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AUCK or not - 2 days

Portland, Oregon
posts: 9
reviews: 2
AUCK or not - 2 days

I have two days to spend in Auckland area (actually Thursday mid-day to Saturday 11:55 pm flight to USA.) This will be the tail end of a week spent on the South Island doing glaciers, Queenstown, Milford Sound, hopefully several hikes, paragliding, maybe flights out of Fjord to save time and see the scenery from different perspective. It will be mid-August (winter weather)


Once I'm back in AUCK I planned to spend time in the city proper doing ferries, walks (coast to coast?), seeing the urban volcanoes, possibly going to Waiheke or Rangitoto. I'm open to anything, I like the water, nature, animals, serenity, scenery, quiet, peace. I'm on a moderately tight budget, but willing to spend money to see things otherwise not accessible directly from AUCK CBD.

I have just been offered the option to have a friend drive me up somewhere in the Bay of Islands (don't know where) and on the way do caving and some hiking through a forest of some kind (unfortunately don't have those specifics). My instinct is to chill out, enjoy Auckland, and NOT spend more time in transport after doing lots of bus/flight time during the SI portion of the trip; and with the int'l flight upcoming that Saturday night.

Any tips on which to choose? I would hate to miss Bay of Islands if given chance to see it, but I had resigned myself to it being just one of those things I'd have to see next time due to this trip being much too short. On the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of sun or beaches (though I do love to walk a beach in cooler weather as long as I'm not just lying out soaking in sun). I DO enjoy cities, exploring, having free time that's not scheduled in a tour or stuck in a car/bus. And don't want to entirely skip Auckland if it's completely a valid place to spend the final two days of my trip.

Thanks much for any guidance! Oh, traveling solo (happily) :)))

posts: 493
reviews: 84
1. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days

You can easily fill two days in Auckland, there is so much to explore. Make sure you get out on the water and visit some of our beautiful islands.

Ballarat, Australia
posts: 1,318
2. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days

If it was me I'd leave Bay of Islands till next time. You can easily spend a week or two in Northland - in fact we once did a whole month just in Northland. And it sounds like you will have had a very full-on trip already.

Two days in Auckland will be nice. My favourites there are Waiheke Island, and taking a ferry over to Devonport and strolling around.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 9
reviews: 2
3. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days

Thank you posters for the advice! I'm happy to have confirmed support of what I thought I wanted to do anyway. I'm excited to explore the city and close islands/ferries and spend time near/on the water out there.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 1,169
reviews: 52
4. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days


Chill out at the Auckland Museum, very peaceful and educational venue

Take a half day wine tour on Waiheke Island

Take the ferry to Devonport for lunch and a walk through the NZ Navy Museum (free), 10 minute walk from the ferry,

This will fill your free time there.


Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
posts: 7,835
reviews: 100
5. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days

Also, caving and exploring native bush is better left for summer when the ground underfoot isn't muddy, and there isn't as much water dripping into and flowing through the caves.

Some of the city beaches are wonderful during winter, inspite of the off-season. Mission Bay, is always a neat spot to visit as are the beaches along Tamaki Drive (Kelly Tarlton location). The Viaduct harbour and Wynyard Quarter are magical late afternoon and sunset and for a meal.

Besides Waiheke Island, Rangitoto and Devonport the ferry trip up to Tiritiri-Matangi island bird sanctuary is a wonderful trip. Take/buy packed lunch onboard, in the CBD or at the ferry piers. You need to plan for a full day out, but well worth it to get close to nature and beautiful native birds. The Gulf views from this island are extraordinary - 360discovery.co.nz/timetables-fares/tiritiri…

All the best.

posts: 493
reviews: 84
6. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days

There are cheap tickets to Tiritiri Matangi on grabone today.

Prague, Czech...
posts: 261
reviews: 27
7. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days

Go anywhere but Auckland. I'm also a nature-lover and spending half a day in Auckland at the end of my journey was the worst part of my otherwise fabulous NZ experience. Take a trip to some of the islands or anywhere out of the city.

Auckland, New...
posts: 125
reviews: 2
8. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days

You don't need to pay fro a wine tour on Waiheke. There's a lovely walk around the bays right where you get off the ferry. You can finish up at Cable Bay and sit outside on their bean bags and look back at the city while tasting your three wines for not very much money. You can then either carry on to one of the other vineyards (perhaps Mudbrick?) or head down to the beach before heading back to the ferry. It makes for a very lovely day/ 1/2 day trip.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 9
reviews: 2
9. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days

Thanks - sorry I did not see the grabone deals the day you posted that. I'm going to look into the various islands and ferry day trips out of Auckland, and spend at least some time actually in the city. Thanks for the tips on choosing based upon season and leaving caving/bush walks for drier weather. The link for tiritiri/matangi did not work, but I'm about to do a search to find what was intended myself. Just got my NZD yesterday - they are so pretty!

10. Re: AUCK or not - 2 days

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