Auckland, New Zealand, is a great city to live in because there is lots of work, heaps of good coffee shops, and the city is surrounded by beaches. But New Zealand is made for adventure seeking, traveling, and exploring. These are the best day trips from Auckland.
Best Day Trips from Auckland
Piha Beach & KiteKite Falls
Head west for just under an hour to bathe in the paradise that is Piha Beach. One of the most stunning beaches in New Zealand, Piha is a great spot to escape the city for the day. KiteKite Falls is on the way to the beach, and is a fab stop off for a cool down and some great instagram photos.
McLaren Falls Park
About three hours from Auckland, this is one of my favorite places in all of the North Island. McLaren Falls Park makes the list of Best Day Trips from Auckland for it’s rugged wilderness, climbable rock formations, and fresh water to swim in. It’s a great spot for a relaxed day in the sun. It’s also super instagrammable. Bring a picnic and stay for the sunset!
Just a little over an hour from Auckland, these falls are a great spot for a picnic and a relaxed picnic. Spend the whole day here, or head to Karangahake Gorge on the way back to the city for an adventurous tunnel walk through old gold mines. Make sure to bring plenty of food & water!
If you aren’t in the mood to drive, head over the bridge to Auckland’s North Shore. Browns Bay is a popular spot, surrounded by beautiful beaches and filled with cute little cafes. For all my fellow vegans, check out Soulshine for loads of vegan food.
Take the ferry across the water for a day of adventuring over the volcano of Rangitoto. Hike to the top for an incredible view of the city, or sit down at the bottom and soak up the sun for the afternoon. There is no water or food on this island, so pack everything you need, plus more.
Piha’s little sister, Bethell’s Beach is less of a tourist attraction, but another popular beach for the surfers. Check the weather before heading out, as it gets super windy.
Another favorite, Cathedral Cove, is easy to classify as one of the best day trips from Auckland. Scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia were filmed here, and it’s is easy to see why, given the magical formation of the cove and the towering rocks coming out of the water. If you have time, bring a tent and explore the Coromandel all weekend.
Technically, Omanawa Falls is closed to the public, but it’s hard to stay away from something this magical. Jump the fences and climb a rock wall on the short but strenuous hike to the bottom of the falls. The icy cold water will cool you off quickly. Bring a picnic and lots of water, and relax like a lizard on the rocks surrounding the falls for the day.
Head North to Goat Island for a day of snorkeling and sun bathing. There aren’t any goats in sight, but Goat Island is known for some of the best snorkeling in New Zealand. Bring your swimmers and don’t forget your underwater camera for a day of exploring the sea.
Have time for more than a day trip? Check out the Ultimate Three Day Road Trip from Auckland, the guide to Paihia, or my New Zealand North Island Bucket List.
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