The City of Sails, as it’s nicknamed, is the economic heart of New Zealand. It will also most likely be the first city you fly into when entering the country. And what a convenient home base to kick off your kiwi adventures! While there are numerous attractions in the city centre to keep you occupied for days, there are plenty of unmissable day trips just begging for you to visit. Book your affordable car hire at Auckland Airport today!
From iconic movie sets, to breathtaking displays of Mother Nature and more, there truly is something for everyone. We list some of the top day trips to check out around Auckland.
Step into Middle Earth
Embrace your inner nerd and throw yourself into the life of a Hobbit at the famous movie set of Hobbiton. The locals can thank Peter Jackson for truly putting New Zealand on the map and providing them with decade’s worth of marketing material. Just look at the hordes of tourists that stream in from all over the world to witness this iconic location from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies.
Reportedly, the movie’s location scout was flying over this idyllic slice of countryside when he spotted the site and knew it would be perfect for the sleepy little home of the Hobbits – otherwise known as The Shire.
In the common tongue, the movie set is actually located in the town of Matamata, just a 2-hour drive from Auckland. There are many tours to choose from that promise knowledgeable guides to walk you through the individual filming locations and share their in-depth knowledge of all things Hobbit related.
Make sure to also visit The Matamata visitors centre to see just how dedicated the locals have become in giving visitors a true Hobbiton experience.
Cruise through Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
As the name implies, these caves are home to glowing worms. But the experience is unlike anything else you’ll ever experience. Imagine trekking into a dark cave, getting on a raft and paddling through a near pitch-black tunnel below a constellation of glowing lights. The phenomenon leaves you feeling as though you’ve been transported to another world.
What’s even cooler; the unique bioluminescent effect of these worms can only be found in these specific caves in New Zealand.
Trek through the Waitakere Ranges
Lace up those hiking boots, pack a day bag, and trudge into the great wilderness that is the Waitakere Ranges. Just 30km from Auckland, these sprawling hills span 250 kilometres and offer a treasure trove of waterfalls, trails and viewpoints for the curious explorer.
Once you lose yourself amongst the giant Kauri trees – enormous trees hundreds of thousands of years old – you’ll hardly believe you’re just a short drive away from the bustling city.
Picnic alongside Whangarei falls
If you’re feeling like spending the day out in nature and want to find a peaceful spot to set up base camp – Whangarei Falls is your ticket. Located a couple hours from Auckland, this 85ft beauty is just a 30-minute stroll from the car park and offers the perfect secluded spot to spend the day. If you’d rather get the blood pumping, you can also hike up to the top of the waterfall for panoramic views of the area.
These are just some of the accessible and memorable day trips on offer from Auckland. Who’s booking their ticket?
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