A trip to Auckland, New Zealand isn't complete without jumping on one of the many daily ferries out of the city and cruising to the outlying islands.
Straddeling the Auckland volcanic field, there are some 50 volcanoes that formed into cones, lakes, lagoons and islands some miles from the mainland.
Some of these islands that formed off the coast of Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf include Devonport, Motutapu Island, Waihkeke Island, Rangitoto Island and Great Barrier Island. And these destinations have become very popular for both travelers and locals alike.
Whether you have a day, a week, or a month, here are a few must-visit islands while visiting Auckland:
This is the oldest suburb outside of Auckland and serves as a place of residence for many people who work in the city. Comprised of historic Victoria architecture and villas, the island is comprised of beach, specialty shops and many restaurants. But a trip to Devonport wouldn't be complete without visiting Devonport Chocolates. With its chocolate factory located in the seaside village, tasting this hand-made New Zealand chocolate never tasted so good.
An extinct volcano in the middle of the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto Island erupted some 600 years ago. Since then, the island flourished unique fauna and rugged steep slopes of ash. Rangitoto is a popular destination for the adventure travelers. With steep terrain to the summit, climbing this volcano can be challenging. It is also a camping destination; many groups put together overnight or week-long camping trips. But for those travelers looking to explore Rangitoto without exuding the effort, Fullers offers the Volcanic Explorer Road Train Tour, which is a guided tour of the island.
Located right next to Rangitoto Island, this island is easily accessible with walking paths that connect the two. Motutapu Island is a pest-free, uninhabited island that provides adventure travelers a day full of exploration. There are many walking paths, bays and hiking trails filled with lava crops and native bush to the area. But ferry services are limited to Rangitoto (the only way to get to Motutapu) so keep your eye on the time. Getting stranded, with no stores or accommodations, wouldn't make for a pleasant night.
With a plethora of activities, a day on Waiheke might not be long enough. From wine tasting, to bike riding, to beach going, this island is filled with something for everyone. Fullers also offers many tours to accompany your ferry ride such as Wine on Waiheke, Taste of Waiheke, Waiheke Explorer Tour and a few other adventures to make your time on Waiheke Island a memorable one. This island is a popular summer destination with many beach accommodations and restaurants overlooking the ocean. With many walking trails and bike route, Waiheke can be as relaxed or as adventurous as you want to make it.
So the next time you are in Auckland, make the most of exploring the Hauraki Gulf island hopping with Fullers.
Fullers' services operate multiple daily vessels — depending on day and season — to the various islands, bays and ports in the Hauraki Gulf. The large passenger vessels makes exploring each of the islands as easy as jumping on board. Not only does Fullers operate frequent ferry trips departing from Auckland harbor, they also provide tours and chartered services around Hauraki Gulf.
The ferry terminal is conveniently located in central Auckland behind the historic Ferry Building. Not only is Fullers a leader in ferry operations, their leisurely trips are comfortable, accommodating and affordable.
Travel tip shared by Ashley Curtin for Traveldudes
Traveldudes experienced the island thanks to Fullers, but our thoughts and opinions remain our own. Visit their website to view timetables, fares and destinations.