Two days in Auckland allow for more in-depth experiences around the City of Sails. Sightseeing tours pave the way with an introduction, while various outdoor activities—on water, on land, or in the air—showcase other perspectives. From wildlife to arts and culture, Auckland has it covered. Here’s how to make the most of a 48-hour stay.
Day 1: Auckland Overview
Morning: A sightseeing tour or hop-on hop-off bus tour helps you get your bearings, and provides easy access to neighborhoods and top attractions. Gaze over the city and harbor from the Sky Tower or Mt. Eden, take the family to the Auckland Zoo, shop in Parnell Village, or sip suds on a craft beer walking tour.
Afternoon: Spend the afternoon with a bit more adventure. Consider a walk around the Sky Tower’s outdoor observation platform, or splash into Waitemata Harbour on a jet boat ride. Alternatively, a seaplane or helicopter tour takes you above the city, harbor, and volcanic islands for a bird’s-eye view of the Hauraki Gulf.
Night: It’s time to relax with a luxury sail aboard a yacht or catamaran. Book a dinner cruise on Waitemata Harbour and admire the glittering skyline after sunset while you dine; most cruises depart from Viaduct Harbour. See the illuminated Sky Tower from the water, then finish with a drink at the Sky Lounge.
Day 2: Nature and Culture
Morning: Six species of whale frequent the waters of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Start today with a dolphin- and whale-watching cruise—and don’t forget your camera. Alternatively, ride a ferry to Tiritiri Matangi Island, a bird sanctuary where you can take a guided walk and spend as long as you’d like.
Afternoon: Retrace your steps to a landmark like the Auckland Museum and learn about the Maori, the original inhabitants of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Watch a cultural performance and discover the significance of the haka, or war dance. Children and adults alike will find exhibits on Pacific and European cultures informative.
Night: Go farther afield on your final evening in Auckland with a scenic ferry ride to nearby Waiheke Island. Explore your culinary options and pair dinner with fine wines from this popular destination’s top vineyards. It’s an easy, memorable escape from Auckland’s bustling city nightlife.