Just north of Auckland, there is a peninsula extending from the mainland. This is an easy drive out of the city to Silverdale and to the start of the Whangaparaoa peninsula. The views on the drive are amazing, with lots of parks and beaches nearby to choose from.
There are numerous shops and supermarkets available to stock up on items.
My recommendation is to head out to Gulf Harbour marina, which happens to have one of only 5 freedom camping (parking) areas in Auckland.
There is also a ferry that goes straight to downtown, which can be seen in the distance. The ferry is just a short walk from the freedom camping parking area. This ferry will let you off near Queens street in the heart of downtown Auckland, while enjoying views of the Hauraki Gulf and nearby volcanoes (thankfully dormant). Since parking is free at the marina and freedom camping allowed, so you can head to the city for not much more than the cost of downtown parking in the city center without the hassles of traffic or finding an available parking garage. Many sights in Auckland are within short walking distance from the wharf and there is good bus/train service if heading out of the city center. You can catch the evening ferry back with the commuters to the marina when finished exploring. There is bus service back to the marina, but would take much longer than the ferry!
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