Australia & NZ
10 Auckland Attractions You Just Can’t Miss
Image credit: greenishseal
The city of Auckland has more to offer than beaches and museums. The city and surrounding suburbs are brimming with incredible (and fun) attractions for you and your traveling companions to enjoy. Make sure you add at least a few of the following attractions to your itinerary when you visit.
10. Auckland Botanic Gardens
The Auckland Botanic Gardens are located in Manurewa and feature a delightful collection of plants collected from locations throughout the world. Inside the visitor’s center at the gardens you can view artwork featuring different themed landscapes, and if you’re hungry after strolling the beautiful pathways you can stop at CafÃ© Miko for a quick bite to eat. Entry to the Auckland Botanic Gardens is completely free.
If you love horror and would enjoy a thrill, head on over to Spookers – Auckland’s specialized horror attraction. Inside you’ll find the Freaky Forest of Fear, the Vortex Tunnel, a maze, and a haunted house – amongst other things. The park is open on Friday and Saturday nights year round and opens on Thursdays during the summer as well.
8. Howick Historical Village
Located on Bells Road in Auckland you’ll find Howick Historical Village. The village itself provides visitors with a historical reenactment of life in Auckland between 1840 and 1880 – when the first settlers arrived. The village contains more than 30 buildings filled with interesting artifacts and your detailed guide (in costume, of course) will be glad to show you around.
7. Balloon Safaris
Balloon Safaris offer visitors a unique way of touring the city and the surrounding countryside. There’s nothing quite as special as cuddling up with the one you love while enjoying the breeze and looking back down at the world below. Your morning excursion will end with a snack to ensure your morning starts off right before you head back to your hotel. If you’re looking to create a romantic experience for the special person in your life you’ll want to book a room at one of Auckland’s 5-star hotels like the Westin Auckland Lighter Quay.
6. Auckland Bridge Climb
The Auckland Bridge Climb is a breathtaking adventure you won’t want to miss. In just 1 Â½ hours your guides will take you on a detailed tour of the Auckland Bridge itself. You’ll explore the areas under the bridge, walk around the bridge, and finally walk up and over this astounding architectural wonder. From the bridge you’ll get to see the Waitemata Harbour up close, and in the distance you’ll see sensational views of the city skyline you won’t find anywhere else.
5. Waiheke Island
On Waikehe Island you’ll have the chance to become enjoy a luxurious getaway in a place filled with beaches, vineyards, farmland, cafes, and restaurants. This beautiful island is a mere 35 minute ride from Auckland and once you arrive you can either explore the island on your own or join a guided tour. Visitors are welcome to stay for just the day but may also want to spend the night on the island. One of the most popular resorts on the island is The Sands on Onetangi Apartments – the perfect beachfront location for those who want to spend more time enjoying the island’s solitude.
4. Stardome Observatory
Visitors to the Stardome Observatory will have the opportunity to lie back and explore the vast sky in comfort and style. The planetarium provides a 360 degree depiction of the skies and during each session an incredibly talented guide will introduce you to the myriad of wonders that exist in outer space. After your planetarium journey you’ll have the opportunity to use some of the telescopes contained within the observatory to study the southern skies.
3. Great Barrier Island
The Great Barrier Island is perfect for anyone looking to escape from the real world for a while. You’ll either catch a plane or, more likely, a ferry to the island where you’ll have the opportunity to relax on some of New Zealand’s white beaches and pristine waters. The island is full of nature trails, fishing holes, surfing beaches, and diving spots. You may even decide to abandon your Auckland hotel and find a lodge or campsite on the quiet island instead.
2. Glenbrook Vintage Railway
Those who choose to take a ride along the Glenbrook Vintage Railway will have the opportunity to kick back in an old fashioned wooden carriage as they are escorted through the countryside of Franklin. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the Glenbrook Station and children will especially enjoy stops at the Glenbrook Farm Park where they can interact with the animals. The train only operates on Sundays from late October until early June.
1. Auckland Zoo
The Auckland Zoo is an incredible site for both families and individuals. Inside you’ll find dozens of native and exotic animals, many of which have been saved from extinction by the zoo’s conservation fund. The main attraction at the zoo is the native tuatara, a nearly extinct animal considered to be the oldest living dinosaur in the world (yes – we said dinosaur). The zoo is making a special effort to help save the Sumatran tiger, the cheetah, Vietnamese turtles, and many others.
Auckland has a lot to offer. Make sure you take advantage the opportunity to see these incredible attractions while you’re in the area!