Things To Do

7 Spectacular Places To Watch The Sunrise In And Around Auckland

By Olivia Atkinson
12th Jun 2020

A person paddles across Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on a paddle board at sunrise with the city in the distance.

If the only time you’ve caught a sunrise is on the stumble home after a rager, you’re doing life wrong. Every single morning, when you’re snug as a bug, obliviously sound asleep, the sun slowly lights up the sky. It’s the kinda thing that some people live for so you ought to drag your booty out of bed and see what the fuss is all about—at least once, anyway. 

The catch? It’s so freakin’ early! Sure it’s one of nature’s most spectacular shows but if you’re going to pull yourself out of slumber at an ungodly hour, it better be for something bloody epic. With that, we present seven of the best places to watch the sun rise in and around Auckland. The coolest part? You’ll be amongst the first few in the world to the see the sun rise for that day!

Westhaven Marina 

Head to Westhaven Marina before the sun’s up, get those legs moving and you’ll be treated to one helluva sunrise. The beautiful Westhaven Marina has become a popular spot to combine exercise with stunning city views and it’s at its best in the morning. The yachts and Harbour Bridge will be illuminated by the light as you tick off your daily dose of exercise. Winning! 

Mount Eden 

Sure, you probably won’t feel like walking up a big ass volcano at five in the am but trust us, the 360-degree view of the city will have you questioning why you don’t spending every morning on top of Mount Eden. This iconic Auckland spot is popular for sunset fish ’n’ chips and needs to be recognised for its strong sunrise game. Once you’ve watch the sun peek up over the horizon, it’s time to head down for a solid feed and well-deserved coffee at one of Mt Eden’s scrumptious cafes. 

Bastion Point 

Another cracking sunrise-watching pozzy is Bastion Point. Watch as the mighty Waitemata Harbour begins to glisten and the city skyline comes to life. Not too keen on combining your sunrise with exercise? Fair enough. You can drive up to this spot and BYO coffee for the cosiest sunrise in town. 

East Coast Beaches  

For stellar Auckland sunsets west is best but when it comes to an early morning light show, east is where it’s at. Both Bucklands Beach and Eastern Beach are some of the best spots to watch the sun rise in Auckland. Take a brisk dip in the ocean if you’re game! You’ll be wide awake after that. 

One Tree Hill 

Get your blood pumping with an early morning stroll through Cornwall Park followed by an inclined schlep up the side of a volcano cone followed by a glorious sunrise and view to match. Yep, it’s a whole lot to squeeze into one morning but bucket loads better than just rolling out of bed and tackling traffic. 


Ah, Takas, your sunrise is truly something special. Walk your pooch or hop on a paddle board and watch as Rangitoto Island comes into view. Better yet, walk the Takapuna to Milford track and you’ll understand why the North Shore is one of Auckland’s best sunrise spots. Views. For. Days. 

North Head 

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, gather some of your sunset-chasing crew and make your way to North Head in Devonport for some prime sunrise action. This special spot remains one of the best views in Auckland, especially when the sky is on fire.

You know what else the early bird gets? One of the best breakfasts in Auckland, that's what.

Image credit: Matthew Crawford

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