Tāmaki Makaurau, as it is called in the Māori language, is home to almost one-third of the entire population of New Zealand, so, as you can imagine, there is no shortage of things to do in Auckland. You will undoubtedly want to visit the famous Sky Tower and check out the superyachts in Viaduct Harbour, but be sure not to miss these top five Auckland Attractions.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
No visit to the city would be complete without a visit to one of the most important Auckland tourist attractions, the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Located close to the city center, atop of the Auckland Domain, this outstanding neoclassical historical building houses one of New Zealand’s most important museums and war memorials. The permanent and changing exhibitions offering a fascinating insight into the natural and military history of the area and of the people.
Auckland Art Gallery
With over 15,000 works of national and international art in its collection, the Auckland Art Gallery has something for everyone. A visit here is definitely one of the best free things to do in Auckland, and with four floors housing a wide selection of different inspirational visual arts there is lots to see. Take a guided tour or wander about at your own pace, you will quite probably end up spending a whole day at one of the most interesting attractions in Auckland.
The historic Cornwall Park is a great place to enjoy a breath of fresh air and is a favorite destination for those looking for cheap things to do in Auckland. This expansive park, located in Epsom, has beautiful landscaping and a wide variety of mature trees. A volcanic cone forms the center of the park and the remains of an ancient Maori fortress can still be seen on the top of Maungakiekie, the native name for the hill which means mountain of the kiekie- an epiphytic vine. Also at the top, there is an impressive obelisk and the tomb of Sir John Logan Campbell, known as ‘the father of Auckland’ who donated the park. The view from the top is marvelous, and the park is frequently used for events and concerts.
Rangitoto Island is the youngest of the many volcanoes of New Zealand and rose up out of the sea just 600-years ago. The 25-minute ferry ride to the island is one of the top things to do in Auckland and offers spectacular views of its iconic symmetrical cone. The island is administered by the Department of Conservation who have succeeded in eradicating unwanted pests so permitting the native plants and animals to thrive. There are several different walking options to choose from, and these are some of the most popular Auckland activities. The Summit trail is one of the most visited and climbs up 259-metres through the largest Pohutukawa forest in the world. From the top of the island, you will enjoy impressive views over the Hauraki Gulf back toward Auckland.
The harbour-side suburb of Devonport, just a 12-minute ferry ride from the city, is home to some of the most fun things to do in Auckland. There is a thriving group of artists and craftspeople, musicians, and writers here so there is always plenty of interesting things to see, including some unique colored glass art. Enjoy walking through the streets of beautifully restored historic houses or along the Queens Parade which offers impressive views back across to the city. Enjoy a dip in the ocean, lie on the beach, indulge yourself with a delicious locally-made chocolate, take a ride in a horse and cart or a spin on a bicycle or even a Segway. Here you can enjoy a great many different activities in Auckland, all in one place.
About the Author
Kathryn Morpeth is Marketing Professional for Auckland Conventions Venues & Events, one of New Zealand’s most trusted convention & event companies. With a passion for travel and New Zealand tourism – she loves to help others discover all the best things to see and do in her home country. Sharing local knowledge, feedback from Auckland Conventions customers, and actively seeking information on activities and attractions, Kathryn can help you plan an itinerary to maximize your time in New Zealand.