There’s one awkward experience every Aucklander shares. It’s embarrassing, a little cringe and to be honest, best avoided at all times. We're talking about when ya friends arrive from overseas equipped with a list of all the adventure activities they can’t wait to delve into. You stand there twiddling fingers, nodding along, trying to play it cool. When truth be told, you haven’t even left the sofa for consecutive Saturdays, let alone cannoned off a mountain!
Well, to save your future self from squirming, it’s time to embrace the adrenaline junky that’s hidden under those fluffy pink pj’s. Or, at the very least, grow a little awareness of the beaut offerings this city allows. FYI, it involves getting off the couch!
Here’s a list of the best nature adventures in Auckland you have to do at least once. Because when you’ve got a country like ours, it’d be rude not to.
Canyon Off The Piha Mountains
What may just be Auckland’s most iconic beach, The Piha Canyon offers a picturesque experience that’ll have you huffin’ and puffin’ by the end. The journey will take you abseiling down waterfalls, into caves and even pit-stopping through an idyllic natural waterfall situated at the mountains edge. With the option for a full day, half day or our favourite—night canyoning, there’s an option for everyone. Your day just got a whole lot better if you’re a lover of heights, as this canyon has the highest commercially abseiled waterfall in Auckland! Yep, this otherwise unaccessible environment is just waiting for you to get ya hands dirty. Grab your tourist buddy and get climbing! Best not fall...
Waiheke Ziplining Followed By Wine Tasting
In life, balance is key and our beautiful friends over in Waiheke understand just that. This experience encompasses the best of both worlds, combining a zipline adventure with lunch, wine tasting and a sampling of the island’s olive oil and wine. You’ll soar among the treetops over the valley and the vineyards and take in the beauty of Waiheke Island. When the adventure’s over and you’re ready to ditch the sneakers, there’s lunch and wine awaiting at the Stonyridge Vineyard. As the only way in and out of the island is via a 40-minute ferry ride, you’ll get to experience the seas of Auckland up close too! If you ask us, this is the perfect nature experience.
See The Sunrise From Mt Eden
Cue the celebrations guys—You don’t need to be an adrenaline junky for this one! We would do this on the daily if we could drag ourselves out of bed, it’s that good. Park your car in Mt Eden Village and grab yourself an infamous cup of coffee from Circus Circus, takeaway of course—We’ve got a sunset waiting. It’s about a 25 minute walk to the top of the mountain where you’re greeted with a view circling the entire city. Beautiful to say the least, watch the sunrise as you enjoy the last sips of your latte (soy if you’re a true Aucklander), and greet the day in true style. A zero dollar experience that’ll take your breath away. This is a must-see for our touristy friends.
Snorkel And Camp At Goat Island
About an hours drive out of the city centre you’ll find Goat Island, the perfect weekend getaway. With snorkel hire on offer, getting up close and personal with the creatures of the sea is a necessity. These waters showcase some of the friendliest and biggest fish around, meaning it’s likely you might spot yourself a stingray! Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to be the next Bindi Irwin, simply paddle by the shore and you’re sure to get a few good piccys. With the picturesque campground just around the corner, there’s barbecues, a kid’s playground and even a fireplace on offer! Pro Tip: add graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows to the shopping list—no campsite is complete without smore’s!
Embark On A Whale And Dolphin Safari
Turns out, you don’t have to travel far to spot a majestic little dolphin! Nope, just jump on a comfortable boat and trust the handy team to take you to the best locations for whale and dolphin spotting. The four hour trip is equally informative as it is picturesque. You’ll cruise along the Auckland harbour, showcasing local islands and treasured spots. If you’re anything like us, you’ll leave with your childhood dreams accomplished! After all, seeing a dolphin is probably one of the coolest thing ya can do with ya Saturday. Bring along some snacks and a few drinks and enjoy this coastal tour with your overseas companion.
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Image Credit: EcoZip Adventures