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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.