If you're planning to travel to New Zealand, no doubt you'll be spending a few days in the city of Auckland. Located in the North Island of New Zealand, the metropolitan city of Auckland is a thriving multi-hub for culture, arts and food.
The city, which stretches around twin harbours and across volcanic hills, is the perfect destination for solo travellers to explore. Having spent time solo in Auckland, here's my short guide on things to do alone in Auckland and beyond.
Visit the Sky Tower at Dusk
For a picturesque view of Auckland, take a trip to the top of the Sky Tower just before dusk to see the incredible sunset over the city. A general admission ticket to the Sky Tower will give you access to the observation deck and the Sky Cafe. When I visited I was able to climb to the top of the tower but they no longer offer that activity. Instead you can take the Skyslide, a virtual reality tour where you can travel at top speed sliding down glass tubes around the tower (all virtual of course).
Auckland Bridge Bungee Jump
If you're a thrill-seeker, schedule an adrenaline-boosting bungee jump off the Auckland bridge, where you will spring 40 meters above the ocean. Besides venturing up to the top of the Sky Tower, this is an exhilarating way to take in the views of the city.
Kayak to Rangitoto Island
To explore the calmer and greener side of Auckland city, how about a relaxing kayaking tour wading across Waitemata Harbour? If you’ve never kayaked before, you’ll get a briefing before doing it then when you reach Rangitoto island, you get to trek to the summit, a peaceful spot amongst nature, to take in the incredible views of Auckland. If you take a tour, lunch is included and you may even get a chance to swim in the sea!
Bay of Islands Tour
The Bay of Islands is definitely worth a visit and there are a range of Bay of Island cruises to see this famous tourist attraction. Cruise on a yacht through the ‘Hole in the Rock,’ a rock formation in the shape of an enormous hole, see the rugged native terrain, cliffs and dramatic views at the Cape Brett Peninsula, the incredible scenery at Urupukapuka Island or go dolphin watching to see an abundance of marine life, such as dolphins and whales.
Canyoning in Auckland
Depending on how adventurous you are, you may want to try the exhilarating sport of canyoning and see a different area of Auckland (the ones you can’t usually navigate). If you haven’t done canyoning before, it involves a helmet, gloves and wetsuit and plenty of hiking, swimming, climbing, and abseiling through a gorge with technical equipment in tow.
Depending on the level of canyoning difficulty solo travellers are ready for, routes can be altered to suit your confidence and ability but you do need to do this with an experienced guide that has valuable insight and knowledge on remote and hidden routes.
Waiheke Island Zipline
Just over 30 mins from downtown Auckland, travellers can experience a 3-hour zip lining adventure and the chance to sweep across gigantic ziplines with a commentated Waiheke island tour along the way and a guided walk through an ancient native forest. Definitely one for the adventure solo!
Auckland's Wineries and Vineyards
You can’t miss one of Auckland’s vineyards whilst you’re here either especially if you enjoy a glass of vino and incredible food. Auckland has an array of wineries and vineyard tours abundant with drinks and cuisines to tantalise your taste buds. Choose from the Batch Winery which is the highest vineyard in Waiheke with immense views and sunset dining, the Te Motu Vineyard for rich wines and locally sourced food against a backdrop of rolling hills or the Tantalus Estate Vineyard and Winery where you can view an idyllic 20-acre vineyard with extraordinary architecture. Tantalus Estate has even received various international accolades.
Hobbiton Movie Set
While this Middle-Earth attraction isn't in Auckland, it is available as a day trip departing from the city. For movie buffs, Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit fans, taking time to explore the Shire is a must and should definitely be on your solo itinerary. From sipping a beverage at the Green Dragon Inn to exploring the hobbit holes under the hills, at the Hobbiton movie set, you can immerse yourself into hobbit life.
From indulging in your inner child at the virtual reality studio to taking an exhilarating bungee jump off Auckland’s harbour bridge, Auckland has a lot to offer solo visitors with diverse interests. If you’re a lone traveller with a thirst for new experiences, you can be sure to have a packed schedule when visiting this city.