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Tourist Places To Visit In Auckland
Located in the North Island, the city of Auckland is a combination of modernity with the tranquillity of its natural surroundings. Adorned with numerous harbours, beaches and plenty of other attractions, Auckland is one of the most-visited places in New Zealand. From beautiful beaches on both the west and the east coasts to numerous islands that are spectacularly scenic, Auckland offers so much to anybody visiting the city. Here is a collection of things to do in Auckland so that you have your itinerary ready.
Rangitoto is one of Auckland’s many volcanic cones. Considered as the youngest, Rangitoto is the largest of them all. The island of Rangitoto is made up of Lava remains and is believed to have emerged from the sea about 600 years ago. The volcanic island is very popular among visitors and makes for a fun day trip from the city. The island is just off the coast of the city and there are ferry rides either from downtown Auckland or Devonport leaving frequently towards the island. The hike to the summit is very scenic and exposes the volcanic foundations of the island. The view from the peak of the cone is absolutely stunning sometimes, even allowing for glimpses of the Waitakere Range located in the west. Visitors can also take guided kayak rides to the island which is quite the adventure.
Located off the east coast of the city, Waiheke Island is one of the most scenic places in Auckland. With beautiful beaches, adventurous trails and vineyards, Waiheke Island has plenty to offer. The island is about 30 odd minutes away on a ferry ride from Auckland and one can either use the public bus services or hire vehicles to get around the island. The island is blessed with three beautiful beaches, the Oneroa beach in the western region, the Palm beach and the Onetangi beach in the eastern part of the island. With beautiful white sand and blue waters, visiting the beaches of the island is a must. The island also is home to some adventurous trails and makes for fun hikes. The views from the hikes are something to look forward to. The island is also known for its vineyards and amazing wine, visitors can take tours of the vineyards while tasting some of the best wine in the world.
Tiritiri Matangi is a tiny island reserve located off the east coast of Auckland. This tiny island is not populated and works as a reserve for some endangered bird species and is also home to a vast number of native plant species. Getting to the island is very easy as there are ferry services that leave from Auckland taking passengers to the island through the Gulf Harbour. Once on the island, visitors can see plenty of rare bird species on the many trails on the island. The Saddleback, Spotted Kiwi and the blue Penguin are some of the many species that inhabit the island. The island is also home to one of the most magnificent lizards, the Tuatara. This lizard is supposedly older than the dinosaur and getting to see one up-close is quite the experience. While most visitors visit the island during the day and return in the evening, one can stay on the island with some luck and a nominal charge. Once the day-visitors have left, the island is very quiet and can turn into a private get-away. A trip to the island is recommended.
Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Aquarium
The Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Aquarium is one of the most famous family attractions in the city of Auckland. Located in Okahu Bay, the aquarium is only about 6 odd km from the city. The aquarium has 5 major sections namely, the Antarctic Ice Adventure zone, the NIWA Southern Oceans Discovery, the Stingray Bay, the Pacific Shark Zone and the Fish Gallery. The Antarctic Ice Adventure zone houses King and Gentoo Penguins in temperature controlled shelters that can be viewed through the glass viewing sections. There is also a recreation of the hut that Captain Robert Falcon Scott lived in on his expedition to the South Pole. While the NIWA discovery section is an information zone about the rich and diverse marine life inhabiting the oceans, the Stingray Bay that is next to it houses a couple of Stingray species and numerous smaller fish species. The Fish Gallery houses some of the most colourful and varied fish species that are simply magical to look at. The Pacific Shark Zone is one of the main highlights of the aquarium and the original portion of the aquarium is made of 110 m long acrylic tunnel. The many sharks that live here can be viewed through the tunnel and the experience is unmatched. The aquarium is truly one of kind and can be the underwater experience of a lifetime.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of the most iconic monuments in the city. The memorial was erected in 1929 and was dedicated to the soldiers from New Zealand who fought in the World War I. The building stands tall in one of the highest points in the city, the Auckland Domain and is built with neoclassical architecture. The museum houses ancient Maori and Polynesian artefacts along with a diverse natural history collection. The museum also has an entire floor dedicated to war memorials that display stories of war and conflict involving the country. The museum is considered as an important part of the country’s history and is a valuable treasure to its war tradition.
West Coast Beaches
The west coast of Auckland is considered one of the most beautiful regions here. The west coast houses five main beaches, namely Karekare, Piha, Bethells, Muriwai, and Whatipu. These beaches are extremely popular with visitors. While some are reached by meandering trails that cut through the Waitakere ranges, others are located right at the edge of the range. With gorgeous sand and crystal clear waters, the beaches here are just perfect. While some can be crowded depending on the time of the year, others are usually secluded and quiet. Sitting on these beaches, watching the waves crash while the sun sets is an experience that will be unforgettable.
Auckland Harbour Bridge
Visit Auckland Harbour Bridge with its vast 8 lane traffic way, where a drive will feel like a flight into liberation. This bridge was built back in the year 1959, then kept expanding until its current modern structure. Some time ago, the establishment also added pedestrian walks and crosswalks to the bridge, making it accessible for walks, strolls as well as sightseeing by tourists.
Albert Park is your go-to place for a stroll across gardens and some history lessons. The park sits in the heart of Auckland, narrating the tale of its heritage and history. While one end of the park hosts the park-keepers' house turned museum, the other end is home to Auckland City Art Gallery. After hustling and bustling around sightseeing, Albert Park is the place to relax and breathe some fresh air.
Sky Tower Auckland
The Sky Tower Auckland rises to 328 m height and makes for a riveting viewing deck. All of Auckland stretches out on all four sides below the top of this tower, giving you a great experience. Aside from the viewing deck, there are also various clubs, restaurants and bars here, as well as the renowned SkyCity Casino for entrainment. One of the most unique sights from up here is that of the range of volcanoes that are lined up in the far distance.
Locals refer to it as the Auckland Harbour, even though there is another harbour into the city. Such is the significance of Waitemata Harbour. Its waterways are abound with low lazy tides, with great depths of its waterways making it easily navigable. This makes Waitemata Harbour great for bigger vessels and ships to dock. A visit on the pier by the harbour is recommended. If only for a little stroll. You can also buzz around the cafes and boutiques lining the harbour.
Museum of Transport and Technology
Abbreviated to MOTAT, the Museum of Transport and Technology is a unique pitstop on your Auckland sightseeing tour. The museum houses lively setups, displays and model vehicles of the Kiwis, taking you back into the transportation history of New Zealand. Some of the interesting portions of the museum are the Aviation Display Hall, the Pumphouse and the heritage tram in historic town.
One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill is a volcanic mound in the city, a place of legend and memory for the aboriginal Maoris and locals. It rests in the heart of Tamaki isthmus, with a suburb that has developed at the foot of the hill. A visit to this historical site is a must, and you get added views of the whole city around. Night views are especially brilliant from One tree Hill.
Viaduct Harbour, a waterfront with one of the oldest commercial ports of Auckland, is a great place to enjoy some downtime. In addition to being beautiful and lined by luxury houses, it is also home to offices, shops and classy restaurants. So you will have a gala time roaming here. And if you want to try something different, then take one of the boats or yachts and sail into the harbour.
Auckland Zoo is home to some very interesting species — from tigers to hippos resting in the river, orangutans hopping around their designated trail, to chickens and pigs enjoying some farm life in their enclosure. The zoo is almost a century old now, and a must visit if you are with kids. If not, still go ahead. After all, who doesn’t like some fun time with cute animals around?
Locally famous as the Cornwall Park, Auckland Park is your destination to sit amid nature, eat a picnic and chill with family and friends. The refreshing atmosphere of working farms, huge expanses of gardens, barbecue corners and off-road networks make Auckland Park perfect for a day of amusement outdoors. The park is open from 7 in the morning to 9 in the evening.
Auckland Art Gallery
An art buff or interested in Maori history and culture? Visit the Auckland Art Gallery. It proudly houses the artefacts, art pieces and visual evidences of the first interaction between Europeans and Maoris when they met in 17th Century. Not only history lovers, but people who are just plain interested in knowing more about a country are welcome to breeze through here. It is open every day between 10 am and 5 pm.
This is a historic hamlet, located by the bank of River Puhoi and hence named after it. The small village is still quite forward, and houses a hotel, cafe, pub and shopping mall. There is also a museum here to record the earliest entry of inhabitants to this place by canoes. They cleared the forest to start agriculture and established this hamlet. You can enjoy a quaint walk around town, drink a cup of coffee at the local cafe, a drink in the pub, and get involved with the conversations of sweet locals. Water sports are also quite famous here.
An amusement park in Auckland, Rainbow’s End is such an amazing experience that you would wish to visit it again before leaving Auckland. There are all of twenty awesome rides in Rainbow’s End, five of them topping the list of most-thrilling in the country. Enjoy Dodgems ride or Log Flume with the full family, send your children below the age of 8 to Kidz Kingdom and if you are into gaming and entertainment then head to E-Sports, Hologate Virtual Reality, Escape Rooms etc in the Rainbow Playlab.