Ten top ways to see the City of Sails, as suggested by residents.

Here's what Aucklanders told Sir John Kirwan and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development they would do if they had 48 hours and $5000 to show friends and family around our city.


If popular is your thing, here are the top five picks:

In a whirl


Take a scenic flight by helicopter over Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. Then have it drop you and your friends on an island for exclusive swimming, eating or a discovery hike.

Wild out there

The West Coast beaches still win our hearts for swimming, picnicking or surfing at Piha, Muriwai or Bethells Beach. One hardy soul shares the locals' secret - the walk from Piha to Whites Beach, which is accessible only on foot (but do watch for tides, have appropriate footwear and tell people your plans).

Nerves of steel

We may not be able to walk or cycle across the harbour bridge yet, but most folks are keen to get up among the girders for a bridge climb or bungy jump.

Island escape

No longer a forgotten rural outpost, Waiheke Island has captured Aucklanders' - and visitors' - hearts with a raft of stories in the international media. Dream holidays include an overnight stay and wine tasting at one of the many vineyards. Hardier types raved about ziplining with EcoZip Adventures.

High life

It's hard to believe that the Sky Tower was once much reviled. Now we love showing off the best view of our city from the 360 degree observation deck, dining at Orbit (or Sugar Club), and pumping the adrenalin with a Sky Walk or Sky Jump.

Night canyoning in the Waitakere Ranges

Arrive at Piha in time to see the sun set, then abseil into the canyon at dusk under a cascading waterfall. Exploring caves, pools and ledges, illuminated by only your headlamp and the glow-worms on the rock walls is hard to forget.

Helifishing in the Hauraki Gulf

Helicopters depart from the heliport at Mechanics Bay. Take a spectacular scenic flight over the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf islands before landing on a secluded rock ledge for hours of exhilarating rock fishing on Great Barrier Island. Auckland in a nutshell.

Clay target shooting

While target shooting is not unique to Auckland, taking visitors on a country jaunt north of the city to a simulated game field is a fine day out. A magnificent clay target course, a natural setting with ponds and bush, and a truly unique shooting encounter.

Jetski safari around the islands of the Hauraki Gulf

Fire up a jetski safari for a day trip around the stunning waters and islands of the Hauraki Gulf. The trip promises dolphins, whales, penguins, dozens of bird species and much more.

Money can't buy

One keen entrant swears that dragging guests along for an early morning run up Mt Eden is the best introduction to Auckland's sights and sounds. We'd be more in favour of the reviving stop at the coffee shop at the bottom but agree the view from Maungawhai across the city to the other volcanoes is hard to beat.

For more winning ideas, see theshowneverstops.aucklandnz.com.