Things To Do

50 Epic Outdoor Adventures Around Auckland To Have This Summer

By Urban List Writers
19th Jan 2021

50 Outdoor Adventures To Have This Summer

Guess what, people?! Summer is here and there’s a heck of a lot to be excited about. We’re talking glowing skin, sun-kissed hair, cold cocktails and long, sunshine-y days—days which you’d be rude not to full with endless exploring.

To help you make the most of the coming months, we’ve rounded-up a nifty list of aaaall the outdoor adventures you should have this summer. Be it seeking out hidden rock pools, sipping a vino with views or going full intrepid mode, here are 50 adventures to have in Auckland this summer.

  1. Go smash about in the waves at Piha—between the flags people—and then hike up the boardwalk to Kitekite falls for an afternoon dip.
  2. Gym not cutting it for you? Soak up the rays and take your workout into the great outdoors, for free. Start with Panmure Basin and catch the rest here. Best of luck to your booty.
  3. Set up camp and sleep under the stars. Here are some stellar spots.
  4. Roughing it not your thing? Embrace Mother Nature without forfeiting comfort. Here’s some positively mind-blowing glamping spots around Auckland. 
  5. What’s SUP? Track down a paddle board and cruise out on the water. We’ve found the prettiest places in Auckland to do it.
  6. Balancing not your thing? You might be better in a kayak. Check out these epic spots.
  7. Do a roadie to Warkworth’s old Cement Works and prepare to be taken back in time. It’s a fresh water swimming hole amongst the ruins and is guaranteed to blow your mind.
  8. Not a fan of crowded beaches? We’re with you. Here are 10 secret spots in Auckland well worth a visit. 
  9. If you haven’t been to stunning Awawhata beach, now is the time! Nestled between Piha and Bethells, the scramble down to the beach (and the hike back up) is entirely worth it.
  10. Those stunning blue springs you see all over Instagram? The Putaruru springs are closer to Auckland than you think. Just over two-hours drive and you’ll find yourself in a cool 11 degrees.
  11. All this adventuring is bound to spark the tummy rumbles. Load up your picnic hamper and head to one of these pretty pozzies.
  12. Raglan practically screams summer and not adding it to your summer road trip hit-list should be a crime. There’s Bridal Veil Falls, top-notch surf and plenty of delish eats. Why not stay the night at one of these Gram-worthy spots.
  13. While you’re in the mighty Waikato, tackle Mt Pirongia. It’s the highest peak in the region and offers sprawling views for those willing to make the five-hour hike. Can't commit? Check out the other walks around Hamilton worth doing.
  14. Grab a ferry out to the stunning open sanctuary Tiritiri Matangi island where you can marvel at the birdlife and have a go at spotting some giant weta.
  15. You can’t really call yourself an Aucklander unless you’ve conquered the Rangitoto summit. It’s a super short ferry ride away and the views are 100 per cent worth it.
  16. And that pink cycle track you see everywhere? Time to go check it out. The Lightpath is bang smack in the middle of the CBD and looks oh-so pretty with the twinkling city lights at dusk.
  17. Get high at Tree Adventures. This forest adventure park will see you monkeying about in the trees and even tree surfing!
  18. Or get even higher…with a skydive! Skydive Auckland will have you jumping from 20,000 feet with 85 seconds of freefall at speeds of 200+ kilometres per hour (this is the highest in the Southern Hemisphere, just quietly). How’s that for adventurous?
  19. Us Aucklanders love climbing things. Put your mettle to the test with these mountainous adventures.
  20. When in Rotovegas, be sure to brave New Zealand’s highest commercially rafted waterfall with River Rats. It’s a rush you won’t be able to beat. 
  21. Summer = beach days and sometimes you’ve got to get in the car to find the best of the bunch. Here are five epic beaches totally worth the car trip. 
  22. You’re on island time, baby! Some of Auckland’s surrounding islands are the most stunning in New Zealand and summer is the perfect excuse to escape the city bustle. 
  23. Speaking of islands, Waiheke is the ultimate island day trip from Auckland City. Sip vino at one of the many vineyards, get historical at Stony Batter, go zip-lining or find a secluded beach.
  24. Be sure to check out Wild on Waiheke. Featuring craft beers, epic food and a range of fun activities (archery, claybird shooting, giant chess and Wildtag). 
  25. The Awhitu Peninsula is a total Southern gem and belongs on your summer bucket list. Visit the Manukau Heads Lighthouse or frolic on the rugged black sand beaches (pro tip: bring jandals to avoid tootsie burns).
  26. Take the road less travelled and discover walks you didn’t know existed in and around Auckland. Best bit? We’ve found them for you. 
  27. Channel your inner Little Mermaid and get your snorkel on in the deep blue. There are some beautiful spots in and around Auckland. 
  28. On yer horse! Actually though. Murawai beach horse treks are a unique way to lap up beachy vibes and feel the wind in your hair this summer. 
  29. Or on yer bike! Hoon through Woodhill park or find your training wheels at Arch Hill Scenic Reserve—a hidden mountain bike trail in the city.
  30. Better yet, round up your beer-lovin’ buds and book in a bike pub crawl around the city. You’ll be able to cycle from pub to pub, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine and a bit of light exercise. 
  31. Wake up at the crack of dawn and head up Devonport’s Mt Victoria for a breath-taking sunrise. No better way to start the day.
  32. Take on some of the Hillary Trail, part of the Coast to Coast walkway. Want a full-blown hike? Challenge yourself on the full four-to-five-day walk.
  33. Go where the wild things are and shelter from the sun. Auckland (and beyond) is home to magical caves waiting for you to explore. 
  34. You know how you’ve been saying you’re going to learn to surf? This summer is your year! Here’s where to learn the ropes
  35. Rent an old-school Land Rover and go bush for a couple of days. Trekker Adventures offer fully equipped trucks with rooftop tents, camping gear and everything you need for a blissful escape. 
  36. If you’re a sucker for adrenaline, book a spot on AWOL Canyoning Adventures. In the beautiful Waitakere Ranges, you’ll abseil under waterfalls, take underground streams into caves and slide into hidden pools and gorges. 
  37. Check out Goat Island, a protected marine reserve not too far from Auckland. Snorkel with the brightly coloured fish or stay dry in a glass bottom boat.
  38. Tick another Auckland must-do off and visit the Muriwai gannet colony. More than 1200 pairs of gannets call the cliff tops home.
  39. Hit up the Hauraki Gulf. It’s a beauty and we’ve tracked down 10 awesome things for you to do. 
  40. Suss out a playlist, say adios to A-town and check out some of the great towns near Auckland. We’re talking Mount Maunganui, Leigh and Waipu. 
  41. Work starting to drag already? Lock in some weekend escapes to these hidden baches around Auckland to make it more bearable.  
  42. Wriggle into that wetsuit and go black water rafting and tubing in the stunning Waitomo Caves
  43. Fan of the Hobbit? Us too! Cruise over to Matamata for a two-hour tour around Hobbition. Quench your thirst at the Green Dragon Inn afterwards.
  44. Partake in a spot of golf at one of these gorgeous golf courses. Who knows, you could be the next Lydia Ko! 
  45. Don your best sunhat and head out west to pick strawberries. It will be just like when you were a kid except we suggest you enjoy them with bubbly.
  46. ‘Lax on a beach, go for a wander or just get outdoors and finish off with a trip to one of these destination pubs for a bevy and solid feed.
  47. Knock off the Pinnacles. This Coromandel walk will make you feel like a total badass and there are plenty of places to pitch a tent up the top (the hut is known to book out quickly!).
  48. Always wanted to see Flipper? Go on a dolphin and whale-watching cruise. From bottlenose dolphins to up to six types of whales, marine-lovers will be in heaven. 
  49. Not big of getting out and about? Take your taste buds on an adventure instead and get some Vit D at these stunning waterfront eating spots
  50. Take advantage of the warmer temperatures and space out at one of the best stargazing spots around the City of Sails.

If all that adventuring is making you hungry, why not have a feed at one of Auckland's best restaurants?

Image credit: Talman Madsen for Trekker Adventures

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