Auckland Culture & history

Our most recommended Auckland Culture & history

Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

1. 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

2. 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

3. Auckland War Memorial Museum Entry Ticket

Regarded as one of the finest museums in the southern hemisphere, discover Auckland Museums' renowned and unique collection of Maori and Pacific treasures. Visit one of the nation's best heritage buildings that house the museum's three floors with stories of New Zealand. Learn about the great Polynesian voyages that brought people to Aotearoa. Then discover details about the diverse cultures and communities of Auckland. Enjoy views from the roof when you take part in the Incredible Rooftop Tour or discover the best bits of our galleries with the Gallery Highlights Tour.

From Auckland: Transfer to Rotorua with Waitomo Caves Tour

4. From Auckland: Transfer to Rotorua with Waitomo Caves Tour

One day tour from Auckland to the beautiful Waitomo Glowworm Caves and geothermal wonderland of Rotorua (One way trip). On this tour you will be picked up from the hotel in our comfortable mini-bus and driven through the stunning Waikato countryside on a fully guided journey to Waitomo Caves. During the journey to Waitomo you will encounter New Zealand's longest river, beautiful mountains, and see several different farm animals along the way. Once in Waitomo you will explore the ancient and amazing caves, with it's many different cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites and Lime Columns, before descending even further underground for your glowworm experience. Board your glowworm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms - which are unique to New Zealand - glittering above your head. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveller. We will continue our adventure with another fully guided journey south to Rotorua, with many more attractions to see along the way, including hydro dams, rivers and lots more animals. Once in Rotorua we will guide you past many of its famous and historical sites, including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa, before dropping you at your accommodation or a central Rotorua location.

From Auckland: Two-Day Rotorua, Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves Tour

5. From Auckland: Two-Day Rotorua, Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves Tour

Join this overnight all-inclusive tour from Auckland and experience the Central North Island's most iconic attractions at a leisurely pace.  Take guided tours of Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves. Discover the Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland and the thermal areas and geysers of Te Puia. Experience a Maori cultural evening with a meal and concert.  At the end of the two days, you will return to your hotel in Auckland or a different location in the central area, if specified. Most of the transport is supplied in Mercedes minibuses with luxury seating. Your driver guide will take the time to make sure you enjoy your time on the tour. The largest vehicle seats 15 passengers, but on most occasions your group will be 12 people or less.

Auckland: Ted Ashby Sailing Tour & Maritime Museum Ticket

6. Auckland: Ted Ashby Sailing Tour & Maritime Museum Ticket

Explore Auckland’s sparkling Waitematā Harbour aboard the New Zealand Maritime Museum’s heritage scow, Ted Ashby. Help hoist the sails or simply sit back and absorb stunning views of the city skyline as you cruise beneath the iconic Harbour Bridge. After your sailing experience, spend some time at New Zealand Maritime Museum and discover the genius of early Pacific navigation and the great voyages of exploration to Aotearoa through to Blue Water Black Magic, a gallery dedicated to our extraordinary story of innovative design, meticulous teamwork, outstanding leadership and New Zealand's international success in sailing.

Auckland: Guided Half-Day Walking Tour

7. Auckland: Guided Half-Day Walking Tour

Discover Auckland's past and present historical and cultural highlights. Wander the cobblestoned streets and the narrow lanes as your highly knowledgeable guide explains Auckland's architectural legacy from Classical, Renaissance, Gothic to Baroque. Learn about Auckland's early history from the arrival of Maori to the first colonial European settlers. Hear about the pre-European Auckland and the legacy of the founding fathers. Marvel at Auckland's unique architecture and the historic category 1 protected buildings on this easy-paced walking tour.

Auckland: Maritime Museum Entry Ticket

8. Auckland: Maritime Museum Entry Ticket

Take a trip to the Maritime Museum and spend a few hours learning about one of the most maritime nations in the world. Go deep inside the stories and narratives of those affected by the sea through galleries, displays, special exhibitions, and more.  Discover the relationship between the sea and other factors such as immigration, trade, design, innovation, and leisure.  The Museum houses one of the nation’s most important heritage collections which covers the breadth of our relationship with the sea; from the Great Pacific Migration a thousand years ago to the cutting edge of modern technology and design used in America’s Cup and modern yachting. Suitable for all the family, there is something for everyone at the museum thanks to the poignancy of the personal connections and stories told here. 

New Zealand North & South Island: 14-Day Tour

9. New Zealand North & South Island: 14-Day Tour

Day 1 - Auckland to Hot Water Beach Depart Auckland and head south-east to the pristine beaches of the Coromandel and the world-famous Cathedral Cove. Kayak around this stunning coastline (optional activity) and have the opportunity to visit Hot Water Beach; a unique surf beach where if you catch the tide right, you can dig a hole in the sand to create your own personal spa pool. Day 2 - Hot Water Beach to Waitomo Venture into the enchanting Karangahake Gorge nestled among the Kaimai Ranges, for a hike amongst the walkways and old mining tunnels. Next, head over to Waitomo for a magical tour of the world-famous glow-worm caves. You will also have the opportunity to experience a Black Water Rafting trip. Day 3 - Waitomo to Rotorua Start the day with a walk through the Ruakuri Reserve. Pass through The Shire of Hobbiton where you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Hobbiton Movie Set (optional activity) before rolling on through to Rotorua; a mystical land of bubbling mud pools, rocketing geysers, and natural hot springs. Optional activities are luging down the SkyLine, White Water Rafting, Hells Gate, Mountain biking through the Redwoods, Zorb, Wai-o-tapu, Polynesian Spa, or National Kiwi Hatchery. Day 4 - Rotorua free day and Tamaki Maori Village Explore the geothermal reserve of Te Puia, with New Zealand’s largest geyser, and a chance to see a real live Kiwi bird. Visit the Tamaki Māori Village and be immersed in the traditions and cultural values of the Māori people. Participate in a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), learn about the history of the marae (village) and the Rotorua-area from a local Māori guide before feasting on some top kai food from the hāngi pit. Gather around a blazing bonfire and enjoy listening to Māori myths and legends before relaxing in a private forest spa pool and retiring for the night in a traditional carved whare moe (sleeping house). Day 5 - Tamaki Maori Village to Taupo Day 6 - Taupo free day Day 7 - Taupo to Wellington Day 8 - Wellington to Kaikoura Day 9 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Day 10 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Day 11 - Lake Tekapo to Wanaka via Mount Cook Day 12 - Wanaka to Queenstown Day 13 - Queenstown free day Day 14 - Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip

From Auckland: 18-Day North & South Island Tour with Lodging

10. From Auckland: 18-Day North & South Island Tour with Lodging

Experience the majestic beauty of New Zealand's diverse landscapes on an 18-day adventure. Join your guide on the trip of a lifetime as you travel from Auckland all the way down to Queenstown. Take part in unique local activities along the way and end your journey in the city of Christchurch. Day 1: Auckland to Hot Water Beach •Explore the stunning Cathedral Cove •Relax at Hot Water Beach by digging your own spa pool Day 2: Hot Water Beach to Waitomo •Hike through the Karangahake Gorge •Admire the magical glowworm caves in Waitomo Day 3: Waitomo to Rotorua •Explore the lush Ruakuri Reserve •Spend the night in a Māori village, where you'll learn about local history and culture •Seize the opportunity to visit Hobbiton at your own expense •Discover the town and lake in Rotorua Day 4: Rotorua to Tongariro National Park via Taupo •Walk the scenic Huka Falls walkway •Soak under a waterfall or in the naturally heated rock pools at Spa Park Day 5: Tongariro National Park •Book a shuttle to Tongariro Crossing, one of New Zealand's best hikes •Rent skiing or snowboarding equipment and head over to Mount Ruapehu Day 6: Tongariro National Park to River Valley •Walk the trail to Taranaki Falls •Spend the day at River Valley Lodge, nestled along the Rangitikei River •Enjoy free time to go white water rafting or horseback riding •Taste an organic roast dinner Day 7: River Valley to Wellington •Take in the vibrant city vibes of Wellington, New Zealand's capital Day 8: Wellington to Kaikoura •Board a spacious ferry for a ride across the Cook Strait •Sip on some local wine in the Marlborough region •Visit the impressive Kaikoura seal colony Day 9: Kaikoura to Christchurch •Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway •Admire incredible panoramic views of Kaikoura •Discover hidden gems of Christchurch on a city-street art trail Day 10: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo •Marvel at the stars in the Dark Sky Project •Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd •Trek up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes Day 11: Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook •Spend the day inside the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park •Walk through the Hooker Valley track to Hooker Lake Day 12: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown •Feast on a buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant Day 13: Queenstown free day •Have the whole day to yourself and explore the wonders of Queenstown Day 14: Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip •Cruise past the lake and onto Glenorchy, where you can embark on short scenic walks Day 15: Queenstown to Wanaka •Take in views over Lake Wānaka from Roys Peak (only accessible from November to May) •Alternatively, join the Mt Iron hike, providing 360-degree views of the Pisa range •Visit the famous Wanaka tree Day 16: Wanaka to Franz Josef •Discover the Thunder Creek falls in Mt Aspiring National Park •Admire the famous mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook from Lake Matheson Day 17: Franz Josef •Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop •Take on a glacier walk Day 18: Franz Josef to Christchurch •Explore a variety of trails across Arthur's Pass •Walk the Castle Hill track •Stop at the Devils Punchbowl waterfalls.

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • Day trips
  • Multi-day trips
  • Water activities

Frequently asked questions about Auckland

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Auckland?

The best day trips and excursions from Auckland are:

Rotorua

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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.

Was well put together, we saw all those things with appropriate amounts of time at each and all of the accommodations were great. Thanks again

Andy and Dallas were amazing drivers. Always on time, very informative and friendly. The tour was excellent. Highly recommend.

Knowledgeable drivers, wonderful food, excellent activities Great way to get an introduction to New Zealand

Very good and informative and flexible during the tour, enjoy every minute