The Auckland Museum is situated close by in the Auckland Domain, while the Auckland Art Gallery (which recently won an international architectural renovation award) is located in the City Centre on High Street. There are many little side streets in the CBD to explore, filled with local fashion boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants. The main street of Auckland CBD – Queen Street – is now home to some of the worlds best known fashion brands and directs you onto the waterfront and ferry terminals.
The viaduct harbour at the base of the CBD is stunning in the summer, with more great cafes and people watching on offer. Nearby at the ferry terminal you can catch a boat to one of the many islands in the harbour – don’t miss Waiheke, island of wine and art. Just around the harbour along Tamaki Drive you’ll find Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World. Further on, the beaches and cafes of Mission Bay, Kohimarama and St Helliers show Auckland in all its finery and offer a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
Heading west from the central city you’ll find The Auckland Zoo plus Museum of Transport & Technology nearby. Keep going to explore the rugged west coast beaches, great for surfing and maybe fishing off the rocks but be careful if you fancy a swim, those waters have taken the life of many an unwary visitor. The Gannet colony at Muriwai is also worth a look.
Just over the harbour Bridge is the North Shore of Auckland and it’s more welcoming East coast beaches with easy swimming and unimpeded views of Rangitoto – the youngest of all the volcanoes at approximately 600 years old and reachable by kayak. Here you’ll find yet more bars, restaurants and cafes. The jewel of the North shore must be the quaint seaside suburb of Devonport. Directly opposite the CBD, it’s a short ferry ride and a wonderful place to spend the afternoon perusing it’s many boutiques or just wondering through the parks and along the foreshore.
Christine and Antony are happy to provide more detail on what is going on in the city and how to make the most of your visit to Auckland. Also visit aucklandcity.govt.nz for more information.
Harbour and Gulf Ferry Trips
Fullers Ferries run regular ferry trips to the historic Devonport (10 minute trip), Rangitoto Island (25 minutes) and to Waiheke Island (45-50 minutes), the jewel of the Hauraki Gulf. They make excellent day trips, featuring wonderful walks, great beaches and cafes. Waiheke Island is also renowned for its vineyards and artists.
You may notice a lack of people in some of these photos. They were taken after the bars had closed and before the shops were open. It’s not really a ghost town, we promise!