Places to go and scenic highlights in Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland is a geographical wonder with 48 volcanic cones and two ancient rainforested mountain ranges. There are also over 50 islands in the Auckland region. Places to see in Auckland include the surf beach of Piha, the Waitakere Ranges and the mysterious volcanic island of Rangitoto.

Auckland, New ZealandAuckland Scenic Highlights

Auckland | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

The natural assets of Auckland, New Zealand make it a dream destination for all kinds of travellers. Combine stunning coastal areas with conservation parks and volcanic mountains.

Auckland Scenic Highlights Overview

Auckland is a marine environment with idyllic islands that invite you to kick back and relax. It's also a geographical wonder, with 48 volcanic cones and two ancient rainforested mountain ranges.

Special Places to Find in and Around Auckland City

Take the ferry from Downtown Auckland across to the seaside suburb of Devonport and enjoy a light cafe lunch and a spot of shopping. Alternatively, walk to the summits of Mount Victoria or North Head for 360° views. Ferries to and from Devonport depart every half hour. Mount Eden, Mount Hobson and Mount St John are dormant volcanic cones offering commanding views of the city - pack a picnic and walk up.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Lion Rock at Piha Beach, Auckland, New Zealand
Lion Rock at Piha Beach
Auckland, New Zealand
Photographer: Scott Venning
(scottv@ihug.co.nz)

And if you're feeling energetic, do the Coast to Coast Walkway - a unique walk joining the east and west coasts of Auckland and taking in many of the city's scenic icons. Enquire at the Visitor Information Centre in the city for a brochure on the walkway.

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Parks, Walks and Hikes in Every Direction

There are 22 conservation parks within easy reach of downtown Auckland. Between them they offer over 500 kilometres of walking tracks. The Waitakere Ranges (Auckland's largest regional park) are the perfect backdrop for mountain biking or walking. The Arataki Visitor Centre in west Auckland provides information about the parks, beaches and walking tracks in the area.

The West Coast surf beaches of Whatipu, Karekare, Piha, Bethels and Muriwai are unforgettable for their soulful beachscapes. Be sure to check out the avian aviators at the Muriwai gannet colony.

Put on your mask and snorkel to meet the friendly locals at Goat Island Marine Reserve—follow the signs to Leigh from Warkworth (north of Auckland).

The Mysterious Volcanic Island of Rangitoto

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Rangitoto at sunset, Auckland, New Zealand
Rangitoto at sunset
Auckland, New Zealand
Photographer: Fay Looney
(www.faylooney.com)

Rangitoto Island, an unforgettable feature of Auckland's inner harbour, pushed its way through the ocean floor around 600 years ago. The volcanic fireworks that accompanied it inspired local Maori tribes to call it 'Sky of Blood'.

Take a train to the top or hike up the 260 metre high summit to witness the spectacular 360 degree views of the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland cityscape. The island also has lava caves, unique rock formations and pohutukawa forests. Rangitoto can be enjoyed as a guided tour, or visitors can walk to the top independently.

» About Rangitoto Island

Great Barrier Island, the Final Frontier

Image Source: Great Barrier Island Tourism Directory. Port FitzRoy looking out to Nagle Cove, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
Port FitzRoy looking out to Nagle Cove
Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
Photographer: Kay Stowell
(www.thebarrier.co.nz)

Guarding the outer Hauraki Gulf, Great Barrier Island has unspoiled beaches and vast tracts of native forest. It's home to several unique plant and bird species. The kind of rugged untouched beauty that you'll see here is getting harder and harder to find on this planet. The native bush is laced with walking tracks, which lead to secluded natural hot springs, mountain tops and historic Kauri dams.

Rising 627 metres above the sea, Hirakimata (Mount Hobson) beckons the hiker with a promise of views that will never leave the mind. Most of the island's 285 square kilometres is a conservation estate, administered by the Department of Conservation.

This island is also a popular destination for diving, fishing, surfing and camping. Daily scheduled flights are also available.

» Great Barrier Island Travel Directory

» About Great Barrier Island

The Forever-Summer Lifestyle of Waiheke Island

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Matiatia Bay, Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand
Matiatia Bay, Waiheke Island
Auckland, New Zealand
Photographer: Kieran Scott
(www.kieranscott.co.nz)

You'll lose ten years the moment you step ashore on Waiheke Island. Considered by many to be the most magical part of the Auckland experience, and easily accessed by ferry, Waiheke's beautiful beaches and native forest reserves harmonise delightfully with the cafes, vineyards and art studios.

This island is perfect for a day's shopping and wine tasting, or several days of indulgent relaxation.

Waiheke is renowned for its burgeoning wine industry, exclusive accommodation and for the many prominent New Zealand artists who have chosen to make it their home. Almost anything is possible on Waiheke, from horse riding and farm tours to sea kayaking and mountain biking.

» Waiheke Island Travel Directory

» About Waiheke Island

Tiri Tiri Matangi Island - a conservation success story

Around 20 years ago, this 220-hectare island was largely barren farmland. In a unique partnership between the government and conservationists from Auckland, it was designated an open sanctuary, cleared of predators and planted in over three million native trees.

Tiri provides an opportunity to visit a genuine open wildlife sanctuary. The island is home to many species of endangered New Zealand bird life, including the kiwi and takahe. Guided tours are available to help you enjoy this very special island, which is administered by the Department of Conservation.

» About Tiri Tiri Matangi Island

Useful Auckland Links

To help plan your Auckland holiday choose from the main categories below:

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