As you’ve probably picked up, we here at The Urban List are massive fans of our beautiful city. But just sometimes we need a breath of fresh air and an escape from the inner-city madness. We’ve been feeling a bit of cabin fever lately, and while you can’t beat good ol’ AKL, it doesn’t hurt to leave the stomping ground for a day trip. Here, we bring you five of the most underrated day trips out of Auckland. Jump in the car and enjoy!
Don’t let the funky smells put you off. Rotorua makes for an awesome day trip destination from Auckland. One of the highlights is the infamous Redwoods tree walk, so you can see what life is like six metres above ground. If you’re not a fan of heights then just admire the view from ground level, with a walk through the forest and natural springs. If you’re one for mud baths, then don’t forget about the mud bath spa, creating the infamous Rotorua smell. All that will make you hungry, so a bite to eat at Eat Streat before you head back to the city is a must.
Auckland residents are no strangers to Matakana. With some owning swanky baches in Omaha, this hotspot is the perfect day getaway. Rise with the sparrow and head to the Matakana markets, with Saturday’s offering food and Sunday’s selling arts and crafts. Once you’ve filled your stomach, be sure to watch a film at the Matakana Cinemas, if not for the film itself, the cinema is one-of-a-kind. Each of the three cinemas is fitted out differently—one of the roofs is filled with roses and we’ll leave the other two as a surprise. If you’re a foodie and you love a good spot to chill, eat delish food and drink craft beers, then the new Sawmill Brewery is an absolute must-visit. With delectable foods including Kahawai on toast, and lust-worthy interiors, we know this is going to be the local’s hotspot come summer.
Waihi is one of New Zealand's original mining towns and, despite its small size, a day trip is a great way to spend your weekend. Pass through the breathtaking Karangahake Gorge (stop for a walk if you're so inclined) before heading into Waihi town. Head on up to the massive open cast mine and marvel just how much gold and silver is found in this little country of ours, before snapping an obligatory pic by the mining truck. Afterwards, head to Waitete Orchard Restaurand Cafe & Ice Creamery, where they dish up some delicious fare and make ice cream right on site. Yum.
Take a trip out west to one of the finest dining experiences yet. The Tasting Shed in Kumeu provides the ultimate Sunday chill spot, and we’re all about chilling and eating good food. With a variety of different dining spots at the restaurant, we recommend getting a group of friends together and booking out the Cabana, a shed set apart from the restaurant itself for a little more private dining. Bringing with it a casual, indoor-outdoor flow and relaxed ambience to your dining experience.
#5 Kauri Bay Boomrock
Whilst we know this is borderline Auckland, it’s perfect for city slickers who don’t want to venture too far. Located in Clevedon, Kauri Bay Boomrock will have the adventure-seeking spirit within all of us brought to life. Kauri Bay Boomrock, which serves as a wedding venue, is also an experience-filled activity spot. Choose from Claybird shooting, 4WD driving, extreme golfing, flying a chopper, archery, knife throwing and more, to spark the adventurer within you. Or, if you’re more for sitting back and relaxing, there’s a whisky or wine tasting session available. Bring on the vino, we say!
Want more trips out of Auckland? Here are Towns Near Auckland To Visit This Weekend.
Image credit: Polkadot Passport