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Auckland

Culture & history

Our most recommended Auckland Culture & History

Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

1. Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set.  Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your 2-hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour trip into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear secrets and stories about the making of the movies and finish your LOTR experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub, The Green Dragon Inn. After your LOTR experience, it’s time to head west towards the stunning Waitomo region. Along the way admire the incredible hydro dams, beautiful farmland, race horses, and the Kiwiana capital of New Zealand. Before arriving at the caves, stop by Waitomo homestead for lunch, and a little surprise. Once in Waitomo, explore the ancient and amazing caves and marvel at the many cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns before descending even further underground for your Glowworm Grotto experience. Board your glow-worm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms sparkling above you. Unique to New Zealand for over 120 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must-see for any traveler.  On the guided trip back to Auckland the sights continue with New Zealand's longest river, the Huntly power station, and the Maori Queens’ burial site.

Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

2. Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Rotorua. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. As you drive, pass through the pass through the unique town of Tirau, the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade. Upon arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s most famous and historical sites including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa. From here enjoy the option to add on up to two of Rotorua's most popular activities and attractions (additional cost). Please add on the activities or attractions you would like to include during the booking process. Maybe head to the famous geothermal park and Maori cultural village of Te Puia, bathe in the geothermal waters of the Polynesian Spa, experience some farm culture at the Agrodome Sheep Show, or ride the gondola at Skyline! Or you can simply choose to explore the city at your own pace before your return to Auckland.

Auckland: Sculptureum Gardens and Galleries Entry Ticket

3. Auckland: Sculptureum Gardens and Galleries Entry Ticket

Visit the Sculptureum Gardens and Galleries with this entrance ticket. Relax and reflect in the Reflective Garden, see the bunnies in Rabbiton, and see the magnificent Chihuly Chandelier. When you arrive, head to the Miro Room and meet a staff member who will welcome you and explain the layout of the Sculptureum. The property consists of 2 main areas, the front gardens, and the indoor galleries/back gardens. Spend the next 1.5 - 2 hours enjoying the gardens and galleries. Stroll down the flat, wheelchair-accessible pathways throughout the property and rest in one of the many comfortable seating options when you wish. As you stroll, stop to read the plaques under each artwork and sculpture to learn the artist's name, where they are from, and a summary about the artist or their work. Begin your experience in the Garden of Creative Diversity at the front of the property. Next, head to the Classical Garden and admire its collection of sculptures from Italy and France. Continue to the Reflective Garden, where you can read quotes about the purpose of gardens. As you wander, stop to enjoy the aviaries filled with various breeds of birds. Continue to the Steve Jobs walk before heading to see the bunnies at Rabbiton with your kids. If you wish, book a rabbit feeding experience for an additional fee. Head inside to the 6 indoor galleries. The first features a display of international glass art, and the second has figurative sculptures and paintings, including works from Matisse, Picasso, and Chagall. In the third gallery, marvel at sculptures of animals and birds from all over the world. Continue the animal theme in the fourth gallery with a giant Rhinoceros from a gallery in the Place des Vosges in Paris and various fish sculptures from Greece and Korea. Learn about sustainability in gallery five, with its innovative creations made with repurposed materials. Head back outside to the Palm Garden, and stroll along manicured paths flowing through a whimsical array of plants and sculptures. At the end of the path, marvel at the Pink Snail Garden, made by the Cracking Art Group in Milan. Re-enter gallery six and see the grand Chihuly Chandelier, the final piece of the Sculptureum experience. Before leaving the Sculptureum, head to the award-winning Rothko fine dining restaurant or grab a bite to eat at Freddie's Outdoor Kitchen for a more relaxed atmosphere. Wine enthusiasts can enjoy a wine tasting of the Sculptureum wines at the Terrace Lawn Bar. If you wish to extend your visit, ask a staff member after arrival about the vineyard tours and animal encounters.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Entry Ticket

4. Auckland War Memorial Museum Entry Ticket

Regarded as one of the finest museums in the southern hemisphere, discover this museum's renowned and unique collection of Maori and Pacific treasures. House on one of the nation's best heritage buildings, the museum's 3 floors tell the story of New Zealand. From the great Polynesian voyages that brought people to Aotearoa to the diverse cultures and communities of Auckland, Auckland Museum portrays the rich diversity of New Zealand in an informative and spectacular way. From the museum, admire stunning views across the city, Waitemata Harbour, Hauraki Gulf and its islands.

Auckland City, Beaches & Rainforest Premium Small Group Tour

5. Auckland City, Beaches & Rainforest Premium Small Group Tour

Experience the best of Auckland, discovering the city sights in the morning exploring the wilderness of the coast and mountains in the afternoon. After morning pick-up from your hotel, encounter the highlights of the city and its history as you learn how Aucklanders live and play. Auckland is set on over fifty dormant volcanic cones and between two harbors, the sparkling Waitemata and the brooding Manukau. Known as the City of Sails, it is New Zealand’s largest and busiest city. Spend the afternoon in the tranquillity of the Waitakere Ranges, just a 30-minute drive from downtown Auckland. Arrive at the Arataki Centre, the gateway to the rainforest, where the sweeping decks give breathtaking panoramic views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Absorb the local history and admire the traditional Maori carvings that stand guard.  With your knowledgeable and experienced guide, continue on to the lush rainforest to hear native birdsong as you walk along easy bush tracks amongst New Zealand’s famous kauri trees and giant tree ferns. Head further west and experience the power of the wild and rugged west coast. Feel the black sand beneath your feet as you stroll along some of the most awe-inspiring beaches the world has to offer. During the afternoon, enjoy a kiwi-style afternoon tea including biscuits and tea, coffee or juice. 

Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

6. Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton.  Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your 2-hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour trip into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear secrets and stories about the making of the movies and finish your LOTR experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub, The Green Dragon Inn. After your LOTR experience, it’s time to continue southwards towards the active geothermal area of Rotorua. During the drive, pass through the unique town of Tirau, the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade. Upon arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s most famous and historical sites including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, the Blue Baths, Thermal Springs, and Polynesian Spa. Take some time to rest for lunch and then head to Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland considered one of the most surreal places on earth.  Here, admire Champagne Lake, Devil’s Bath, local mud pools, geothermal craters, and other geothermal wonders before a fully guided trip back to Auckland and the end of your tour.

Waiheke Island: Beautiful Shared Wine Tour

7. Waiheke Island: Beautiful Shared Wine Tour

Catch the 10:00 AM ferry from Auckland City to Waiheke Island where you will be greeted by your tour guide. The first stop is for a lovely wine tasting at the Cable Bay Boutique Vineyard. Sample around 4 boutique wines grown on the island and Malborough. Visit Thomas's Batch Vineyard, where you'll have the option for lunch (at your own expense) and can admire incredible views and enjoy their wonderful food and wine within a great atmosphere. After lunch, make your way to Te Motu Vineyard for classic Bordeaux wines. The last stop is The Mudbrick Vineyard for rose, pinot gris, and more. Return to the wharf at 3:40 PM for the ferry back to Auckland. If you wish to stay on the island, you can be dropped off at Oneroa Village, where you'll find beautiful shops, eclectic Kiwiana gifts, plus good bars and restaurants. Or stay at Mudbrick and enjoy more wine and views.

Auckland City Small Group Morning Discovery Tour

8. Auckland City Small Group Morning Discovery Tour

Experience the best sights of Auckland City on a small group city tour. The morning tour is a journey of discovery designed to explore the history and sights, plus see how Aucklanders live and play. After pick up from your central Auckland hotel, travel up Queen Street through Auckland’s central business district, past Auckland University, and through the inner city park 'The Domain'. Auckland is set on over fifty dormant volcanic cones and between two harbours, the sparkling Waitemata and the brooding Manukau. Continue on through the picturesque suburb of Ponsonby, known for its historic buildings, before heading over the Harbour Bridge to the North Shore. Here you can stroll on a beautiful beach with views out across the Waitemata Harbour to Rangitoto Island and where there is time for a coffee.  After a short drive through historic Devonport, continue up to the summit of Mount Victoria for stunning panoramic views of Auckland City and historic Devonport. Mount Victoria is Devonport's very own dormant volcano. Then, travel back over the Harbour Bridge to view Westhaven Marina, one of the largest marinas in the Southern Hemisphere. 

The Classic: Discover Amazing Auckland on an Electric Bike

9. The Classic: Discover Amazing Auckland on an Electric Bike

Auckland is a city that it built on volcanos - so that means great views, and hills! Touring the city on a fun electric bike is the perfect solution. Electric bikes allow people with all levels of fitness to enjoy cycling and the benefits of being outdoors. See the best of the city from the comfort of the saddle, with a local expert guide who will take you on a fascinating journey - exploring the past, present and future of Auckland. Meet at an electric bike store located in the heart of Auckland city - within an easy walk of the cruise ship terminals and many hotels. There, be kitted with your stylish electric bike and your riding gear - including a helmet and a cycle specific headset, so you can safely listen to your guide as you ride along. You'll be given a short orientation with the electric bikes and do a practice ride nearby, to make sure you are 100% comfortable before the tour sets off.  Having departed from the city center, ride on the Grafton Gully cycleway towards the first stop and the high point (literally) of the tour - Mount Eden/Maungawhau - the highest of the many volcanic cones around Auckland. Let the motor on your electric bike do all the hard work as you cruise up. Enjoy spectacular 360-degree views at the summit, as your guide tells you about Auckland's turbulent early years. Then its on to one of the largest parks in Auckland - the Domain - for more beautiful views from Auckland Museum. Continue through the historic suburb of Parnell and down to Auckland's amazing waterfront. Riding an electric bike along the shoreline on the Tamaki Drive cycleway towards Okahu Bay is an experience not to be missed. As you head back towards the center of the city, ride on some of Auckland's newest cycleways and some of Auckland's most historic wharves, where you'll learn all about Auckland's relationship with the sea over the years. Then its through the bustling Viaduct, where your guide can recommend plenty of dining options for you to enjoy during the rest of your visit. A ride through one of Auckland's newest developments, Wynyard Quarter, is next, then round the Silo Park to check out your next destination - Westhaven and the Harbor Bridge. Ride along the picturesque boardwalks to Westhaven - the largest marina in the Southern Hemisphere and get up close and personal with the Harbor Bridge. The tour continues on through historic Freemans Bay before joining heading up to one of Auckland's new cycling icons - Te Ara i Whiti/the Lightpath. This award-winning, vibrant (and very pink!) cycleway is a great spot for some photos before you ride back down into the city to finish the tour where you started. To ensure the best experience, your group size will be small - a maximum of 6 riders and your guide. And there are frequent stops on the tour - plenty of time to take photos and listen to your guide as they share the story of Auckland with you.

Auckland: Half-Day Scenic Sightseeing Tour

10. Auckland: Half-Day Scenic Sightseeing Tour

Join this award-winning sightseeing tour to see as much of Auckland as possible in 4 hours. Make the most of your time with convenient pickup and drop-off from all central Auckland hotels with a maximum of 14 people per tour to guarantee a personal and comfortable experience. Travel across the Auckland Harbour Bridge and take in 360-degree views of the city on your way to the North Shore of Auckland. Explore Devonport, arguably the quaintest township in Auckland and dating back to 1850, making it the oldest on the North Shore. Marvel at the 5,000 odd villas as we explain how to tell their age. Take in more spectacular views of Auckland city and the Hauraki Gulf from North Head. Hear stories about how this was an underground township with a labyrinth of tunnels during the 2nd World War and the 1880s. Explore two Victorian-style glasshouses, the Winter Gardens, which are over 100 years old. See 80 endemic ferns including the most famous Silver Fern at the Fernery. Then, journey to the top of Eden, the highest point on the isthmus of Auckland at 196 meters. Gaze out over some of the best 360-degree views of the city of Auckland. Explore Tamaki Drive and take in the beauty of Auckland's inner-city beaches and the beautiful native Pohutakawa trees that flank the coastline. Move on to Paritai Drive, the richest street in New Zealand, and enjoy spectacular views over Okahu Bay and Auckland Harbour. Visit Mission Bay and see the old stone cottage constructed from volcanic rock by Bishop Selwyn in 1848. Meander through one of the quaintest coastal suburbs in Auckland and make your way via Kohimarama to Achilles Point. Take a photo opportunity with the most spectacular views of the Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf at one of the most historic places in Auckland. You will also visit Orakei Basin, one of three crater lakes in Auckland. Listen to stories about its role in history.  Next, pass by the homes in the richest suburb in New Zealand, Remuera. Learn about the types of timber used in the construction of this district's houses and how to tell how old each building is. Drive down the golden mile of Parnell and see the oldest suburb of Auckland. After a full day of sightseeing, enjoy the convenience of being dropped back off at your hotel in the city center.

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What people are saying about Auckland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 259 reviews

We took some friends with us for a view of the gardens and sculptures and then have lunch. We were very impressed with the layout and the very and tidy features. We thoroughly recommend a visit, very impressed.

Pauline was our Tour guide and she was amazing , very informative and fun and loved the experience that she gave us was very impressed with the Tour . Thanks Pauline for great memories.

Pauline our Tour guide was incredible so much knowledge and fun , easy going and we had a great day with Pauline would recommend to everyone to do it . Very happy

Was definitely 100% better than we expected, felt we see a lot in a day, Mike was an excellent tour guide and driver.. Great value for money tour

John is the best tour guide I have ever had!!! He explained everything pretty good, I am 100% satisfy with his service.