Within AN hour
So much to see within an hour of Auckland's CBD
Discover these wonderful destinations – all within an hour or so from your Auckland CBD accommodation.
The perfect island escape just 30 minutes from downtown Auckland. Waiheke is a favourite holiday destination for Kiwis. Home to beautiful beaches, delightful wineries and stunning views than stretch across Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, there's plenty to do. From leisurely lunches, strolling through arts and crafts stores and beach walks, to zip line tours, scenic flights and of course plenty of wine tasting. The island is deceptively large, so it pays to arrange transport to help you make the most of your day.
Takapuna beach & Devonport
Just a short drive from the city, on the other side of the Waitemata Harbour lies Takapuna Beach on Auckland's North Shore. Enjoy a stroll along the beach and take in the spectacular view of Rangitoto Island. Heading south, you'll find the suburb of Devonport a relaxed bayside village nestled at the base of Mt Victoria. The volcanic cone of North Head features underground army tunnels along with spectacular views of the harbour, bridge and CBD.
Piha is one of New Zealand's most popular surf beaches. Located on Auckland's west coast, around 40 kms from the city, Piha features the famous black iron-sand New Zealand's west coast is famous for. Piha has a reputation for awesome, rugged surf and, is also the starting point of one of the most enjoyable short walks in the Waitakere Ranges.
Woodhill Forest and the Muriwai Gannet Colony
In Auckland's north-west, you can discover Woodhill Forest, a great recreational space offering, mountain biking, off-road motorcycling, horse riding, paint ball, obstacle courses and zip-lining. For the less adventurous, on the coast you'll find Muriwai Beach with its famous Gannet Colony. Watch the rocks as the rugged west coast waves crash in while taking in a breathtaking sunset.
Matakana & Goat Island Marine Reserve
In Auckland's northern-most reaches you'll find the small town of Matakana, famous for its beautiful beaches, weekend markets and designer toilets! A bit further up the road, you'll discover the Marine Reserve of Goat Island, where you'll be able to swim in waist deep water surrounded by fish. Snorkelling here is a must.
Two to Three Hours AWAY
Kiwi favourites just two to three hours from Auckland.
Discover popular tourist destinations and some not so well known kiwi favourites – all within two to three hours drive from your central Auckland accommodation.
Mangawhai & Te Arai
A little under two hours drive from Auckland is where you'll find Mangawhai, a favourite summer holiday destination of Aucklanders. Blessed with a surf beach and a calm inner harbour with a few beach spots to choose from, it's the quintessential Kiwi beachside town. A few minutes to the south, is the more remote, but equally stunning Te Arai beach, with it's golden sand shores that stretch for nearly as far as the eye can see.
Regarded as one of the top 10 coastlines in the world, Tutukaka coast offers a range of spectacular beaches and marine life. The small town of Tutukaka is also the gateway to the Poor Knights, one of the best diving sites in the world.
One of New Zealand's most popular tourist destinations, the caves of Waitomo are famous for their tiny glow worm inhabitants, When all is quiet, these little creatures will put on a magical light show.
There are plenty of caves to explore - take a look at the options in our tours section.
No journey to Middle Earth would be complete without a visit to The Shire. Hobbiton is home to the famous Lord of the Rings Movie set, complete with rolling fields and of course, perfect Hobbit homes.
On the east coast of Coromandel Peninsula, you'll find the gorgeous Cathedral Cove. It requires a short walk to get to the beach and 'the Cathedral' but the effort is very much worth it. You'll come home with some picture postcard photos for sure!
Hot Water Beach
A little further up the road from Cathedral Cove is another favourite 'hot' spot for Kiwi holiday makers. And we mean hot literally. Be sure to bring a spade to the beach, as with a little effort, you can dig a hole in the sand and enjoy lovely warm spring water bubbling up from underneath. You may want to bring a bucket too... sometimes the water is so warm, you'll want to add some sea water to cool it down!
Some of the North Islands most popular sights.
There are a huge number of popular North Island sites within comfortable driving distance from Auckland. We can break up the drive by stopping at some of the sights above or take you straight to any of these great locations.
Right at the very top of the North Island is where you'll find Cape Reinga. From here you can watch the Tasman Sea and Pacific Oceans collide, leaving a trail on the water that on some days stretches into the horizon.
ninety Mile Beach
Okay, so it's not actually 90-miles long, but it sure feels it when you're there. Visit the longest beach in New Zealand, which truly does stretch for as far as the eye can see. It's the perfect stop on your way to Cape Reinga.
Tucked away at the end of an inlet in the Bay of Islands is the beautiful township of Keri Keri. Home to one of New Zealand's oldest buildings - the stone store - Keri Keri is also famous for it's sweet New Zealand oranges. There's also a few wineries to be enjoyed, along with some beautiful coastal and bush walks.
Bay of Islands
The picture postcard location of the North, the Bay of Islands is the perfect location for fishing, dolphin or whale watching or simply cruising on the water through the hole in the rock. Enjoy the small town of Paihia, head across the harbour to New Zealand's first capital, Russell; or head over to Waitangi to see where New Zealand's historic founding document was signed.
Opononi & Tane Mahuta
On the rugged Hokianga Harbour, on the upper North Island's West Coast lies the small town of Opononi. Once home to a friendly dolphin called 'Opo', the town is now more famous having visitors zoom down the massive sand dunes and into the water below. For visitors looking for something a little more leisurely, a short drive south along the coast will deliver you to Tane Mahuta – God of the Forest – the biggest Kauri Tree in the country.
Rotorua is where you'll find much of New Zealand's geothermal activity bubbling up to the surface. There's steaming pools, geysers and mud pools. It's great for walking and a boat cruise to really appreciate the thermal activity. Whakarewarewa also offers an opportunity for a cultural experience at their living Maori village.
Home to the largest lake in the country, a spectacular waterfall and some of the most impressive Maori carvings you'll ever see, there's truly something for everyone in Taupo. Lake Taupo, once the scene of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history, now enjoys a beautiful lakeside town and plenty of scenic and adventure activities.
National Park (Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe & Tongariro)
Tongariro National Park is home to three huge, active volcanos; Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. Surrounding the beauty of these three mountains lies a range of great activities, from the spectacular but demanding Tongariro Alpine Crossing to the much more leisurely chairlift up the side of Mt Ruapehu, offering on a clear day beautiful views across the country and out to Mt Taranaki on the coast.