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20 Must-Visit Attractions in Auckland, New Zealand

20 Must-Visit Attractions in Auckland, New Zealand

Picture of Thalita Alves
Updated: 19 June 2017

Auckland is a place filled with incredibly diverse attractions. Whether you’re an avid thrill-seeker, a nature lover, or an art aficionado, New Zealand’s largest city is always ready to please. Here’s a quick taster with 20 must-visits everyone should add to their itineraries.

The Sky Tower

The tallest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sky Tower attracts the adventurous bungy jumpers, fine diners, and anyone who is seeking a panoramic view of Auckland city. As well as being an iconic landmark, the tower also hosts various radio, broadcasting, and telecommunications transmissions.

Sky Tower, Auckland | © PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

Mt Eden (Maungawhau)

Auckland’s highest natural point, Mt Eden is a dormant volcanic cone that rises 196 metres (643 feet) above sea level. An astonishing bowl-like crater with a depth of 50 metres (160 feet) is as much a part of the summit’s appeal as the incredible vistas on show.

Mount Eden, Auckland | © macronix/Flickr

One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie)

One Tree Hill is a 182-metre (597-foot) volcano which holds special significance for both Maori and European New Zealanders. There is a 30-metre (100-foot) tall stone obelisk on top of the summit, which was erected for Auckland’s centenary commemorations in 1940.

One Tree Hill Auckland | © Bernard Spragg/Flickr

Waiheke Island

A 40-minute ferry trip from downtown takes visitors into the ever so popular Waiheke Island. The island is located on the Hauraki Gulf and spans across 19 kilometres (12 miles) in length. Waiheke is particularly renowned for its vineyards, as well as its wondrous natural landscapes.

Waiheke Island | © sagar rathod/Flickr

The Waitakere Ranges

Covering more than 16,000 hectares (39,537 acres) of native forestry and coastlines, the Waitakere Ranges is popular among hikers and nature lovers. The parkland reserve comprises 250 kilometres (155.3 miles) of walking tracks, as well as a number of waterfalls, beaches, rocky outcrops and cliffs.

Waitakere Ranges | © thinkrorbot/Flickr

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Hunua Ranges

The Hunua Ranges are located a little under an hour’s drive south from downtown Auckland. Magnificent waterfalls and streams are part of the Hunua Ranges’ appeal. The park is also home to the largest native forest in the Auckland region.

Hunua Ranges Regional Park, Auckland | © Robert Engberg/Flickr

Kitekite Falls

The stunning Kitekite Falls is nestled inside the Waitakere Ranges, around Piha. The scenic three-tiered waterfall has a 40-metre (130-foot) drop and is easily reached by a series of descending steps along the Kitekite Track. This is an attraction best enjoyed in those hot summer days, as the waterfalls are famous for splashing all over.

Kitekite Falls | © ItravelNZ/Flickr

Shakespear Regional Park

Located in Whangaparoa, 50 kilometres (31.1 miles) north of central Auckland, Shakespear Regional Park is New Zealand’s most visited open sanctuary. With a strong focus on conservation and farming, the park provides a pest-free habitat for endangered wildlife — to an extent that even dogs aren’t permitted in it.

Shakespear Regional Park | © russellstreet/Flickr

Great Barrier Island

Great Barrier Island is New Zealand’s only national marine park, as well as being the largest island on the Hauraki Gulf. It is home to the Aotea Track, a popular three day hiking trail in the Auckland region, and is surrounding by idyllic coastlines and breathtaking landscapes.

Great Barrier Island | © David Baron/Flickr

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Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto Island is New Zealand’s youngest volcano, having come into existence some 600 years ago. Its summit is a bit of a local icon; in fact, Rangitoto can be seen wherever there is a view of the Hauraki Gulf. The island is quite popular among hikers and is also a much-adored spot for boaties.

Devonport

A seaside village that’s easily accessed through a 12 minute ferry trip, Devonport attracts history buffs, maritime enthusiasts, and keen beach goers. Devonport is located on Auckland’s North Shore, and is a popular destination for a day trip.

Mission Bay

Mission Bay is located on Tamaki Drive, quite close to Auckland’s central business district. Aucklanders are particularly drawn to this beach because of its accessible location. Mission Bay is surrounded by cool cafés and restaurants as well as a park right on the beach’s doorstep.

Pōhutukawa at Mission Bay | © Akos Kokai/Flickr

Auckland Botanic Gardens

Located in Manurewa, South Auckland, the Auckland Botanic Gardens boast 64 hectares (158.15 acres) of gorgeous blooms, foliage and native forestry. Entry is free, and there are plenty of interesting sights and attractions for the entire family.

Sunset, Auckland Botanic Gardens | © russellstreet/Flickr

Auckland Domain

The Domain is the oldest park in Auckland, residing within the crater of the Pukekawa volcano. It features a trove of beautiful modern art sculptures, as well as the duck ponds, winter gardens, the band rotunda and the Auckland War Memorial museum.

Lovers Lane, Auckland Domain | © Murat WithHat/Flickr

Auckland War Memorial Museum

The Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of the most important landmarks in the country. It was the very first of its kind in New Zealand, serving as a memorial site for the war casualties as well as holding one of the largest heritage libraries and Maori and Pacific artifact collections.

Auckland War Memorial Museum | © Siyamalan/Flickr

The Auckland Art Gallery

The Auckland Art Gallery opened its doors in 1888. Since then, it has undergone an architectural transformation, and the modern building now houses major historic collections and artworks from New Zealand, the Pacific and beyond.

Auckland Art Gallery | © Wikimedia Commons

MOTAT

The Museum of Transport and Technology (aka MOTAT) will greatly please all curious minds. Aviation displays, innovative machinery-based exhibitions, and fascinating historic relics come together to educate all visitors about the evolution of technology and life in New Zealand at large.

Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, NZ | © Samuel Mann/Flickr

Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium

Equal parts museum, aquarium and marine theme park, Kelly Tarlton’s has been marvelling sea life enthusiasts since 1985. Adventurous visitors can even get up close to the local critters too — this includes snorkelling with the sharks as well as penguin encounters.

Shark Tunnel, Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium | © Les Williams/Flickr

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial

The Michael Joseph Savage Memorial is situated inside Bastion Point/Takaparawhau in Orakei. The monument is a tribute to New Zealand’s first Labour Prime Minister, best known for founding the country’s social welfare system. Key features include the gardens, a pond, and Michael Joseph Savage’s grave and memorial.

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial | © russellstreet/Flickr

Viaduct Harbour

Formerly known as the Viaduct Basin, the Viaduct Harbour was a commercial marina until it was transformed into a dynamic entertainment and residential area. Bars, cafés, restaurants and an events centre are among the Viaduct’s key attractions.

Viaduct Harbour | © Bernard Spragg/Flickr

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