Section One Auckland
SECTION ONE: PAGE THREE
Things to see and do in the region
Within the city boundaries is a range of activities and attractions that can be accessed and are grouped along the following themes:
- The Islands of the Hauraki Gulf
- On the Water activities
- Outdoor/Adventure Activities
- Auckland city
History, art and culture
Wining and dining out
Nightlife and entertainment
The islands of the Hauraki Gulf
Auckland has over 50 islands located within 70 kilometres/48 miles from the city centre. Many can be accessed by ferry departing from the downtown waterfront area in Auckland:
A 600-year-old dormant volcano that dominates the local seascape - a visit there is like stepping into another world. The ferry company Fullers Auckland offer guided tours on the island , visitors can walk to the top independently. The guided experience includes a road train journey and 900 metre boardwalk to the top for spectacular 360-degree views of the Hauraki Gulf. www.fullers.co.nz
Waiheke is renowned for its unique wine industry, unique and exclusive accommodation and for the many prominent New Zealand artists who have chosen to make this island home. For more information, visit www.waihekenz.com.
Waiheke Island can be experienced as a one day trip from Auckland or alternatively visitors may wish to overnight on the Island. For independent travellers car hire is available on the Island, or alternatively the island is serviced with taxis and buses. Accommodation providers are likely to offer a pick-up service from the ferry.
Activities on Waiheke Island
- Guided tours: tours include visits to the island's wineries, art studios and stunning landscape
- Waiheke Island Craft Trail: a self-guided tour that visitors can follow to artists studios and galleries. (brochure available at the Waiheke i-SITE information centre).
- Vineyards: Lunch at one of a selection of vineyards restaurants
- Adventure: From sea kayaking to sailing and windsurfing
Tiritiri Matangi Island
An open wildlife sanctuary with many species of endangered New Zealand birds including the kiwi and takahe. For more information visit www.tiritirimatangi.org.nz
Great Barrier Island
The furthermost island from Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf known for unspoilt beaches, native forest and several unique plant and bird species. This island provides spectacular day walks and is also a popular destination for diving, fishing, surfing, bush walking and camping. As well as accessing it by ferry daily scheduled flights are available to the island. www.greatbarriernz.com
On the Water
One of the best ways to appreciate the City of Sails is on the water. Regular ferries service the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, while charter boats are available in every form from classic yachts to speed launches.
- Boat cruises: day or evening crusies available on board motor launches..
- Sailing experiences: opportunities for both beginners and experienced sailors including learn to sail courses on the city's inner harbour and one-day and overnight cruises in the outer Hauraki Gulf..
- Swimming with dolphins: tours from Auckland take passengers out to sea to learn more about dolphin and whale behaviour. Not always guaranteed but there may be opportunities to swim with dolphins.
- Kayaking: paddle tours to Rangitoto Island www.fergskayaks.co.nz
Within minutes from downtown Auckland visitors can find themselves an adventure or outdoor activity:
- AJ Hackett Bungy & Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb: adventurers can jump from the specially designed pod on the underside of the Auckland Harbour Bridge or can climb Auckland Harbour Bridge. A full briefing and safety lesson is included as part of the tour. www.ajhackett.com
- Skywalk 360: experience a guided walk on Sky Tower's famous pergola where participants are on a 1.2m walkway with absolutely nothing on either side except a 192m drop off. For more information, visit www.skywalk.co.nz
- Sky Tower Jump: a controlled freefall off the tower. www.skyjump.co.nz : a controlled freefall off the tower.
- Walking and hiking: there are many conservation parks surrounding downtown Auckland www.arc.govt.nz
- Coast to Coast Walkway: a unique walk joining the east and west coasts of Auckland and taking in many of the city's scenic icons. i-SITE visitor information centres in the city have brochures on the walkway
- Wilderness Experience: tours available from downtown accommodation to the west coast of Auckland. Scenic attractions include rainforest, kauri trees, birds,and unspoilt black sand beaches. www.aucklandnz.com
History, Art and Culture
Visitors to Auckland should look before the surface of the cityscape to discover the fascinating history and culture:
- Auckland War Memorial Museum: the Museum holds a fine collection of Maori Taonga or treasures. Visitors can gain an insight into Maori history and culture. www.aucklandmuseum.com
- New Zealand National Maritime Museum: learn about New Zealand's maritime history. www.nzmaritime.org.nz
- MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology): a variety of artefacts from New Zealand's transportation history. www.motat.org.nz
- Howick Historical Village: a living museum which recreates the early settlement of Auckland. www.fencible.org.nz
- Auckland City Art Gallery: a comprehensive collection of New Zealand and international art. www.aucklandartgallery.govt.nz
- Tamaki Hikoi - Maori Guided Walk of Auckland: Guides from the local Ngati Whatua tribe re-tell ancient and sacred legends on the Tamaki Hikoi. For more information, visit www.aucklandnz.com.
- Auckland Zoo: Go behind the scenes with a new backstage pass called Zoom. Come face to face with some of your favourite animals. For information, visit www.aucklandzoo.co.nz
- Rainbows End Adventure Park: in Manukau City. New Zealand's only theme park. For more information, visit www.rainbowsend.co.nz
- Sheepworld: a farm and nature park featuring live sheep and dog shows everyday. For more information, visit www.sheepworld.co.nz/farm.htm
- Snowplanet: the only indoor snow resort in the Southern Hemisphere. www.snowplanet.co.nz
Recommend the following popular shopping areas to your clients:
- Victoria Park Market (within walking distance of most downtown accommodation): see and buy a range of fashion and gifts. www.victoria-park-market.co.nz
- Saturday's Otara market or Sunday's Avondale markets: Experience the tastes and flavours of Auckland's large Polynesian community
- High Street: downtown Auckland's High Street offers 'Chancery Lane', featuring funky and designer label stores. Open seven days
- Ponsonby: a combination of contemporary shopping and cafe dining.
- Newmarket: visit the area with a reputation as Auckland's trendiest shopping precinct, featuring some of New Zealand's top designers. Outdoor cafes dot the sidewalk
- Parnell Village: this historic village close to the city offers boutique shopping and excellent dining
Wining and dining
Auckland’s diverse culture lends itself to being able to offer a huge range of eating out opportunities. There are several restaurant areas that visitors should know about when visiting Auckland:
The Viaduct Harbour has become the hub for downtown dining in Auckland City and has brought the waterfront of the City of Sails to life. Distance: Walking distance from central city hotels.
Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Slightly west of the central business district, Ponsonby has more than 60 cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from. Distance: Five minutes taxi ride.
Parnell Road, Parnell
Parnell, just east of downtown and attracts a trendy corporate crowd. Distance: Five minutes taxi ride.
Auckland has four wine areas surrounding Auckland city ideal for one-day excursions or overnight stays and offer plenty of eateries and boutique food producers on route. Visitors can either self-guide themselves or go on a guided tours.
- Matakana in the north www.matakanacoast.com. Matakana is a growing wine region with a number of boutique food producers.
- Kumeu/Rodney district in the north west. The birthplace of New Zealand’s commercial wine industry
- Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf. Waiheke Island is a unique wine experience as it has vineyards in very close proximity to the sea.
- Clevedon/Franklin in the south. Visitors can take a scenic route to this wine region - take the Manukau turnoff driving south out of Auckland and follow Redoubt Road.
Night life and entertainment
After dinner, there are plenty of options for enjoying Auckland’s nightlife. Lively bars and pubs - many of which also serve food - can be found all over the central city, while the big dance clubs are centred on Karangahape Road, known locally as K Rd.
Casino: The city’s casino is located in the Sky City complex, which also has bars, restaurants and a hotel.
Live music and theatre: can be found in large venues such as the Aotea Centre, the Bruce Mason Theatre and Sky City Theatre. The Civic Theatre in Queen St has recently been restored to its art nouveau glory. Another historic venue is The Pumphouse, an old brick water pumphouse constructed in 1894 on the edge of Lake Pupuke on the North Shore. Other smaller theatres are scattered through the central city and outer suburbs.