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One day in Auckland

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Positioned between two beautiful harbors in a historically volcanic area, Auckland offers a diverse landscape with stunning views, and a bustling city with a great dining scene. It’s often the first port of call for most tourists in New Zealand, and is certainly worth a day or two exploring. I've based this guide on the presumption that you have just one day in Auckland before perhaps heading off to explore other parts of the country. It’s designed to give you an understanding of Auckland’s layout, provide plenty of entertaining must-see attraction options, and introduce you to an authentic taste of New Zealand culture!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Foodie
  • Trendsetter

12 Places

4 City Tips

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Map

12 Places

Sky Tower

Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks

SkyJump and SkyWalk

Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

Queen Street

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki

Art Museums

Vulcan Lane

Shopping Malls, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Viaduct Harbour

Marinas, Points of Interest & Landmarks

America's Cup Village

Neighbourhoods

Auckland Bridge Climb

Climbing Tours, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

Auckland Museum

Military Museums, History Museums, Speciality Museums

Auckland Domain

Parks

Parnell

Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Mount Eden

Volcanoes

Passport_Liz's City Tips

  • Parking in Auckland can be difficult. Read signs carefully and always pay the fee — cars will be towed/ticketed if not. (Generally most street parking is free after 6pm, though always check first.)
  • Auckland weather can change quickly. If you plan on walking a lot, carry an umbrella just in case.
  • Gratuities/ tips are not expected anywhere in New Zealand, but are always a nice gesture.
  • Please note some of the options in this guide are in the same location, so can be visited at the same time.
  • Save
    Sky Tower
    Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    The Sky Tower is Auckland City’s most iconic building, standing at an impressive 328 meters (over 1000 feet) tall and dominating the skyline. It’s a must-see for all kinds of travelers, with views over the city that never fail to impress. The Sky Tower has three circular public observation levels, each of which give you a stunning 360-degree view of Auckland. Start your day off here, to get a feel for the city and see how far it spreads in every direction.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • There's a revolving restaurant at the top of the tower that offers a spectacular always-changing view, and a delicious high-tea.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A definate stop in Auckland 24/04/2017
    • Worth a visit but an hour at most 24/04/2017
    • Sky Tower
    Address:
    Corner Victoria and Federal Sts
    Auckland 1010
    New Zealand
    Phone:
    +64 9-363 6000
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    SkyJump and SkyWalk
    Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    For an adrenaline rush like no other, combine your visit to the Sky Tower with an extreme Sky Jump or Sky Walk! The Sky Jump lets you jump off Auckland’s highest building — the fastest route to the ground! While I’m too nervous to take that leap, the Sky Walk is something I can handle. This sky-high path tests your courage as you walk around the outside of the tower, 192 meters (630 feet) above the ground, with no handrail or glass to lean on! Both of these activities provide an adventurous start to the day, that will definitely wake you up and snap you out of any lingering jet lag!

    Good for
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    Tips
    • Book online to save time and secure a time slot in advance.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 127 Outdoor Activities in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Sky jump what an awesome experience 21/04/2017
    • Sky Jump 16/04/2017
    • SkyJump and SkyWalk
    Phone:
    +64 9-368 1835
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:30 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Queen Street
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    Right in the heart of the city, Queen Street is Auckland’s answer to the Golden Mile. Home to the Comedy Club, Historic Civic Theater, and an array of shops, cafes and restaurants, it’s a must-see for all travelers wanting to take on Auckland just like a local. Head down toward Britomart and be sure to explore the arcades coming off Queen Street too, for some truly hidden gems. There’s something for everyone here, with both high street, designer and boutique brands lining both sides of the street. Queen Street also has all your souvenir needs covered, with several tourist shops and information desks on this road.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • For an epicurean lunch, check out Elliot Stables on Elliot Street, just off Queen Street — it's set in a beautiful old stable and has a wonderful selection of food.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #39 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    • Easy walking before and during Easter 23/04/2017
    • Avoid! 23/04/2017
    • Queen Street
    Other:
  • Save
    Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    Recently renovated, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, holds the country's most extensive and distinguished collection of New Zealand and international art. The gallery contains almost 15,000 pieces, including works by New Zealand, Māori, Pacific and international artists. The New Zealand collection is a personal favorite of mine, with pieces by Goldie and Colin McCahon standing out as icons in our art heritage.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Free tours offered daily — look online for times.
    • Entry is free, although special exhibitions may cost extra. Look online to see which exhibits are on when you're in town.
    • Afterwards, if the weather is nice, feel free to wander up to neighboring Albert Park, to enjoy one of Auckland’s most beautiful and historical inner-city reserves — a favorite haunt of university students.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Review 24/04/2017
    • Freee Auckland activity 23/04/2017
    • Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
    Address:
    Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
    Auckland 1010
    New Zealand
    Phone:
    +64 9-307 7700
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Vulcan Lane
    Shopping Malls, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    For lunch like a local, check out cute and quirky Vulcan Lane. This short street offers an array of delicious food options, perfect for a cheap and easy lunch on the go.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Look out for the delicious craft-beer bar!
    • This is also a great spot for a few drinks in the evening to start a fun night out on the town.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #69 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • It is worth a visit. 12/04/2017
    • great shopping and eats 14/03/2017
    • Vulcan Lane
    Address:
    Vulcan Lane
    Auckland
    New Zealand
  • Save
    Viaduct Harbour
    Marinas, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    The Auckland Viaduct is one of my favorite city areas to wander around. With beautiful bars and restaurants, situated around stunning, picturesque docks, it’s a fabulous place to head to anytime of day. Go for drinks, dinner, or even just dessert — just make sure you eat there at least once! Also be sure to skip over the new moveable bridge, for easy pedestrian access to the nearby Wynyard Quarter area. This newly developed extension has more fabulous restaurants and bars and is also home to the Auckland Dockline Tram.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The touristy Ice House Bar is also situated here if you fancy a cocktail fit for an Eskimo!
    • I particularly recommend the Japanese menu at Industry Zen, and the dessert menu at Soul Bar (yum!)
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great Harbour with a great area to walk 21/04/2017
    • Buzzing 21/04/2017
    • Viaduct Harbour
    Address:
    Viaduct Harbour Ave
    Auckland 1010
    New Zealand
    Other:
  • Save
    America's Cup Village
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    If you’re interested in sailing, and you’re in the Viaduct Harbor anyway, you should also pop by The America’s Cup Village. Located within the Viaduct Basin, you can check out the original team base site of America’s Cup for 1999-2000, and explore more of New Zealand’s rich maritime history at the nearby Voyager Maritime Museum. If you’re not too interested in boats or sailing, then skip the above and simply enjoy a leisurely walk to admire the incredible boats moored in the area, and do a bit of people-watching.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • If you love boats, you can check out the Maritime Museum next door too.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #86 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    • Nice yachts 02/03/2017
    • Not A *must do*, But Pleasant Experience on a fine Summer day 13/02/2017
    • America's Cup Village
    Address:
    138 Halsey Street
    Freemans Bay
    Auckland
    New Zealand
    Phone:
    +64 9-375 5200
  • Save
    Auckland Bridge Climb
    Climbing Tours, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    This has been on my to-do list for a long time, as I keep hearing how amazing it is! If you’ve already jumped off the Sky Tower, you might choose to give this one a miss, but if you’re crazy for adrenaline, then book an afternoon trip up here. The Bridge Climb takes you above Auckland’s biggest and busiest bridge, rewarding you with tremendous views of the city from a unique perspective.

    Good for
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Book online to save time.
    • Pick a fine day weather-wise, for best views.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 127 Outdoor Activities in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Scared of heights? You can do this! 23/04/2017
    • Beautiful views 10/04/2017
    • Auckland Bridge Climb
    Address:
    Westhaven Reserve
    105 Curran St
    Auckland
    New Zealand
    Phone:
    +64 9-360 7748
    Other:
  • Save
    Auckland Museum
    Military Museums, History Museums, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    Another great way to spend the afternoon is at the Auckland Museum. Visually stunning both inside and out, the Auckland Museum is the perfect place to learn about New Zealand’s history and unique Maori culture. There’s also a hands-on, creative science area especially for kids, to keep them happy and entertained. Guided tours are available, and there’s a café onsite ideal for afternoon tea.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Look online to see what time the Maori cultural performances are, they cost a small, additional amount, but are well worth seeing!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Excellent museum, good overview of local culture and playful science 24/04/2017
    • Maori Experience is awesome 24/04/2017
    • Auckland Museum
    Address:
    Domain Dr
    The Auckland Domain, Parnell
    Auckland 1010
    New Zealand
    Phone:
    +64 9-309 0443
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Auckland Domain
    Parks
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    I thought I’d mention this site because it’s the home of Auckland Museum, so if you’re seeing one of these places, then you’ll see the other by default! The Auckland Domain is the city's oldest park, and also one of the largest. The park sits on the crater of the extinct Pukekawa volcano, and provides vast views out over the harbor toward Rangitoto Island. As well as the Museum, the Domain is also home to the Wintergardens — two beautiful Victorian-style glass houses — a picturesque and popular location for wedding photos.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Take a picnic along for a cheap lunch with a view!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovely well managed park 23/04/2017
    • Worthwhile 21/04/2017
    • Auckland Domain
    Address:
    Park Road
    Auckland
    New Zealand
    Phone:
    +64 9-301 0101
    Other:
  • Save
    Parnell
    Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    I’ve included Parnell, as it’s also close to the Auckland Museum, making it a great spot for afternoon tea or dinner. Parnell is Auckland oldest neighborhood and has a great variety of eateries with prices to suit all pockets. The main street features some very quaint architecture and the cathedral at the top of the hill is Auckland’s largest.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Parking here can be difficult at times — explore the side streets for pay and display options.
    • It’s not an absolute must-see, but if you have the time try at least make it in for a late night hot chocolate at the Chocolate Boutique!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #33 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A good place to stay close to the CBD 22/04/2017
    • Nice shopping 20/04/2017
    • Parnell
    Address:
    Parnell Road
    Auckland Auckland1
    New Zealand
    Other:
  • Save
    Mount Eden
    Volcanoes
    See more photos
    Passport_Liz Says:

    If you've still got the time/energy, head up Mount Eden for a yet another unique view of the city. This is a popular tourist spot and is always pretty busy. The road up is closed, so you’ll have to park at the bottom and walk — but it doesn’t take long, and will make for a peaceful end to your day in Auckland.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Go at dusk to catch a stunning sunset over the city.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 260 things to do in Auckland
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good city views 24/04/2017
    • Great views over the city 23/04/2017
    • Mount Eden
    Address:
    Access off Hillside Crescent
    Mount Eden Road
    Auckland 1024
    New Zealand
    Other:
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