8 Fun Day Trips to Do Around Auckland

Lauren Girard, ’20 // International Business
February 22, 2020

Kia ora, readers! My name is Lauren Girard and I’m an International Business student studying at AUT in Auckland, New Zealand. In today’s blog post, I’m going to share 5 adventures around Auckland I’ve experienced this week before classes have started, listed with the least amount of planning to the most. Exploring outside of walking distance can be intimidating, but it’s easy once you grab a group of friends and do a bit of planning!

Auckland Domain

Just a 2-minute drive or 20 minutes walk away from the student accommodation is Auckland’s oldest park: Auckland Domain. Here, you can find the Auckland Botanic Gardens and the Auckland War Memorial Museum (free with your AUT student card). There’s plenty of shade to hang a hammock, have a picnic or kick a ball around. 

TIME NEEDED: A FEW HOURS

Outside of the Auckland War Memorial Museum

Mt. Eden Walk

Mt. Eden is a volcanic cone in Auckland only 5km from the city center. Not to worry, the volcano has not erupted in 16,000 years and is dormant.  A short uber ride, bus, or a 50-minute walk will bring you to the base. The short steep trek up is only 2km and rewards walkers with breathtaking views of the city. 

TIME NEEDED: A FEW HOURS

The view from the top of Mt. Eden. Look closely to see the outline of the volcanic crater!

One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill is another volcanic peak in Auckland. John Logan Campbell’s gravesite is at the top, a prominent New Zealand public figure. The memorial site is at the top of the hill. At the bottom of the hill, there is a playground for children and an area to observe sheep roaming the grounds.

TIME NEEDED: A FEW HOURS

A few friends at the top of One Tree Hill

Mission Bay

Accessible by bus or Uber, Mission Bay is the closest beach to the student accommodation. The water is incredibly blue with light waves. A few shops line the beachfront, including a gelato shop that is perfect for a snack on a hot day.

TIME NEEDED: A FEW HOURS

Takapuna Beach

Takapuna Beach is another beach nearby, available by bus or car/Uber. Located in a suburban area, this beach is quieter than Mission Bay. The coast has rocks to climb and a great view of Rangitoto Island. 

TIME NEEDED: A FEW HOURS

Devonport

Devonport is a seaside village that has cafes, boutiques, art dealerships,  beaches, and several fish and chip shops. It’s a great spot to shop and pick out crafty souvenirs. Devonport is only a 12-minute ferry ride from the main Auckland port.

TIME NEEDED: A FEW HOURS

Devonport is home to many sunny cafes and restaurants with great fish n chips

Rangitoto Island

A ferry ride away from the city, Rangitoto Island is set 25 minutes away. The island was formed 600 years ago, making it the youngest volcano on the Hauraki Gulf. To climb to the summit, hikers walk through lava fields for approximately an hour. After a day of hiking, swimming at the beach on the island is refreshing- so remember to pack a swimsuit!

TIME NEEDED: A DAY

Path up to the summit of Rangitoto

Piha Beach

Piha Beach is a black sand beach an hour’s drive away from the city. It is easiest to grab a group of friends and split a car rental. A spacious car for 5 people costs about 30 USD per person, including gas. The water is rough enough to surf but calm enough to swim if you stay between the flags. Lion Rock is located between the North and South beach. Walking to the top takes about 15-minutes and provides a great view of the beach from overhead. On the drive back, Kitekite Falls is a must-see. A 30-minute walk through greenery leads to a three-tier waterfall.

Kitekite Falls near Piha Beach
The view of Piha Beach from Lion Rock, a short steep climb

TIME NEEDED: A DAY

Auckland is a great city for students to explore. I have only been in New Zealand for a week and a half and I have already gone on a fair amount of adventures. I’m excited for the opportunity to share more of my adventures as the semester goes on!