Auckland side trip?
January 20, 2010 1:21 AM   Subscribe

An afternoon side trip outside of Auckland?

I have a spare day in Auckland on my way back to North America and have already toured the city on my way down (and already done the side trip to Rotorua). I'd love to go somewhere else with some great scenery - be it some rugged coastline or cool sheep-filled farmland with a great pub.

Parameters: no car but happy to take public transportation. Leaving Auckland late morning and returning early evening. Suggestions from you Kiwis or well-travelled folk?
posted by meerkatty to Travel & Transportation around Auckland, New Zealand (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Take the ferry to Rangitoto and walk to the summit. Go home and tell your friends you climbed a volcano.
posted by embrangled at 1:55 AM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Take a ferry to Rangitoto Island and climb to the top. You'll walk through impressive natural forest and see lots of wildlife, and then you can enjoy the view of the city and the harbor and the other islands from a lookout at the edge of a steep volcanic crater.
posted by oceanmorning at 1:56 AM on January 20, 2010

Or take the Surf Shuttle to Piha and spend the day surfing or swimming. (Piha can be a dangerous beach, so swim between the flags). There are day walks, waterfalls and a blowhole nearby.
posted by embrangled at 2:03 AM on January 20, 2010

Best answer: No pubs on Rangitoto, and I think there's only a cafe at Piha.

I'd suggest get a ferry from the downtown pier over to Waiheke Island - it takes about 40 minutes on the 'cat - and you're a brisk walk away from some excellent vineyards, and great views of the Gulf Harbour. There should be plenty of tourist-oriented literature in the Viaduct area at the bottom of Queen St.

Otherwise take a harbour cruise.

For rugged coastines and native bush, the Coromandel peninsula could be done in a day trip - the main town is Thames, which has pubs and restaurants.
posted by arzakh at 3:08 AM on January 20, 2010

Actually, nowhere to buy food at all on Rangitoto. Visit a deli before you leave and put together a picnic.
posted by embrangled at 3:11 AM on January 20, 2010

Take a ferry to Tiritiri Matangi and do the free (volunteer run) guided tour of the reserve. Or, yeah, Rangitoto is cool too.
posted by jzed at 4:27 AM on January 20, 2010

For rugged coastines and native bush, the Coromandel peninsula could be done in a day trip - the main town is Thames, which has pubs and restaurants - arzakh

Mmmm, I don't think you'd get the best out of the Coromandel in a day by a long shot. And Thames is a bit meh as a tourist destination (speaking as someone who lived there for two years!). On the other hand, I believe you can get a ferry all the way to Coromandel (the town, on the peninsula) which is much nicer for a visit - but I think you'd probably be spending too much time travelling. Better to stick a bit closer to Auckland.
posted by jzed at 4:31 AM on January 20, 2010

Best answer: Since you're using public transport and want a pub plus prettiness Waiheke is a no brainer. It's lovely over there, the trip is fun in itself, you can hire a bike to ride around, walk or (I think) take the bus, there are plenty of wineries and suchlike for eating and drinking, and it's gorgeous. The ferries go from the ferry terminal at the bottom of Queen Street, so take the airport bus into town and walk down. There are big lockers in Britomart train station (go down the stairs towards the toilets) if you don't want to lug your stuff around, although I've never used them.

Rangitoto is also amazing but there's nowhere to get food or water and really all you can do is hike around the place. The Coromandel would be great if you had a car but public transport? You'll spend all day on various buses. Meh.
posted by shelleycat at 2:16 PM on January 20, 2010

Response by poster: Spent Friday afternoon on Waiheke Island thanks to your great suggestions. Ate lunch here and it was fabulous - exactly the experience I wanted and the ferry ride was, indeed, gorgeous. Thanks again!
posted by meerkatty at 4:03 PM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I kind of wish I was on Waiheke last Friday! It was a cracking day, one of the best we've had this summer (is raining today), and I'm really glad the whole thing turned out so well for you.
posted by shelleycat at 6:56 PM on January 30, 2010

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