Air NZ's top 10 picks for Auckland

U2 among many inspired by Auckland landmark

Launched into pop music fame by U2’s 1987 hit song, Auckland’s One Tree Hill has been attracting man’s attention for centuries.

In pre-European times Maori saw the volcanic cone’s potential as a fortification and up to 5,000 Maori are thought to have made it their home.

Evidence of the levelled terraces, storage pits, tracks and fortifications can still be seen today.

In 1840 the native Totara tree perched on top of the cone caught the imagination of Sir John Logan Campbell who named it One Tree Hill.

The Totara was felled during the colonisation of the city and was eventually replaced by a single Monterey Pine which went on to inspire the famous U2 song title.

Bono wrote the song in memory of his close friend and personal assistant, New Zealander Greg Carroll who died in a crash in Dublin while delivering Bono’s motorcycle in the rain.

The tree met its own end in 2001 when it was removed for safety reasons after successive attacks by Maori protesters.

Today One Tree Hill (known in Maori as Maungakiekie) is a popular park and excellent vantage point of Auckland with 360 degree views of its volcanic landscape and stunning twin harbours.

Our ‘top 10’ of popular attractions in New Zealand’s largest city include:

  • Sailing ,cruising and kayaking on the harbour
  • Ferry trips to Gulf Harbour Islands including Waiheke and Rangitoto
  • Auckland Museum
  • Sky Tower
  • Bungy jumping and climbs on the Harbour Bridge
  • Farmers  markets and wineries 
  • Restaurants, cafés, theatre and night life (top spots include the Viaduct Harbour and inner city suburb Ponsonby)
  • Shopping (see some of the popular local fashion labels in High street)
  • Beaches
  • Walks (the city’s network of regional parks offer walks to suit all levels along the coastline and through native bush )


Air New Zealand operates international flights into the city and connects it with 26 domestic destinations. For information and bookings;

To book with Air New Zealand, visit our designated pages 
Flights to Auckland from the United Kingdom 
Flights to Auckland from the United States

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