The Best Cheap Tours and Activities in Auckland
Auckland, based around 2 large harbors, is a major city in the north of New Zealand's North Island. In the center, the iconic Sky Tower has views of Viaduct Harbor, which is full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes. Auckland Domain, the city's oldest park, is based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Wintergardens. Near Downtown, Mission Bay Beach has a seaside promenade.
It's hard to imagine a more geographically blessed city. Its two harbors frame a narrow isthmus punctuated by volcanic cones and surrounded by fertile farmland. From any of its numerous vantage points you'll be surprised how close the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean come to kissing and forming a new island.
Whether it's the ruggedly beautiful west-coast surf beaches, or the glistening Hauraki Gulf with its myriad islands, the water's never far away. And within an hour's drive from the city's high-rise heart, there are dense tracts of rainforest, thermal springs, wineries and wildlife reserves. No wonder Auckland is regularly rated one of the world's top cities for quality of life and liveability. With so much to see, do, and taste, Auckland is a great place to experience, and there are several options for exciting activities and tours in or near the area to help you make the most of your time here.
Join a full-day guided wilderness walk along Auckland's famous West Coast. As you take in the stunning scenery, explore walking trails that are off the beaten tourist track and feel the real essence of New Zealand. Auckland's West Coast and the Waitakere Ranges are famous for their amazing scenery, black sand beaches, and subtropical rainforest showcasing some very special native Flora and Fauna. After pick-up from your Auckland city accommodation, you will drive out West, leaving behind beautiful Auckland as you pass through Titirangi, which translates to "Fringe of Heaven" in the local Maori language. Titirangi has several nice cafes and bakeries in which the locals love to spend time. Then enter the beautiful native rainforest of the Waitakere Ranges, made famous by many movies that have been filmed here. As you drive through lush subtropical rainforest, learn about the local flora and fauna that inhabit these ranges. Briefly stop at the Arataki Visitor Centre, where you will have breath-taking view across part of the Waitakere Ranges, Auckland city, and the huge expanses of the Manukau Harbor. Continue on towards the West Coast, where you will go on a walking trail that winds through the forest with many indigenous plants, several of which are very special - including New Zealand's national icon, the famous Silver Fern. Equally famous are New Zealand's Pohutukawa trees, also referred to as New Zealand Christmas trees, which bloom in bright crimson-red colors around Christmas time. You will also see mighty Kauri trees that tower over these ranges, plus breath-taking viewpoints over the Tasman Sea, which separates New Zealand from Australia. Stop for lunch at a scenic location, then continue your walk through the subtropical rainforest and along the coast to one of our most beautiful black sand beaches.
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Start your Auckland Harbor Bridge climb at the operator's office at Westhaven Marina, or opt for complimentary transport from the Maritime Museum at Viaduct Harbor. After a briefing to prepare for your guided climb, suit up with the provided all-weather outerwear and safety equipment. From the base of the 200-foot-tall bridge, follow your guide along specially engineered walkways that lead to the summit. Your walk follows the gently curved arches of the bridge, for an easy climb that is suitable for a range of ages and fitness levels. Rest assured that you're clipped into a safety rail for added security. See the span from underneath and above, and stop en route to hear fascinating facts about the history and construction of Auckland's iconic landmark. View the Sky Tower and other highlights of the city skyline across Waitemata Harbor. Enjoy the aerial perspective from the bungee jump platform where you can witness one of New Zealand's favorite adrenaline-fueled activities. After making your descent, you'll receive a certificate as evidence of your climb, with additional DVD and souvenir photos available to purchase. Wrap up your tour at the office, with an optional transfer back to your starting point.
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Your first stop on this tour will be Kumeu River Wines, where you can enjoy a private behind-the-scenes winery tour and tasting. One of New Zealand's finest family producers, you will see how their stunning chardonnays are barrel fermented in French Oak and slowly created. The wine maker Michael Brajkovich MW was New Zealand's first Master of Wine. Enjoy a wine tasting and an open menu a la carte lunch, including a glass of reserve, at the award-winning Soljans Vineyard cafe. Then try the different New Zealand flora honeys and the Active UMF Manuka honeys.
Then you can relax on a trip through the rolling countryside to Muriwai Beach, famous for its black sand, and enjoy the views from the regional park where the rugged west coast meets the Tasman Sea. The final destination on your trip will be The Hunting Lodge winery. The original vineyard was the first in New Zealand to produce Sauvignon Blanc. Here you will find a generous selection of blends in the cellar door shop.
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Start your Auckland hop-on hop-off bus tour at Philips Corner/Princes Wharf. You can create your own sightseeing itinerary with a flexible ticket, valid for one or two days. Listen to interesting audio commentary during the entire 1-hour loop on the red circle or blue circle route. Buses depart every 30 minutes in summer and hourly in winter. If you'd like, hop on and off throughout the day to explore Auckland on your own or visit top attractions. Discover New Zealand history at the Auckland Museum, meet King and Gentoo penguins at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, and soak up the city skyline from the Sky Tower, to name a few.
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