Auckland Island Escapes

When you need to call time on city life, book yourself onto the first boat headed in the direction of the Hauraki Islands. They're a tonic for the soul.

From the bustling urban heart of Auckland you can be out in the Hauraki Gulf exploring its tranquil islands in just a hop, skip and a jump. Okay, it's actually a ferry ride for 35 to 40 minutes, but you get the idea. It's quick. And beautiful.

Each island is like a character from a romantic fiction novel. There's Waiheke Island, the elegant lady of the manor, where vineyards, golden beaches and fine dining await. There's Tiritiri Matangi Island, the hunky yet gentle gardener, where you'll discover a carefully tended wildlife sanctuary. And don't forget Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands, the dashing, fiery polo players, where volcanic adventures play out.

The islands are the perfect escape, whether for a day or longer. Hop from one to another and soak up the beaches, wildlife, water activities, excellent food and adventures. This is North Island at its very best.

Image: Todd Eyre for Visit Auckland

Waiheke Island

  • Don't worry about a designated driver when you join a guided tour around the island's world-class wineries and restaurants.
  • Not content with walking or driving? Then zipline your way across the island on its series of exhilarating lines with incredible bird's-eye views.
  • Drag yourself away from the beautiful sandy beaches to enjoy a spot of art gallery and craft boutique exploration.

Image: Chris McLennan for Visit Auckland

Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands

  • What's more adventurous than climbing a volcano? Yep, Rangitoto's volcano is dormant, but it's still pretty cool. There are 360-degree views of the Hauraki Gulf from the top.
  • If you're less inclined to hike up a volcano than fly to the moon, hop in a four-wheel drive and get zipped to the top in no time.
  • Visit both islands accompanied by a Ngāi Tai tribal guide and you'll find yourself harvesting food, weaving or learning about how the island's plants and animals are used for medicine.

Tiritiri Matangi Island

  • Feel like Tarzan on this island wildlife sanctuary, one of the planet's most successful conservation projects. Join one of the guided tours. The guides know where to look for the best creatures.
  • If you think a picnic and swim at beautiful Hobbs Beach sounds amazing, wait until we tell you that there are little blue penguins to spot too.
  • Walk through a thousand-year-old forest to get to the island's historical lighthouse. It was built in 1864, making it one of the country's oldest working lighthouses.

Created in partnership with Visit Auckland