With a population of around 1,470,100, Auckland is the most populous urban area in New Zealand.
The metropolis, also known as the City of Sails, has so many spots worth visiting. From parks and beaches to galleries and museums, these are seven must-see places in Auckland.
Auckland Art Gallery
Housed in a French Renaissance-style building constructed in the late 19th century, the Auckland Art Gallery is the most imposing cultural site of the city. The gallery hosts numerous exhibitions and its permanent collection comprises over 15,000 artworks, including European sculptures and paintings from the 14th century.
The central New Zealand collection on the ground floor includes the impressive work of Maori and Pacific Island artists. The New Zealand Historic Art Gallery and Maori Portrait Gallery are both on the first floor, showcasing the work of New Zealand’s early European settlers.
If you are an outdoorsy type, and you are planning a trip to Auckland, one place you should not miss is Cornwall Park. As a symbol of New Zealand’s farm culture, flora, fauna, and history, the park is perfect if you want to enjoy different horticulture activities.
Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) is the epicenter of Cornwall Park. The name stands for unity and friendship between Maori and Pakeha (non-Maori settlers).
There are so many things you can do here, from taking long walks or doing yoga to visiting the historic Acacia cottage built in the 1880s. Even though it’s suitable for people of all ages and interests, the park is especially popular among families with kids.
Aside from being Auckland’s most famous landmark, Sky Tower is also the highest building in the city. It is an ideal place if you want to enjoy panoramic views and take a perfect photo.
Sky Tower, however, isn’t just a place with a mesmerizing view; it is also the spot for thrill-seekers. Visitors can walk the exterior SkyWalk platform around the tower’s pergola. Those seeking a total adrenaline rush can even jump off it (via SkyJump).
At the base of the tower are the SkyCity hotels with entertainment complex, restaurants, bars, and a casino. Here, passionate gamblers enjoy their favorite games of chance and delicious meals ‘’spiced’’ with stunning views. Visitors who decide to remain outside can also feel a bit of the tower’s indoor atmosphere, thanks to the available online casino entertainment also on offer.
Without a doubt, it is a breathtaking structure. Whether you are in front of the Sky Tower or at the top of it, you will not stay immune to its beauty and everything it offers.
SEA LIFE – Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium
If you are eager to get close to life under the water, SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium is the place you should definitely consider visiting. You can observe the aquatic world from the tunnel walkways surrounded by huge aquariums with sharks, stingrays, and tropical fish.
The Antarctic Encounter gallery represents the country’s close association with Antarctica’s international scientific communities. For the bravest souls, Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium offers Shark Dive and Shark Cage Snorkel — both guaranteed experiences to remember.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Auckland War Memorial Museum is housed in a Neoclassical building constructed as a memorial dedicated to the fallen New Zealand soldiers from World War I. The museum today comprises a collection of artifacts dating from the first Polynesian settlers to the present day. However, the museum isn’t just limited to covering historical artifacts, it also caters to the young and the young at heart – with the current Lego brick exhibit being a particular highlight.
The Main Maori Galleries display pieces of New Zealand’s historical heritage, including a 25-meter-long Maori canoe from 1836, significant for being the vessel in which Maori warriors once sailed into Manukau Harbour.
The natural history collection on the first floor includes a reconstruction of extinct giant moa birds, while the top floor is dedicated to war memorials. The Auckland War Memorial Museum offers workshops, lectures, and guided tours.
Albert Park is the most central green space in the city and is an ideal spot for getting away from the city hustle. The Victorian fountain and flower beds contribute to the park’s beauty. The most significant historic buildings nearby are the Old Government House, now part of the city’s University campus, and the Old Synagogue, dating from the late 19th century.
New Zealand Maritime Museum
If you are in love with the sea as much as New Zealanders are, you must visit the New Zealand Maritime Museum. The well-curated collection includes outrigger boats and canoes, old instruments and implements, and whaling equipment. There’s even a gallery dedicated to the country’s modern yachting successes.
Whether you are interested in art and history or looking for places ideal for exploring different outdoor activities, Auckland is the place for you. The city will seduce you with its natural and cultural beauty and is equally suitable for families with kids and young adults. The City of Sails is simply beyond all expectations.