Auckland is the most populated region in New Zealand, named for Auckland City, the busiest hub in the country. It sits in the North Island, in a multicultural hub. The region encompasses the metropolitan area, smaller towns, rural areas, and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. There’s plenty to see and do in Auckland, from beaches, waterfalls and forests to art galleries, sports stadiums and designer shops. Whatever your holiday style, you’ll be hard pressed to feel bored!Auckland vacations are becoming more and more popular, and it’s not hard to see why. Auckland City is home to the main international airport, making it a common start and end destination. However it’s not simply a transitioning city - with the perfect balance of nature and inner city culture, the Auckland region is the most populated area in the country. It currently has 1.4 million inhabitants, and continues to grow. While here, make sure to check out New Zealand’s landmark, the Sky Tower.

Auckland Vacation Rentals and Boutique Hotels

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Auckland Serviced  Apartments
Apartment Sleeps 3
Rates 100 - 185 NZD
Admirals Landing B&B
B&B Sleeps 7
Rates 180 - 275 NZD
Waldorf Tetra Hotel
Apartment Sleeps 5
Rates 95 - 140 NZD
Bavaria Bed & Breakfast Hotel
B&B Sleeps 20
Rates 95 - 165 NZD
St. Martins Waldorf
Apartment Sleeps 5
Rates 110 - 180 NZD
Stadium Waldorf Apartments
Apartment Sleeps 4
Rates 130 - 190 NZD
Karins Garden Villa
B&B Sleeps 2
Rates 95 - 175 NZD
Peace and Plenty Inn
B&B Sleeps 20
Rates 165 - 350 NZD
Wainui Country Retreat
Cottage Sleeps 2
Rates 235 - 275 NZD
Waiheke Heights
Vacation Home Sleeps 12
Rates 810 - 950 NZD

Auckland Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in New Zealand

Auckland History

As the main city in New Zealand, many people think Auckland City is the capital city - and they’re not entirely wrong. Auckland did have a brief stint as the capital city, but since 1865 Wellington, a smaller city at the bottom of the North Island, has held that title. Still, Auckland City is the major financial and economic centre of the country, and travellers are likely to see many suited up folk traipsing up and down the Central Business District.

Despite being the financial centre, Auckland has a very impressive arts and culture scene as well. The city is well known for its many art galleries, the museum and concert halls. Auckland Art Gallery is the main gallery and sits in the centre of the CBD, next to Albert Park and close to the two major universities. Here you can meander through the rooms, gazing at local and international art.

Auckland Beaches

The beach is where it’s at! You have two choices: white sand beaches on the East Coast, or black sand beaches on the West Coast. The water on the East Coast tends to be quite tame, making it a perfect place to relax in the sun. For surfers and those who prefer a more rugged, wild landscape, the crazy waves and majestic cliffs on the West Coast will be more your cup of tea.

The most popular beaches on the East Coast are on the North Shore. The North Shore is part of the urban area of Auckland, just a 20 minute bus ride from the CBD. Takapuna Beach is undoubtedly the crowd favourite, with huge pohutukawa trees to seek shade under and modern cafes nearby. If you travel further up north, you can find Orewa, another gorgeous beach. If you’re visiting in the winter, you can skip the swim and drive a little further to Waiwera Hot Pools and relax those muscles.

On the West Coast, Piha Beach and Bethells Beach are two of the best spots. The West Coast is harder to reach by public transport, but it’s easy to rent a car or hitchhike in Auckland. The West is covered in heaps of hiking trails, ranging from a few hours walk to multi-day treks. Find sand dunes, waterfalls and the ‘old New Zealand’ in this breathtaking landscape. Don’t forget your camera!

Auckland Wine Regions

If you have a car handy, travel an hour north of Auckland City to explore Matakana, the foodie’s heaven. The farmer’s market is only open in the weekend, but the wineries are open all week! New Zealand is famous for its wines, so whether your taste buds like Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot, set foot on the Matakana Wine Trail and enjoy a delicious wine (or two, or three) to match the beautiful view.

Another spot in the Auckland region famous for its wines is Waiheke Island. This quaint town is a 40 minute ferry ride from the CBD, and offers vineyards, horseback riding, gorgeous beaches and a music museum. Waiheke Island is one of the small islands floating in the Hauraki Gulf, and was rated the fifth best destination in the world in 2016 by Lonely Planet.

Kumeu is also loved for its vineyards and orchards, but caters for beer enthusiasts as well. The Riverhead Tavern is New Zealand’s oldest riverside tavern, and to this day it serves cold pints of beer. If you’ve had enough to drink, pop on up to Woodhill Forest, a natural playground for adventure lovers.

Auckland Sights

If you need to stretch your legs, you can also take a 25 minute ferry from the CBD to Rangitoto, a volcano lying in the Hauraki Gulf. This is Auckland’s most iconic natural landmark, with its distinctive symmetrical shape. There are approximately 50 volcanoes in Auckland, and Rangitoto is the youngest and the largest. It is protected by the Department of Conservation but is open to the public. Walk to the top of the volcano or wander around and peep inside the old houses.

Auckland is great to visit in any season, but it does have a temperate climate. Be prepared with both an umbrella and sun block! To book accommodation for your New Zealand vacation, view our list of New Zealand vacation rentals, including apartments, b&bs, hotels and cottages.