Kiwi Spotting at Tāwharanui Regional Park
Did you know you can spot kiwi in the wild at Tāwharanui Regional Park in Auckland? Habitat Tours or Kiwiness Tours will have you out at dark looking for these nocturnal creatures with red light. An experience not to be missed!
NZ's only commercial oyster farm tour
Board the "Shuckleferry" at Scott's Landing in the Mahurangi Harbour and cruise to Browne's Bay, the first European settlement in NZ dating back to 1831. Enter into the heart of the Shuckleferry oyster farm, anchoring the vessel beside the wild caught oysters. Learn how the oysters are caught, grown and harvested, before gathering dozens of fresh oysters to eat straight from the sea.
If you want to relax, book a stay at Castaways Resort at the beautiful Karioitahi Beach, or try the onsite glam camping with sea views and outdoor bath tubs. Castaways Resort offers a range of activities such as blokarting and archery, as well as spa treatments.
A must-visit is the historical Manukau Heads Lighthouse, jutting out from the tip of the peninsula. The lighthouse is one of only a few in New Zealand that are open to the public and the views are spectacular. While you're on the peninsula, explore the tranquil bays and rolling pasture and stop at the boutique clifftop vineyard Āwhitu Wines for a tasting.
Duder Regional Park
Explore the green pastures of Duder Regional Park by foot or mountain bike. There are four walking trails from 30 minutes and 2.5 hours in length over the 148-hectare park. The views over the Hauraki Gulf are spectacular!
The Clevedon Village Farmers' Market
Pick up fresh produce, delicious homemade foods and artisan goods at The Clevedon Village Farmers' Market on every Sunday. There are pony rides for the kids and great coffee for the adults. A fun day out for all!
Good From Scratch Cookery School
If you like cooking, beautiful vistas and celebrity chefs, then Michael Van de Elzen's cookery school is the thing for you. There's a range of classes to choose from and all located at his purpose built cooking school in Muriwai on Auckland's west coast.
Te Henga walkway
Dust off your tramping shoes, because this cliff top walk from Bethells Beach (Te Henga) to south of Muriwai Beach (or reverse) reveals stunning views of Auckland's wild west coast. It's part of the Hillary Trail and will take you 3.5 hours one way.
Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island is the largest and most seaward island of the Hauraki Gulf Islands, and a visit won't disappoint. Check out the Kaitoke Hot Springs, the only underdeveloped natural hot pools in the Auckland region and an easy 80-minute walk will take you there. The dazzling night sky is arguably the best in the world - it's the first island on the planet to receive the Dark Sky Sanctuary status, making it a dream for astro-enthusiasts.
With regular ferries and a beautiful DOC campsite, Motuihe Island makes the perfect get-away and it's just 45 minutes from downtown Auckland. The beaches are picture perfect and you may even spot a kiwi or tuatara on a native bush walk. The island is pest-free, thanks to the Motuihe Island Restoration Trust restoring the land after decades of use as a farm, quarantine station, prisoner-of-war camp and naval training base. Motuihe is a popular day trip and it's easy to see why.