Breathe in the fresh air and admire the season’s red and gold leaves with a leisurely walk through one of Auckland’s picturesque parks. See farm animals under the huge oak trees at Cornwall Park, feed the geese or go for a jog in the Auckland Domain, or take a stroll in an inner-city park like Albert Park or Victoria Park.
Get up close to hundreds of animals at Auckland Zoo, see penguins, sharks and thousands of colourful fish at Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium, and walk through the tropical butterfly house at Butterfly Creek. Go on a dolphin and whale safari in the Hauraki Gulf, or walk among rare native birds on Tiritiri Matangi Island, an open wildlife sanctuary.
Auckland has a thriving arts community and numerous galleries to explore, whether you’re browsing or buying. Wander through the beautiful heritage building of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (with free entry) to discover an exceptional collection of traditional and contemporary art and check out the latest exhibitions. Combine art and beautiful scenery with a walk through a sculpture park – try Brick Bay Sculpture Trail (pictured) in Matakana, Connells Bay Sculpture Park on Waiheke Island or Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens.
A crisp autumn day is the perfect time to head to Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter or Britomart to sip on a delicious hot coffee and watch the world go by. Auckland’s mild weather means you can still sit outside and enjoy the sun, and many restaurants have sheltered outdoor areas to cozy up in on rainy days.
In New Zealand tradition, head to one of Auckland’s stunning beaches with a picnic rug, a warm jacket and some hot fish and chips from the local shop. Nothing beats getting rugged up in the cool ocean breeze and watching the waves with this Kiwi classic. For great ‘F & C’ close to the city, head to Mission Bay or St Heliers.
Check out the new season’s fashions in Newmarket, the shopping capital of New Zealand. Find high street stores and top designers on Nuffield and Teed Streets, stroll up the buzzing Broadway strip or wander through the Westfield 277 mall, one of the country’s leading shopping centres. Relax afterwards at one of Newmarket’s stylish cafés.
A scenic ferry ride is a great way to escape the city for a bit of time out. Take the short trip over to or Devonport for a wander through the seaside village’s shops and art galleries, and enjoy a casual lunch. From downtown Auckland you can also catch a ferry to Rangitoto Island or Tiritiri Matangi Island for a nature and wildlife experience, or to Waiheke Island for fine dining and boutique wineries.
Get a dose of adrenalin and the best views in Auckland at the same time. Climb to the top of the Auckland Harbour Bridge high above the waves, and if you’re game bungy jump from the bridge in New Zealand’s only ocean-touch bungy. For more adventure, try the SkyJump and leap off the Sky Tower, or SkyWalk around the outside 192 metres above the ground.
Spend a few hours sipping on award-winning drops at some of Auckland’s superb wineries. Auckland has not one but four wine regions to discover – Matakana to the north, Kumeu to the west, Clevedon to the east and Waiheke Island, the ‘island of wine’, in the Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy wine tastings, delicious food and gorgeous scenery. Hop on a tour with friends or explore at your own pace.