Auckland’s CBD has enough to occupy tourists for a few days, but given how spread out the city is, many of its best attractions are to be found further out. Here are some of the must-sees in the city. When you’re ready to venture further afield, look for a cheap car hire to get you around.
Aucklanders can be found strolling along the waterfront at all hours – at lunchtime, after work, on the weekends. A city surrounded by water, the harbour is one of its top features. The Viaduct is home to many excellent bars and restaurants, while colourful Wynyard Quarter and Queen’s Wharf – gussied up ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup – continue to impress with new and vibrant amenities.
Located squarely in the heart of the city, Aotea Square greets visitors with a wooden arch, carved by Maori artist Selwyn Muru. It’s a strong cultural touch in an otherwise plain paved public area. Aotea Square is at its best when it’s hosting performances, markets, or other events. At other times, it serves as a handy meeting point and a great spot for people-watching.
New York has Central Park; Auckland has Albert Park. Sculptures, statues, water fountain and flower gardens can all be found here. The park provides an oasis of calm in the city, where university students and office workers alike enjoy their lunches on the benches and on the grass.
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki recently underwent a total makeover and rebrand, and now presents a truly modern facade that’s world class. It is the largest of its kind in New Zealand, boasting more than 15,000 works of art. The public gallery is home to both local and international art, and often hosts exhibitions from around the world. Culture vultures and visual art lovers will be right at home.
Auckland’s biggest skyscraper lights up the horizon at night, but caters to visitors round the clock. Bars, a theatre and casino, numerous eateries (including revolving restaurant Orbit) and a luxury hotel are all part and parcel of the facilities. Those with a bent for adventure can book a SkyJump experience and leap off the top of the tower.