| Despite Auckland’s
urban sprawl, the major tourist sites are located
around the city centre, while those that are further afield can
be reached by public transport, the Explorer Bus, (which links many
of the attractions) public transport, ferries or a hire car.
The constant expanding city centre with its eye catching
skyline is easily explored on foot, starting with the waterfront,
which emphasizes the lively feel of the ‘City of Sails’.
Here too can be found the Waterfront Tourist Centre, Britomart bus
and train station, the National Maritime Museum, the America’s
Cup Village, useful transport stops, the Ferry Terminal and the
Department of Conservation Office.
Auckland's main street, Queen Street, and the roads and malls that
flank it, give a sense of the shopping options,
including the 2 storey Queens Arcade. Queen Street continues past
the Town Hall and close by Albert Park, although it is worth noting
that there are many specialised shopping options in the various
suburbs that surround the centre, which form self contained village
Albert Park is one of the 22 parks that exist in
the city, and is home to the more ornate half of the Auckland City
Art Gallery, the Heritage Gallery (the other half, the New Gallery,
is located on the other side of Wellesley Street) and the Bruce
Wilkinson Collection, a charming small display of ornate clocks
South east of the centre is the huge 202 acre (which is 81 hectares)
Auckland Domain, crowned by the city’s main ‘must see’
site, the Auckland Museum, packed with Maori and Pacific Island
artifacts. Departing from the museum, an extra loop on the Explorer
Bus circuit takes tourists and visitors further out to Mount Eden,
Auckland Zoo and the Museum of Transport, Technology and Social
Venturing further requires
a car, taxis or more public transport. East of Auckland are golf
courses, the Ellerslie Racecourse, attractions like Howick Historical
Village, the Botanic Gardens and the Rainbow’s End adventure
theme park. Heading west brings more golf courses, vineyards, orchards
and a sense of why the Auckland people love their city so much,
inside it is lively and outside simply beautiful.
These beautiful gardens were 8 years in the making before opening
to the public in 1982. They cover 160 acres (which is 64 hectares)
and contain more than 10,000 individual plants, along with a lake,
a nature trail, an attractive outdoor café and a library.
Plants are clearly labelled for the enthusiast and pathways well
signposted for visitors who only wish to walk in pleasant surroundings.
The Auckland Botanic Gardens are also home to the Ellerslie Flower
Address: 102 Hill Road, Manurewa
Telephone: (09) 267 1457 (Visitor Centre)
Facsimile: (09) 266 3698
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours: Gardens: Daily 8.00 am to dusk
Visitor Centre: Daily 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
Transport: Buses to Drury, Papakura or Pukehohe, bus number 66 to
Auckland City Art Gallery
Auckland's main art gallery has New Zealand's largest collections
of both native and international art. The Heritage Gallery, which
was opened in 1888, contains the bulk of the collection, and the
New Gallery (opened across the street in 1995) concentrates on contemporary
art, with revolving exhibitions.
In the Heritage Gallery, international artists include Breughel
and Millais, with Reynolds and Gainsborough supplying a link back
to colonial days. Some of the most memorable images are those by
Gottfried Lindauer and Charles F Goldie, who reveal passive portraits
of Maori with moko (facial tattoos).
A free guided tour is available daily at 2.00 pm, and there is a
regular programme of talks. The gallery is the subject of a NZ $75
million refurbishment due to end in 2006, which will conclude with
some interesting changes. Both galleries are free until the 6th
and Auckland Museum
Created in 1845, Auckland Domain is the city’s oldest, largest
and most attractive park, with a sculpture walk (currently featuring
work by some of New Zealand’s leading artists, and to be completed
in 2006), gardens, a winter garden with cool and tropical houses,
pathways and ponds, and the Fernz Fernery, with over 100 types of
fern. The 202 acre (which is 81 hectares) domain is situated on
an extinct volcano, known as pukekawa or ‘hill of bitter memories’.
Within the domain is the city’s most visited attraction, the
Auckland Museum, combining its Greco Roman style architecture with
a contemporary take on the presentation of the displays.
The ground floor is dedicated to ‘The People’, the middle
to ‘The Place’ and the top to ‘New Zealand at
War’, while a small area on the middle floor is given over
to the Children’s Discovery Centre. The displays include various
audiovisual and interactive components. The museum also houses one
of New Zealand’s most important collection of Maori and South
Pacific artefacts and the Manaia cultural performances of song,
heralded by a conch blast that ehos through the museum at 11.00
am and 1.30 pm.
Telephone: (09) 303 1530 (domain) or 309 0443 (museum)
Facsimile: (09) 306 7065 (museum)
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.aucklandmuseum.com
Opening hours: Domain: Daily dawn until dusk
Museum: Daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Admission: Domain: Free
Museum: NZ $5 suggested donation, valid for repeated entry
Cultral performane: NZ$15
Transport: Bus no 502, 283 or Explorer Bus
Auckland Visitor Centre
Address: The Atrium, Sky City, Corner of Victoria and Federal streets
Telephone: (09) 979 2333
Facsimile: (09) 970 2334
Website address: www.aucklandnz.com
Opening hours: Sunday to Wednesday 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Thursday
to Saturday 8.00 am to 10.00 pm
Almost 1,000 creatures from around the world are housed at this
forward looking zoo, which aims to place the animals in surroundings
that closely recreate their natural environment. New Zealand’s
native species are represented to the tune of 10%, in particular
the national bird, the kiwi, in a nocturnal enclosure, as well as
the Tuatara, the most famous national lizard.
There is also a large walk through aviary, and the rainforest is
such a popular feature that it even has its own website. Here apes,
monkeys, parrots, spiders and other rainforest creatures can be
seen in their natural habitat.
Pridelands is an area that is home to the animals of Africa, including
giraffes, lions, and rhinos, whilst Hippo River allows close up
views of hippopotami.
Guided tours are available and there is also an informative Visitor
Address: Motions Road, Western Springs
Telephone: (09) 360 3800/19
Facsimile: (09) 360 3818
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours: Daily 9.30 am to 5.30 pm (last entry at 4.15 pm)
Admission: NZ $16, concessions available.
Transport: Satellite Bus from Auckland Museu, bus number 45 and
tram from MOTAT.
The green oasis of Eden garden is just a few minutes away from downtown
The 5.5 acre (which is 2.25 hectares) garden on the volcanic slopes
of Mount Eden (which is the highest point in the area and extremely
popular with tour buses) was once a quarry. This was a quarry until
1965, when a group of dedicated volunteers began to transform it
into what is now a national showcase garden of international status,
which has won many awards.
It has the largest collection of camellias in the Southern Hemisphere,
as well as large collections of rhododendrons and azaleas. Plants
from around the world give year round colour but it is also a good
place for visitors to see a many native plants too. The landscaped
gardens have some statues and a 13.5 metre (45 feet) waterfall.
Address: 24 Omana Avenue, Epsom
Telephone: (09) 638 8395
Facsimile: (09) 638 7685
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.edengarden.co.nz
Opening hours: Daily, from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm
Admission: NZ $5, concessions available
Transport: Bus 274 or bus 275
Bridge Climb & Bungy
The most recent and popular adventure activity in the city involves
getting kitted out in overalls and a harness and then walking across
the upper girders of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, about 65 metres
(213 feet) above the harbour, with the traffic rushing along on
the road below.
The views are amazing, even at night, however this is not for the
faint hearted. Equally frighteneing to the timid is the bridge bungy
run by A J Hackett, father of throwing yourself off things with
elastic fastened round your ankles.
Address: Westhaven Reserve, Curran Street, Herne Bay
Telephone: (0800) 000 GOCLIMB (462 462) or (09) 625 0445
Facsimile: (09) 361 6186
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.ajhackett.com
Opening hours: Day climbs: Monday to Thursday 10.00 am to 3.00 pm,
Friday to Sunday 10.00 am to 6.00 pm Night climbs: Saturday 6.00
pm (April to September), Saturday 7.40 (October to March)
Admission: Bridge Climb: NZ $65. Bungy: NZ $85. Combined: NZ $140
Transport: Public, Link and Explorer buses
Heritage Gallery is on the Corner of Wellesley Street and Kitchener
Howick Historical Village
In 1840 Auckland only had 1,500 inhabitants.
This living museum deals with the turbulent and dramatic events
of the next 50 years, when the bulk of the settlers arrived from
Australia, Britain and Ireland, and Maori were forcibly removed
from their land.
The 33 period buildings have been set in a landscape of reproduction
streets, gardens and even a village pond. Staff dress in period
costume and on the 3rd Sunday of each month, there are special displays
relating to different aspects of this period in Auckland's past.
Address: Bells Road, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga
Telephone: (09) 576 9506
Facsimile: (09) 576 9708
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.fencible.org.nz
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (last admission 4.00 pm).
Admission: NZ $9
Transport: Public buses to Howick or Eastern (alight opposite Lloyd
Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World
Kelly Tarlton was a local diver who designed this centre. It was
opened in 1985, so non divers could experience the underwater world
that he found so fascinating.
The perspex walk through tunnels of Underwater World were the first
to give visitors the illusion of walking underwater, for close encounters
with rays, sharks, and other creatures of the deep.
The additional Antarctic Encounter includes a reconstruction of
the hut in which Captain Scott and his expedition perished, modern
day studies of life on Earth’s frozen continent and a Disney
like ride on the Snow Cat through synthetic icebergs and snow drifts.
Address: 23 Tamaki Drive, Orakei
Telephone: (0800) 805 050 or (09) 528 0603
Facsimile: (09) 528 5175
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.kellytarltons.co.nz
Opening hours: Daily 9.00 am to 9.00 pm (November to March), daily
9.00 am to 6.00 pm (April to October)
Admission: NZ $26
Transport: Bus no 710, 750, 769 or the Explorer Bus.
of Transport, Technology and Social History (MOTAT)
Commonly known as MOTAT (from the days before ‘and Social
History’ was added to the name) this is New Zealand’s
largest transport collection. It has a working tramway that links
its 2 sections, the main museum and the Sir Keith Park Memorial
Site (NZ $2 return).
The latter is the collection of aircraft, including vintage aircraft
from the 2 World Wars and a replica of the Richard Pearse plane,
the first successful powered aircraft, long before the Wright brothers.
The main museum has displays on all other modes of transport, a
duplicate Victorian village, and the Science Centre, with interactive
exhibits on technology and communications.
Address: Great North Road, Western Springs
Telephone: (09) 815 5800
Facsimile: (09) 846 4242
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.motat.org.nz
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Admission: NZ $10, concessions available
Transport: Public bus 45 or the Link
New Gallery is on the corner of Wellesley and Lorne Streets.
Telephone: (09) 307 7700 or (09) 379 1349 (24-hour information line)
Facsimile: (09) 302 1096
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.aucklandartgallery.govt.nz
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Admission: NZ $7. Special exhibitions: NZ $5 to $12, concessions
available. Daily free guided tours at 2.00 pm
Transport: Bus no 502, 283 or Explorer Bus.
Zealand National Maritime Museum
In the heart of the Downtown waterfront, this museum pays respect
to the debt an island nation owes to its maritime history. It covers
almost a millennium of history, from the arrival of Maori and then
European settlers, to the 2000 America’s Cup.
Displays also deal with whaling, sealing, navigation skills, and
other fishing activities, the first freezer ships to export farm
produce (sheep and dairy products) to Europe, and the invention
of the jet boat.
Visitors can see historical boats, make their own model boats and
take trips out into Auckland Harbour. The 1 hour guided cruises
on the Ted Ashby, a replica of one of the traditional, flat bottomed,
ketch rigged scows that once worked the North Island waterways,
sail Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at noon and 2.00 pm.
Address: Eastern Viaduct, corner of Quay Street and Hobson Street
Telephone: (09) 373 0800
Facsimile: (09) 377 6000
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.nzmaritime.org
Opening hours: Daily 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (November to April), daily
9.00 am to 5.00 pm (April to October).
Admission: NZ $12, museum and cruise NZ $19.
Transport: Satellite Bus from Auckland Museum.
There are transport passes for tourists, but if that’s too
much trouble, try the Auckland Superpass, which is available from
the visitor centres, booking offices or any of the participating
outlets. An Auckland superpass is NZ $69, and includes the Sky Tower,
Kelly Tarlton’s, Rainbow’s End and a trip to Rangitoto
Rainbow's End is New Zealand’s largest theme park, and has
over 20 major rides and attractions, including the country’s
only double corkscrew rollercoaster, a pirate ship, dodgems, bumper
boats, an interactive games arcade and rides for small children.
Address: Corner of Great South Road and Wiri Station Road
Telephone: (09) 262 2030
Facsimile: (09) 262 1958
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.rainbowsend.co.nz
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Admission: NZ $39. Children: NZ $29
Transport: Bus 47 to Westfield Shopping Town.
New Zealand’s tallest building stands 328 metres (1,076 feet)
high in the centre of Auckland, dominating the skyline in the same
way as Seattle’s Space Needle.
A lift service takes 40 seconds to take visitors to the 1st observation
platforms. From the 1st observation platform, the views are breathtaking
enough but even more so from the very top level, from where visitors
can look out over the harbour as well as the city.
The tower is one part of the Sky City complex, a casino with bars,
cafés and a restaurant. Visitors should note that anyone
spending a minimum amount dining here (currently NZ $25.50) receives
a free pass to the very top of the tower.
It is possible for visitors to climb even higher, to the crows nest
or Sky Deck, a further 50 metres (164 feett) up, as part of the
Vertigo experience (costing NZ $145), which involves wannabe climbers
being put through a simulator to make sure they are up for it.
Alternatively, for NZ $195, there is the world’s longest tower
based jump, where a harness and attached wire allow for a 25 second,
arrested free fall, exciting descent. Adrenaline junkies can keep
their suits on and repeat the experience for NZ $75 or cross the
road and do an inverted bungy, called Skyscreamer, for NZ $35.
Address: Corner of Federal and Victoria Streets
Telephone: (0800) SKYCITY or (09) 363 6422.
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.skycity.co.nz
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 8.30 am to 11.00 pm. Friday to
Saturday 8.30 am to 12.00pm
Admission: NZ $18 to observation platforms, plus NZ $3 to the skydeck.
Transport: Bus no 17 and 27 or Explorer Bus.
Telephone: (0800) 759 586
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.skyjump.co.nz
This large site is controoled by the Auckland Observatory and Planetarium
Trust, to give the public an insight into what the heavens are all
about. The planetarium and extensions were built in 1996, at a cost
of NZ $3 million, making for a high tech modern attraction.
Displays include New Zealand’s 1st known meteorite, a piece
of a meteorite that struck Arizona and model rockets. The planetarium
shows 45 minute multimedia features, including what it is like to
be an astronaut and the story of a young Polynesian learning the
art of navigating by the stars to steer his canoe to New Zealand.
Night sky and weather permitting, there is also 30 minutes of telescope
gazing, during which visitors might catch a glimpse of Jupiter or
Address: One Tree Hill Domain, off Manukau Road, Royal Oak
Telephone: (09) 624 1246 or 625 6945
Facsimile: (09) 625 2394
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.stardome.org.nz
Opening hours: Shows take place Tuesday to Saturday 7.00 pm and
Admission: NZ $12, plus NZ $8 for a guided telescope tour of the
Transport: Buses 302, 304, 305 or 312
The Waterfront Visitor centre is adjacent to the Maritime Museum,
Telephone: (09) 979 2333
Facsimile: (09) 970 2334
Website address: www.aucklandnz.com
Opening hours: Daily 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Telephone: (09) 368 1917.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.4vertigo.com