2 Days in Auckland – An Ideal Itinerary
If you only have 2 days in Auckland, then this blog will tell you how to spend your time exploring New Zealand’s largest city including useful tips such as where to stay and some budget saving tips!
2 Days in Auckland – An Ideal Itinerary
As New Zealand’s biggest city and the largest airport, chances are that on your holiday in New Zealand you will start or finish (or both) in Auckland. There is a ton to do around Auckland and plenty of day trips from Auckland, but what is there to do in the actual city?
Unlike many touristic places in New Zealand, Auckland is a big city. Therefore, there is a lot to do and see and it can be overwhelming to know where to focus your time. For me, I like getting out of the cities normally, but recently I was travelling in New Zealand with my mum and she wanted to see Auckland city – so we did!
Based on our 2 days in Auckland city I have come with an ideal two-day itinerary in Auckland. This itinerary will help you enjoy the city and get the most out of a short time in this vibrant city!
For those who don’t know, I actually lived in Auckland and worked at the Auckland Museum for 6 weeks. While this was a short stint, I learned just how truly impressive the Auckland Museum is! With several floors, multiple exhibits, and new and changing feature exhibits every couple of months, this museum is one of the most advanced (and impressive) museums I have ever been to.
You could easily spend an entire day at the museum, but most spend about half a day. There are plenty of interactive displays as well as a culture performance on at 11 am, 12 pm, and 1:30 pm each day.
The museum is located on top of a hill just outside the city centre called “The Domain.” It can be reached by a 5-minute bus ride or you could even walk.
As a foreigner, you will pay $25 NZD entry fee, but locals get in for free!
On one of your 2 days in Auckland, be sure to make time for the Auckland museum! It will really give you some insight into the history of New Zealand and ensure you leave your holiday with lots of cultural knowledge.
Shopping on Queen St
When travelling in New Zealand you will find yourself in many small towns with not much to offer shopping wise. But in Auckland, you have everything! From high-end designer stores to more budget-friendly clothing shops, there is something for everybody.
Auckland is the perfect place to stock up on anything you need (including souvenirs!)
I recommend heading to lower Queen Street where you can find a wide variety of shops all within a couple of blocks. There will also be buskers and plenty of places to stop for a coffee, snack, or lunch.
Dinner at the Market
There are always markets on in Auckland city centre. On most nights, you can choose from more than one. There are food truck markets or just normal markets which both offer a good variety of food at a reasonable price.
Every night of the week at the base of the sky tower there are markets featuring a variety of food. But for more options, check out this website for the latest updates on markets around the city.
Drinks at the Marina
After you finish at the markets, head over to the marina on the water’s edge for some drinks. While this isn’t the most budget friendly place to have a drink, it is the most beautiful and is well worth sitting down and enjoying the sunset.
Some of the bars in the area can get quite rowdy if you are looking for a good night out. While others are a little more relaxed. If you want to see the best sunset be sure to set your sights on a rooftop place!
If you have less than 2 days in Auckland, check out this 1-day Auckland itinerary!
Free Walking tour
Auckland has a free walking tour! Meeting every day at 10 am and 2 pm you can follow a local guide around the city and get some information about places only locals would know! I love joining free walking tours in big cities especially when my time is limited. I find they ensure you cover the most ground in a short time while focusing on the highlights.
This free walking tour goes for about 3 hours and is completely free! The only catch is that you should tip your guide who is generously volunteering their time.
For more information about the free walking tour in Auckland, check out their website.
Head over to The My Eden Crater
Only a short 20-minute bus ride from the city will have you at Mt Eden, where you can go for a walk to see a large crater! This is easily one of the most popular things to do in Auckland because the crater is just so large, and there is an incredible view of the city from here!
Mt Eden itself is actually a volcano which has been dormant for many years. The crater is actually the cone of the volcano from its last eruption.
Hiking to the crater on Mt Eden is completely free and will only take a couple of hours including enjoying the few and getting there and back to the city centre.
Sky Tower for sunset
The Sky Tower is the tallest building in Auckland. It stands at 328m high and offers a 360-degree panorama of the city.
You can go to the top of the Sky Tower for $29 Or, you can book in for dinner and drinks at the restaurant at the top. The only downside to the restaurant is that there is a minimum spend of $40 per person, but if you were planning on spending the entrance fee anyways, this could be the better option.
I recommend going up the Sky Tower just before sunset so you can see the views during the day, for sunset, and then the city at night.
Whether you choose to go to the restaurant or just the viewing deck, you are guaranteed to have some amazing views!
When you come down from the sky tower you are conveniently at the sky city casino. This casino always a has a lot going on and you are bound to find a game to play, music to watch, or at the very least, a bar to hang out at.
Where to stay for your 2 days in Auckland
I have stayed at a few places in Auckland City and by far my favourite is City Lodge. This hotel is located in an ideal location, kept extremely clean, and offers hotel style rooms with access to a pristine kitchen and common area. Not to mention, they make some great efforts to be eco-friendly!
In terms of value for your money with accommodation in Auckland, it honestly doesn’t get better than city Lodge. Expect to pay $99 NZD for a standard double room. At the price of a hostel but with the amenities and cleanliness of a hotel, City Lodge won’t disappoint. We found other budget places in Auckland to be rather dirty and the buildings old.
For their latest specials and availability, click here to check out City Lodge’s website!
Budget Saving Tips for 2 days in Auckland
Auckland, and New Zealand, in general, isn’t the cheapest of places. These are a few budget tips to help you while in Auckland so you don’t break the bank.
- Use the website First Table for lunch or dinner reservations – this website is one of my favourites because for just a $10 fee you get 50% off all food for your entire table (it’s a steal!)
- Stay at the City Lodge – here. you can do your own laundry, cook your own meals (or at least breakfast), and walk to most of the best locations in Auckland.
- Use the website Book Me for excursions and activities – if you want to do any day trips, tours, or activities while in Auckland this website will give you the best deals at discounts up to 70% off!
- Take public buses instead of taxis and Ubers – the public bus system in Auckland is easy to use and cheap!
Auckland is a beautiful city with lots to offer in and around the city. Hopefully, this itinerary in enough to get you started and you can continue to explore more (especially if you have more time than just 2 days in Auckland!)