With the summer holidays in full flow and plenty of long weekends on the horizon, Auckland is one of the most popular places for a weekend getaway. With so many events coming up in the City of Sails, the biggest challenge you will have when planning a weekend getaway is deciding when to come.

One of the big questions we often get asked from any visitors flying into Auckland, no matter the time of year, is “what should I do in Auckland this weekend?”. Depending on which member of the team you talk to will determine the answer and can range from surfing the west coast beaches to enjoying an ice cream in Mission Bay to sampling some fine dining in one of Auckland’s world-class restaurants.

The beauty of Auckland is that no matter what you’re into, there is a bit of something for everyone. If you are planning a weekend getaway to Auckland, we’ve come up with some great ideas to answer that all-important question – what should I do in Auckland this weekend?

Jump in one of our Auckland rental cars and let’s GO.

1.      Prada Cup Challenger Series


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A post shared by 36th America’s Cup (@americascup)

If you are going to be in Auckland on the weekend between 15 January and 22 February, make sure you check out the action on the water as the three challengers compete in the Prada Cup Challenger Series for the opportunity to face Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup later in the year.

Whether you choose to take in the action from the land or splash out on a trip out on the water, the racing is exhilarating and a great way to spend an afternoon. Head to the fan park located on the viaduct and enjoy an afternoon drink in the sun whilst you watch all the action on the big screen and soak up the atmosphere as the three challengers battle it out for the right to compete for the 2021 America’s Cup.

2.      Music in Parks


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Auckland is the place to be this summer and between the 23 January and 28 March, Music in Parks returns to the City of Sails with a stellar line up of amazing free open-air concerts across the city. There will be a total of 20 concerts in various parks throughout the city – no bookings, no tickets, and completely free.

Check out the website for more details and get down to one of Auckland’s amazing parks this summer to soak up some live music and a great atmosphere.

Music in Parks 2021 website

3.      Summer in the Square


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From 15 January to 27 February, Summer in the Square returns to Auckland’s Aotea Square once again, transforming the square into a lively landlocked marina bursting with colour, free live entertainment, and good vibes.

As well as being able to catch all the action from the Prada Cup Series on the big screen, you will also be able to catch some great live music, blockbuster movies, Pride celebrations, and more. You can find out the full itinerary of activities below, but make sure you check out Summer in the Square on your next weekend jaunt to Auckland.

Summer in the Square website

4.      SkyCity Summer Garden


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A post shared by SkyCity Auckland (@skycityakl)

It’s all going on in the City of Sails this summer. Running daily up until the 27 February, head up to the iconic Sky Tower where you will find a tropical oasis at the base – the SkyCity Summer Garden.

Curated by award-winning landscaper Mark Read, this inner-city oasis is designed to look like a kaleidoscope of colour from the sky and an immersive experience as you wander through.

With over 55 troughs, 1000 flowers and an abundance of lush photo opportunities, this is a must see summer activity in the heart of Auckland city.

For a truly spectacular view, why not head to the top of the Sky Tower for a truly bird’s eye view.

5.      Our Night Sky


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Running every night in January, with two nightly sessions, Our Night Sky is brought to you by Stardome Observatory and Planetarium. The live 360-degree experience will take you on a tour of the night sky, with your expert guide showcasing stars, planets, and constellations that are visible from our tiny little corner of the globe.

This is an annual event and never fails to draw wide acclaim. There is a true sense of wonder as you take in the stunning night sky under the expert guidance of your planetarium presenter.

Our Night Sky website


No matter when you are planning your weekend break to Auckland, there is always something going on in the City of Sails. This summer is an action-packed year, making up for lost time in 2020 and there has never been a better time to plan a weekend getaway to Auckland. If you are looking for more great ideas for things to do in Auckland, make sure you check out some of our other blog posts and of course, our comprehensive Guide to Auckland where you will find tips for places to eat, where to stay, and things to do.

Auckland trip planning resources