Auckland is considered to be one of the world’s most liveable cities, and once you’re there you’ll quickly discover why. The city is home to a diverse and delightful way of living with something to suit every taste and interest.
But it’s also surrounded by nearby things to do and see that will get you out of the city and into nature. So, if you’re getting a bit sick of the hustle and bustle of city life, here are my favourite weekend trips from Auckland.
2 hours 25 minutes by car – 2 hours by ferry
From Auckland City, the Coromandel Peninsula is a binocular’s view away across the Hauraki Gulf. The region has everything that a big city doesn’t – pristine beaches, native forests, laid-back vibe. It is rustic, unspoiled and has heaps of activities and attractions. From skydiving to kayaking, the Coromandel Peninsula offers something for everyone. One of the most perfect road trips from Auckland to spend a weekend away from the city.
1 hour 45 minutes by car/ferry
Rent a beach house or stay in a backpacker hostel – either way, you’ll wake up to the sounds of waves crashing on the white sandy beaches of Waiheke Island. A haven of vineyards, olive groves and, you guessed it, beaches. Waiheke Island has perfect hiking and walking tracks where you’re able to meander along cliff tops, down to beaches and into enclaves of native forest.
2 hours 45 minutes by car
Just under three hours from Auckland, Rotorua completely captures New Zealand in all its glory. The city celebrates a healthy balance of fun and leisure, while at the same time maintaining amazing natural wonders and captivating Māori culture. The city has so many interesting and fun things to do that once you get there, you won’t want to leave.
While you’re there, here are 8 fun things to do in Rotorua.
Northland & the Bay of Islands
3 hours by car or a 35-minute flight
The Bay of Islands has 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula. There are multiple tours to experience – either by sea or by air – and on land, there’s beautiful rivers and seaside walking tracks. Several boutique towns in the area are perfect destinations to find accommodation and rug up for the weekend!
3 hours by car
Taupo rests on the banks of Australasia’s largest lake – Lake Taupo – and is home to adventure, beautiful scenery and anything you can think of doing in the great outdoors! In the centre of New Zealand’s north island, Taupo has so much to do and offer, making the town one of the most worthwhile weekend trips from Auckland. Here are my favourite things to do in Taupo.
2 hours by car
Two hours south of Auckland is the Hobbiton movie set experience where visitors are given the once in a lifetime opportunity to see an iconic movie set in its full glory. From wandering the paths of The Shire to seeing the submerged hobbit holes that litter the rolling hillsides, daily tours are available to visit the original Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and The Hobbit films.
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