Travel tips and advice for Auckland, New Zealand: The 10 things you must do

THE ONE WALK

Auckland is basically a big bed of volcanoes, and two of the main volcanoes are highlights of the 16 kilometre Coast to Coast Walkway between the city's two harbours. Mount Eden is the city's highest natural point, with tremendous views over the city centre and Hauraki Gulf, while One Tree Hill has cows and sheep roaming around it. Take the train from Britomart Station to Onehunga to get to the start point. See newzealand.com

THE ONE MUSEUM

The Auckland Domain, near the end of the Coast to Coast Walkway, plays host to the excellent Auckland Museum. The ground floor focuses on culture, with a massive Maori meeting house, plus fascinating displays on Pacific Islander history. But for all the drama go to the first floor which has informative displays about New Zealand's rambunctious geology, earthquakes and volcanoes. See aucklandmuseum.com

THE ONE ISLAND

Auckland's major selling point is the series of islands in the Hauraki Gulf that are a short ferry trip from downtown. Of these, Tiritiri Matangi is one of the lesser known – and most fascinating. It has been set aside as a sanctuary for rare birds that have been wiped off the mainland by human-introduced predators. It's both beautiful and an amazing story of conservation in action. See tiritirimatangi.org.nz

THE ONE FOOD HUB

Ponsonby, just to the west of the CBD, is Auckland's best neighbourhood to hang out in, and Ponsonby Central plays a big part in this. There's a high-quality food court vibe as dozens of specialist bars and restaurants – one concentrated on rotisserie chicken, another on melted cheese sandwiches, for example – congregate in a mini-mall and spill down adjacent laneways. See ponsonbycentral.co.nz

THE ONE SEASIDE SUBURB

Auckland's most impressive beaches are the moody black sand affairs – Karekare and Piha – on the west coast. But if you're wanting a day by the seaside rather than crashing surf, you can't go too far wrong with Devonport, a 15-minute ferry ride from downtown. Here, Victorian architecture combines with cafes and bookshops for those who step away from the sand. See visitdevonport.co.nz

THE ONE SAIL

New Zealand recently won back the America's Cup and would-be top tier yachties can have a go themselves on former America's Cup training boats. The two-hour high speed jaunts around Waitemata Harbour enlist passengers as crew to raise the sails, tack and jibe the yachts, and get behind the wheel. It's a fun learning experience and costs NZ$185. See exploregroup.co.nz

THE ONE ARCADE

Main shopping strip Queen Street isn't all that inspiring, but the handsomely Georgian Queen's Arcade springing off it is home to plenty of interesting stores. Some sell distinctively Kiwi products such as greenstone jewellery, possum knitwear or wood carvings. Marbecks is a fantastic record shop that unapologetically throws its weight behind local artists. See queensarcade.co.nz

THE ONE BOLTHOLE

Lots of love has gone into the Great Ponsonby Art Hotel and, as the name suggests, plenty of creativity, too. Fijian tapa cloths, Pacific Island window decorations and tile art door numbers are among the lovely little touches, while the lounge area – full of books about local birds and wine – is a great place to hang out. Rooms from NZ$162, including breakfast. See greatpons.co.nz.

THE ONE COCKTAIL

The Sky Tower dominates the landscape, and going up the 220-metre high observation deck will set you back NZ$29. But book ahead to go to The Sugar Club restaurant for a cocktail, and you can get near identical views for the price of a drink. The NZ$20 barrel-aged pineapple negroni is a winner. See skycityauckland.co.nz

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ONE MORE THING

Public transport fares are about 40 per cent cheaper using a pre-paid, top-uppable AT HOP card – buy one from stations or convenience stores. See at.govt.nz

David Whitley was a guest of Tourism New Zealand.

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