Summer adventures in and around Tāmaki Makaurau

Last Updated : 20 Feb 2019
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Orewa, Auckland

Travel doesn’t have to mean stress, last minute lost passports and gridlock – it doesn’t even have to mean leaving the house. Try the latest trend in travel and tour new locations and activities nearby.

The best part of it? By planning a local holiday within a four-hour drive instead of flying internationally, you could save 3242kg of carbon emissions a year. That's like driving from Auckland to Wellington 23 times (based on a medium size petrol car).

Here are our top suggestions to spending the glorious New Zealand summer close to home – helping you pledge to do your bit for the planet this summer, while also saving some cash…

Create your own holiday home

A staycation at home is still a holiday, so treat yourself! Go wild at a local market, try fresh food creations and get inspired to make some indulgent dinners. Brighten your place up with fresh flowers or plants, or pop some freshly washed bedding on so you can enjoy breakfast in bed with a good book.

Taking a digital detox by turning off your phone and silencing those pesky emails helps get rid of any unwanted disruptions.

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Spend the weekend in the city

Become a local-tourist by staying a night (or two) in. Soak in the city of sails with lunch in the Viaduct or take a short ferry trip over to Devonport or Waiheke for a dip and an ice cream.

Wander around Wynyard Quarter and Silo Park where there is often a market or free evening movie happening during summer, and a basketball court and water playground for the kids.

‘Go bush’ somewhere new

There’s always a new track to discover when you are really looking to disconnect. Luckily Epic Little Missions have listed a collection of some of the best tramps and overnight stays that you might not have heard of.

Pack a picnic to one of our many amazing picnic spots around the region, head to Shakespear Regional Park for historic sites and magnificent views, or visit Rotoroa Island and learn the history of one of the first and longest running rehabilitation centres in New Zealand.

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Meet a flightless takahē

Day trip to a top tourist destination, right on your doorstep. One of New Zealand’s most exciting conservation projects is just a ferry ride from Auckland. Only 40 years ago, Tiritiri Matangi Island had been stripped of 94 per cent of its native bush.

Thanks to the tireless work of volunteers, today it is home to one of the world’s most endangered species – a flightless takahē as well as the rare tuatara. Spend the day and night on this special island, take a guided tour or venture out on your own.

Take a short trip

If you do feel like getting away, you don’t have to travel far. The cascading Lucas Creek Waterfall is just a short drive away at Gills Scenic Reserve in Albany. Take the Waterfall Track and perch yourself on the park bench to admire this hidden gem.

You can also find plenty of cool walks for every landscape, whether it’s rugged black-sand surf beaches, dense native forest, rolling green pastures or urban city centres.

Eat around the city

Auckland was recently speculated to be the new cuisine capital of New Zealand by Stuff, so why not see what all of the fuss is about. You could go on your own street food tour in the city, from hot dumplings and bao to the best vegetarian dishes and a world-famous wobbly cheesecake, taste the world on your doorstep.

Become an expert foodie and judge Auckland’s best pie at one of the award-winning bakeries or venture north and taste the artisan delights and fresh NZ-grown seasonal food at the Matakana markets.

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