The City of Auckland occupies a superb site between two harbors, on one side the sheltered Waitemata Harbor merging into the Hauraki Gulf, and on the other the shallow waters of the Manukau Harbor. Built on a series of extinct volcanoes, with the backdrop of the forest-clad Waitakere Ranges, Auckland is not only New Zealand’s financial and commercial center, it is the countries largest city and is recognized as having the largest concentration of Polynesian people in the world.
Auckland’s blend of a modern seaside city environment coupled with an island studded gulf, nearby rain forest, black sand surf beaches and wine country offers a huge range of leisure activities to experience.
Pre or Post Cruise 3 night Discover Auckland Package
On arrival Auckland you will be transferred by Private Sedan either from the Auckland International Airport or Auckland Cruise Port Terminal to your hotel* to begin your discovery of Auckland from a birds eye view! *Your hotel room can be pre-registered for immediate occupancy.
Mid-morning or Afternoon Departure: Fly/Dine – **Seaplane Flight Man O’War Wine Tasting with lunch platter (alternatively, take a Seaplane flight to Waiheke Island for zip-lining, vineyard wine tasting & dining)
You will be transferred from your hotel to the Auckland Seaplane Terminal. After check- in, you will be escorted to the pontoon and a safety briefing by the Pilot will take place. Once on board the aircraft, you will cruise into the Auckland Harbour Aerodrome ready for take-off, enjoying views of yachts and the city skyline from the water. Once airborne, you are flown past Devonport, Lake Pupuke, Auckland’s youngest volcano Rangitoto, Motutapu Island and Waiheke Island before landing at Man O’ War Bay. You will then hop off the seaplane and onto the lawns at Man O’ War Vineyards.
There you will enjoy an award-winning wine-tasting with a lunch platter. 2 hours later you will be guided back to the beach where you hop on board the seaplane once again. You will be flown over a different scenic route over Motuihe Island and Brown’s Island Volcano. The Pilot will provide an extensive historical commentary throughout the flight. You will land back in the Auckland Harbour and cruise into North Wharf for disembarking. Return to your hotel where your evening is at leisure.
Evening: Free to explore the beautiful waterfront area and enjoy dinner at one of the many fine waterfront restaurants, cafes and pubs. Or head over to nearby Ponsonby to the hottest new table in Auckland ‘Depot’ Restaurant– which does Bluff Oysters and rose at happy hour. Energetic, industrial-chic spot offering creative dishes, an oyster bar & a sophisticated wine list.
**If a Seaplane flight is not your style of transportation, alternatively you can take a ferry or helicopter over to Waiheke Island for lunch and a tour.
Morning Auckland City Revealed Tour (alternatively, you can take a City Bike Tour around Auckland Highlights)
Travel through Auckland’s central business district, past the Auckland University and through the inner city park, known as the Domain. Continue on through the picturesque suburb of Ponsonby with its historic buildings, before heading over the Harbour Bridge to Auckland’s North Shore for a stroll on one of the white sand beaches before continuing up to the summit of Mt Victoria with it’s stunning panoramic views of Auckland city and historic Devonport. Travel back over the Harbour Bridge to Westhaven Marina, one of the largest marinas in the Southern Hemisphere. Return to the city where you have time for a quick lunch at the Viaduct Harbor before your afternoon sailing experience.
Afternoon America’s Cup Sailing Experience
The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest and most prestigious sporting trophy and ultimate yachting regatta. Usually the domain of billionaires and elite professional yachties, NZL41 and NZL68 offer the unique opportunity for you to participate in sailing on these grand prix racing machines. Become part of the crew and take the helm, exert energy on the grinders or simply sit back and enjoy the action as you sail down the Auckland Harbour. Return to Viaduct Harbor.
This evening we have included the Sky Tower admission for the Total Tower Experience with access to the Main Observation Deck and Sky Deck
At 328 metres, the Sky Tower is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offering breath-taking views for more than 80 kilometers in every direction. Includes access to Sky Deck at 220 meters. Spot key landmarks, volcanoes and other historical locations within the greater Auckland area. If dining with a view is what you’re after, then you’re spoilt for choice with three restaurants and cafes up the Sky Tower – Orbit 360˚ Dining revolving restaurant, the superbly chic and elegant The Sugar Club or relax with your coffee, cheese board or ice cream at the Sky Café.
Option #1 – Full Day Coromandel Tour with lunch
Spend the day in this unique area steeped in history associated with kauri logging and gold mining and stunning coastlines. A 90-minute drive south-east of Auckland is Coromandel’s main town, Thames, where you take a short break. Then the spectacular western coast road leads us to Coromandel township where renowned New Zealand potter, Barry Brickell has his studio. Ride his own designed and built mountain railway system on a memorable journey through the rugged landscape.
Next stop is for a quiet stroll in the pristine rainforest to view some of the magnificent kauri trees which once covered the Coromandel Peninsula. The journey continues across the mountain divide and descends towards the east coast beaches where a lunch stop is included. Visit Hot Water Beach with its hot spring in the middle of the beach and take a dip if you wish. A short drive away is Cathedral Cove, where the Pacific Ocean washes through a natural arch onto a white sandy beach backed by white cliffs. There is a half hour downhill walk to the beach from here which means of course the walk back is uphill! Our journey home to Auckland heads back over the hills by a different route.
Option #2 – Full Day Hobbiton and Waitomo Tour with lunch
See two iconic attractions in one day. Starting the day the guests join the popular Hobbiton Express tour and after lunch split off and continue to the magnificent Waitomo Glow Worm Cave before heading back to Auckland. The journey takes guests through undulating green hills. The Bush and Beach guide will provide commentary on the way with insights into the areas you are travelling through.
On arrival at Shire’s Rest embark on a Hobbiton movie set tour. This location is the largest “green set” in the world and the only part of the set remaining in New Zealand. See 44 hobbit holes, the Mill and double arch bridge and the party tree. At this stunning location you can take a photo at the gate to Bilbo’s house, “Bag End”, looking out over the whole set to the hills in the distance. The tour ends with a visit to the Green Dragon Inn for a drink.
After the tour your sumptuous feast is included at the Party marquee before you travel over to the mystical Waitomo Glowworm Caves where a guided tour through the galleries and lofty chambers of the Caves awaits. The tour culminates with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto – lit up by thousands of tiny living lights before you continue the journey through to Auckland.
Return to your hotel where your evening is at leisure.
Evening: For a casual lunch or dinner and some last-minute shopping head to the Britomart Precinct. The historic Britomart precinct on Auckland’s waterfront is home to some of the city’s best shopping. It’s an inviting network of streets, lanes and open spaces where you can explore and shop at your leisure, browsing Britomart’s treasure trove of fashion, home-wares, gift and specialty stores. Within the same few blocks, Britomart offers some of the best bars, restaurants and cafes in the city.
If you are departing back to the USA on an **evening flight, you will have time to take another Day Tour – Refer to our suggestions below.
**Full Day tours return to Auckland hotels around 5.00pm. Best suited for those departing after 9.00pm. (If your flight departs earlier in the evening, we have lots of recommendations to fill your day!)
Here are a few of our other favorite Excursions that may be booked on a small group or by private tour basis to incorporate within your custom Auckland Pre & Post Cruise itinerary.
- Bay of Islands Escape (click on title link to view all tour details)
- Auckland Gourmet Food & Wine Tour (several tour variations available – Coast to Coast, NZ Craft Beer, Original Cocktail Tour, Takapuna Food, Tastebud or Flavours)
- Waiheke Gourmet Food & Wine Tour (several tour variations available – Zip Wine Dine, Art Tour, Island Maori Experience, Walking or Electric Cycle or Helicopter to Mudbrick for Lunch or Dinner)
- Half Day Wilderness Experience
- Full Day Auckland City & West Coast Best of Both Worlds Tour
- Full Day Coast & Rainforest Walk with lunch
- Full Day Hobbiton Express (several tour variations available – Early Access or combine a visit to Waitomo Caves and/or Rotorua with lunch)
- Half Day Whale & Dolphin Conservation Cruise
- Auckland Maori Culture & Landmarks Tour
- Full Day Auckland City and West Coast Luxury Tour or Guided Wilderness Walk with lunch
- Half Day Auckland City Discovery or Waterfront Bike Tour
- Full Day Volcano, Coast and Country Market
- Full Day Waitomo Cave Adventure – Black Labyrinth
Pacific Destination Center Kiwi Specialists are here to help personalize your Auckland holiday for the Most Memorable Experience – Just give us a call at 800-227-5317, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your desired excursions and focused activity wish list, or special occasion celebration and we will get started on your personalized dream Auckland holiday.