Auckland is a harbour city. It’s called the City of Sails for a reason. To truly know the place means getting out on the water. 

Morning Paddle Boarding Auckland

There are lots of different ways for you to explore Auckland from the water. It could be by ferry, yacht, jet boat, cruise, or kayak. But my favourite is on a stand-up paddle board or SUP.

New Zealand has plenty of adrenaline-filled activities, and SUP makes a great counter-balance. It is a relaxed and fun way to experience a slice of Auckland life. You can make it as much or as little of a work out as you like. Never tried it before and feeling a bit wobbly? Just kneel down and paddle.

My favourite time to SUP is in the morning when there is still a hint of sunrise left in the air. It’s a magical time of day. It feels serene - the beaches are quiet and the water calm. In a city of 1.6 million people, it will feel like the whole Auckland harbour is yours to explore.

There will likely be birds gliding and fish jumping, and if you’re really lucky orca might pop up nearby. It’s more common for you to see them from a distance, but they once came silently out of the water beside me. Silent, that is, until the loud exhale from their blowhole. 

Wherever you choose to paddle, you’ll have the iconic Rangitoto Island as a backdrop. It’s a dormant volcanic island in the middle of the harbour, much-loved by Aucklanders. This is my favourite view of Auckland - Rangitoto on one side and Auckland beaches on the other.

An insider tip is to head to Mission Bay before breakfast while the beach is quiet. From Mission Bay paddle around to Kohimarama Beach (“Kohi” to the locals) and pull into the beach. Head to The Store for a take out coffee and almond croissant. Enjoy them while sitting on the sea wall and watching the day unfold. It would be a shame not to take the chance for a swim before paddling back.

This has to be my favourite way to start the day. I’d love you to be able to experience it too. If you’re looking for things to do in Auckland, ask your travel planner at First Light Travel to point you in the direction of a quality SUP rental. It will be a great addition to your New Zealand travel itinerary.

More articles to help you plan your trip to New Zealand

Getting to New Zealand
New Zealand Passport and Visa Requirements
Smooth as possible on arrival to New Zealand
Travel Insurance for New Zealand
Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound?
What is the Best Time to Visit New Zealand?
Driving in New Zealand
Safety in New Zealand's Great Outdoors
What to Pack for a New Zealand Holiday
New Zealand Accommodation Guide
New Zealand's Need to Know Facts
What do things cost in New Zealand

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Del
Submitted by
Del Gorton
: 1 Aug 2019 (Last updated: 22 Aug 2019)

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