Top 10 things to do in Auckland, New Zealand

Direct flights are opening up between Auckland and Newcastle. Before the first plane takes off, check out what there is to do in the New Zealand city.

1.Take in the views at the top of the Sky Tower

Picture: Tourism New Zealand.

Picture: Tourism New Zealand.

2.Day trips are incredibly popular, especially out to the Hobbiton movie set of Lord of the Rings fame

The Hobbiton Movie Set - created by film director Sir Peter Jackson to depict the home of the hobbits - has become a must-see tourism attraction for film fans and tourists. 
Picture: www.hobbitontours.com

The Hobbiton Movie Set - created by film director Sir Peter Jackson to depict the home of the hobbits - has become a must-see tourism attraction for film fans and tourists. Picture: www.hobbitontours.com

3.Nature and wildlife tours are the third most-popular thing to do while in Auckland, especially during whale season.

New Zealand is an iconic destination for those wanting to catch a glimpse of sperm or humpback whales. 
Picture: Whale Watch Kaikoura

New Zealand is an iconic destination for those wanting to catch a glimpse of sperm or humpback whales. Picture: Whale Watch Kaikoura

4.Tiritiri Matangi Island is 4km off Auckland’s east coast. More than 20,000 visitors take a ferry or private boat to the island each year to walk the tracks and see the forest birds.

Tui - a native New Zealand songbird - at Zealandia Eco-sanctuary, Wellington. 
Picture: Paul Ramos Little www.visitzealandia.co.nz

Tui - a native New Zealand songbird - at Zealandia Eco-sanctuary, Wellington. Picture: Paul Ramos Little www.visitzealandia.co.nz

5.Sculptureum, a mostly outdoor art gallery, has more than 400 works of art carefully curated amongst three gardens and six indoor galleries. 

6.There is wine, lots of wine. Waiheke Island, a 40-minute ferry ride from Auckland’s central business district, is also known as the ‘Island of Wine’ as it has 30 wineries spread across 216 hectares.

Picture: Tourism New Zealand

Picture: Tourism New Zealand

7.Tawharanui Regional Park combines a "mainland island" sanctuary for the conservation of native plants and animals with farmland and public access

Tawharanui Peninsula is just over an hour from downtown Auckland and by day is home to one of New Zealand’s most beautiful beaches, by night one of the country’s epic night skies. 
Picture: @rowannicholson

Tawharanui Peninsula is just over an hour from downtown Auckland and by day is home to one of New Zealand’s most beautiful beaches, by night one of the country’s epic night skies. Picture: @rowannicholson

8.Private tours and experiences are popular and a Māori cultural experiences is a must do

Members of the Nga Tumanako from West Auckland perform during the Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival 2015. Picture: Martin Hunter Getty

Members of the Nga Tumanako from West Auckland perform during the Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival 2015. Picture: Martin Hunter Getty

9.The Muriwai gannet colony of birds is less than an hour drive from Auckland and a popular wildlife attraction.

10.Day-walkers not wanting to leave the city far behind can set out from Auckland with a map of the Waitakere Ranges which fringe the western city. These tracks skirt high cliffs and cross wild beaches of black sand.

This list is based on Trip Advisor ratings and recommendations.

This story Top 10 things to do in Auckland, New Zealand first appeared on Newcastle Herald.

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