Day trips from Auckland

New Zealand is an absolutely magical place, so if you’re visiting its largest city you have quite a lot of choices when it comes to day trips from Auckland. Great food, wine, beautiful beaches and, of course, everything related to the Lord of the Rings movies. But where to go, which destination would suit you best? Well, just read on and find out!

Day-trips-from-Auckland,-New-Zealand


Waiheke Island

DISTANCE

About 45 minutes by ferry, 15 mins by plane

GETTING THERE

So, there are two main ways to get to Wahieke Island – board a ferry or board a plane. The latter is quite a special experience, but the downside is that you’ll have to rent a car once you get on the island. Ferries depart from central Auckland almost every hour on the hour, which means you really shouldn’t have any problems finding one. You can even get a discount if there’s only two of you with a car!

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

Wahieke Island is only a 40-minute boat ride away from Auckland and a perfect destination for enjoying excellent food and wine, all in an incredible surrounding. Oh, and you can taste some spectacular olive oils, too. A variety of vineyards and estates all welcome tourists and allow you to sample their products, so this day trip from Auckland is ideal for foodies. But there’s even the option to go ziplining if you’re up for a bit of excitement. And when you’re done treating your taste buds, hit one of island’s pristine beaches to complete your perfect day.

Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Waiheke Island, New Zealand

ADVENTURE PRICES

Ecozip – 129 (New Zealand) dollars per adult person, but children and families get discounts.

Kayaks – can be hired from 30$ for the first hour, 15$ for every other hour.

ACCOMMODATION OPTION

Onetangi Beach Apartments


Hobbiton

DISTANCE

Just over two hours by car

GETTING THERE

Getting to Hobbiton is actually quite easy. Just take State Highway 1 south from Auckland and then switch to State Highway 27 at Pokeno. This road will bring you almost exactly to your destination. The bus takes just a little longer (2 hours 30 minutes), but you have a variety of options and a huge price range to choose from, so make your choice.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

All fans of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies know that a big part of them was shot on New Zealand. Hobbiton is just two hours from Auckland, and there you can actually visit the Green Dragon Inn have a drink and some snacks to really get into the mood. Of course, you can (and must, really) visit Shire and explore the hobbit houses here, as well as learn a lot about how the movies were made if you take up one of the tours offered. There are also plenty of good restaurants within a few miles from the set. Movie fans will love it here.

Hobbiton, New Zealand
Hobbiton, New Zealand

OPENING HOURS/TICKET PRICES

Guests are allowed to visit the set only as a part of a tour group, i.e. you can’t go in alone. The basic tour for an adult costs 84 NZD, but you can also get a meal included into that which will set you back 120 dollars. However, there are many other types of tours you can book (private tours, banquets and even Chinese tours), plus there are special tours organized for special events throughout the year (these are about 200-300 dollars a pop). So, depending on what you’re looking for and when you come here, the prices can differ a lot. Keep in mind that they are only open from 9 AM till 5.30 PM.

ACCOMMODATION OPTION

Kaimai Views B&B

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

DISTANCE

Approximately two and a half hours by car

GETTING THERE

Again, you take State Highway 1 towards south, but this time you head towards Hamilton. At Hamilton, switch to State Highway 39 to reach Waitomo. Buses are also available from Auckland and should get you there in less than three hours.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

Now this is something really special. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a little more than two and a half hours away from Auckland and full of tiny luminescent creatures (the glowworms, obviously) that stick to the walls and ceilings if the caves and create an other-wordly spectacle. What’s even better, you get to ride a boat through this fascinating place and listen to the guide tell you all about these fascinating creatures. And if you throw in a visit to the Aranui Cave, which is just five minutes away from here, you get a better deal on your tickets! 

Whaitomo Glowworm Cave, New Zealand
Whaitomo Glowworm Cave, New Zealand, Author: Andy Rogers, Source: Flickr

OPENING HOURS/TICKET PRICES

– ticket price is 53 NZD per adult, although children get more than 50% off. Additionally, you can also purchase a family ticket for 131 dollars. You will need to check in 30 MINUTES before your tour begins, and the first tours starts at 9 AM every day. Keep in mind that this whole experience will take 45 minutes off your hands and that the caves close at 5.30 PM

ACCOMMODATION OPTION

Abseil Inn

Waitakere Ranges

DISTANCE

45 minutes

GETTING THERE

The area of Waitakere Ranges is located just west of Auckland, about 25 kilometres from the city centre in total. Head to Titirangi, a small town where you can rest up if you need to, and from there just follow the road called Scenic Drive (a very appropriate name) to the Arataki visitor centre right on the entrance to this beautiful park.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

Waitakere Ranges are a perfect place for nature lovers. A spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, rain forest, and the famous Black Sand Beach will provide you with an incredible experience of this country’s nature and wildlife. Not to mention the fascinating waterfalls. Numerous trees in the rain forest house even more incredible birds, and you can even explore some Maori carvings and learn about their history along the way. And the best of all – it’s all just outside the city and can be reached in about three quarters of an hour, so this is more of a half day trip from Auckland.

Whitakere-Ranges
Whitakere Ranges, New Zealand, Author: thinkrorbot, Source: Flickr

OPENING HOURS/TICKET PRICES

They are open from 9 AM to 5 PM every day. The visitor centre is free to visit, but there are many different tours you can book for around 150 NZD.

Coromandel

DISTANCE

2 hours by ferry

GETTING THERE

Two main options here – the road and the sea. Hopping aboard a ferry in downtown Auckland seems to be a more leisurely option because the ride is quite scenic and the ship does all the work. You can also take State Highway 1 out of town if you want to go by car and then turn to State Highway 25 east towards your destination. This will take you a bit less than 2 and a half hours. Bus is also an option, but the ride takes almost 4 hours and includes a transfer, so it may not be worth it.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

Coromadel Peninsula is an exceptionally beautiful place with loads of natural wonders you can enjoy. Hot Water Beach is one of the main attractions here because you get to actually dig a hole for your own hot-water bath in the sand. Additionally, you will want to visit Cathedral Cove for more swimming in an incredible surrounding, plus there are plenty of other beaches, hiking trails and things like that to explore. In short, this is a place for people who want a somewhat active vacation in a magical setting, but there are some very interesting breweries you can visit along the way, too.

Chatedral Cove, Coromandel, New Zealand
Chatedral Cove, Coromandel, New Zealand

OPENING HOURS/TICKET PRICES

Given that we’re talking about some nice beaches and beautiful nature here, there are no admission fees or opening hours you need to worry about. Just come and go as you please.

ACCOMMODATION OPTION

Decades by the Sea

PIN FOR LATER!

If you have any other propositions for this Day Trips near Auckland, feel free to share them in the comments below!

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Anca One Day Itinerary

Anca B.

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Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).

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