With so much to be discovered in the 09 and so little time, it can be a wee bit overwhelming to know where to start! From scenic beaches, breath-taking landscapes to food tours where you learn where to get the real important stuff like where to get the best dumplings or how gelato is made, it’s just all too much!
To makes things easier to get the best of what the City of Sails has to offer, there are some epic tours that you need to get amongst! Here is a list of Auckland’s best tours.
Half-Day Auckland City Tour
Auckland City Tours
If you’re a first time visitor to Auckland or just haven’t had the chance to really explore, Auckland City Tours takes you on a half-day journey through all the major locations! Whether you want to get cultured at the Auckland Art Gallery, take a ‘gram-worthy shot at the Winter Gardens or blow some cash in the streets of Ponsonby, this half-day tour will take you to all the hot spots. In fact, you’ll be hitting up more than ten locations, so this one is for those that are here in Auckland for a fun time, not a long time. The groups are small so you can have more of a personal experience with your guide and they even give you a full rundown at each stop!
Full Day Auckland Scenic Tour
Auckland Scenic Tours
For those who are lucky enough to have more time on their shoulders, enjoy Auckland’s scenery at a slower and laxed pace with Auckland Scenic Tours. Starting off with a nice drive to soak up all the views when going across the iconic Harbour Bridge before reaching your first destination, the oh-so cute Devonport! Get a view of Auckland City from the other side of the water by going up Mt. Victoria and North Head. This tour also takes you through the top spots in central Auckland like the Viaduct before taking you all the way West with a stop at Muriwai Beach! This is an ultra-special place to see the Gannet Colony. They start nesting in August and by April those little chicks are everywhere. Feel your hair blow out in the wind as the wild ocean lashes at the rocks—it’s one of the best things to do in Auckland. You’ll finish your tour, as all good days should, with a trip to a winery or the historic Riverhead Tavern.
Auckland Helicopter Tour
Heletranz will literally sweep you off your feet as they give you the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of Auckland City! Take a helicopter ride for an epic panoramic view and experience the thrill of being high in the sky. Not to mention that Heletranz have a tonne of different routes you can take! Whether you want to get a look at the beaches of Auckland, get up-close and personal with the Sky Tower or soak in the view from the top of a volcano, Heletranz have it all. They even have some destination helicopter rides which make you feel like royalty as you get dropped off to a fine dining restaurant. The helicopter waits for you to finish your session of wining and dining and takes you back to the city. We recommend an Uber at this point.
Wild West Coast Photography Tour
Unique Vision Tours
PICTURES OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN! Unique Vision Tours offers a scenic tour of the wild, West Coast and assist you in stepping up the quality of images in your photo album (a.k.a., Instagram feed). From Titirangi Village, Piha Beach and more, you’ll be snapping away for almost eight hours and you’re bound to get a shot of a lifetime. Not only is each location beautiful but they’re also rich in history and culture. The tour of Piha is a crowd fave as you have the chance to witness the stunning scenery and also localise yourself at the little café near the beach! Did we mention that the lunch is on them?! Unique Vision Tours also offer a half-day tour of the best of the West and a sunset and night tour where you get to capture Auckland’s sunset and city lights!
Harbour Dinner Cruise
They don’t call us the City of Sails for no reason! Take advantage of the crystal clear waterfront with Explore Group. They take sailing to a whole new level with their harbour dinner cruise, starting from the Auckland Viaduct and gliding through Auckland’s waterfront. Indulge in some cheesy truffle and mushroom arancini balls and salted caramel pavlova by the chefs at Degree while you sail across some of the iconic landmarks of Auckland. This includes the Harbour Bridge, Sky Tower and more and we assure you that it’ll be a night to remember.
Auckland Maori Luxury Tour & Cultural Performance
Time Unlimited Tours
Take an indigenous guide of Auckland with Time Unlimited Tours where you learn about the Maori culture of New Zealand. This tour takes you through to all the staple locations such as the amazing volcanoes, historically rich Devonport and black sand beaches through the eyes of an indigenous guide. The highlight is the added experience of seeing Polynesian Galleries and experiencing a Maori cultural performance at the Auckland Museum—an absolute must when visiting New Zealand!
Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari
Don’t just admire the waters of Auckland from afar, look deeper as there’s more to discover! Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari give you an insight on the marine life by taking you out to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Sightings always vary so each given tour is a one-of-a-kind and unique experience. If you’re super lucky, you might spot marine creatures such as dolphins, seals, orcas, turtles and whales. Auckland is the only location in New Zealand that has these creatures so close to the city, so there’s really no excuse to not hop on this tour!
Auckland On A Plate
Fine Wine Tours
Treat your tummies and taste buds to a full day of premium chocolate, cheese and the fanciest of wine in Auckland. Fine Wine Tours have tour guides that have been in the foodie scene for over 40 years, so we know that they are to be trusted! Begin your food adventure with a seaside morning coffee at Pt. Chev and make your way through to fine food stores, wineries, vineyards and markets. To make this tour even more of a treat, you will even take home a goodie bag of authentic New Zealand foodie items!
Gelato Kitchen Tour
For all the foodie travellers, if Giapo isn’t on your agenda, get on to it now! Giapo aren’t just an ice cream parlour. They have become an Auckland icon with their creations like Maori fry bread cones, Sky Tower chocolate sculptures and unique flavours. Get the true experience with a full tour of the kitchen where you learn about the process of making this artisan gelato, meet the people behind the magic and of course, taste their inventions which are out of this world!
Walking Food Tour
If you’re a local and want to discover the other cuisine Auckland has on offer, Eat Auckland provide walking food tours dedicated to a specific culture. Walk along the lane of authentic Chinese eateries in Balmoral and search for the tastiest dumplings in Auckland or experience a Korean feast at a series of different restaurants in the CBD. For visitors of Auckland wanting to get a taste of the dining scene in this city, the Ponsonby food tour is perfect as it is where the food trends begin and the dining institutions are located!
Matakana Magic Tour
Gala Local Tours
Escape the bustling city and experience the rural, country-side of Auckland! Quaint, peaceful and relaxing, Gala Local Tours shows another side of Auckland that is just as enjoyable and of course, beautiful. We advise you take the Saturday tour as you get to make a trip to the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market. This way, you get to enjoy the special ambience of a small village and munch on some classic Kiwi eats like mussel fritters. Other spots on the agenda include Sheep World, forest walks, sculpture trails, beach walks and more!
Image Credit: Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari