Self Drive Auckland | Avis Car Rental

Auckland Self Drive Holiday

New Zealand's biggest city and greatest gateway is home to many of its own attractions and makes an ideal start point for any self drive holiday in New Zealand. Auckland offers scenery, culture, fine dining and relaxed comfort.

Nestled on an isthmus between two beautiful harbours, Auckland rolls between scores of dormant volcanoes. The central shopping districts are an hour's drive from iron sand West Coast Beaches and rainforest, while the harbours provide yachting, islands with both wineries and world-class restaurants, and the many pleasure-boats that make Auckland the City of Sails.

Auckland is the largest Pacific city in the world, and is a cosmopolitan metropolis made up of many peoples. In fact, there are many "Aucklands", and the best way to discover and experience them all is through the freedom of an Avis self drive holiday.




If you are only in Auckland for a day, here are some self drive holiday ideas to help you make the most of your day in the City of Sails.


   Breakfast in Ponsonby

Start the day on Auckland's best café strip with breakfast. Order a flat white - NZ's coffee export - an espresso with two parts steamed yet not frothy milk - and see the local design and acting communities at rest. Plentiful free parking and just five minutes drive from the CBD.


Mt Eden

Follow breakfast up with a trip to one of Auckland's dormant volcanoes. You can drive right up Mt Eden, or if you feel like a stroll it's a robust fifteen-minute walk to catch a view of the entire City and both her harbours. Maungawhau - as Maori know it - has historical terracing and kumara pits from its past role as a functioning Pa (fortified village) in pre-European times.


Auckland War Memorial Museum

From Mt Eden you'll see the gardens and Greens of the Domain to the east, where you'll find Auckland's War Memorial Museum. It is the best introduction to Indigenous Maori culture, New Zealand's colonial and military history and the stories of the Pacific peoples that make Auckland the biggest Pacific city in the World. Gardens, greens and walking tracks abound for an escape so close to the city. It is just ten minutes' drive from Mt Eden and it is possible to drive right into the Domain grounds and park within easy walking distance of the Museum.

Auckland Museum Website



Cross the Harbour Bridge to a pretty slice of historic New Zealand. This shopping village boasts great cafes, bookstores and a character-filled museum. It's a great place to grab lunch - maybe some fish'n'chips on the white sand beach of nearby Cheltenham. You'll be treated to views of Rangitoto - the island that takes prime position in the Hauraki Gulf - and during the warmer months you'll see locals swimming in the safe, sheltered waters.


Sky Tower and Eating in the City

Next it is time to head back to the city, and to the landmark that you'll be aiming for - the 328 metre high Sky Tower. This attraction is part of a world-class casino and entertainment complex. There's a revolving restaurant if you like to take your meals very, very high, or venture out into the city to try one of the many fine restaurants Auckland now boasts.

Sky Tower Website




If you're in Auckland for a few days then add these self drive holiday ideas to your things-to-do list.



La Cigale Market

If you are in town on a Saturday make sure you visit these markets on the edge of charming Parnell, just ten minutes drive east of the CBD. French food, cheeses, great coffee and produce await you. Grab a bite here and fill up the back of the car with some picnic essentials - you can buy bread, lettuce, meats and fruit.

La Cigale Website


Waitakere Visitor Centre

It's time to head to a different Auckland, one of wild West Coast beaches with Iron Sands and Primeval landscapes. Your first stop on the way there is the excellent Waitakere Vistors centre, a guide to the Rainforest only 40 minutes from Auckland's CBD. Tracks, train-rides and waterfalls are all to be found, with a mix of walks on offer for all abilities and timeframes.

Auckland RC Website


Piha Beach

Then it is off to the beach, another twenty minutes from the Visitor's Centre along some windy but not too demanding roads. Remember to keep left and feel free to stop at the great lookouts as you get closer to the beach. Piha is a surfing Mecca and a holiday escape for many Aucklanders. The beaches are to be treated with great care. Follow lifeguard instructions if you plan to swim - and if there are no lifeguards simply marvel at the majesty of the landscape, black sand, crashing surf and rock features. This is a great spot for a picnic on the beach.


Restaurants in the Viaduct

Now it is time to drive back to the City in time for a stroll around the waterfront as the day ends. This lovely area was the base for the America's Cup Yacht Regatta when it was hosted by New Zealand - and has many great bars and restaurants. Auckland is a city blessed with great produce, abundant seafood and the best beef and lamb in the world. Be sure to have dinner somewhere with a view to the boats and the setting sun.

Viaduct Website




As the primary gateway to New Zealand, Auckland has a large number of repeat visitors. So if you've been there and done that, then you might like to try one of these local favourites the next time you're in Auckland.




Waiheke Island is a 40-minute ferry ride from the CBD and a similar distance from Half Moon Bay, a suburb to the East of Auckland that has a sailing that allows you to take the car ferry. This is recommended, as there are many beautiful wineries, sculpture and art installations, cafes and beaches to visit. Locals maintain that they enjoy a micro-climate superior to Auckland's mainland, and that may be one reason that this island so close to the city feels like a longer escape than the easy day trip it actually is.

Waiheke Website


Kelly Tarlton's

Kelly Tarlton was a pioneering Kiwi with a dream. He had the vision to convert a series of old sewers into a world-leading aquarium where you walk amongst sealife through glass-roofed tunnels to experience the ocean as a diver does. The underwater encounter is located ten minutes' drive east from the CBD with parking on site. Noteworthy attractions include an Antarctic Zone with penguins and a revolving array of sharks, stingrays and other majestic, scary creatures that will glide over you - making for a wonderful afternoon.

Kelly Tarlton's Website



40 minutes North of Auckland you'll find the hot springs of Waiwera. This resort is on the same latitude as the Coromandel's Hot Water Beach and is an easily accessible and relaxing getaway. You can choose to drive and stay the night or make it a day trip. There are a variety of pools, with private facilities also available.

Waiwera Website


West Auckland Wine

New Zealand has a thriving wine culture and you don't even have to leave Auckland to visit some of their best producers. Cooper's Creek is an operational family owned vineyard in Auckland's North-West. They operate their cellar door and welcome picnics on the property. The wider region of Kumeu has a number of other prestigious producers such as international chardonnay star-producer Kumeu River - so pick a designated driver and make an afternoon of it!

Kumeu River Website



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And to help you make the most of your New Zealand driving holiday, Avis operates 40 car rental locations throughout New Zealand, so we're everywhere you need to be.


North Island Car Rental Locations:

Auckland City Car Hire Auckland Airport Car Hire Auckland North Shore Car Hire Auckland Penrose Car Hire
Gisborne Airport Car Hire Hamilton City Car Hire Hamilton Airport Car Hire Kerikeri City Car Hire
Kerikeri Airport Car Hire Napier Airport Car Hire New Plymouth City Car Hire New Plymouth Airport Car Hire
Palmerston North Car Hire Rotorua Airport Car Hire Taupo City Car Hire Taupo Airport Car Hire
Tauranga City Car Hire Tauranga Airport Car Hire Wellington City Car Hire Wellington Airport Car Hire
Wellington Ferry Car Hire Whangarei Airport Car Hire    

South Island Car Rental Locations:

Blenheim Airport Car Hire Christchurch Airport Car Hire Christchurch Sheffield Car Hire Dunedin City Car Hire
Dunedin Airport Car Hire Greymouth Car Hire Hokitika Airport Car Hire Invercargill Airport Car Hire
Nelson Airport Car Hire Picton Ferry Car Hire Queenstown City Car Hire Queenstown Airport Car Hire
Timaru City Car Hire Timaru Airport Car Hire    

Book with Avis for the best New Zealand Car Rental experience.