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Things To Do In Auckland
The city of Auckland sees the highest number of visitors in the country of New Zealand. Considered one of the busiest cities during its peak seasons, the city has an array of activities and events to offer for its many visitors. Located just minutes away from some of the most pristine beaches and forests, Auckland, unlike many other cities is also a big hit among trekkers and hikers. With many bustling harbours and plenty of beaches, the city offers some of the best boat cruises across the country. When visiting Auckland one might think that there simply isn’t enough time to exploit the many possibilities that it throws at you, just so many things to do. Auckland is a wonder, described with its best exploits below.
Places to Visit
Being one of the most scenic cities on the planet, Auckland is sure to surprise you with the sheer diversity of places one can get to see here. From beautiful and uninhabited islands to white-sandy beaches, Auckland has it all. The west coast of the island is a beautiful symphony of beaches that will leave visitors craving for more. With white sands and crystal clear waters, the beaches of the west coast namely Karekare, Piha, Bethells, Muriwai, and Whatipu are a must visit.
The city is also home to numerous volcanic cones and the most recent among them, the Rangitoto, is the most popular one. Located off the east coast of the main city, Rangitoto offers some amazing views of the city and the other islands here. The Waiheke Island, also located off the east coast is the most popular day-trips from the main city. The island is very popular for its many vineyards and also houses some fantastic beaches. The Auckland War Memorial, a testament to the many wars the brave soldiers of the country fought in stands as one of the most important sites in the city. Likewise, the city of Auckland is full of interesting and fun places to visit.
Hiking and Walks
Auckland, unlike most cities, is quite well known for its many trails and hiking walkways. The city is surrounded by some of the most pristine landscapes you will find anywhere. One of the many popular hikes here is the Rangitoto Summit Track. The Rangitoto Island is only a short ferry ride away which is part of the fun. The hike to the summit is interesting, taking visitors through the volcanic remains of the island. While on the peak, the view is breath-taking. On some days, the far-off Waitakere range is also visible from here.
The Tiritiri Matangi Island is located off the east coast of the city. The island is a reserve for the many endangered plant and animal species of the country. The Island is known for trails that showcase the many bird species including Little Spotted Kiwi and the Blue Penguin up-close.
The Te Henga Walkway is yet another popular trail. The trail passes through cliffs and rugged paths with a beautiful view of the west coast. Part of the Hillary Trail, the Te Henga Walkway has two categories. The Bethells Road to Raetahinga Point section is considered an easy walk, while the walk from Raetahinga Point to Constable Road is a little more work. One can also do the coast to coast walkway which begins at the Waitemata Harbour and ends at the Manukau Harbour. This walk is also the best way to understand the rich heritage and the vibrant culture of the city.
Adventure at Sky Tower
Located near the east coast of the city, the Sky Tower is one of Auckland’s most iconic places. Towering to a staggering height of 328m, the Sky Tower is a hub for adventure junkies. The Sky tower features some of the most thrilling experiences in the city. The Sky Jump is a jump off the tower with harness secured to the tower. Considered a daredevil experience, the Sky Jump is an iconic experience. The Sky tower also features a walk on the edge of the roof for those with weaker hearts. While harnessed to the tower, visitors can walk the edge of the tower and get a glimpse of this wonderful city from the high above.
Visit the Auckland Art Gallery
Located in the central region of the city, the Auckland Art Gallery houses some of the most interesting collection of national and international works of art. It is one of New Zealand’s biggest visual arts galleries. First erected in 1888, the building was an Art gallery and a public library. It was renovated in 2011 and the building was in itself something to look out for. Originally, mostly holding a wide range of European masterpieces, the gallery now has art from varies parts of the world. There are also exhibitions and other exciting events that take place every now and then. The Auckland Art Gallery is a good place to understand the artistic genius of this island-country.
Picnic at One Tree Hill
The One tree hill is one of the older volcanic cones in the city. The hill is considered to be an important place for the Maori people, as a lot of them trace their ancestry back to this place. The hill was originally believed to have one tree at the summit, giving it its English name. While some believed it was chopped down during wartime, others believe it was chopped down for firewood. The one tree hill is a quiet place to spend the afternoon with the family. With a view of the entire city and both the harbours of Auckland, the hill makes for a perfect picnic. At the summit of the hill now lies an Obelisk.
The Obelisk, which was built as a memorial to the Maori people is now an important icon of the city. In front of the Obelisk is a statue of a Maori warrior and there is also the grave of Sir John Campbell who was instrumental in the erection of this monument. The one tree hill domain also houses an observatory and a planetarium. While research is the main agenda, the place is also open for public. A trip to the planetarium here can be a fun experience for the kids. One of the important achievements of the observatory is the discovery of the asteroid ‘19620 Auckland’.
Boat Cruise and Kayaking
With blue, sparkling water all around the city, boat cruises and kayaking are some of the most popular activities here. With a number of different cruises available here there is something for everyone. There are long cruises around the Hauraki Gulf where one can catch glimpses of the whales and dolphins that inhabit the waters here. There are also cruises around the city from the Waitemata Harbour that are shorter and yet so relaxing. Many other cruises involve visits to the quaint islands around the city, making it a wholesome experience. One can also kayak to the many islands here and around the surrounding beaches of Auckland. With both guided and private rides, kayaking is the most adventurous way to explore the coasts of the city.
Visit the Many Beaches of Auckland
With a vast area of the city surrounded by the sea, Auckland has some of the best beaches in the world. The west coast is lined with an array of gorgeous beaches like the Karekare, Piha, Bethells and Muriwai beach. Cut off from the main city by the Waitakere ranges, the beaches here are mostly secluded and quiet with only the sound of the waves crashing on the sandy shores. With the golden rays bouncing off the clear waters, the sunsets here are a thing to die for.
While it’s mostly known for its vineyards, the Waiheke Island has three stunning beaches, Oneroa, the Palm and the Onetangi beach. Each of the three has their own unique charm and is a must-visit if in Auckland.