The Viaduct Harbour, based in Auckland, New Zealand, comes to life at night. The place is always buzzing with people, booze, food, and fun: just about everything you need to make a night memorable. The Viaduct is a residential, commercial, and entertaining area where one can choose to dine in with their loved ones. The Harbour was formerly known as the Viaduct Basin, and as of yet, it is the busiest place in the Auckland Central Business district to be in during the night. If one chooses to take a walk before or after the fun, then one can always visit the National Maritime Museum, which is just adjacent to the Harbour.
The Parnell Rose Garden, which also goes by the name of Dove-Myer Robinson Park, is a magnificent park with a widely famous rose garden. It is named after Dove-Myer Robinson, who held the record for the longest-serving Mayor of Auckland, having office for 18 years. Popularly known for some of the roses being personally tended to by internationally renowned rose horticulturalists, the park is also home to the ‘white garden’ where weddings occasionally occur.
Timings : 24 Hours
Entry Fee : Free
Opened in 2006, Sylvia Park is the largest mall in New Zealand, with more than 200 shops and 2500 staff. The mall has a wide range of stores that suits all ages and budgets, with local favourites and international brands marking its presence. The mall also has a child care facility and a children’s playground on board to help care for your child while out shopping. The massive food court there caters to various cuisine options, while Hoyt’s Cineplex offers a great movie experience. Some of the other events is always happening, so check out their website before heading there.
Timings : 9 am to 7 pm
Located 30 km away from central Auckland, Bethell's Beach is a small seaside settlement in northern Auckland, on New Zealand's North Island. The beach was renamed in 1976 from Bethell's Beach to Te Henga, meaning 'sand' in Maori, to better reflect the Maori heritage of the beach.
Time Required : 2-3 hours
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Albert Park is a substantial public park popular among the locals for its towering palm trees, a floral clock, a Victorian fountain, sculptures and an Argentinian ombu tree, whose enormous roots grow above ground. With its long history and distinctive character, the park has earned a special place in the hearts of Aucklanders and made it an essential destination for visitors.
Timings : Open 24 Hours
Entry Fee : Free
Mission Bay, a seaside suburb of Auckland, is among the most celebrated local destinations in New Zealand. Located on North Island, this place is known for its beach, food, and water activities. This suburb offers a great experience to all its visitors, locals and foreigners. Mission Bay has a Pohutukawa-lined beach that is separated from the central city by a beautiful scenic drive and provides people with a view of the Waitemata Harbour and Rangitoto Island. The Pohutukawa Tree is native to New Zealand. It presents an exhilarating view in January and December when it blooms in all its glory in red! From Kayaking to surfing, there is no shortage of options to keep you occupied.
First established in 1888, the Auckland Art Gallery, or Toi o Tamaki, known to the Maori community, was the first permanent art gallery in New Zealand. It is known for its large body of national and international art exhibits. Set in the heart of central Auckland, bound by Albert Park, Auckland Art Gallery is only a two-minute walk from major bus stations in downtown Auckland and is easily accessible. Four floors house more than 15,000 works of art ranging from native Maori traditional paintings to 19th-century landscapes of old European masters to contemporary works of New Zealand’s artists and everything in between.
Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee : Free for New Zealand nationals; NZD 17 for international visitors
Located at the heart of Auckland’s central business district, Ponsonby is a suburban area well-known for its chic restaurants, upscale fashion boutiques, trendy bars, and vibrant nightlife. The current Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, amongst many other high-profile personalities, are known to frequent Ponsonby’s chic establishments. Ponsonby first grew as a lower-middle-class residential area. The national economy was in a state of crisis, leading to rent and property value decreasing drastically in the suburbs west of Auckland, including Ponsonby.
Manukau Heads Lighthouse is located on the top of the Awhitu Peninsula to the South of Manukau Heads. This lighthouse is one of the few accessible and open to public viewing in New Zealand. The site includes an enormous free car park, a wooden lighthouse tower and a signal station. The Manukau Heads Lighthouse is renowned for its magnificent view of the Manukau Harbour, Paratutae, Waitakere Ranges and Auckland. It is also home to one of the rarest species of dolphins in New Zealand, the Manukau Dolphin.
Timings : 7 days a week (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
Takapuna beach is one of the most beloved relaxing spots in Takapuna for locals and tourists owing to its proximity to the central Auckland City and the airport. The beach offers not only spectacular views of the region, especially the Rangitoto Island in the Hauraki Gulf but also has various water sports available, shopping sites, eateries, bars and much more. In addition, the dog-friendly beach attracts the locals to come out for walking or jogging along the beach path every morning and evening.
Timings : 24 Hours
Entry Fee : Free Entry to All
Set atop the remnants of the oldest volcano amongst Auckland’s volcanic field, Pukekawa, the 75-hectare expanse of greenery, is Auckland’s oldest public park. One of the most significant areas of public land in the heart of central Auckland, the Auckland Domain is also home to the Auckland War Memorial and Cenotaph. A band rotunda offers a venue for bands to play out in the open to park visitors. Boardwalks and museums provide park-goers enough avenues to stay occupied at the Domain.
Auckland's Sky Tower can be seen everywhere in the city, soaring towards the heavens. This landmark tower provides some unforgettable views from its observation decks. The Sky Tower is a telecommunications office building with several restaurants and bars on its premises. It is also the tallest in the southern hemisphere.
Timings : 9:00 AM - 9:30 PM
Entry Fee : NZD 23 onwards
New Zealand has a rich history of maritime navigation, spanning from the Maori voyages of marine exploration to the European naval conquests of the region. The New Zealand Maritime Museum houses the most extensive collection of naval artefacts in New Zealand. It is a celebration of this rich maritime tradition. Situated across from the Viaduct Harbour, the New Zealand Maritime Museum is located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD.
Timings : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee : Adult Museum entry - NZD 20; Adult Museum + Heritage Sailing - NZD 50
Dive into this fascinating Sea Life aquarium, with engaging displays and intriguing tunnels taking you through over 30 live animal exhibits. Located on 23 Tamaki Drive, Auckland, a short 7 km drive from central Auckland, Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium is one of New Zealand’s most innovative and largest aquariums. An endeavour of New Zealand marine biologist Kelly Tarlton, Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium used a new method of acrylic shaping that allowed clear acrylic to make curved shapes. The aquarium was also among the first of its kind to use travelators that move people slowly through a long, see-through tunnel.
Timings : 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee : Adult - NZD 39; Child - NZD 22
Spread over 425 acres, the Cornwall Park is symbolic of New Zealand’s history, flora, fauna and farm culture. It’s located in the heart of Auckland and offers many activities. One can go for a casual stroll with loved ones in the lush green surroundings of the trails and then enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal from its eateries, get together with friends and family over barbeque, explore the cattle on the farm and other horticulture activities.
Timings : 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
One Tree Hill is the second largest volcanic mountain in Auckland. It is often visited because of its parks and features an Obelisk and the Stardome Observatory. One Tree Hill is so-called because when the Europeans arrived, there was a solitary totara tree at the summit of the hill, which was cut by the British and replaced with a Monterey pine. The tree was cut down for good in 2001, creating unrest among the indigenous Maori, who believed that the non-native tree should not be atop the 'Maungakiekie'.
Timings : Open 24 Hours
Entry Fee : Free
Dubbed ‘Auckland’s Prettiest Village’, Devonport oozes old-world colonial charm. The refurbished Victorian-era buildings stand as proud as they did when they were first built in this small seaside port. Devonport is known for its rich-chocolate making tradition as well. Devonport is situated on the North Shore, across the Auckland Harbour Bridge and is separated from Auckland by a short 12-minute ferry ride away. This small neighbourhood has a population of fewer than 6000 people and is one of the oldest colonial settlements in New Zealand. Devonport is well-known for its quaint, harbourside charm, with many boutiques and antique stores lining the harbour.
Opened in December 1922, the Auckland Zoo is now in its 96th year of operation. It is one of New Zealand’s premier zoological parks. Spread over 40 acres of land, located 6 km from central Auckland. The Auckland Zoo is home to nearly 1400 animals of 138 different species. Divided into regions specific to where the various animals are from, the Auckland Zoo has recently begun work on developing a South-East Asian wing for the endemic flora and fauna of the region.
Timings : 9.30 AM - 5.30 PM
Entry Fee : Adult - NZD 24; Child - NZD 13
An island where the sweet chirping of birds never stops echoing, Tiritiri Matangi Island is one of the most active and significant wildlife sanctuaries in New Zealand. The wildlife conservation island is a predator-free environment that provides a suitable habitat for about 87 varieties of species of birds, among which 12 are said to be endemic. The island is truly a wildlife wonderland and attracts around 32,000 tourists annually. A 75-minute ferry ride is all it takes to get to the bird’s paradise from the Auckland mainland.
Rangitoto is the youngest and the largest volcano in Auckland's extensive volcanic field. This island can be seen directly from the mainland as its wide symmetric conical shape forms an iconic silhouette in the distance. After taking the ferry from the harbour, which is a picturesque experience, you'll find yourself on this imposing volcano island. Hike up to the top, exploring the black lava caves on the way, to enjoy a view well worth the labour!
If New Zealand is on your bucket list, one of the places you cannot miss is Mount Eden, a suburb of Auckland on North Island. It is a place that strikes the right balance between culture and natural attractions. The best time to visit is between October to May to ensure pleasant weather and view when you are there. This volcanic peak, Maungawhau, is around 650 ft high. It has a 160 ft deep crater and is one of the most popular tourist sites. From the top, one can get a beautiful 360-degree view of the harbour below.
The Auckland War Memorial Museum has ensured the upholding and the glorification of the Māori culture - the traditional culture of the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand. To keep the heritage alive in people’s memories, the museum tells many stories of the historical Māori life in New Zealand through talks, tours, exhibitions and programmes. Many items and souvenirs resembling the Māori culture are sold online in the museum shop. Exclusive guest experiences are provided through award-winning Māori cultural performances, private tours and exclusive exhibition viewings. The Neoclassical style of architecture of the museum has been critically acclaimed and has received esteemed awards like the NZIA Gold Medal and the ACENZ Innovate NZ Gold Award.
Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Entry Fee : Adult - NZD 25; Child - NZD 10