Auckland is a beautiful city with many attractions for tourists. It is also the country’s biggest city. See the sky tower, war memorial, Waitemata Harbor, Albert park, and the zoo. These are some of the must-see attractions of Auckland. There are many beautiful and interesting places to visit around the city as well. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Auckland. You should certainly not miss any of them.
1. Sky Tower: A 60 storied landmark tower in the city with a café, observation deck, a casino, and an award-winning restaurant. Get up the tower for a fantastic panoramic 360-degree view of the city. This is New Zealand’s tallest, and the 25th tallest man-made structure in the world. The Sky Tower can be seen from everywhere in Auckland. It is lit up on the evenings for special events.
2. Auckland War Memorial Museum: You can see many permanent and temporary exhibits that will tell you about the army and regional history. It is a neo-classical building in the Auckland Domain, a large city park on a dormant volcano. Must-see attractions are the Grand Foyer, Maori section, Oceanic Art, a gallery for the volcanoes. You should also visit the museum library. See the memorial for war. The after-hours program is held in the winter season.
3. Waitemata Harbor: This is the main harbor of Auckland providing sea access. This is one of the most popular landmarks of the city. See the Auckland Harbor Bridge, Rangitoto Island, Mission Bay, Bean Rock Lighthouse, Waitemata Golf Club. You can go on a sailing trip from Waitemata Harbor or rent a kayak for more personal time. Make sure to sail below the bridge. Also, climb to the top of the Harbor Bridge or try bungee jumping. See the lighthouse.
4. Rangitoto Island: A small island formed by a volcanic eruption, located just 8 kilometers north-east of Auckland. There are ferry rides and boat tours. Climb to the top of the volcanic summit. There are many nature trails on the island that offers bird watching opportunities. There is kayaking too. See the lava tubes. You will get panoramic views of the gulf and the city of Auckland. Also, visit the neighboring Motutapu Island, which is connected by a causeway. Read our New Zealand travel guide here.
5. Hobbiton Movie Set: Sheep farm and filming location for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies. Location of The Shire. Take a tour of the Hobbiton film locations. See hobbit holes, The Mill, gardens. A working sheep farm owned by a Kiwi family, it offers good views of the Kaimai Ranges too.
6. Albert Park: Big urban park in central Auckland with tall trees, benches, flower beds, sculptures, and a central fountain. The Auckland Art Gallery is at one end and the University of Auckland is at the other side. See the flower clock tower and the Victorian era gas lamp. Read our detailed travel guide for Albert Park.
7. Auckland Zoo: The biggest zoo in New Zealand with close to 900 animals from 138 species. It is divided into different zones, housing animals from around the world. The zoo takes up commendable conservation initiatives. Safari Nights to see animals and learn about their behaviors after dark. The zoo also offers Junior Keeper programs.
8. Auckland Art Gallery: The country’s largest art gallery and exhibition space. It houses over 15,000 pieces in an impressive building constructed in the late 1800s. You will be able to see national and international art from the 13th century to the present times. There are both permanent and temporary displays and exhibitions. Spread over 3 floors, the gallery is located in Albert Park.
9. Waiheke Island – 2nd biggest and most populated island in the Hauraki Gulf. Beautiful bays, beaches, and creeks. Vineyards and wineries. 133.5-kilometer long coastline. Wine tours, art galleries, kayaking, and surfing. There is also a golfing club on the island and zip lining for adventure seekers. Nature trails.
10. Waitakere Ranges National Park: Huge nature park spread over 16,000 hectares close to Auckland with tall Kauri trees, waterfalls, rugged coastline, beaches, nature trails, and wildlife. There are many beautiful waterfalls and unique wildlife to see at the Waitakere Ranges Park. Black sandy beaches. Visit the small town of Piha and the Arataki Visitor Center. There are many good walking trails.