Apart from being the largest city of New Zealand, Auckland has the finest natural Beauty which surrounds it. It is the economic heart of the country. Auckland has the best museums, monuments, and many art galleries. The suburban coastline of the city is famous for its beautiful beaches, the islands of Hauraki Gulf provide a peek of New Zealand’s National Park scenery. Whenever you visit Auckland make sure these 15 places are on your list.
1. Auckland City Centre Architecture
People interested in History will try to seek out this place. Downtown Auckland may seem a modern city at first but in the middle of these present-day towers lie several prime architectural examples. Some of them are Ferry Building at Princess Wharf built-in 1912 adjoined by another ferry building Cheif Post office which was designed by John Campbell in 1911.
On Queen Street, Auckland Townhall has an eye-catching marble facade and was built in 1911. The St. Patrich Cathedral is one of New Zealand’s first Churches built way back in 1848. The rich Brick decoration and a model of Warwick Castle in England of Auckland High Court are also impressive.
2. Sky Tower Auckland
The city’s most eminent landmark is the Sky Tower Auckland. This needle-like building is 328 meters tall and is the highest building in New Zealand. If you want to get a perfect picture and have a great view of the City then the observation deck here is the right place for you. Apart from the view, it has a flavor of thrill. How? This tower has a ring-like structure that you can walk on at the top and if this doesn’t satisfy you try the Sky Jump.
It has a restaurant and gift shop which are easily visible at the night and add to its charm.
3. Auckland War Memorial Museum
This building was constructed as a memorial dedicated to the soldiers of New Zealand that fought in World War I and dates back to 1929. Now, it has an impressive collection of artifacts about the history of New Zealand and its first settlers. The main highlight Maori Galleries which has some great artistry and a magnificent Maori Gateway of the 12th – 14th century. Apart from these, it has a beautifully decorated meeting house and a long canoe from 1836 in which Maori warriors sailed into Manuka Harbour once. This Museum is a war memorial basically and depicts the story of New Zealand’s participation in the conflict.
4. One Tree Hill
This Hill lies in the midst of the lush Cornwall Park. It has a series of flower beds and some trees along with the walking trials. Some people in Auckland consider the volcanic cone of One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie) as the symbol of their city.
There is one obelisk built over the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell who actually gifted this piece of greenery to Auckland as a city park. The views from here are worth visiting this place.
5. Waitemata Harbour
A delightful natural feature of Auckland is the Waitemata Harbour. It hosts a variety of things such as places of shopping, dining, and entertainment. This harbour is more fun to be explored on the foot. This waterway was so easy to navigate that it led to Auckland becoming New Zealand’s Capital. You can explore the Quay Street, Hauraki Gulf Islands.
6. Auckland Harbour Bridge adventures
The Auckland Harbour Bridge is more than a kilometer long and it connects the Auckland downtown to other parts such as the northern districts, Sandy beaches, and other bays to the far north. Apart from this, it offers a lot of fun and thrill things to do. One of the main highlights of the adventure list is the Auckland Bridge bungee jump. You have to walk on the side of the bridge and then plunging 40 meters into the water. You can also climb up the bridge to get a beautiful view.
7. Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is the most famous island among Auckland’s other Hauraki Gulf islands. The coast has a lot of white sand beaches and the interior is full of walking trails. For a challenging hike, Church Bay Circuit is an excellent option to see the best of the island. The villages in these islands are home to many art galleries and cafes.
History-loving people should not miss the Stony Batter Historic Reserve which has an underground tunnel dug in World war II. Accommodation here is pretty good with beachside cottages to bed and breakfast.
Related post: Best things about Roatan, Honduras.
8. Auckland Art Gallery
The Auckland art Gallery represents the culture of the city. This gallery is full of artworks it consists of about 15,000 artworks that are displayed. In addition to these, it also has some European paintings and sculptures that go back in date to the 14th century. However, the main highlight is the New Zealand collections which are located on the Ground floor. You can find a lot of things about New Zealand here. You should also visit the New Zealand Historic Art Gallery and Maori Portraiture Gallery on the same floor which displays the work of europian settlers in New Zealand
9. Auckland Dolphin and whale watching cruises
Dolphin and whale watching tour is a recommended one from us. These tour agencies are valued for money because they guarantee sightseeing and the best part is if you don’t you can travel again for FREE. This tour begins at the New Zealand Maritime Museum in Viaduct Harbour. It takes about a half-day to complete the cruise. You have a chance to get close to many aquatic creatures which include whales (six species), dolphins, penguins, and birds. You can get some great pictures here.
10. Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Islands
On the doorstep of Auckland lie this piece of Nature named Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. If you are a camping fan this place is perfect for you. You can also find opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and sea kayaking. It has some other places to visit in it. Rangitoto island is an inactive volcano and the largest forest of Pohutukawa trees. Apart from this, there is another island that is a wildlife sanctuary for some of New Zealand’s most endangered birdlife, Tiritiri Matangi Island. You can spot a large variety of birds as well as takahe, blue penguins, kiwi, and brown teal.
11. East Coast Beaches
The Eastern coast of Auckland has some fine beaches that are sunbathing spots for locals during summers. One of the finest sandy beaches is Takapuna Beach. This beach is very popular and hence crowded. Not far are Milford Beach and Cheltenham Beach which are less crowded than the Takapuna.
If you want something more gorgeous you need a short ride to the southeast where lies the amazing Maraetai Beach. It has an excellent swimming spot even for little kids as its waters are calm. Not far north lies another beach of golden sand known as Orewa Beach.
12. West Coast Beaches
The Western Coast of Auckland also has some phenomenal beaches however they are quite dangerous because of the sheer rocks and heavy surf from the Tasman Sea.
Piha Beach is one of the beautiful beaches in the city as it has volcanic black sand. This spot is full of Local surfers. If you are looking for something less crowded the Karioitahi Beach is perfect for you. It is a long strip of black sand on South Auckland.
13. Albert Park
The green heart of the city is Albert Park. It has a lot of things for what it is famous for but the main attention goes toward the Victorian fountain. It is lined with different kinds of flower beds, variety of statuary. As it is in the inner part of the city a lot of cultural things can also be seen around.
Albert park house has some fine wide-ranging ceramics of clocks like a floral clock from 1953. The main highlight is the old Government House which was once a parliament of New Zealand built-in 1856. This building is part of the Auckland University Campus. Another great attraction is the Old Synagogue built in 1884 and is used now for cultural events.
In June you can have a look at the Turama Festival which is among the best of nightlife in Auckland.
14. Auckland Zoo
If you are visiting Auckland with your family then Auckland Zoo is a must-see for you. It offers plenty of things for the families and has some new features which include the Te Wao Nui that consists of regional plant and animal life.
This Zoo offers around 1,400 creatures of 135 species from all around the world. It hosts animals from Africa, Australia, and South America, which include giraffes, meerkats, wallabies, and different kinds of monkeys.
It boats many adventurous things such as after-dark safari, photography workshops, and junior zookeeper programs which allow kids to behind the scenes.
A theme park named Rainbow End is also fun to visit for younger children if you have any more time left.
Puhoi is the best place to visit about 50kms out of Auckland. This place was founded by immigrants from Bohemia. Puhoi has reserved its original character of early settlers and hasn’t changed much.
This place is good for the people interested in history as it contains The Bohemia Museum, the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (built-in 1880), and the nearby churchyard with the graves of early Bohemian settlers. It hosts some art studios and artisan boutiques too.