Outside of the CBD, a tour of Auckland’s highlights can include the following.
Start at Mt Eden, which offers some of the finest views over the city. It’s a short hike to the top.
Continue to MJ Savage Memorial Park which similarly offers superb views across the harbour. The drive will lead you along Tamaki Drive, which is where you’ll find Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium.
Parnell Rose Garden is a nice stop from MJ Savage on the journey back toward town.
Its about 2km from Parnell Rose Gardens to Auckland War Memorial Museum, an iconic building with great views across the city.
Viaduct Harbour is a nice area to grab dinner in the evening.
Day tour options include:
A ferry ride across Auckland’s spectacular harbour brings you to Rangitoto Island, formed from an extinct volcano. You can walk to the top and back independently, or do so as part of a tour. The ferry departs from 99 Quay St in the CBD, and also picks up from Devonport, on the North Shore.
A popular whale & dolphin safari tour also operates from Quay St, in the CBD.
An hour’s drive west of Auckland leads you to beautiful wilderness and superb beaches. The southern option is Piha beach, while at the northern end of the Waitakere ranges is Muriwai Beach. Piha is stunning, but Muriwai is top recommendation as it offers a fascinating Gannet Colony, where 1,200 pairs of gannets nest from August to March each year.