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Auckland, also known as the City of Sails, boasts a plethora of activities and free things to do in and around the city. From sandy beaches’ just minutes from the CBD area to picturesque parks, scenic walking trails and great cafes. Here’s a list of our top picks.
1. Cornwall Park
You’ll find parks all over the city, however Cornwall Park takes the number one spot. A beautiful location ideal for those picnic days or just to chill out. Cornwall Park is also home to the Stardome Observatory (a public astronomical observatory), free BBQ areas, eateries, a great playground for the kids and, of course, sheep and cows. Cornwall Park is also home to the iconic One Tree Hill.
2. Tamki Drive, Mission Bay
A walk along Tamaki Drive is a great way to experience the sights and sounds of Auckland City. Enjoy great views of the city and Rangitoto Island on your way into Mission Bay for some classic Fish’n’Chips or an ice-cream. We recommend checking out the panoramic views from Bastion Point, a coastal piece of land overlooking the Waitemata Harbour.
3. Ferry Travel
Get out on the harbour via Ferry from Downtown Auckland. Hop over to New Zealand’s youngest volcano, Rangitoto Island, enjoy wine tasting on Waiheke Island or check out Devonport. Catch a ferry and get out on the water. Hop over to Waiheke Island for some wine tasting, or over to Devonport for a self-guided walk to explore the military tunnel complex, gun emplacements and fortifications that date back to 1888, built to protect Auckland from a feared Russian invasion with additions made for WW1 and WW2.
4. Karangahape Road
Make the trek up to Karangahape Road, locally known as K-Road, to explore contemporary art galleries, high fashion and vintage clothing, as well as over 100 eateries offering world cuisine in a 24-hour nightlife precinct.
5. Ponsonby Road
Loosen the purse strings and discover one of Auckland City's hippest strips. Ponsonby is packed with boutique fashion stores, chic cafés, bars and restaurants, all just 10 minutes from the CBD.
6. Silo Park Movie Nights
Relax with an evening movie at Silo Park, Auckland City’s FREE outdoor cinema. Don’t forget to bring something comfortable to sit on, and get there early to secure prime real estate on the grass. One of the best free things to do in Auckland’s CBD.
7. La Cigale French Market
Enjoy a weekend morning at La Cigale French Markets, voted Auckland's Best Food Market by Metro Magazine for the last 8 years. Inspired by the wonderful food markets in France, you’ll find an amazing selection of top quality products from both New Zealand artisan producers and growers and from overseas. Coffee and croque monsieurs for all!
8. Giapo Haute Ice-cream
Feed your Instagram profile with an obligatory photo of your edible work of art at Giapo Haute Ice-cream on Queen Street. Gelato heaven!
9. Eden Park Stadium
Experience a rugby match at Auckland’s iconic Eden Park, New Zealand’s largest sports stadium. Depending on who’s playing, you may be lucky enough to witness some of the world champion All Blacks in action! For Kiwi Experience travellers continuing on from Auckland throughout New Zealand, keep an eye out for these top 10 iconic New Zealand rugby grounds from around the country.
10. Sky Tower
A visit to Auckland wouldn’t be complete without a Sky Tower experience. Enjoy panoramic views of Auckland City with a SkyWalk at 192 metres, or for the more adventurous type (and adrenaline fuelled) plummet 192 metres off the Sky Tower at 85km/h with a SkyJump! Not for the faint-hearted!
11. Auckland Domain
Check out the Auckland Domain, Auckland’s oldest park and at 75 hectares one of the largest in the city. Just a short trip from the CBD, Auckland Domain is home to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Winter Gardens.
12. West Coast Beaches
Experience the rugged yet beautiful west coast surf beaches of Piha, Bethells and Muriwai. Only (approx.) 45 minutes from Auckland City.
13. Waitakere Ranges Regional Parkland
Discover Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges Regional Parkland, covering more than 16,000 hectares of native forest and coastline. Explore the majestic native rainforest, picturesque coastline and windswept black-sand beaches.
14. Viaduct Harbour & Wynyard Quarter
Explore Auckland’s downtown Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter. Check out the super yachts while enjoying a cold beer, or glass of wine, from one of the oceanfront bars and eateries along the boardwalk.
15. Rangitoto & Mt Eden
Conquer the summit of a volcano. Jump aboard a ferry over to Rangitoto for a day trip, or take a walk to the summit of Mt Eden, just a short walk from the city centre and worth it for the panoramic views of Auckland City.
This list of 15 things to do is only a taste of the numerous attractions and activities available throughout Auckland, so get out and explore! For more information, event calendars and what’s on in Auckland, visit the Heart of the City and/or ATEED websites.
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