With beautiful sandy beaches, hot sunny days and water everywhere you turn, summertime in Auckland is simply the best time to get the most out of this amazing city. Explore the sights and sounds of New Zealand’s ‘city of sails’ and soak up some sun this summer in Auckland.
Read on for our suggestions on the best summer attractions in Auckland, fun things to do and some of the best events to hit this summer.
10 Best Auckland Summer Attractions
Ice cream, golden sandy beaches and beautiful sunny days – this is what Auckland does best. Looking for great ways to have some fun and enjoy the day? Take a look below for our top ten Auckland summer attractions.
Mission Bay. A very popular spot in summer, the beach at Mission Bay is the perfect place to get some sun, go for a swim or just enjoy some of the great food on offer from the waterfront cafes. Enjoy picturesque views of Rangitoto Island while you sip a cold beer or indulge in gourmet noodles, Movenpick ice cream, frozen yoghurt, mexican delights or just some really good coffee.
Giapo. Yes we know ice cream is not exactly an attraction in the traditional sense but the awesome ice creams created by the team at the Giapo on Gore Street in the CBD are very worth the visit on a hot summer’s day. The Giapo gourmet ice creams not only offer up some very unique flavours but their beautiful creations are so much more than just an ice cream – you will be coming back, trust me!
Auckland Sky Tower. At 328 metres tall you simply can’t miss the Auckland Sky Tower. Take a ride to the Observation Deck and stand on the glass floor for an unnerving view of the city streets below or take a walk on the wild side on the Sky Walk around the outside of the platform. Or for a truly memorable Sky Tower experience try the Sky Jump – leaping from a height of 192 metres the base-jump-by-wire is the ultimate in Auckland summer thrills.
Waitemata Harbour. Taking a cruise out on the harbour is simple a must-do when visiting Auckland. What better way to enjoy the summer sunshine, fresh ocean air and stunning views. Sail under the Auckland Harbour Bridge, past the Devonport Naval Base and explore the waterfront in style with the Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise.
Whale And Dolphin Watching. Join the team from Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari on their unique tourism/research/conservation dolphin and whale spotting tours. Research teams from Universities and the Department of Conservation utilise the tours to study and observe the marine life up-close on a regular basis and a portion of every passenger fare goes towards Marine Mammal Conservation in New Zealand.
Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium. Learn all about turtles, penguins, jellyfish, crabs, sharks, sea stars, sea horses and much more at this fantastic aquarium located just 15 minutes from the CBD. Take a walk through the underwater viewing tunnel, or get up close and personal with the sharks in the thrilling Shark Cage Adventure.
Butterfly Creek. Located out near the Auckland Airport, Butterfly Creek is the perfect activity on a warm summer’s day. Explore New Zealand’s largest tropical butterfly house, meet the resident crocodiles and other interesting animals and insects on display. Don’t miss the Dinosaur Kingdom where you can take a walk through the replica life size dinosaurs, fossils and skeletons complete with animatronics.
Auckland Zoo. Now of course the animals are the main attraction here but when you are done with the Meerkats, Tuatara, lions, tigers, rhino, otters and elephant why not book in for a Safari Nights tour and see the Auckland Zoo from a whole new perspective in the dark of a hot summers night.
Matakana Country Park. Take a leisurely hours drive north of Auckland and discover the delights of the Matakana Country Park. Enjoy a hands on animal experience, ride the miniature trains, take a horse and carriage ride and play on the adventure playground. There is also an onsite café and restaurant – perfect to relax and refuel.
Enchanted Forest Mini Golf. Take on one of Auckland’s best mini golf courses built right inside a park filled with mature trees and lovely greenery. Challenge yourself to be the winner of the 18 full length mini golf holes and see if you can master Hole 13! Bring along a picnic lunch and make a day of it with the kids.
6 Things To Do In Auckland This Summer
Feeling restless or adventurous and need to know what there is do in and around Auckland City? Check out our top 6 things to do on a hot summer’s day in Auckland.
1. Scooter Your Way Around Waiheke Island
Grab the ferry and enjoy a leisurely half hour trip across the Hauraki Gulf to explore the outstanding beaches, bays and rolling hills of Waiheke Island. While it is possible to take your car across on the ferry, hiring a scooter is a great way to whizz around the Islands highlights while enjoying the fresh air and summer sun.
Scooter hire is available just minutes from the Ferry Terminal from the team at Island Scoot. Their retro style scooters are perfect for adding to the fun. Single seat scooter hire costs around $80 per day including helmet and insurance. Need to stretch the legs? There are a good amount of public walks on Waiheke see here for more information on walking tracks on Waiheke Island.
2. Learn To Surf At Muriwai Beach
Always wanted to learn to surf like the pros? Book a surf lesson at the Muriwai Surf School situated at Muriwai Beach just over 30 minutes from Auckland central and you will be riding those waves in no time.
Introductory group lessons are held daily at 10.30 am and 3 pm, and last around two hours. Lessons cost around $70 per person and all equipment is provided. Private lessons are also available along with intermediate and advanced instruction.
3. Take The Kids Camping
Camping in New Zealand is something of an iconic summertime activity. Whether you are an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of person or like to ruff it in the wilderness, Auckland has something for everyone when it comes to camping.
Choose from a variety of beach side camp grounds for the perfect summer holiday or try something a little further inland for a more remote experience. Our favourites are the Tawhitokino Campground or the Orere Point TOP 10 Holiday Park south of Auckland or the Orewa Beach Holiday Park just north of Auckland for the coastal vibe and the Whatipū Campground for a more tranquil place to stay. Tent camping sites will cost around $10 to $25 per night.
4. Kayak To Rangitoto Island
Kayaking around the coast or across the sparkling waters of the Hauraki Gulf on a hot summer’s day is one of the best ways to celebrate the summer season in Auckland and all it has to offer. Paddling out to the nearby Rangitoto Island is one of the best kayaking tours on offer, taking a little over an hour the kayak trip includes the opportunity to walk to the Island’s summit upon reaching the Island.
There are two main operators for kayaking to Rangitoto, both of which offer a sunset kayaking option where you can kayak back to Auckland under the stars after having watched the sun go down from the shores of Rangitoto. Kayak hire prices will vary but expect to pay around $185 for the Rangitoto sunset tour, and approximately $25 per hour for standard kayak hire. See Auckland Sea Kayaks or Fergs Kayaks for more information.
5. Go Hiking In The Forest
Getting visitors out and about in the great outdoors is something New Zealand does best. Everywhere you go there are lots, and lots, of walking tracks – and Auckland is no exception. The Hunua Ranges Regional Park and the Waitakere Ranges are two of the best places to go walking and hiking near Auckland.
Both forest parks are under an hour’s drive from Auckland and feature waterfalls, rain forest and an abundance of birds and wildlife. Walks range from 30 minutes up to 3 or more hours. Be aware the Waitakere Ranges have very specific areas where you are allowed to hike, see the Arataki Visitor Centre for more information.
6. Jump Out Of A Plane… We Mean Skydiving Of Course!
No visit to Auckland is complete without taking to the skies. Get the best views, and make forever memories with a skydiving experience with the team at Skydive Auckland. Boasting the highest jump height in the North Island, skydiving is a timeless adrenaline pumping activity for all ages.
Always book in advance with this one, you will find the Skydive Auckland team at the Parakai Airfield, 73 Green Road, Auckland – roughly 45 minutes drive from Auckland. Jump prices range from around $595 down to $300, all gear is provided and photos and videos are available at an extra cost. The entire experience takes around 3 hours but it is best to confirm this upon booking.