Answers from Our Experts (1)
Two of the best day trips in Auckland don't even require a set of wheels. Just get yourself down to the ferry terminal, under the clock tower on Quay Street and catch a ferry over to Waiheke Island or Rangitoto.
Waiheke Island is about an hour on the ferry and is one of my must-do activities when in Auckland. It's soils are perfect for wine making and it's vistas are perfect for gazing, making it a lovely place to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Auckland. Either book yourself on a wine tour and hop in and out of a bunch of local favourites or pick one place to wine and dine your afternoon away. If you're feeling active you can hire bikes and pedal around. I suggest picking up a bottle of local vino, some fish and chips and eating them on one of the beaches.
A day out on Rangitoto requiers a little more prep. The island is the last volcano to erupt is Auckland and has laid dormant for the last 700 years or so. It's now a wonderful hike, and rewards you some of the best views of the city. The ferry times are limited in the morning and afternoon so do some research and make sure you come prepared. There's nothing but exposed track once you get out there so bring some lunch, and water and be vigilant about sun protection (the NZ rays are particularly harsh due to the thinness of the ozone layer about us). The day trek (to the summit and back) can be done by someone with an average level of fitness, or, if you would rather take a load off, a tractor runs up and down the mountain throughout the day.