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Hire a kayak and paddle out to Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano not far from downtown Auckland (you can also get there by ferry). Walk up the old lava flows to the summit for spectacular views across the harbour and back to the city. 

The Coast to Coast Walkway crosses New Zealand's narrowest neck of land. Start in Viaduct Harbour on Auckland’s east coast and travel west through urban landscapes, beautiful parklands and over dormant volcanoes to finish 16km later at Manukau Harbour.

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3. Swim in the east, then surf in the west

With our two coastlines so close, you can take a dip at one of Auckland’s east coast beaches in the morning, then grab a surfboard and head to the west coast’s rugged black-sand surf beaches for the afternoon. Or the other way around!

Just a 40-minute ferry ride and you’re in Waiheke Island, Auckland’s island of wine. This slice of paradise is a haven of beautiful island beaches and some 30 wineries. Join a wine tasting tour and linger over a vineyard lunch, with gorgeous views to match. 

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Catch these cuties at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium, as well as the world’s only display of Spiny Sea Dragons, the biggest species of stingray on the globe, and an underwater aquarium of colourful fish. Watch the sharks at feeding time – or book your own shark dive. 

Discover more than 1000 taonga (treasures) at the Auckland Museum – the largest collection in New Zealand (and the world). From small precious artefacts to an original full-size marae (meeting house) and waka (canoe), this is a fascinating glimpse into early Māori culture. 

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Once a private rehabilitation centre, Rotoroa Island was re-opened to the public in 2005 after nearly 100 years. Wander through the new exhibition centre and museum, visit the historic chapel and jail house, and walk along beautiful white-sand beaches and bush trails.

Not only is Great Barrier Island a place of incredible beauty, it’s also the first island in the world to be designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary – joining only two other locations. The island is off the grid and with minimal outdoor lighting, it’s a dream destination for star-gazers to take in the stunning night skies.

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We’ve got the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. Explore the authentic villages representing different Pacific Island nations at the annual Pasifika Festival, browse the food and art stalls and catch live music and dance.

Retrace the route of the early Māori settlers and New Zealand’s first pioneers by taking a ferry to The Riverhead, New Zealand’s oldest historic riverside tavern. Enjoy a delightful meal overlooking the water, under the oak trees in summer or cosy and warm by the fire during winter.