Jack gives us the inside scoop on whats on offer around Auckland for the outdoor traveller… do you have any other activities that aren’t on the list?
Of all the cities in New Zealand, Auckland is the most busy and lively one. It is full of businesses, restaurants and all kinds of shops. But while these fine dining and extravagant shopping experiences are great, Auckland actually has a lot of funky things to do outdoors.
Black Water Rafting
If you want a truly funky thing to do then you have to give black water rafting a try!
You’ve probably heard of white water rafting, where you raft with other adventurers along rapids but this is slightly different. You sit inside a rubber inflated ring (along with others, plus a guide) then float through a number of rivers, some of them underground, through a system of natural caves.
They often include abseiling training as you’ll need to abseil through parts of the route.
You’ll be able to see all kinds of amazing things down there including glow worms and stalagmites, as well as lots of views outside.
The rafting experience takes around 3 to 5 hours.
The main guys doing these tours are the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co (big name!) and you can find their page here.
Swim with Dolphins
If you’re similar to me then you’re probably fascinated by dolphins. There’s something about them which always keeps me intrigued; I feel they’re more intelligent than the ‘experts’ think they are.
Anyway, there are a number of tour operators which offer either dolphin watching tours or even give you the opportunity to actually swim with these marvelous mammals.
There’s nothing wrong with the watching tours but assuming you’re a confident swimmer, I would always recommend the swimming tour. It is become very popular thing to do now.
Volcano Cycle Tour
There is a huge amount of cycling trails in and around Auckland but one of the best experiences you have on a bike is to ride up some of the volcanoes here.
Depending what you read, the amount of volcanoes vary in Auckland but there are around 48 of them, so you will have a number to choose from but I’d recommend one in particular – Mount Eden.
There’s a certain cool (and I’m not talking temperature!) feeling when riding over a volcano, you just know there’s a huge amount of ultra-hot magma somewhere below you; it’s something to mark off your bucket list anyway.
It’s a truly spectacular place to cycle up and around. Make sure you visit the village at Mt Eden as there are some quaint shops and cafes.
You can hire bikes from various local companies or use a touring firm such as this one here.
This is another activity, not for the faint hearted!
It’s quite simple; you take the lift to the top of the Sky Tower, get put into a harness (thankfully attached to the building) and jump off the building!
Of course, there is more to it than that, as they have to train you but essentially you jump off; get held in position for a short time and then are lowered very quickly until you reach the bottom with a gentle landing.
The experience doesn’t last for long but for adrenaline junkies, it’s a must do thing.
Take a look at their official site to find out prices and booking information.
Okay, this last one isn’t the trendiest thing to do but you have to give some family time, right?
The zoo is much larger than the zoos you’ve probably visited before as it’s located in 17 hectares of land.
There is a wide range of international wildlife here including African lions, elephants and cheetahs. Plus you’ll be able to see some local wildlife including the Archey’s Frog, Banded Rail bird and the New Zealand fur seal.
It’s a great day out for the family as there are a number of animal encounters which allows the children (and adults) to interact with a number of animals.
You can learn more about the zoo at their official website.
So after all this fun, you’ll probably have to fly back home but at least you’ll fly in style if you choose Middle Earth Airlines; actually, it’s Air New Zealand but that’s such a cool name!
This guide was brought to you by Jack Harris who writes for Pedaltours the original bike touring company in New Zealand. Jack is addicted to travelling to new countries, always trying to find fun things to do and tries to learn their local culture.