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Travel Guide

Auckland Road Trips

New Zealand, Auckland on a plate

  • Imagine a city (Auckland) with three wine / vineyard districts nearby, Kumeu, Waiheke Island & the Matakana Coast
  • Find a place where coast to coast there are beaches, water activities and quiet towns, the preserve of Regional Parks
  • Discover the Hauraki Gulf, conservation islands, waterways and marine reefs
  • Nature is not a visitor experience, it’s Auckland’s backyard
  • Countryside, nature is wrapped up with an urban vibe (translation: great coffee everywhere)
  • Auckland is New Zealand on a plate

Discover an Auckland roadie, a day exploring, or a leisurely weekend in a vineyard to sample local award-winning wine, a road trip with the family, beaches, nature reserves, walk from coast to coast mixed and stirred with a vibrant unique Maori & Pasifika culture you have New Zealand on a plate. Visit Auckland and try the place out, you might never leave.


Auckland is New Zealand on a plate. Auckland has nearby three wine regions, magnificent regional parks from sea to forest, public gardens to picnic in and culture in spades. Museums, art galleries and events are year round festive treats just a short road trip away.


Want to start your New Zealand experience with a deeper understanding of Maori culture then a great place to start the journey is the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Japanese Friendship Public Garden Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Japanese Friendship Public Garden

Love gardens? Spend a day or two exploring Auckland gardens & regional parks.


  • Regional parks wrapped around estuaries, rivers and beaches where nature is the experience.
  • Gardens to picnic and enjoy the changing seasons from the award winning Hamilton Public Gardens to over fifty regional parks within 2 hours of Auckland.
  • Garden festivals from Auckland’s Botanic Gardens summer sculpture walk to Waikato’s spring and autumn festivals.

Want a dash of culture + a dollop of foodie treats? Auckland day trips.


  • Whitianga (Coromandel) with its lively art scene, local artist studios and annual summer art and craft festival.
  • Matakana with its vineyards surrounded by art studios, creative souls showcasing sculpture trails and pottery workshops.
  • Whangarei with a river walk defined by its sculpture interpretations of local history, Hunderwasster and art studios.
  • Hamilton (Waikato) flourishing Maori culture, fascinating museums and galleries.
  • Waikato towns Cambridge and Matamata where galleries, arty crafty shops jostle for attention with weekend markets.
Whangarei The Hub boardwalk sculpture installation, New Zealand
Whangarei The Hub boardwalk sculpture installation
Dotterel Rotoroa Island, New Zealand
Dotterel, Rotoroa Island

Are you an outdoors enthusiast? Then here’s Auckland outdoors, nature’s bounty.


  • Birdlife – wildlife, Miranda Shorebird Centre, Rotoroa and Tiritiri Matangi Hauraki Gulf Islands, NZ fur seals on rocky foreshores and gannets wheeling above Muriwahi Beach.
  • Walks, with over 400 short walks, day hikes and access to native forests, ocean cliffs and rolling farmland there is a walk for all seasons and fitness levels from Auckland.
  • Conservation areas and sustainable practices are evident.

Get Inspired with the Best Kiwi Motorhome Itineraries

Planning an unforgettable road trip is easy with our extensive selection of motorhome friendly itineraries. We'll guide you through the very best that New Zealand has to offer from the winterless north all the way down to the deep south.

Wilderness Motorhomes - BOOK NOW
Lake Tekapo Wilderness, motorhome, New Zealand
Lake Pukaki, motorhome, New Zealand
Lake Pukaki, road New Zealand




Discover small kiwi towns with their own quirky character, scenic highlights & heritage stories. Summer holidays and winter escapes from the chill of Auckland embrace the idea of roadie to Whangarei.


Warkworth Travel, Road Trip, What to Do & See

Warkworth, wrapped around the Mahurangi River is an urban buzz meets regional New Zealand town with a bustling main street, ducks along its river banks and a gateway to vineyards, artisan crafts, Goat Island marine reserve and regional parks…

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Warkworth Wilsons Cement, New Zealand
Warkworth museum early 20th century life, New Zealand
Warkworth museum shop, New Zealand

Auckland Day Trip to Kaipara Harbour

Imagine a geothermal hot pool experience as a reward for fish n chips on the beach. Places to go include the imaginative garden centre Kaipara Coast Gardens with its sculpture trail and newly constructed Conservation trail and a quick peek at Helensville, the location for the TV Series ‘BrokenWood.’

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Shelly Bay, Kaipara Harbour, jetty at low tide, note high tide mark, New Zealand
Kaipara Harbour in the distance viewpoint Kaipara Coast Sculpture Garden, Auckland, New Zealand
Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens, female figure, Auckland, New Zealand

What’s so Great about Omaha Beach & Whangateau Harbour

White fine quartz sand sifting through your toes with shallow blue water and lifeguards is the stuff of summer holidays. There are wooden boardwalks between beach holiday homes and sand dunes with access paths.

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@Omaha Shorebird Protection Trust
Omaha beach, Auckland, New Zealand
Omaha Beach Surf Club, Auckland, New Zealand @Omaha Beach SLSC Inc

What’s so Great about Kumeu

Urban vibe meets country charm, Kumeu is a great place for a day trip from Auckland to experience wineries, cellar door tastings, pop up to Piha to curl up the toes in the warmth of iron sand beaches or simply explore the weekend markets.

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Kumeu Hot Rod Festive, Auckland, New Zealand @Kumeuhotrodfestival

What’s so Great about Wellsford / Te Hana

The northernmost town in the Auckland province is the gateway to the northern and western reaches of the Matakana Coast. Take time to explore a little known area where visitors are few and far between.

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Albertland Heritage Museum, Auckland, New Zealand @Albertlandmuseum
Te Arai Point beach, Auckland, New Zealand

What’s so Great about Leigh

Leigh is a great base to explore the Matakana district and surrounding areas. There is Goat Island marine reserve for snorkelling buffs and Ti Point Reptile park creating special holiday moments.

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Goat Island Marine Reserve near Leigh Auckland, North Island New Zealand

What’s so Great about Puhoi

A village where the life of the Bohemian refugee (19th century) is celebrated. The settlement stories are documented with photographs, objects and memorabilia in the local museum while buildings and dray wagons are lovingly preserved.

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Puhoi Public Library, Auckland, New Zealand
Puhoi Museum housed in former Convent School, Auckland, New Zealand
Puhoi Heritage Catholic Church, Auckland, New Zealand

Muriwai Gannet Colony Attractions

Observe ocean gannets as they soar above their Muriwai beach nesting site. Discover one of Auckland’s best day trips from the city to Muriwai, a west coast beach.

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Muriwai Gannets, New Zealand
Muriwai Gannets
Muriwai Gannets, New Zealand

Auckland West Coast Beaches Attractions & Places to Go

Discover the wild side of Auckland. West coast beaches are a mere 1 hour drive from Auckland and a must-go road trip. For visitors meet where the Tasman Sea surges and roars onto boundless deep black-sand beaches. It is mind-numbing with its rugged glory.

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Piha Beach, low tide evening light, West Auckland, New Zealand
Aerial view of Whatipu Beach in West Auckland / New Zealand
Muriwai Gannet, New Zealand


From To Destination
Auckland Puhoi 46 km
Auckland Parakai / Kaipara Harbour 49 km
Auckland Kumeu 26 km
Auckland West Coast Beaches, Muriwhai 43 km
Auckland Kawakawa 214 km
Auckland Whangarei 161 km
Auckland Warkworth 61 km
Auckland Leigh 82 km
Auckland Regional parks


There are a number of regional parks both North and South creating a portfolio of natural outdoor spaces making a great day trip.

See Amazing Auckland, Puhoi, Warkworth, Matakana and beyond, beaches and parks


See Amazing North Auckland Mahurangi Peninsula




Delve into the Firth of Thames exploring settlements, galleries and enjoying the contrast between the coast and the magnificent Hunua Ranges and Coromandel Forest Park. Places to go range from Raglan’s surf culture to Hamilton’s world-class public gardens. Then there is Cambridge with its leafy main street, galleries and weekend market.

Auckland Day Trip: Maraetai Beach, Pohutukawa Coast, etc

Sunshine, beaches with space to spare, native scenery hugging the coastal road. A classic day at the beach complete with ice creams and wharf to jump off. Maraetai is all about the beach.

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Mood at Maraetai Beach, East coast, New Zealand
Pohutukawa Coast Trail, New Zealand
Ocean going waka, New Zealand

Auckland to North Island Day Trip: Autumn Leafy Highlights

Cool undertones to the morning with warm light in the morning invigorating the day. Nature walks are comfortable with calm sunny days.

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@Cambridge Oaks

Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre: Wrybill, Godwit, etc.

I went to check out one of New Zealand’s premier birding locations for shorebirds – Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre. It is enthusiasm on speed for all things bird. A great place for everyone to support New Zealand as birds are our top wildlife species.

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Miranda Shore Bird Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
Raukaka Wildlife Reserve, Fairy Tern, v endangered, less than 50 pairs
Flock of Flying Birds, Miranda Shore Bird Centre, North Island, New Zealand

What’s so Great about Pukekohe

Pukekohe is not just an enormous vegetable patch rather it’s a microcosm of New Zealand’s past with a significant battle site for the nineteenth century Land Wars, the story of the growth of commercial rural agribusiness and magnificent natural reserves and parks in its back yard.

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Pukekohe, Auckland, New Zealand @friendsofpukekoherailstationbuilding

Day Trip to Te Aroha

The Edwardian spa town is New Zealand’s intact original spa resort nestled at the base of Mount Te Aroha. Edwardian buildings are current homes for the museum, cafes and the popular natural mineral spa. Indulgence is just a day trip from Auckland.

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@Te Aroha Holiday Park & Hot Pools, New Zealand

Top 10 Things to Do Around Thames

Have you thought about stopping in Thames, and I don’t mean just visiting the public toilet? The town is not the prettiest in the Coromandal, it does not have numerous picturesque beaches on its doorstep or quirky railways circumnavigating a spectacular pottery creation yet it is worth a stop or even an overnight stay.

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Thames School of Mines, New Zealand

Things to Do Around Raglan not Involving Surfing

What can you do at the beach if you don't want to surf?

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Raglan Te Kopua Estuary Beach high tide, New Zealand
Raglan Wharf, New Zealand

Raglan - What to Do with Fids, Family and Friends Holiday Ideas

Raglan is a local bach (simple holiday home) destination for generations of New Zealanders living in Auckland and Hamilton. You are leaving the urban week for a weekend of bare feet, floppy board shorts with a shirt in case it’s cool.

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Surf culture two teeenage boys Manu beach, New Zealand
Gravel road views of farmland and sea inlets (estuary), Raglan, New Zealand


From To Destination (one way)
Auckland Pukekohe 50 km
Auckland Hamilton 121 km
Auckland Cambridge 145 km
Auckland Miranda Shorebirds 83 km
Auckland Rotorua 227 km
Auckland Taupo 272 km



Indulge in a day trip exploring foodie destinations where emerging food producers market their wares, enjoy sampling goodies from a local deli or sipping craft beer from an artisan brewpub. There are plenty of places to go near Auckland. And the best bit this is a great year round escape inspiration.


10 Weekend Markets a Short Drive from Auckland

A weekend market is a quintessential inspiration on what to do on Saturday. Combined with activities around the market from walks in a nearby reserve, exploring a well known art gallery or indulging in a leisurely afternoon in a vineyard courtyard your day is sorted.

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@Mangawhai Tavern Market

Waikato, Hamilton Shopping and Market Guide

Weekend markets are a perennial year round favourite. What to do on Saturday? Find out what’s happening at the local market.

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Matakana Wine Trail - Where to Go

Diversity is the Matakana’s drawcard with family based vineyards offering visitors a highly individual personal touch to each winery. Together with artist trails and foodie treats Matakana is where you meet friendly locals and listen to their stories.

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Matakana Wine market @matakanawine
@Mahurangi River Winery


Get away from it all doesn’t come any better than a boat trip to an island. The journey’s magic weaves its spell as the ferry pulls away from the viaduct, Auckland wharf departure terminal. From Waiheke vineyards to island sanctuaries for rare and endangered New Zealand wildlife there is a place in the Hauraki Gulf to find your special place.

Auckland Day Trip to Motuihe Island

Auckland skyline and Hauraki Gulf are the backdrop to safe sandy beaches and interesting walks through regenerating bush. From downtown Auckland you can take a day trip to Motuihe Island, where there’s a choice of superb beaches and several easy coastal walks.

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Motuihe Island cemetery
Historic water tower on Motuihe Island, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand

Weekend Escape to Your Private Island - Rotoroa Island, Hauraki Gulf

Hauraki Gulf is a world away from the urban bustle of Auckland. Combined with the spectacular predator free sanctuary of Rotoroa Island visitors are immersed in a New Zealand natural environment where nature is in charge.

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Rotoroa views, New Zealand
Chris Booth Sculpture, Rotoroa Island, New Zealand
Tui perched on Kowhai tree, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand. September.

What’s so Great about Kawau Island

Visit Kawau Island, discover historic Mansion House or take the Royal Mail Run cruise from Sandspit for a great family day out near Matakana. Kawau escapulates the story of New Zealand with an early governor, Sir George Grey setting up residence in a grand Victorian homestead, importing ‘pests’ Australian wallabies, a copper mining operation and today passionate locals are dedicated to the well being of the flora and fauna surrounding them.

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Mansion House, Kawau Island, Auckland, New Zealand
Mansion House, Kawau Island, Hauraki Gulf, North Island New Zealand
Kawau Island, Kawau Island, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand


Nature is not a visitor experience; it’s Auckland’s backyard. Donate, give time and enjoy the reward of giving when you become part of the journey to a sustainable environment.

Wildlife, Conservation, Responsible Holidays in Auckland, Hauraki Gulf

Make a difference. Want a holiday that is sustainable and supports conservation? Auckland has places to visit where visitors will feel positive about the impact of people on the environment.

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Little blue penguin, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand Native Endangered Kokaho on Tiritiri Matangi Island Wildlife Sanctuary, New Zealand

Day Trip Inspiration: 5 Heritage Regional Parks near Auckland

Unearth the story of human occupation on Auckland’s regional parks. Explore a pocket sized park where cows grazed by the beach or a historic Victorian Couldrey homestead near the Puhoi River.

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Scandrett Regional Park Auckland heritage farm buildings with perfect beach views, New Zealand
Scandrett historic homestead Scandrett Regional Park Auckland, New Zealand
Scandrett Regional Park historic cow milking shed, New Zealand

Tawharanui Regional Park

Tawharanui Regional Park is white sandy beaches overlooking the Hauraki Gulf. Farmland pastoral scenery, shingle beaches where low tide exposes pippi (shellfish) beds, native coastal bush and forest and regenerating wetlands.

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In Tawharanui Regional Park, north of Auckland, New Zealand, a top view of the strip of land between the lake and the bay
@Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society Incorporated
@Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society Incorporated

Mahurangi Regional Park

A regional park that spans both sides of the Mahurangi Harbour creating Mahurangi East and Mahurangi West.

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Warkworth tiny Mahurangi Heads original Post Office with massive kauri tree behind Auckland region NZ
Mahurangi Regional Park Scott Homestead, Auckland
Scott Homestead, Mahurangi East Regional Park, Auckland

Shakespear Regional Park

Shakespear Regional Park is an invitation to enjoy a summer rite of passage, collapse on a beach under an umbrella.

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Shakespear regional park, Auckland, New Zealand
Te Haruhi Bay at Shakespear Regional Park in New Zealand
@SOSSI (Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Inc)

Amazing Auckland, Puhoi, Warkworth, Matakana and beyond - Beaches and Parks

North is where Auckland locals go for the summer. There are several glorious regional parks as well as sheltered sandy beaches for a summer fix away from the crowds.

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Matakana toilets. Built in 2009 to attract visitors to Matakana township at the cost of about $400,000 (NZD)
Martins Bay, New Zealand @HikingNewZealand
Mansion House, Kawau Island, Auckland, New Zealand

Amazing North Auckland Mahurangi Peninsula

North is where Auckland locals go for the summer. There are several glorious regional parks as well as sheltered sandy beaches for a summer fix away from the crowds.

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Omaha beach, Auckland, New Zealand
Pakiri Beach, Leigh, Auckland, New Zealand
Te Arai Point beach, Auckland, New Zealand

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