Surrounded by stunning beaches, Auckland is a dynamic and exciting city, offering visitors not only spectacular scenery, but also bustling shopping streets, vibrant night life, and world-class cultural institutions. Visitors to New Zealand’s largest city should also take the time to explore some of the beautiful Auckland parks, which are liberally scattered throughout the city and its surrounding region.
Here are seven of the best parks which should definitely be included on your list of things to do in Auckland.
Cornwall Park is a 670-acre park located close to the city centre in Epsom, and it is one of the best cheap things to do in Auckland. At the center of Cornwall Park is One Tree Hill, a volcanic cone that is the site of an ancient Maori settlement and the grave of the park's donor, Sir John Logan Campbell. Topped by an impressive obelisk, One Tree Hill offers visitors spectacular 360 degree views of Auckland City and the Hauraki Gulf. The park is a popular setting for many annual Auckland activities and events, and is also home to several excellent cafés and restaurants.
Located right in the city centre, Albert Park is one of the most important historic and cultural attractions in Auckland. Albert Park is home the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, beautifully arranged flower gardens, and the original park keeper’s cottage, which now contains a memorabilia museum. A Maori village was originally found on the site, and the Albert Barracks were constructed here in 1845. The park contains a Victorian fountain, formal flowerbeds and mature trees, along with many different statues and memorials. Its distinctive character makes a visit here one of the top things to do in Auckland.
The Auckland Domain is another park located within the central city. It covers 75-hectares and is the city's oldest park. This spacious and diverse park includes the botanical or Wintergardens, the formal gardens, the sensory gardens and the duck ponds. It is also home to the city's War Memorial Museum, which is one of the most visited attractions in Auckland.
The Tawharanui Regional Park
The Tawharanui Regional Park is rather more difficult to reach as it is situated on a remote peninsula about 90-km from the city and the last 6-km is a windy gravel road. However, it is well worth the effort, as this park features spectacular white sand beaches, shingled bays, green rolling pastures, areas of native coastal forest and regenerating wetlands. Visitors can enjoy many activities including, mountain biking, fishing, bird watching among others popular cheap things to do in Auckland.
Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
Within the 16,000 hectares of native forest of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park there are over 250-km of walking and tramping trails. There are well-marked trails for people of all abilities and this is one of the most visited natural treasures of the area. Visitors can enjoy the rugged coastline with its spectacular rocky outcrops and black sand surfing beaches, the pristine bush and the abundant local wildlife. The park is located about a 30-minute drive from downtown, and just getting there is a fantastic scenic drive and one of the top things to do in Auckland.
Long Bay Regional Park
Long Bay Regional Park, which lies next to the Okura Marine Reserve, is a busy seaside area offering a variety of fun things to do in Auckland. Located about 30-km from the city centre it is a popular spot to enjoy boating, kayaking and diving. The tranquil white sand beach is perfect for a refreshing dip and the walking track which runs along the sandstone cliffs offers impressive views of the Hauraki Gulf.
Wenderholm Regional Park
One of Auckland's most picturesque parks, the Wenderholm Regional Park contains large expanses of mainland coastal forest with picture perfect tree-covered headlands along the mouth of the picturesque Puhoi River. This was the first Regional Park, and it is still one of the most popular attractions in Auckland, and it’s a great place to enjoy some scenic walks or partake of a picnic.
These are but a few of the many incredible Auckland tourist attractions that you will enjoy while visiting New Zealand’s largest city. Visitors to Auckland who want to enjoy the freedom of exploring at their own leisure should collect their Auckland hire car from one of Omega’s two conveniently located local branches.