to stop for short walks to viewpoints and great spots for photos during our journey through this breath-taking area.

Auckland Harbour Sailing Cruise

Photo by Explore Group New Zealand

Given that you’re in the City of Sails, it only makes sense to take part in a sailing adventure. On this 1.5-hour Sailing Cruise, you’ll step foot aboard a 50-foot cruising yacht where you’ll explore the Waitemata Harbor and enjoy the relaxed pace of harbor sailing. This is truly a spectacular sailing experience on the sparkling harbor waters of Auckland. 

With a plethora of things to do, we advise spending at least 2-3 days in Auckland. While we’ve mentioned a few of our favourite day adventures from Auckland, the options for sightseeing, dining, and exploring are truly endless! Some of our other favourite day trips include a visit to Bay of Islands Tour and Cruise, a Rotorua Highlights Tour, and Snorkeling in Poor Knights (depending on the season).