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Stories from our backyard: Adventure activity near Auckland

Jun 21, 2021 | New Zealand, North Island

Adventure activity near Auckland

I know I keep repeating myself. But when it comes to New Zealand it is all about nature and adventure…it’s that simple really! So, when you find yourself in New Zealand’s most populous city, make sure to grab the opportunity to escape the city life (sorry Auckland) and catch the 40-minute ferry to scenic Waiheke Island. Waiheke is an island haven full of vineyards, olive groves, boutique galleries and golden sand beaches. It’s an ideal place to slow down, relax and unwind. And for an adventure activity near Auckland, you can’t miss soaring above vineyards and tree top canopies, down into pristine native bush on dual ziplines with EcoZip Adventures. It’s a great excuse to not only have fun but to soak up the Waiheke sights while you are at it. It’s a must-do whether you are 5 or 95 years old!

Waiheke Island is located in the Hauraki Gulf on the North Island, New Zealand. The ferry terminal is only 21.5 km from the central-city terminal in Auckland. The island boasts 60km of golden beaches, world-class restaurants, meandering walking trails and 40+ vineyards/cellar doors. It’s a haven begging to be explored! Spend a day or a few days and tag your visit with your arrival or departure flights. The island has a population of only 9,000 residents, boasts no traffic lights and only one roundabout. In short, you are in for a real Kiwi adventure…

Waiheke Island Auckland. Photo credit: Miles Holden

New Zealand’s premier native forest adventure experience…

EcoZip Adventures ticks all the boxes for an adventure activity near Auckland. It’s one of the highlights of a visit to Waiheke Island as evidenced by all the awards the company has gathered since inception in 2012.  Set in the heart of stunning Waiheke Island, EcoZip is both an adventure and eco-tourism destination, offering state-of-the-art flying-fox ziplines with a beautiful eco-immersive forest experience. As Gavin Oliver, the founder of EcoZip Adventures, explains “the 3-hour experience is dedicated to lovers of nature and adventure who can expect ‘the complete Waiheke experience’ with us, starting first with our Waiheke highlights tour, then riding a series of giant flying-fox ziplines, followed by a step back in time beneath the cooling canopy of our regenerating rainforest”. The tour operator boasts a very personal experience with a small guest to guide ratio which delivers an unhurried, interactive adventure with plenty of local historical stories thrown in. EcoZip Adventures offer twin ziplining cables which makes it unique, as unlike other zipline tours, you can fly side-by-side with a friend!

Adventure activity near Auckland

Kaitiakitanga in action…

The Māori value of Kaitiakitanga means guardianship and the connection between people and the natural world. This concept is also an integral part of EcoZip Adventures, so while riding the ziplines is undeniably huge fun, you can do it knowing that you’re directly contributing to the preservation and protection of a beautiful, yet once threatened, piece of NZ native rainforest. Today, less than a quarter of New Zealand is covered in native forest. Waiheke’s own forests were extensively felled as land was cleared for farming and now few patches of ‘old growth’ forest remain. But, when you visit EcoZip, you step back in time, experiencing prehistoric rainforest like that discovered by the first Māori. When you stroll through the EcoZip Adventures’ Forest with your zipline guides you’ll gain a glimpse of 100% Pure New Zealand, and experience the tour operator’s dedication to protecting it, and hear the stories of how this spectacular land has changed and adapted, with first Māori then European settlement. Home to skinks, weta, eels, and glow-worms, your visit to EcoZip Adventures helps to preserve and restore this beautiful Site of Environmental Significance.

Adventure activity near Auckland

A 1,000 year legacy…

So, in delivering both an adventure activity near Auckland as well as responsible tourism, EcoZip Adventures are strongly entrenched in their local community. EcoZip have also partnered with the Waiheke Resources Trust to offer guests the chance to themselves become Kaitiaki (temporarily in charge for how we hand-on the land, air and seas to future generations). For a minimal amount EcoZip’ s guests can offset their ferry and vehicle transport emissions by planting an eco-sourced native tree; a tree that will still be standing in hundreds, if not thousands, of years’ time. So, for less than the cost of a coffee, guests can leave a lasting environmental legacy that will benefit both the land and future generations.

Adventure activity near Auckland

EcoZip’ s combination of adventure & conservation tourism is a purpose to be proud of. It’s a remarkable target for a small Kiwi business in a very special corner of the world. Make sure to include EcoZip Adventures on your wish list for your next New Zealand holiday…. I know I will be doing just that 😊.


The summer season (December-March) is traditionally the most popular time to visit. The daytime temperatures range between 20-24 degrees Celsius and the nights are 17 degrees. Perfect weather for all activities.

adventure activity near Auckland

Good to know:

Waiheke Island is only a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. It boasts 60km of golden beaches, world-class restaurants, meandering walking trails & 40+ vineyards/cellar doors. It’s a haven begging to be explored! Escape the Auckland city life and slow down, relax and unwind. Apart from the must-do ziplining tour, other top highlights include: spoil yourselves with a full-day premium wine & food small-group tour, experience the white sandy beaches at Oneroa, Palm Beach or Onetangi, enjoy some magnificent views on any of the 30 min-4 hour loop walking trails and hire a bike or go kayaking.     

Waiheke Island Auckland. Photo credit: Camilla Rutherford

And finally:

AET Travel (formerly Australia Expat Travel) specialises in exceptional holidays to Australia and New Zealand. We make it simple with our local knowledge, seamless logistics and trusted advice since 2004. Expect a bespoke itinerary curated with the big picture and the small details. Contact us.

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