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Auckland Off the Beaten Path

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Auckland has many hidden gems if you know where to find them. There's something for everyone, from the thrill seeker to the art lover. Known as the City of Sails, Auckland has a special relationship with it's sparkling harbor, so make like a local and cruise on it, or better still, go in it. Plus, exiting developments along the waterfront and other neighboring precincts,mean that well-planned urban spaces to walk, eat, and play have popped up, all quite close to the center of the city. Take the guess work out of planning your visit to Auckland, and follow this guide for a taste of life as an Aucklander!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Like a Local

9 Places

4 City Tips

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Map

9 Places

Auckland Museum

History Museums, Military Museums, Speciality Museums

Devonport

Bodies of Water

Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium

Nature & Wildlife Areas, Ballets, Aquariums

Waiheke Island

Destinations

Piha Beach

Beaches

North Wharf

Piers & Boardwalks, Scenic Walking Areas

Ponsonby

Neighbourhoods

Eden Park

Sports Complexes

Takapuna Beach

Beaches

turiguide's City Tips

  • Tipping is not customary in New Zealand.
  • Use the Sky Tower as a landmark to get your bearings.
  • Kiwis are a friendly bunch; ask for directions and you'll discover how people will often go out of their way to help you.
  • The public transport system has improved in the last few years, but getting between neighborhoods is still best done via short taxi rides. (Within the CBD it's easy enough to move around on foot.)
  • Save
    Auckland Museum
    History Museums, Military Museums, Speciality Museums
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    turiguide Says:

    History and culture buffs won't be disappointed with the impressive display of relics, art, flora and fauna, and much more housed in NZ's most outstanding historical building. This is the place to explore NZ history and introduce yourself to the Maori legends and treasures of times gone by. Collections include Human History, Natural Science, Pacific Island, and the War Memorial Gallery, as well as special temporary exhibitions. A terrific educational destination for children, there are also regular activity programs and interactive displays.(My children love the volcano exhibition as well as the Earthquake House that shakes!) For a taste of what is was like for the early European settlers, this is a must do!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The cafe in this beautiful old building has sun streaming through the windows and is a nice spot to contemplate all you've seen, or refuel before going back for more.
    • The Auckland Museum is found in the Domain — a central city park — which is well worth a stroll around.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 272 things to do in Auckland Central
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The weather in November 23/09/2017
    • Well worth a visit 22/09/2017
    • Auckland Museum
    Address:
    Domain Dr
    The Auckland Domain, Parnell
    Auckland Central, Auckland 1010
    New Zealand
    Phone:
    +64 9-309 0443
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Devonport
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    turiguide Says:

    This charming seaside village is only a 10-minute ferry ride from the city. While away the day at one of the many cafes along the main street, most of which are housed in beautiful historical buildings. Check out the small art galleries, boutiques, and parks, and then take a walk along the harbor-side to North Head and visit the Torpedo Bay Naval Museum or meander along Cheltenham Beach. You'll feel like a local here in no time.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The ferry takes commuters back and forth across Auckland Harbor throughout the day, but check the Fullers timetable to make sure you don't miss the last boat at night!
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 272 things to do in Auckland Central
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Ferry ride 23/09/2017
    • Thoroughly enjoyable 23/09/2017
    • Devonport
    Phone:
    +64 9-445 5186
    Other:
  • Save
    Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, Ballets, Aquariums
    See more photos
    turiguide Says:

    Kids - and kids at heart - will enjoy the assortment of marine activities on offer here. Get up close and personal with large penguins wandering around on real snow, or view sea life going about its business through large glass partitions. Explore the Shark Mission, Seahorse Kingdom, and Shipwreck Discovery zones, as well as interactive stations that give you a taste of the relationship over time between NZ and Antarctica. Kids will love the talks and fish feeding time in particular — check the schedule for the day's activities.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • A free shuttle bus runs to and from here every day. Catch it at the central CBD pick up point (172 Quay Street).
    • Look for the family passes on offer — they are usually a better deal. The late entry special is nearly half the price for a family, available from 3-5pm.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #20 of 272 things to do in Auckland Central
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Ok place to visit 23/09/2017
    • Bad customer service 23/09/2017
    • Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
    Address:
    23 Tamaki Dr
    Orakei
    Auckland Central, Auckland 1071
    New Zealand
    Phone:
    +64 800 446 362
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:30 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Waiheke Island
    Destinations
    See more photos
    turiguide Says:

    Waiheke is an island of vineyards, restaurants and pristine beaches only 35 minutes from Auckland by ferry. Hit the beach at Little Oneroa, Palm Beach, or Onetangi for a slice of local life. The village of Oneroa is great for shopping and gifts, cafes, and restaurants located all along the main street. Plus, explore the internationally acclaimed wineries like Cable Bay for a cellar door and lunch experience.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Electric bikes are an increasingly popular mode of getting around Waiheke, and which are available for hire.
    • There is a hop-on, hop-off bus that circulates around the many vineyards for a small fee if you don't want to drive yourself.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    • Waiheke Island
  • Save
    Piha Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    turiguide Says:

    Ruggedly beautiful with dramatic surf, day trippers love this popular stretch of beach in the Waitekare Ranges to Auckland's west. The black volcanic sand attracts the heat making it warm underfoot. I suggest a picnic and lashings of sunscreen because you will want to settle in for the day and watch the surfers get punished!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Some wonderful short and long walks are to be found here.
    • Check out the Fairy Falls and Kitekite Waterfall, and give canyoning a go.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Piha
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • In love with Piha Beach 21/09/2017
    • amazing beach 20/09/2017
    • Piha Beach
    Phone:
    278415153
    Other:
  • Save
    North Wharf
    Piers & Boardwalks, Scenic Walking Areas
    turiguide Says:

    A short walk from the Viaduct Harbor, the new urban regeneration of this wharf area known as the Wynyard Quarter is attracting a lot of buzz. It is made up of eateries, parks and bars alongside a bustling working port. There is a sustainability vibe about the place with a community garden, the Wind Tree public art sculpture, rain gardens, bicycle lanes, and Auckland's latest 'green' street. Walkways like the North Wharf Promenade lead you from Wynyard Crossing bridge - that separates the Viaduct Harbor and this emerging zone - right through to Silo Park, which is used for public events and weekend markets. Wander down Jellicoe Street which runs parallel to the harbor to get to the heart of this unique precinct. This is a real find, as many visitors still don't know it exists!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Ar night in the summer months, you can sit in the park with a picnic and watch movies that are screened directly onto the enormous concrete silo. A cool, gritty, industrial experience.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #87 of 272 things to do in Auckland Central
    • Nice place 06/09/2017
    • Lively area 29/06/2017
    • North Wharf
    Address:
    Jellicoe Street
    Wynyard Quarter
    Auckland Central, Auckland
    New Zealand
    Other:
  • Save
    Ponsonby
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    turiguide Says:

    Ponsonby is Auckland's hippest neighborhood, with a distinctly quirky vibe. Head to Ponsonby Central for a different approach to eating and shopping, where the laneways are filled with boutiques, unique gift stores, pop up shops, organic produce, and cafes. And don't forget to explore the small shops, galleries and cafes along Ponsonby Road to get an ever full picture of the neighborhood.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Take a heritage walk through the neighborhood to see the 19th century villas.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 272 things to do in Auckland Central
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting street but not worth the time 20/09/2017
    • Great Place to Walk Around 17/09/2017
    • Ponsonby
    Phone:
    +64 9-360 9301
    Other:
  • Save
    Eden Park
    Sports Complexes
    See more photos
    turiguide Says:

    This is New Zealand's largest stadium, and the place for sporting fans to catch an All Black rugby game or perhaps a cricket match.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Direct public transport to and from the stadium is arranged for each event; check the bus/train/ferry guide or the Eden Park website for the latest information.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #70 of 471 things to do in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Bucket list item 20/09/2017
    • Great Venue for Sport Events 16/09/2017
    • Eden Park
    Address:
    Reimers Avenue
    Auckland Private Bag 56906, Dominion Road
    New Zealand
    Phone:
    +64 9-815 5551
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    08:30 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Takapuna Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    turiguide Says:

    Experience a perfect day at Auckland's most popular beach. This picturesque spot is blessed with soft white sand, views across the harbor, cafes, and shops all within 100m and just a short ferry ride from the city. Choose from one of the many water activities on offer or simply relax and take in the vistas of Rangitoto Island. Places to walk are abundant if you get tired of laying around on the beach. What's not to love?

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The eateries in Takapuna are fantastic. Set yourself up for the day with breakfast at one of its buzzing cafes.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #18 of 272 things to do in Auckland Central
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • What a stunning place to visit. 20/09/2017
    • Perfect beach for children 08/09/2017
    • Takapuna Beach
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