Auckland is a land of photo opportunities. You don’t need to look very far to be greeted with an ideal Instagram moment. In fact, here are 15 spots that showcase New Zealand’s City of Sails in its finest, most picturesque form.
With a height of 328 metres (1,076 feet), the Sky Tower
is the tallest free-standing structure in New Zealand
and the Southern Hemisphere. The landmark was built in 1997 and actually has multiple functions: it is a telecommunications tower, an observation centre, as well as being a tourist attraction with its own revolving restaurant and bungee-jumping platform. Go up the tower to get a full panorama of the city, or simply snap it from the outside – both will make for some cool Instagram-worthy pics.
Mount Eden Summit
For a natural panorama of Auckland
, a visit to its highest volcano
is an absolute must. Maungawhau/Mt Eden is quite handy to the city and the walk up the summit will take a reasonably fit person 10 minutes at most. Once you get to the top, you’ll not only catch a glimpse of the entire urban landscape, but will also be able to bask in the massive crater that lies in the middle of this natural gem.
Having only emerged some 600 years ago, Rangitoto Island is Auckland’s youngest volcano. The island itself is a pest-free reserve that’s quite popular among local hikers
. This natural landmark is visible pretty much throughout the city. If you can’t make your way across the Hauraki Gulf, you can easily capture its natural beauty by pointing your phone camera towards the ocean.
One Tree Hill
Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill is a volcanic peak that’s as historically significant as it is scenic: it serves as an important memorial
site for both Maori and European New Zealanders alike. The picturesque domain combines with the neighbouring Cornwall Park to form the largest parkland in Auckland City. If you’re travelling with family, definitely drop by the latter after descending from One Tree Hill summit so you can see the grazing sheep and cattle up close.
Auckland is surrounded by beautiful beaches;
but for many, Piha’s rugged aesthetics are hard to beat. The popular surf beach is so picturesque it was chosen as one of the key filming sites for the 1993 blockbuster, The Piano.
Visiting photographers have a soft spot for Piha’s Lion Rock: the volcanic monolith is surrounded by war memorials and historic settlement sites that are sure to make for interesting snaps.
Tawharanui Regional Park
Set on a remote peninsula approximately 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of Auckland City, Tawharanui Regional Park offers a combination of white-sand beaches, rolling pastures, shingled bays and coastal forests for its visitors to marvel at. There are quite a few short walks to check out while you’re there – and each will provide its own unique vantage point of the surrounding scenery.
Devonport is a seaside neighbourhood
on Auckland’s North Shore that is easily accessible from downtown by ferry. It’s quite a good day-trip
option for those not wanting to venture too far out of the city. The main street is home to a selection of upscale cafes, boutique shops and art dealerships. While the beach, North Head tunnels, and Mount Victoria provide plenty of Instagram-worthy vistas for the shutter-happy travellers passing through.
Waiheke is another local day-trip favourite. A 40-minute ferry ride from central Auckland will enable you to spend a day
exploring the island’s famous vineyards, gorgeous white-sand beaches, artsy township and lush, forested getaways. Whether you’re zip-lining across the island or chilling by the sun, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place in Waiheke that’s not photogenic.
Auckland’s oldest park
has 75 hectares of interesting sights and attractions at its disposal: from modern art installations and an array of walking tracks lined with lush trees and perennial blooms, to the wonderful plant showcase at the Wintergardens and the historic collections at the War Memorial Museum. Needless to say, one could easily spend an entire afternoon just zooming into the various nooks and crannies that make the Auckland Domain so exquisite.
Albert Park is located right at the heart of the city and is considered to be one of Auckland’s most important public parks. There are various access paths that will lead you into this pretty little spot – some of which are quite steep, but the trip is 100% worth it. The park features an ornate Victorian fountain and the first statue of Queen Victoria to be erected in New Zealand; plus an assortment of other artistic installations as well as various species of trees and plants that are stunning in all seasons.
Auckland Botanic Gardens
The Auckland Botanic Gardens are a picturesque attraction that the entire family can enjoy. Whether you choose to delve into the prehistoric-themed Gondwana Arboretum or you’d like to spend some time exploring the birdsong-filled African Plants Garden, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to getting that ultimate Instagram snap. As a bonus, you’ll also learn quite a lot about the natural wonders of New Zealand and the world.
Aotea Square is a paved public space in the city centre, right next to Queen Street. It was officially opened in 1979 and has since become the key venue for Auckland’s open-air concerts, markets, community events and festivals. Naturally, the square is largely surrounded by cool buildings and artistic installations. Spots to put on your photo list include the Auckland Town Hall
and the Waharoa
arch, which serves as a ‘gateway’ into Aotea Square itself.
Auckland Harbour Bridge
The Auckland Harbour Bridge was opened in 1959 and connects Auckland city to the North Shore. For those who aren’t driving through it, the bridge has two main attractions: it is one of the city’s best bungee-jumping
sites and most recently has become a venue for celebratory light shows
. Parts of the Auckland waterfront, Mount Eden and Devonport will give you a full view of the bridge in its brightest glory.
The central-city Viaduct Harbour is a favourite nightlife spot for many Aucklanders thanks to its incredible selection of trendy bars and restaurants. But for the vigilant Instagrammer, the area offers more than great foodie frames: right from the outset, you’ll be greeted by a remarkable collection of yachts and boats floating in the emerald-green waters.
Walk up from the Viaduct Harbour and over the bridge to reach Silo Park, a former industrial site that has been converted into a cool community space. Every summer, the park hosts a series of open-air movie screenings and the surrounding area is regularly used for concerts, markets and other events. For visiting Instagrammers, the area is a good go-to if you’d like to discover an interesting contrast between rustic shipping elements and modern artistic fixtures like the iconic Wind Tree sculpture.