In our ‘Complete Guide’ series, we’re going to be visiting some of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations and getting the inside track from our GO Explore followers on the best places to stay, eat, drink, sunbathe and more. Instead of just finding out what the guidebooks tell you, find out what the locals and the travellers think when it comes to the best place to get an ice cream, the best fish and chips and the best cocktail you’ll ever taste! We’ve also recommended the best rental car for exploring the region in comfort and style!

New Zealand’s biggest city is also one of the most popular in the country in terms of visitors. Whether you are a Kiwi visiting the ‘big smoke’ or an international visitor arriving in New Zealand for the first time, Auckland is a great place to start any adventure and despite its relatively small size on a global scale, this cosmopolitan city has a lot to offer! Whether you are looking for fine dining, amazing beaches, beautiful regional parks or an adventure out on the water, Auckland has so much to offer. The City of Sails is a water lover’s paradise. Getting out to explore the water and the islands that are all within a short distance of the city is one of the highlights of a visit to the city and we take a closer look at some of the best water adventures below.

As one of New Zealand’s favourite rental car companies, we’ve also got deals available on car rental at Auckland Airport or car hire in Auckland City so make sure you check out our latest deals and prices.

Auckland is a wonderful, exciting and action-packed city and we think you will love spending time here no matter how long you are here for. Let’s get GOing!

Best Accommodation in Auckland

As you would imagine, New Zealand’s largest city is not short on accommodation options from the five star luxury boutique hotels to backpacker accommodation. There are some truly awesome hotels in the city and depending on your budget you can stay in some world-class accommodation right on the waterfront or even choose to stay out in the leafy suburbs if you are looking for something a bit quieter. For most people heading to Auckland, the city centre is where you want to be based so we have focused on the CBD with our top tips for places to stay in Auckland with a couple of wild card entries to keep you on your toes!

Best places to eat out in Auckland

Perhaps one of the trickiest categories for us to narrow down was recommendations for the best places to eat out in Auckland. As you can imagine, our GO Explorers come from all over the world with different budgets and different tastes so we literally had hundreds of suggestions for places to eat out. We have tried to pick out the ones that came up time and time again or those that were a bit different to your usual top tips for places to eat. Let us know what you think and whether we have missed off any crackers!

Best beaches in Auckland

Auckland is literally spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. Whether you’re staying local and heading to one of the bays or you’ve got wheels and you’re heading out west or up north, the beaches in and around Auckland are some of the best in the country. The difference from west to east is remarkable and if you can, we recommend sampling both sides! Here are some of our favourites:

Rent the perfect car for your adventure

Recommended vehicle for exploring Auckland


New Model

Explore Auckland in comfort and style in the brand new Tesla Model 3 – our first all-electric rental car in the GO Rentals fleet.

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  • 7

    Auckland to Bay of Islands Round Trip – 7 days

    Driving Tour

    So great news – you’ve got a week-long holiday and you’re planning a trip to the Bay of Islands and the Coromandel Peninsula setting off from Auckland. The first part of your trip is going to take you north and although there’s heaps of stuff

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  • 6

    Auckland to Nelson – 7 days

    Driving Tour

    Many visitors arriving in Auckland don’t really know where to head first. There are so many amazing places to visit in New Zealand and a 7-day trip means you are going to have to be super selective with what you get up to. That’s why we have writ

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  • 10

    Auckland to Napier Round Trip – 10 days

    Driving Tour

    Well, this is pretty exciting – a 10 day holiday and plans for a road trip around the upper and mid-North Island. We have done a lot of travelling on those roads and hope we have pulled together a really great itinerary for you – it includes some

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