We love travelling at Rentabus, be it solo, as a family, or in a group, there’s so much to see and do, and every adventure is unique. While solo travel in New Zealand can be liberating, Auckland is a place that lends itself to travelling with company. The activities are big and bold, the food is generous, and the natural wonders invite exploration. As a wise woman once said, “There is little more exhilarating than marvelling at the world, and marvelling together.”
At Rentabus, we took on the daunting task of finding the best group activities in Auckland. This year’s winners list features sites in and around Auckland perfect for a family adventure or exploring with friends.
Whether it’s staring into the dormant volcanic crater of Rangitoto Island, strolling through the idyllic seaside village of Devonport or snorkelling the tranquil waters off Goat Island, these group activities will be the perfect addition to your holiday.
See the whole of Auckland from above, volcanic cones, Rangitoto Island and the city skyline framed against the sparkling Waitemata Harbour. Heletranz runs the most popular scenic flight in Auckland, and it’s easy to see why.
There are multiple tours to suit a range of interests and availability, from a 20-minute city skyline and volcanic tour to a coast to coast scenic flight, with state of the art helicopters that can fit up to 7 passengers. For the adventurous or romantic you can design your own custom tour, from wineries, to fishing, to secluded getaways.
Auckland is a city built on natural history, the land from mountains to bays formed from the whim of ancient volcanoes. It is a city nestled in a wild landscape and a history that is best seen from the air.
Whitewater rafting, kayaking and the world’s highest man-made waterfall, all in the heart of Auckland. Vector Wero brings the fabled whitewater rivers of New Zealand to you, at their whitewater park.
The park caters for experts and beginners alike offering two white water rivers perfect for rafting and kayaking, a lake for flat water activities and a 4.5m waterfall for the pros. The engineering and attention to detail at Vector Wero is impressive. Which is no surprise as the designers worked on a number of projects before founding Vector Wero, including the Rio Olympic Whitewater stadium.
Immaculate design and production aside, this park offers a host of fun water activities and is the perfect addition to your groups Auckland to-do list.
If your group enjoys a friendly challenge and some healthy competition, then this might be the perfect activity for you. Just 35 minutes south of Auckland lies the best paintball experience in New Zealand, Asylum Paintball.
Challenge your friends in a variety of indoor and outdoor fields, themed arenas and different game types. With low impact and high impact options available, and friendly, informative staff, Asylum is a safe, exhilarating, adrenaline rush.
Take a break from the sights and sounds of Auckland for a day’s worth of mischief and mayhem. The experience is a little different from staring into a volcanic crater from above, or walking the coastal tracks through Goat Island…but the adventure offered by Asylum Paintball was such an exhilarating change of pace we couldn’t help but include it!
It is no secret that Auckland is surrounded by some of the most rugged and beautiful scenery New Zealand has to offer. Awol Canyoning takes you from the skyscrapers and city roads of Auckland to the rugged west coast wilderness in just 45 minutes.
Explore the Piha Canyon set in the picturesque hills behind Piha Beach. Abseil over the majestic Kitekite falls, swim in idyllic natural rock pools and jump into water-sculpted gorges. Awol Canyoning’s experienced guides have worked in and explored the area for many years, offering insights and knowledge while ensuring you are safe and of course, having fun!
Awol Canyoning is a perfect way for groups to immerse themselves in Auckland’s fabled wilderness and with it’s wonderful guides, remote locations and exhilarating explorations it is a worthy addition to this list.
New Zealand is blessed to contain some wonderful flora and fauna, the scaly Tuatara, the colourful Takahe and of course the famous kiwi. If you are adventurous, quiet and very lucky, you may just see one in the wild, or you could just visit the wonderful Auckland Zoo and see them all.
The Auckland Zoo, founded in 1922 has an impressive array of animals from around the world, so there are mammals, birds and ectotherms to suit all inclinations. However, it is the Te Wao Nui, the Zoos Native flora and Fauna exhibition, where you can see the delights New Zealand has to offer.
Auckland Zoo is the largest zoo in New Zealand with more than 1400 animals, 6 exhibitions and a wonderful conservation program, it’s a great place to be surrounded by New Zealand’s finest.
Visit Piha and Waitakere Ranges
Within 40 minutes of Auckland lies the Waitakere Regional Park and the coastal beauty of Piha.
Piha is a black sand surf beach where the rugged green hillside careers into the wild Tasman Sea. In summer this is one of the places Aucklanders love to visit the most, with its laid back seaside village and impressive waves, it can be a coastal paradise.
However, up in the hills, adventure awaits, with deep river canyons and trails through the native forests to explore. The Waitakere Ranges have more than 16,000 hectares of native forest and coastline and over 250 kilometers of walking tracks to explore.
Piha and the Waitakere Ranges offer a unique taste of New Zealand’s rugged natural beauty, paired with the sand between your toes and perhaps fish and chips from the Surf Life Saving Club, it’s a perfect way to spend a day (or 3).
Devonport (beach + history + culture)
A trip to Auckland would not be complete without a visit to Devonport, Auckland’s village by the sea.
Located a short 12 minute ferry from Auckland’s business district, Devonport is a picturesque seaside hamlet known for its eateries, boutique shopping, stunning beaches and the views of the Auckland skyline and surrounds from across Waitemata Harbour. Stroll through Devonports charming streets or walk, segway, cycle or bus to the top of Mt Victoria and enjoy the panoramic views.
Devonport is a great place to stay, with its mix of history, charm, culture and beauty and is a must-see for anybody visiting Auckland. An Auckland list would be incomplete without Devonport by the sea.
Goat Island Marine Reserve
Goat Island, located around an hour north of Auckland, became New Zealand’s first marine reserve in 1975 and has become one of the country’s richest ecological environments.
With expansive sand flats, steep underwater cliffs, deep reefs, and rocky shores, Goat Island hosts an array of unique and vibrant sea life. Take a stroll along the coastal walkways passing through towering coastal forests while enjoying spectacular views and secluded picnic spots. Or snorkel in idyllic blue waters teeming with fish and explore the mysteries of the rock pools as the tide recedes.
Auckland is fortunate to have such a wonderful marine park so close. It has returned from a once overfished environment to the beauty and vibrance of its current state is a testament to New Zealand’s commitment to protect it’s natural wonders and a place so many will enjoy for generations to come.