The harbor-side city of Auckland is the only true metropolis and vibrant economic heart of the country. The city is filled with natural beauty, venture beyond the urban throes of the bustling city centre to find a remarkable collection of picture-perfect landscapes and coastlines. Auckland and has a huge range of attractions – ride the rollercoaster, soak in the thermal hot pools, join a food and wine tour, or find Auckland’s most scenic spots. Auckland is a must see on your bucket list!
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
1.MUSEUM OF TRANSPORT AND TECHNOLOGY
The museum is located in the Western Spring district and is devoted to the history of technology and transport of New Zealand. The main exhibit is of New Zealand’s aviation pioneer Richard Pearse (1877-1953), who made his first flights about the same time as the Wright brothers. Also on exhibit is the 90 Degrees South exhibition dedicated to the trans-Antarctic expedition of New Zealand explorer Sir Edmund Hillary. Highlights include old coaches, railroad rolling stock, trams and vintage cars, and a vast collection of black and white photography.
2.KELLY TARLTON’S SEA LIFE AQUARIUM
The aquarium is one of the cities top attractions and allows visitors to get up-close-and-personal with life under the water. The tunnel walkways allow you to see a series of aquariums devoted to sharks, tropical fish, and stingrays. An Antarctic Encounter gallery is housed in the aquarium, complete with a snow-filled penguin enclosure, highlighting New Zealand's close association with Antarctica's international scientific communities. Visitors can also participate in the aquarium's Shark Dive and Shark Cage Snorkel experiences.
3.VOYAGER NEW ZEALAND MARITIME MUSEUM
The museum is offering a comprehensive survey of the country's history of seafaring. On display is the traverse history of New Zealand from the arrival of the first Polynesians and include Maori canoes and outrigger boats, whaling equipment, and old instruments and implements. The modern yachting success and the yacht used by the New Zealand crews, skippered by Sir Peter Blake, won the America's Cup in 1995 is on display in another gallery.
4.AUCKLAND ART GALLERY
The gallery is housed in an impressive French Renaissance-style structure first built in 1887.Most of New Zealand’s extensive art collection with more than 15,000 arts of work is on display in the gallery. An array of art works including European paintings and sculptures dating back from the 14th century is on permanent display.On the ground floor is a collection highlighting the Maori and Pacific Island artists. You can also visit the New Zealand Historic Art Gallery and Maori Portraiture Gallery on the first floor.
5.AUCKLAND WAR MEMORIAL MUSEUM
The museum is situated on the highest point of Auckland Domain in a vast Neoclassical building dated back from 1929, which was first erected as a memorial dedicated to the New Zealand soldiers who fought in World War I. An impressive collection of artefacts that traces the history of New Zealand from its first Polynesian settlers to the present day and highlights New Zealand's natural heritage is housed in the museum. A wealth of Maori artistry including a magnificent Maori gateway dating from the 12th to the 14th centuries, a richly-decorated Meeting House, and the 25-meter-long canoe, dating from 1836 is hosted in The Main Maori Galleries. The country's famed and now extinct giant moa birds is hosted on the first floor at the natural history collection. The story of New Zealand's involvement in world conflict throughout the country's history is on display on the top floor of the museum.
The harbour is the cities most prominent natural feature. Because of the way the harbour slices Auckland in two, it provides a navigable waterway and for that reason Auckland become New Zealand’s capital in 1840. Today Wellington is the capital city while Auckland remains New Zealand’s economic powerhouse.The dominating bridge completed in 1959, is more than one kilometer long and some 43 meters high, connects downtown Auckland to the northern districts and the sandy beaches of the bays further north. Quay Street runs parallel to the harbor in the central district with access to Princes Wharf and the ferry terminals to the Hauraki Gulf islands.
7.AUCKLAND SKY TOWER
At 328 meters high the tower is the cities most prominent landmark and New Zealand’s highest building. Ride up to the observation deck on the top in the glass-elevator to see the spectacular views of the surrounding areas. Visitors can enjoy dizzying views by walking the exterior 192-meter-high Sky Walk platform around the tower's pergola, or if you are looking for a total adrenaline rush you can base-jump off the platform on a Sky Jump.
8.ONE TREE HILL
The 182 meter high hills sits amid the lush Cornwall Park surrounded by flower beds and mature trees set amid the walking trails. For many of the locals the volcanic cone is the symbol of their city. Located on the southwest corner of the park, the slopes contain remnants of a Maori Pa located here during the pre-European era. A lone obelisk built over the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell who gifted this swath of greenery to the city to be used as a park sits at the top of the hill. Fantastic views can be seen across the cityscape from the hill summit.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
The best way to get around Auckland is via the cheap and efficient Link buses. Other transport available, rental cars, buses, ferries, taxis and on foot.
The best time to visit Auckland is at the end of fall (May) and the beginning of spring (September). These shoulder months offer pleasant temperatures and thin tourist crowds.