Source: Auckland Council
Come rain or shine, the Auckland region offers up some breath-taking sights. From the Manukau Heads in the west to the Hauraki Gulf islands in the east and the city centre in between, there’s a lot to see and plenty of great places to see it all from.
To help you to take in the view, here’s our pick of the best sightseeing spots around the city:
Mount Eden / Maungawhau
Take a trip to the top of Mount Eden for fantastic views of the city. 196 metres high, Mount Eden is one of Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones and was once the site of a fortified Māori village.
Visitors can walk or cycle to the top to take in panoramic views, or take a guided tour of housing sites and storage pits of the old settlement. Maungawhau is also home to an award-winning garden complete with native wildlife, plants and waterfalls – the perfect place to stop and take in the view.
Rangitoto seen from Mount Eden
If you really want to earn your view, why not take a hike up Rangitoto – New Zealand’s youngest volcano. At 259 metres tall, the summit offers great views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf, plus you’ll be treated to harbour views on the ferry ride over too.
For great views of Rangitoto, check out the beaches at Mission Bay or Takapuna, take a boat trip out into the bay, or even take a guided kayak tour of the island.
Undoubtedly the most extravagant option on our list, but also your ticket to the best possible views of the city. There are several companies offering heli-tours of Auckland which range from short flights over the harbour to volcano tours and even coast-to-coast flights.
View from Mt Victoria
Mount Victoria / Takarunga
Mount Victoria has played home to a lot of history – from an original Maori pā or fortified village to Victorian shipping structures and even 20th-century artillery and defensive bunkers.
Today, Takarunga is mostly home to sightseers and picnickers taking in panoramic views of Devonport, downtown Auckland and nearby Rangitoto.
Take a trip out west to discover pristine beaches, the picturesque bays of Awhitu Regional Park and the historic Manukau Heads Lighthouse.
Providing spectacular views back to the city and across the water to the Waitākere Ranges, Awhitū is a great day trip for anyone who wants to leave the city behind and take in the cliff-top sea air.
Many Aucklanders take the ferry each day and, on the less cloudy days, are treated to spectacular views of the city’s waterfront, harbour and bridge. But if you want to take in these views at a more leisurely pace and not during your morning commute, why not take a boat out into the harbour?
There are a few boat tours of the harbour and islands available, and private charters on offer too, all of which will give you a great close-up look at the city.
Auckland Harbour Bridge
Sign up for a Harbour Bridge climb for views of Auckland from a walkway almost 70 metres above Waitematā Harbour. Thrillseekers can opt for a bridge-top bungee jump too, but whether you jump or not you’ll find great views up on the bridge.
If climbing a walkway over the harbour isn’t your idea of fun, head to Stokes Point Reserve. Located under the northern end of the bridge, the reserve still offers views of Auckland’s waterfront, just without having to leave solid ground.
Tāwharanui Regional Park
Around 90km north of Auckland city centre, Tāwharanui Peninsula is home to campgrounds, nature sanctuaries and a marine reserve – providing the perfect backdrop to a day or weekend away from the city.
From nearby Takatu Point Lookout, you’ll be treated to views across the Hauraki Gulf and nearby Omaha and Kawau bays, taking in views of our spectacular northern coastline and the chance to see plenty of native birds.
The Tāwharanui coastline
If you want to take in views of Auckland from a distance, why not head to Waiheke? Not only is the Hauraki Gulf island beautiful in its own right, but it offers great views back to the city and you can enjoy a picturesque 35-minute ferry ride over there too – on a sunny day, at least.
Whether you opt for a leisurely stroll around the island or a guided tour of its many vineyards, there’s plenty to do on Waiheke and some fantastic views to enjoy while you’re at it.
The view from Waiheke Island