There is no shortage of reasons to visit Auckland, one of the most liveable cities in the world. The beaches are legendary. The weather strikes a perfect balance between hot and cold. There are more attractions than you can count.

If you are lucky enough to visit Auckland, here are a couple of things that are a must for your to-do list:

Kayak to a Volcano

Auckland’s unique geography gives locals and tourists alike access to some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the world. It includes an opportunity to kayak to the sheltered waters of Rangitoto Island, one of the largest and youngest volcanoes in Auckland. Don’t miss out on Waitemata Harbour, which is one of the best-preserved volcanoes in the area and opens incomparable summit views.

See the Largest Penguin Colony

Exploring different types of sea creatures.

Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium is home to the world’s largest penguin colony. Get up close and personal with King and Gentoo penguins inside the aquarium’s temperature-controlled habitat. Visitors can also check out the 350,000-litre tank dedicated to stingrays and live shark feedings.

Visit the Dark Sky Sanctuary

Aotea has almost no light pollution, which means visitors to the area can get surreal views of the nighttime sky. The Great Barrier was the first island in the world to earn the designation as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. The location is a dream-come-true for stargazers who want to experience the beauty that nature serves up.

Hit the Beach

Auckland has some of the most beautiful coastlines. If you’re looking for a sandy sanctuary, it is hard to go wrong with the secluded Anchor Bay and the scenic Orewa. Don’t miss Cheltenham Beach, which offers panoramic perspectives of the Hauraki Gulf. If you want to venture into the water and surf, be sure to check out Maori Bay or Te Arai Point.

Say Cheese!

Believe it or not, Auckland is internationally recognised for its cheese production. One of the shining stars is Puhoi Cheese Valley, which makes some of the richest and most flavourful cheeses in the region. You’ll also want to check out the La Cigale French Markets, which feature artisan cheese vendors lining the Auckland streets every weekend.

Explore Maori Culture

The Maori are an indigenous people to New Zealand. Their culture takes influence from Eastern Polynesia. You can experience the Maori way of life with the 1,000 taonga and the Maori galleries. These treasures provide a link to the ancestral past, which continues to be an essential part of the people’s cultural identity today.

Experience the Pasifika Festival

The Pasifika Festival is an annual celebration of the rich ethnicity and cultural diversity that Auckland affords. That includes recognising heritages from Tahiti, the Solomon Islands, Hawaii, Fiji, and more. Get in on a piece of the action with riveting live performances, food, drinks, and workshops.

Wander the Countryside

Take the time to reconnect with nature in Auckland's country side.

Take the time to reconnect with nature by wandering the Auckland countryside. Take a coast-to-coast hike from Waitemata to Manukay, which the Maori people shaped more than six centuries ago. You’ll also want to take a trip to the summit of Rangitoto Island, which offers spectacular views of the city and harbour.

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