If you’re planning a trip to Auckland, NZ, you should definitely use the opportunity to travel around and enjoy some great day trips, so that your experience is truly memorable. Auckland is conveniently located to provide an excellent starting point for many day trips, and we’ve prepared some ideas for you to consider. It’s safe to say that no matter what you’re interested in, you’ll be able to find a suitable day trip from Auckland.
If you’re looking for a place with amazing beaches, river valleys and vineyards, look no further than Matakana, one of the most popular destinations in the area. It is only a 45-minute drive away from downtown Auckland, but you’ll have a great chance to fully enjoy a very scenic ride. Find out when farmers’ market is organised if you wish to meet more locals and enjoy some of the most amazing local produce.
One of the most isolated day-trip destinations is located on Auckland’s west costs, just over half an hour from the city. The Waitakere Ranges features some of the greatest landscapes, with over 16,000 hectares of rainforest and coastlines, where you can go hiking or sunbathing. You can also visit some stunning waterfalls, such as the Karekare, Kitekite, and Fairy Falls and you’ll surely be rewarded for your effort to take this short trip.
Great Barrier Island
While many tourists go to Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef, those who are familiar with this New Zealand’s secret take the ferry from Auckland to Great Barrier Island to enjoy biking, surfing, relaxing on the beach or hiking. There are more than 60 miles of tracks for walking and the pristine beaches will make you want to return to this place as soon as possible.
Another destination that requires a short ferry ride is Waiheke Island, where you can enjoy some locally produced wine, go hiking or simply choose to relax on one of its many beaches. For those looking for something more exciting, there are zip-lining tours, which make the most of the spending scenery.
The Coromandel Peninsula
It’s a great idea to find a reliable car rental at Auckland airport at head straight to the Coromandel Peninsula, just a 90-minute ride from Auckland. The road itself is quite scenic, which is why many locals and tourists from all over the world decide to take this trip. Other reasons include the Hot Water Beach and its golden sand, as well as the awe-inspiring Cathedral Cove, that you can explore from a boat or kayak. Such tours are offered regularly, and the visitors enjoy finding out more about the area’s geological and historical significance.
If you like caves, New Zealand probably doesn’t have anything better than Waitomo to offer. Some 125 miles from Auckland, these caves allow those seeking adrenaline rush to abseil down the subterranean caverns and go black water rafting along the Ruakuri Cave. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can take a guided tour and marvel at the breath-taking limestone formations.
No visit to New Zealand would be complete without a visit to the Hobbiton film set, located in Matamata, some 100 miles from Auckland. Even if you’re not a die-hard Tolkien fan, you’ll definitely enjoy visiting a place inspired by probably the greatest epic fantasy story of all times. You can explore the hobbit holes, the Shire’s nest and Bilbo Baggins’ house. You’ll have an impression that you are actually being transported to Middle-Earth and if you’ve read the book or seen the films, you’ll be able to recognise some of the locations from the story. A must for fans, but also a great tip for those looking for a day trip with a twist.
Lake Taupo and the town of the same name are particularly popular among families, who choose this day-trip destination to visit geothermal springs or enjoy some of many waterborne activities. There are also Maori rock carvings, testifying to the presence of their culture long before the first settlers came to the region. One of the best ideas is to take a boat tour of Mine Bay, spend an hour or so admiring the thundering Huka Falls, or simply enjoy the unrivalled beauty of the Orakei Korako springs.
So, if you find yourself in Auckland, make sure you use that time to do some sightseeing around the city. As you can see, the offer is quite varied and can cater to anyone’s needs. All you have to do is find the one that interests you and get ready for an amazing experience.