Top 15 reasons to visit Auckland


From beaches and bushwalks to chic shopping and award-winning eateries, Auckland is a must-do road trip destination for motorhome travellers. 

Surrounded by oceans and islands, the city is a haven for boaties and water enthusiasts. In fact, Auckland is often referred to as the City of Sails. But don’t worry, if water isn’t your thing, there’s loads more to see and do. And there really is no better way to explore everything on offer than with a maui campervan hire. A campervan road trip means you can truly relax, take your time, and make the most of the flexibility and spontaneity that travelling by campervan offers. To make it even easier, you can pick up and drop off your camper at maui’s Auckland branch near the airport. 

To help you plan your road trip travel itinerary, we’ve put together a list with just some of the top reasons to visit this great city.

Oysters Couple Salad

Join thousands of RV travellers

Sign up for our Go By Camper newsletter to receive inspirational travel content and awesome deals, and we'll send you a copy of our Ultimate RV guide!

maui is committed to protecting your privacy and information security. Your information will be used in accordance with any application privacy law, our internal policies, and our Privacy Policy, and will be held securely.


Please confirm subscription in your email.

1. The coffee is amazing

Aucklanders love a good coffee. And with excellent cafés on just about every corner, you’re spoilt for choice. Whether you’re a flat white fan or an Americano aficionado, you won’t have to go far to find your favourite cup of caffeine. Here are a few top spots worth checking out:

  • Takapuna Beach Café: Enjoy coffee and cake overlooking this beautiful North Shore beach. If you’re in the mood, order your coffee to go and sip while you stroll along the sand. 
  • Millers Coffee: If you’re visiting the central city, plan a visit to Millers on Cross Street which runs off Karangahape Road (better known as ‘K Rd’). This unassuming little café is one of the oldest coffee roasteries in Auckland. So it’s safe to say they’ve perfected the art of good coffee! After your coffee, take a wander down K Rd and peruse some of the cool shops. 
  • Scarecrow: More than just great coffee, Scarecrow is like walking into a little farmers market in the city. You’ll find a great selection of organic foods, produce, flowers, chocolates, boutique wines and more. 


2. The harbour gives you another way to explore

Need some time out from the city? Auckland is surrounded by a sparkling harbour dotted with island escapes. Within a short ferry ride, you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away:

  • Rangitoto Island: Park up your campervan in the city, jump onboard the ferry, and visit this iconic volcano. This Auckland must-do is a favourite destination for locals and visitors alike. The walk to the summit is an hour each way. The views from the top are simply incredible! 
  • Motuora Island: This 80-hectare pristine island is surrounded by beautiful beaches and has several excellent walking tracks. It’s also home to some of New Zealand’s unique native wildlife, including brown kiwi.


3. You can get a bird's-eye view

To truly appreciate the beauty of Auckland city, it’s worth heading uphill to see it from above. One of the best spots in the city to take in the views is Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill. This volcanic peak in the heart of Auckland sits at 182 metres high. Head to the summit to take in the fabulous 360-degree views across the city. 

One Tree Hill sits alongside Cornwall Park – a beautiful spot for a picnic or a relaxing walk. If you’re looking for free things to do in Auckland, be sure to add this spot to your travel itinerary. The park is especially beautiful in spring when it bursts into a colourful display of blossoms and daffodils. It’s also great fun to visit in autumn – the kids will love playing in the piles of crunchy oak leaves. There’s also a great playground for the kids to burn off some energy. And if you need a caffeine fix or a bite to eat, stop in at the Cornwall Park Café.

Waiheke, AucklandImage via Tourism New Zealand -  Waiheke, Auckland 

4. The island vineyards at Waiheke

Just a short 45-minute ferry ride from the CBD, Waiheke Island is an Auckland must-do. Wander the boutique shops and art galleries. Go diving, snorkelling, or ziplining. Take a relaxing wellness retreat. But one of the most popular things to do on this island paradise is to visit the fantastic Waiheke Island wineries. Here are a couple worth visiting:

  • Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant: Enjoy a fantastic meal and great wine as you take in the unbeatable views of Rangitoto and the Hauraki Gulf.
  • Stonyridge Vineyard: Set amongst the olive trees and colourful vines, this romantic destination is simply magical. A great spot for a special occasion.

With so much to do on this lovely little island, you may want to stay a night or two. The good news is you can take your campervan with you. Just book in on the Sealink Ferry


5. Sunset walks and fish and chips on the beach

Nothing says ‘holiday’ like fish and chips on the beach as the sun goes down. And Auckland has some awesome beaches, and equally awesome fish and chip spots to choose from. You’ll need to head west to enjoy the sunset. So grab your tomato sauce, a warm blanket, and head out to Piha, Bethells Beach, or Muriwai. For some seriously good fish and chips on the way, stop in at Pooks Rd Takeaways in Ranui, Bishop Fish and Chips in Green Bay or Tony’s Takeaway in West Harbour. 


6. The glorious food options

In the mood for a decadent dessert or dinner with to-die-for views? Auckland restaurants are some of the best in the country. You can’t go wrong with a wander along North Wharf in Wynyard Quarter – you’ll find one amazing restaurant after another. Afterwards, head to House of Chocolate Dessert Café in Takapuna for a late-night treat. 


Maui New Zealand 

7. Plenty of spots to walk off the food

After all that delicious indulging, you’re probably ready to burn off a bit of energy. Take a lazy stroll along the waterfront and explore the vibrant viaduct. Fancy dipping your toes in the sea? Head to Mission Bay for a dip or take a lovely long walk around the bays. Perhaps you'd rather shop away the extra calories? The trendy suburbs of Ponsonby and Parnell have some great boutique and vintage stores.

8. You can get involved in the culture

Discover Auckland’s rich culture and fascinating history. Auckland Museum is regarded as one of the best in the Southern Hemisphere. Learn the story of New Zealand and its rich Māori heritage and history. It’s easy to spend at least half a day wandering the exhibitions. Other great Auckland museums include the Auckland Maritime Museum on the viaduct and the Auckland Navy Museum in Devonport. 


9. You can enjoy the city vibe

It's easy to see why Auckland ranks as the third-best city in the world for quality of life. Experience the city at its finest with a summer afternoon at the open air cinema in Silo Park or enjoy some live music in Aotea Square. Looking for fun things to do in Auckland when it’s raining? There’s loads to choose from – head along to the Auckland Art Gallery or spend a day at Westfield Newmarket. Spend the morning shopping, have some lunch, and then head to Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq for some serious fun! This entertainment destination has bowling lands, arcade games, an XD Theatre, and even dodgems!

Auckland cityImage via Tourism New Zealand -  Auckland city


10. It’s a great place for thrill seekers

Okay, so Auckland has shopping, food, coffee, and culture covered. But what about something for the adrenalin junkies? Good news… we’ve got you covered. If you’ve always wanted to try Bungy jumping, here’s your chance. Take a leap from the Auckland Harbour Bridge! You can even tick the option to dip your head in the ocean below. For something a little different, try rainforest canyoning. Experience the exhilaration of abseiling over the majestic Kitekite Falls. You’ll have access to hidden pools and water-sculptured gorges that are otherwise inaccessible. You can even choose a night canyoning experience.

11. You can still get your wildlife fix

Lions, penguins and whales… oh my! Yep, if you’re keen to meet some of New Zealand’s unique natives – and a few special visitors – Auckland is the place. One of the top Auckland attractions is Kelly Tarlton’s. See the world’s largest Sub-Antarctic penguin colony. You can even swim with the sharks!

If birds are more your thing, plan a day trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island. Just an hour’s ferry ride from the CBD, this beautiful island bird sanctuary is home to some of New Zealand’s rare and precious birdlife including the impressive flightless takahē. 

If you’re a keen wildlife fan, be sure to plan a visit to Auckland Zoo. The zoo is home to over 144 species of animals with the largest diversity of wildlife in the country.  


12. Shopping up a storm at the markets

From country farmers markets to bustling city night markets, there’s plenty of opportunity for great shopping in Auckland. Here are a few markets worth visiting: 

  • Matakana Village Markets: This bustling market is a great spot to stock up on fresh produce and tasty goodies. Relax by the riverside with a whitebait fritter and good coffee, and listen to live music. Held on Saturdays from 8 am until 1 pm.
  • There are seven Night Markets throughout Auckland to choose from. These markets are all about food, so plan your visit for dinner and sample some of the tasty ethnic cuisines. 
  • One of the biggest and most popular markets in Auckland is the Saturday Otara Markets. You’ll find everything from clothing and gifts to delicious food and fresh produce.


Auckland HarbourImage via Tourism New Zealand -  Auckland Harbour


13. It’s a haven for high fashion

Check out the cool labels and designer brands at some of the city’s fashion hot spots. Start off with a wander through Britomart where you’ll find plenty of well-known Kiwi designs including Trelise Cooper, WORLD, and Zambesi. Then head to Ponsonby and Newmarket for some seriously chic couture.

14. There are so many events to enjoy

Whatever time of year you visit, there is sure to be an awesome event happening in Auckland. Some of the big annual events worth adding to your road trip planner include:


15. You can go sailing year around

Auckland is known as the ‘City of Sails’ for good reason. The beautiful waters of the Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbours are a mecca for boat enthusiasts from all over the world. Whether you’re keen on whale watching, an authentic America’s Cup yacht experience, or just sightseeing, there are plenty of cruise options to choose from. 

Rangitoto - AucklandImage via Tourism New Zealand -  Rangitoto, Auckland


Where to stay in Auckland

Looking for a great spot to park up your campervan hire in Auckland? Here are a couple of campgrounds worth checking out:

Orere Point TOP 10 Holiday Park

This family-friendly holiday park in Papakura has everything needed for a relaxing Auckland holiday. You’ll find all the must-have facilities including a kids' playground, dump station, mini golf, barbecues and more. Orere Point TOP 10 is close to a nature reserve and beach making for a lovely relaxing holiday spot. 

Red Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park

Located just 25 minutes north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Red Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park sits on the beautiful Hibiscus Coast. Enjoy walks or swimming at the park’s own private beach, just 100 metres away. 


Ready to visit Auckland and explore the big smoke?

Keen to discover some of the many fun things to do in Auckland? Start planning your road trip today. The first step is to book your maui campervan hire online. 

From compact two-berth campers to six-berth motorhomes for the whole family, each of our motorhomes and campervans is set up to help you make the most of every road trip. You might even find a great bargain on a campervan hire so don’t forget to check out our deals.