Auckland Travel Guide


Auckland Museum (Te Papa Whakahiku)
Auckland War Memorial Museum tells the story of New Zealand, from our unique flora and fauna and our history at war, to our priceless collection of Maori and Pacific treasures. The Museum’s galleries showcase the natural, cultural, and social history of New Zealand. For kids, two award-winning Discovery Centres provide hands-on fun and exploration of the natural world and human culture. Housed in one of the nation's finest heritage buildings and with spectacular views of Auckland City and the harbour, Auckland Museum is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Howick Historical Village
To visit the Howick Historical Village is to step back in time and experience life as it was for Auckland's early settlers in the period 1840-1880. A costumed guide will introduce you to over 30 European and Maori buildings containing many interesting artefacts and displays.
There are over 30 buildings, many relocated here from other parts of the region. The streets, the pond with ducks and geese, and the village gardens are faithful reconstructions of Victorian fashion, and there's a cafe with homemade goodies as well. There is a theme day on the third Sunday of each month, with special events and displays such as the blacksmith working at the forge, the 65th Regiment firing its muskets, and maybe even a chance to see the school in session. The village is on Bells Rd, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga.

The Sky Tower, at 1,076ft (328m), is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere and has unforgettable views over the city, the harbour and the gulf islands. It is part of the Sky City Entertainment Complex, with a casino, theatre, hotel and conference centre. Visitors to the tower can splash out on dinner in the revolving restaurant, or admire the view from one of the four circular observation decks, reached by a glass lift. There is an outdoor deck, glass floor panels, an audio visual guide and touch computer screens providing geographical information. The Sky Deck is the highest viewing level with spectacular 360-degree views.

Stardome Observatory
This is where star-gazers can cop an eyeful of the southern sky in all its majesty. Large-telescope viewing sessions reveal planets, double stars, glowing gas nebulae or lunar craters in the night sky above Auckland (weather permitting). There's also a changing program of planetarium shows, occasional musical performances under the stars and a special show for pre-schoolers. Some shows have translations in Japanese, German and Mandarin. Weekends are family days, with hands-on displays and activities. Stardome is situated on the south side of One Tree Hill. Known to the Maori as Maungakiekie, it erupted some 20,000 years ago and is one of the largest volcanoes in Auckland (183m/600ft). It was the site of New Zealand's biggest pa (fortified Maori village) and the extensive terraces excavated for habitations and gardens still remain. The beautiful Cornwall Park, with its historic buildings and working farm, spreads over the lower slopes of One Tree Hill, and combined with the Stardome makes for a good day out.

Auckland Zoo
Daily Keeper Encounters allow you to come eye to eye with some awesome native and exotic animals. You can also experience the expanse of the African plains with Pridelands. Watch the graceful movement of the giraffe and see zebra, rhino and springbok quietly grazing. And why not journey through New Zealand's unique costal habitat. Experience the fragile eco-system of New Zealand coast complete with little blue penguins, sealions and shore birds.

Ambury Park
One of Auckland's regional parks, Ambury is a working farm right on the city's doorstep. The park is about 15km (9mi) south of Auckland city, near the airport and on the shores of the Manukau Harbour. There are sheep, cows, horses, goats, chickens, peacocks, turkeys and kune kune (a type of wild pig). Some 86 species of birds live on the foreshore, including pied stilts, welcome swallows, and oyster-catchers. It's also a favourite wintering ground for migrant birds. You can wander freely around the farm (remember to close the gates) and there's no entry charge.

Glenbrook Vintage Railway
Experience the excitement of travelling on a genuine steam train through the beautiful Franklin countryside. Also jigger rides, refreshments and Farm Park.

Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery has the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand. A public art gallery located within two buildings, the main gallery and the new gallery, it exhibits work from its collection along with a programme of national and international touring exhibitions.

Hauraki Gulf Islands
There are 47 islands in the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park, administered by the Department of Conservation. Some have severely restricted access, since they are refuges for the preservation of plants and animals, especially extremely rare or even endangered species of birds. Others are readily accessible to visitors by ferry or light aircraft. A few are within minutes of the city and are popular as day trips; their harbours are dotted with yachts in summer. Rangitoto, 10km (6mi) northeast of Auckland's city centre, is a good place for a picnic. It has many pleasant walks, a saltwater swimming pool, barbecues and a great view from the summit of its volcanic cone, which erupted some 600 years ago. Waiheke is the most visited of the gulf islands, with plenty of picturesque bays and beaches good for swimming and sea kayaking. The island attracts all kinds of artistic folk, who exhibit their work in galleries and craft shops.

Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf is 90km north east of Auckland, New Zealand, a world away from the hustle and bustle of a city. Activities include a network of walking tracks offering the opportunity to experience the island's mature and regenerating native bush and to encounter some of New Zealand's endangered native birds and lizards. Other activities include kayaking, diving, surfing and more. Beachfront accommodation, secluded cottages, luxury lodges all enable visitors to enjoy Great Barrier Island's peace and tranquillity. A bird watcher's paradise. For a unique holiday experience Great Barrier Island is a destination you don't want to miss. Click on the map for locations.

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