Auckland City is the most populous city in New Zealand and has loads of stuff to do! If you are within the city centre, this is an excellent guide for things to do while you are here. Check out the Auckland Zoo, MOTAT and the Auckland War Memorial Museum! And if you still have time, make sure you head to Mission Bay!
Auckland Zoo is a great day out for couples and families alike. It is set on 16.35 hectares of mostly flat ground for easy walking. There is an exciting range of animals such as native New Zealand animals including the Kiwi bird!
Come and experience the New Zealand bush and its animals without having to leave the city! There is also an option to get up close and personal with some of the zoo animals such as the Kiwi bird for an extra fee. There is a café on site but it tends to get very busy throughout the day, so packing a picnic lunch is a good idea.
MOTAT stands for the Museum of Transport and Technology, which is conveniently located next to Western Springs Park and just a short walk from Auckland Zoo. There is even a complimentary tram running on weekends to transport you around these places. This is a great place to visit and learn about steam engines and historical transportation and technology, including cars and tractors.
There is a historic village set up that is very interesting and fun to look at. You can experience how people used to live. A café and vending machines are available onsite for your convenience. A family pass is very reasonable at 20 USD for 2 adults and 2 children!
Auckland War Memorial Museum
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is located right in the heart of the city. Here, you can learn all about New Zealand Maori culture and even look inside a traditional Maori Marae/Whare, a meeting house. There is plenty of interactive exhibitions and a designated kids area. It is a good idea to do this activity earlier in the day, as it gets very busy during the afternoon and you will find yourself waiting in line at the elevators to get to each level. There are 3 levels and you can allocate about 2 to 3 hours to visit here.
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The Auckland Domain
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is located conveniently within the Auckland Domain, which is another great attraction within the city. You can go for walks around the various tracks or sit and have coffee in a beautiful garden. There is a range of styled gardens to view, some are within historic buildings.
From the summit of the domain where the museum is located, you can get grand views of the Auckland City Port and the Volcanic Island of Rangitoto. To the West, you will also see the iconic Sky Tower and Harbour Bridge that connects the northern suburbs to the city. If you are visiting in April, you can attend the popular ANZAC day service at dawn, which pays tribute to New Zealand and Australian soldiers from World War I and II.
Mission Bay: Auckland’s main beach
Mission bay is the most popular beach in Auckland. It is usually busy but worth a visit. The best time to visit would be in the mornings, preferably on a weekday. This is a very wealthy area of Auckland and looking at the houses alone is an interesting activity. There are streets lined with gelato, smoothies, coffee and food shops so you won’t be left short of choices here. There is also a good children’s park and an iconic fountain located here.
See all of Auckland from the Sky Tower
Another great attraction is to visit Skycity, which includes the architectural gem, Auckland Sky Tower. Here, you can travel up the 328m high viewing structure and get a 360 degree view of Auckland city. This is a great attraction for all ages and even has a glass viewing panel that you can stand on and stare straight down to the city streets below. The Sky Tower is lit up at night and will illuminate special colours during special events.
So much to do so little time!
There is plenty to do in Auckland city! This will give you a general idea of some of the fun attractions that you can visit during your trip.
Auckland City is easily accessible from the Auckland International airport, so make sure you include it in your travel plans! Walking is recommended where possible in Auckland due to traffic congestion in the city centre. Also, there are plenty of buses and train stations that will help you get to your destination with ease. As a general rule of thumb, try not to drive in the city during peak traffic times (so around 8am and anywhere between 4pm to -6pm).
With plenty to see and do, you should allocate more time for your Auckland trip!
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