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A great city with rainforests and volcanoes on the doorstep, Auckland ticks all the boxes, from fine cuisine and culture, to wildlife and wilderness.

Auckland is framed by the mountains on one side, and the coast on the other, with the Waitakere Ranges to the west, Manukau Harbour to the south-west and Hauraki Gulf and islands to the east. But, before you think about what's outside the city, there are plenty of sights inside to occupy your time. Head for the Sky Tower in the heart of the city centre and take the glass lift that scales its 220 metres. The view from the top is impressive to say the least, offering a stunning panorama of the city, harbour and nearby mountains.

Auckland itself was originally built around a number of extinct volcanoes. The suburb of Mount Eden, for example, was built right on the side of a cone. A climb to the top of this cone is rewarded with a staggering view down its 50-metre crater. The volcanic soil and natural springs provided by Pukekawa volcano, meanwhile, allow the gardens at Auckland Domain, to truly flourish. A trip to the city's oldest park should be on the itinerary for any nature enthusiast, while the Auckland War Memorial Museum, also located in the Domain, at its highest point, is a major draw for those interested in learning about both the area's natural history and the history and culture of the Maori people.

If you prefer your nature a little more immediate, try a trip to the award-winning Auckland Zoo. With over 138 different species, including rhinos, cheetahs and a rare chance to see the elusive kiwi, this is a great day out for families in particular.

For those who do want to get out of the city, it usually makes sense to rent a car. Alternatively, you could head to Viaduct Harbour, where most of the city's most fabulous boats and yachts are moored. Stop in at one of the many bars and restaurants dotted along the water for a bite to eat before hopping a boat to Waiheke Island. Just 40 minutes away, this is a great spot for tramping, and home to some of the finest beaches in the area.

For those who take their tramping activities a little more seriously, there are plentiful trails for varying levels in the Waitakere Ranges situated behind the city. These include the popular and challenging Hillary Trail: 75 kilometres over 4 days, with 3 nights of camping. If this seems like a little too much activity for you, you can always hop onto one of the many tour buses and coaches that offer day trips through the hills, or even rent a car and discover the area for yourself.

Guide to Exploring Auckland

Top Hotel Deals

See all 484 Hotels in Auckland
ibis budget Auckland Airport

ibis budget Auckland Airport

2 Leonard Isitt Drive, Auckland Airport
of 5, from 443 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in South Auckland, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.7 km) from Butterfly Creek and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Villa Maria Estate. Ambury Regional Park and Hunters Plaza are also within 6 mi (10 km).

Jet Park Hotel & Conference Centre

Jet Park Hotel & Conference Centre

63 Westney Road, Mangere
of 5, from 641 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Mangere hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Butterfly Creek and Villa Maria Estate. Hunters Plaza and Ambury Regional Park are also within 6 mi (10 km).

Skycity Grand Hotel

Skycity Grand Hotel

90 Federal Street, Auckland
of 5, from 569 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Set atop SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre, this hotel is across the street from Sky Tower and the SKYCITY Auckland Entertainment Complex, surrounded by the city's central business district.

Grand Millennium Auckland

Grand Millennium Auckland

71 Mayoral Drive, Auckland
of 5, from 998 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Connected to Aotea Centre, this atrium-style hotel is also just a few blocks from the nightlife and cafés of Karangahape Road, and 500 meters from city center shops and entertainment, where you can enjoy the arts, musical performances and theatre.

Heritage Auckland

Heritage Auckland

35 Hobson Street, Auckland
of 5, from 347 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Overlooking Waitemata Harbour, this landmark building is adjacent to Saint Patrick's Square and 2 blocks from Queen Street shopping district and Sky Tower, in the heart of downtown Auckland.

Waldorf St Martins Apartments Hotel

Waldorf St Martins Apartments Hotel

6-12 St Martins Lane, Auckland
of 5, from 455 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Newton, this luxury apartment is within a 10-minute walk of Grafton Bridge and Auckland Town Hall. University of Auckland and Sky Tower are also within 1 mi (2 km).

Rydges Auckland

Rydges Auckland

59 Federal Street Cnr Kingston Street, Auckland
of 5, from 388 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Auckland, this stylish, modern hotel is 1 block from the Sky Tower and 3 blocks from Queen Street shopping. Albert Park and Viaduct Harbour are within 0.6 km (0.4 mi).

Skycity Hotel

Skycity Hotel

Corner Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland
of 5, from 517 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Auckland Central Business District, this luxury hotel is steps from SkyCity Casino and Sky Tower. Queen Street Shopping District and Auckland Town Hall are also within 10 minutes.

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