Auckland is well known as a sprawling city that's spread out over a huge amount of land. Covering more than 1,000 square kilometres, it can be daunting trying to work out what to see when you visit. This is especially true if you're only in town for a few days, en route to some of the country's more isolated locations.
Of course, while Auckland is a large and bustling metropolis, that doesn't mean you should limit yourself to the CBD. There are plenty of fascinating places to visit just a short drive from the city centre, and it is indeed possible to experience the best of Auckland in a couple of days.
In this blog, we'll cover a few of the essential activities to check out if you have 48 hours in the city. So book your accommodation, rent a car in Auckland and dive into everything this great hub has to offer.
Jun 21, 2016 at 7:29am PDT
Day 1: City life
The first thing you'll want to do once you've checked in and dropped off your bags is to explore the CBD. If there's one 'must-see' attraction in Auckland, it's undoubtedly the famous Skytower. New Zealand's tallest man-made structure was completed in 1997 and has dominated the skyline ever since. Climbing (or taking the lift up) this immense tower is by far the best way to get your bearings in Auckland, and as an added bonus you'll be able to plan out the rest of your day from 220 metres above street level. Of course, if you're feeling brave, you can really get the adrenaline pumping by heading outside for the skyjump!
Once you've been well and truly oriented by the view – and perhaps disoriented by the bungee – it's time to explore what else the city has to offer. For off-kilter boutiques and shopping, head to Karangahape Road (K Road for short), and browse the vintage and antique selections. You're all but guaranteed to find the perfect kitsch memento here to remember your time in the City of Sails.
From K Road, you can walk the entire length of the city's busiest thoroughfare, Queen Street, from the top of the hill all the way down to the water. From here, the gorgeous viaduct awaits, filled with delicious eateries and world-class views of the harbour. If you're an America's Cup fan, check out the Maritime Museum where NZL32, the winning boat from the 1995 competition, stands on proud display.
Dec 21, 2015 at 3:06am PST
Day 2: Stepping out
On your second day in Auckland, you'll want to pack your vehicle with a distinctly 'Kiwi' picnic (Cookie Time biscuits, pineapple lumps and Marmite sandwiches) before hitting the road and heading to the outskirts. There are plenty of great beaches in and around Auckland, but it's hard to beat Muriwai for character and scenery. Located on the west coast where stunning black sand stretches for 60 kilometres, Muriwai is home to one of the country's only gannet breeding colonies and features some stunning hikes and walks. This is the perfect spot for your picnic, so unfurl that blanket and stretch out on the sand for a mid-morning feast.
From the beach, it's a short trip to the Mokoroa Falls track, a 40-minute journey to a place ranks amongst the North Island's most magnificent waterfalls. It's an easy, relaxing journey, and one that culminates in a breathtaking view from a platform above the roaring water. If that's not close enough for you, clamber down to the stream and take in the view from the very bottom of the falls.
On your way back to the city, stop off for the Kiwi roadtrip classic – fish and chips. Unfortunately, this brings an end to your time in Auckland, but you've still managed to cram many highlights into your 48 hours in the city. You'll just have to come back again soon to see the rest!
For more information about travelling to Auckland, contact East Coast Car Rentals today.