Asian couple strolling along the beach in Auckland, New Zealand.

Where to Play, Eat, and Stay in Auckland, New Zealand

36 Hours in Auckland



Auckland is the perfect starting point for exploring the wonders of New Zealand. Discover an amazing array of things to see and do, all close by, making it easy to hop from one adventure to the next. 

You’ll find the best of both natural and urban splendors with beautiful parks and stunning black and white sand beaches, all near the exciting center of New Zealand’s largest city. Go whale and dolphin watching or hike to the top of a dormant volcano for breathtaking views of pristine landscapes. Discover the vibrant art scene by browsing in art galleries and shop for fashions made by local designers. If you are looking for heart pounding adventures, you can bungee jump off the Harbour Bridge or Sky Jump from the famous Sky Tower. Experience Māori culture, on a guided history tour that offers fascinating insights into ancestral traditions and beliefs, or witness contemporary Māori art. Experience Manaakitanga, an element of the indigenous Māori culture that values welcoming visitors through a deep expression of genuine hospitality. It’s easy to experience these wonders and more for yourself, with direct flights from Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston or Honolulu to Auckland. 

Panoramic skyline shot of Auckland
Auckland: Explore everything this vibrant city has to offer, including its beautiful beaches, whale-watching excursions, Maori Culture and even an adrenaline-pumping Sky Jump from the world famous Sky Tower. 


There are plenty of options for dining and drinking, with hundreds of amazing restaurants and stylish cafes, delectable food tours, and wine tastings and vineyard tours in three distinctive wine regions.

Because Auckland is a cosmopolitan city, with diverse cultures from across the globe you’ll find a melting pot that inspires a food and wine scene that serves up something to satisfy every taste. From Michelin starred restaurants to street market dumplings, curries and fish and chips. Don’t miss the chance to browse bustling farmers’ markets for fresh local produce and palette pleasing products. 

A short ferry ride to Waiheke Island offers award-winning vintages and a wide range of varietals at over 30 wineries. Sip and swirl with tranquil countryside vistas or epic views of the Hauraki Gulf. Select a few wineries or join a wine tour, with tastings lead by experts. In Makatakana, you can sample superb wines at boutique vineyards and enjoy a leisurely lunch overlooking the vines. In the oldest wine region, Kumeu, you’ll find some of the best known New Zealand wines, from award-winning pinot gris to robust syrahs. 

Couple enjoying wine at a winery in Auckland.
Wine Tasting: A Vacation travel agent can help you plan a ferry ride to the island of Waiheke Island, where you can taste award-winning vintages at more than 30 wineries. 


A stay at Sky City Grand Hotel will have you located in the heart of Auckland’s entertainment center. If you want to splurge, choose a spacious Premium Luxury Harbor View room. Unwind after the day’s adventures and be pampered at Oceania’s Best Hotel Spa – the East Day Spa, which combines eastern healing traditions with modern beauty therapies, for the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation. 

The hotel even offers Chauffeur day tours, where you can enjoy the comfort of a luxury Mercedes, and your very own tour to explore the North Island, with insights from a knowledgeable local. driver. It’s all just part of the 5-Star experience here! 

At Skycity Hotel Auckland, you will not only be centrally located, but the iconic Sky Tower is right on your doorstep. You can dine at over 20 restaurants, cafes and bars and try your luck at the world-class casino.

Couple in the lobby of the Skycity Grand Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand
SKYCITY Grand Hotel: Check-in and stay in a Premium Luxury Harbor View room. After a day of sightseeing, get pampered at Oceania's Best Hotel Spa -  the East Day Spa.  

If you would like to stay at the water’s edge, try the Sebel Suites Auckland, located in the Viaduct Harbour near the city’s business district. This property affords you expansive views of the marina and the city, plus bars, restaurants shops and entertainment. If you prefer a modern, chic environment the M Social Hotel Auckland caters to a younger crowd. You can also find a wide variety of B & Bs, Farm Stays and Luxury Lodges for accommodations that suit everyone.

If you’re ready to escape into pristine wilderness, and sip famed New Zealand wine, there are new year-round direct flights on Air New Zealand, making it easier than ever to connect with new cultures, experience an incredible city, meet the indigenous Māori people, savor delectable traditional foods, and explore the majestic landscapes and wildlife of Auckland, New Zealand.

Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable vacation in Auckland, New Zealand? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent, who can customize an itinerary you’re gonna love.

Maori women share traditional dance with a tourist in Auckland, New Zealand.
Maori Culture: Take a guided history tour to explore the indigenous Maori people, including their ancestral traditions, beliefs and art.