Day Trips from Auckland

Auckland is the perfect place for a day trip. Not only is this city a fascinating place to explore in itself, but it’s also the best gateway to neighbouring destinations. Indeed, Auckland is a great base city to return to each night while you venture out on day trips during your stay in New Zealand. From islands like Waiheke to underground caves at Waitomo, and even movie sets at Hobbiton, all destinations are an easy day trip from this North Island city. So, if you’re heading to Auckland any time soon, don’t forget to plan out an exciting adventure or two! All  the places listed in this blog are just a day trip from the city, so read ahead for some amazing holiday ideas in New Zealand. 

Waitomo Caves

The Waitomo Caves are an exciting underground network of glowworm-filled caves. The Waitomo Caves are a 2.5-hour drive from Auckland city, so it’s a perfect day trip if you fancy an exciting adventure! We recommend booking a tour ahead of your arrival here. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, book on to a black water rafting tour, where you’ll embrace your inner explorer. Dive into the darkness, climb down into deep caves, swim through the water, and even climb underground waterfalls all while exploring the cave network with one of these tours. Alternatively, there are more relaxing tours to book, where you’ll witness the stunning glowworm effect and learn about their lifecycle while floating through the water. 

Beach at Piha

Piha is the home of New Zealand surfing and is often thought of as the Wild West of Auckland. It’s just an hour’s drive to this beautifully rugged landscape, with black sand, beautiful waves, and wild mountains. Piha is home to some of the most famous beaches in the whole of New Zealand, so make sure to snap a picture while you’re here. Inland, there are some beautiful spots across the Waitakere Ranges, which is a small mountain range formed in the volcanic fault situated underneath Auckland. Karkare is the most famous bushland over the ranges, so maybe pick a hike to try out while you’re on this day trip. 

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is a beautiful oasis and just a short boat ride from the Auckland CBD. Waiheke Island is famed for its beautiful vineyards, stunning beaches, and beautiful views. We recommend either heading out early for a simple day trip or booking a place to stay and enjoying a couple of days on the island. In fact, it’s the perfect relaxing end to a busy city break, so head here at the end of your Auckland stay. 

Coromandel coast

Coromandel is a two-hour drive from Auckland and is home to another famous movie scene. This time you’ll head to Narnia, as the beaches here were used as a backdrop for ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ movie franchise. You’ll also be able to explore the Coromandel Peninsula while you’re here, which is a large mountain range covered in ancient rainforest. The beautiful contrast of the two makes for an impressive sight, and one that we recommend exploring as a break from the city of Auckland. 


For movie fans all over the world, a trip to Hobbiton is a necessity when on the North Island . It’s an incredibly immersive experience that will be a fun day trip for any lover of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Make sure to take photos at the famous home of Bilbo Baggins, and even stop for a drink at the Green Dragon Inn. Book ahead to get on a two-hour guided tour around the facility to learn about all the movie secrets!


This is another famous surf spot just outside of Auckland. It’s a beautiful scenic area with a black sand coastline, which makes it both popular with keen surfers and those wanting to witness the rugged landscape. For those wanting to hit the surf, the best spot is Manu Bay, which, according to some surfers, has the most accessible left-hand break in the world. For those that just want to swim, head to Ocean Break - but make sure to stop by the surf beach to simply watch the waves roll in. 

There are plenty of day trips from Auckland that are waiting to be explored. Most of these trips are just an hour away, which means you can even head across for a simple afternoon trip or morning excursion. However, we recommend dedicating at least a day to each of these destinations - they’re beautiful and you’ll have a terrific time exploring!

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