Auckland Travel Guide

Search Hotels


Auckland’s sparkling Waitematā Harbour is a glorious backdrop to the city’s showcase of all New Zealand has to offer, from its rich Māori and European history, incredible dining experiences, and easy access to stunning natural wonders.

Auckland, New Zealand

Also known as Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland is a vibrant city surrounded by sparkling harbours, spectacular surrounding landscapes and a dynamic mix of food, arts and culture. Explore this lively ‘place desired by many’, and you’ll discover fascinating Māori culture, delicious food and wine and stunning outdoor adventure, all against a backdrop of breathtaking beauty.

History and culture

Auckland has a rich and fascinating cultural story, a mix of both Māori and European history, with amazing Māori historic sites and beautiful colonial-era buildings. The Māori were the first inhabitants of New Zealand, or Aotearoa, arriving from Hawaiki by canoe over a thousand years ago. 

The annual Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival celebrates Auckland’s Māori seafaring history and culture through music, arts, craft and storytelling. Explore the Māori Galleries at Auckland Museum and see their collection of over 1000 Māori treasures (taonga). Follow the self-guided walking trail along the original shoreline to see landmark historic buildings and early built heritage from the colonial era. Explore the New Zealand Maritime Museum and Auckland War Memorial Museum for a deep dive into Auckland’s colonial history.

Food and wine

From waterfront restaurants and art deco cafes to rooftop bars and bustling food hubs, Auckland is home to some of the best food and wine experiences in New Zealand. For fine dining, head to the fairy lights of Federal Street for authentic Chinese dumplings and dim sum, superb Japanese cuisine or dine with a view atop Sky Tower.  
At beautiful Waitemata Harbour, grab a table by the water at The Viaduct, a buzzing dining and entertainment hub in central Auckland. Enjoy classic cocktails and harbour views from sundrenched rooftop bars, sample award-winning craft beers or settle in for a traditional Italian long lunch at local favourite Baduzzi.

Join in the Saturday ritual of the popular weekend markets in Auckland. Freshly shucked oysters, artisan bread, even handcrafted gins and ciders are all on offer at Matakana Village Farmers’ Market, while the Auckland Night Markets are a foodie heaven with over 50 food stalls producing multicultural delicacies and desserts.

Nature and wildlife

New Zealand is famous for its spectacular natural beauty and abundant wildlife, and Auckland and surrounds do not disappoint. Swim in crystal-clear waters, hike volcanic craters and soak in hot geothermal springs. With its striking volcanic hills, lush rainforests, picturesque beaches and tranquil walking trails, the Auckland region ticks every box for nature lovers.   
Explore pristine bushland and take in the scenic Karekare Falls at the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. An easy day trip from Auckland, Rangitoto Island is known as Auckland’s ‘baby volcano’ with a unique landscape of lava caves and lava fields as well as a large crater offering stunning views over the Hauraki Gulf. 

Get up close to whales, dolphins and amazing marine life at Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and visit Tiritiri Matangi Island’s open wildlife sanctuary, just 30 kms from central Auckland and home to many of New Zealand’s rarest native bird species.

How do I get to Auckland?

International and domestic flights connect to Auckland Airport, which is only 20 minutes from the heart of town. You’ll also find plenty of car hire and shuttle services here.

Top things to do in Auckland

Unlock exclusive rewards as a Choice Privileges member

Join for free to get instant access to member-only rates, deals and partner offers.