The Ultimate Guide to the Best Things to Do in Auckland City Centre

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Auckland, the bustling metropolis of New Zealand, is a city that offers a wide array of experiences for both locals and tourists.  Its city centre, in particular, is filled with numerous attractions that cater to all interests.

Exploring Auckland's History

One of the best ways to get acquainted with Auckland's history is by visiting the Auckland War Memorial Museum.  This iconic landmark not only holds a vast collection of artifacts that depict the city's past but also provides a fascinating insight into New Zealand's military history.  The museum's exhibitions chronicle the nation's involvement in significant historical events, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

As you step into the Auckland War Memorial Museum, you are immediately transported back in time.  The grandeur of the building itself is awe-inspiring, with its intricate architectural details and imposing presence. Inside, you are greeted by a treasure trove of historical artifacts, each with its own story to tell.

From the ancient Maori artifacts that showcase the indigenous culture and traditions to the exhibits that delve into the European settlement and colonial era, the museum offers a comprehensive journey through Auckland's past. You can explore the impact of World War I and II on the city and learn about the brave men and women who fought for their country.

Auckland Domain

Situated conveniently next to the War Memorial Museum is the Auckland Domain.  If you prefer a leisurely stroll amidst nature, this is the perfect place to unwind.  This tranquil park offers vast green spaces, beautiful gardens, and even an impressive Wintergardens. It's an ideal spot for picnics, jogging, or simply taking in the peaceful ambiance while escaping the urban hustle.

Auckland Art Gallery

The Auckland Art Gallery is another must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. With its extensive collection of both local and international artworks, this gallery showcases the diversity and creativity of Auckland's art scene.  From contemporary pieces to traditional Maori art, visitors can immerse themselves in a world of visual delight.

New Zealand Maritime Museum

The New Zealand Maritime Museum at the heart of Auckland's waterfront takes visitors on a journey through New Zealand's maritime heritage.  The museum's seven exhibition galleries tell the stories of the first Polynesian visitors, reveal the difficulties experienced by European settlers, explore the background of the country's modern sailing masters and celebrate New Zealanders' love of the water. The Edmiston Gallery hosts a series of changing exhibitions including maritime related artwork, ship figureheads, and scrimshaw.

Auckland Harbour Bridge

For a more daring adventure, why not climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge?  With experienced guides leading the way, visitors can conquer their fears and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the summit. It's a thrilling experience that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.

Auckland Skytower

The Auckland Skytower stands at an impressive height of 328 meters, making it the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere.  Visitors can choose to admire the view from any of three platforms,  thrill seekers can either walk around the outside of the tower at a height of 192 metres or jump from the same height attached to a wire line.  The Sky Cafe, Sugar Club and 360 Orbit restaurants offer a choice of dining experiences all with a spectacular view.

Auckland's Theatre

When it comes to experiencing Auckland's vibrant culture, The Civic Theatre is a venue not to be missed.  This grand 1920s theater not only hosts a range of captivating performances but also boasts stunning architecture and intricate interior designs.  Attending a show here is a cultural experience in itself, leaving visitors in awe of the city's artistic prowess.

Auckland Harbour Sailing

Auckland's stunning waterfront makes it a perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts.  One of the best ways to experience the city's natural beauty is by taking a scenic boat cruise or sailing around the Waitemata Harbour.  Whether you opt for a relaxed yacht cruise or an adrenaline-pumping jetboat adventure, the harbor provides breathtaking views of the city skyline and its surrounding islands.

Auckland Viaduct Harbour & Wynyard Quarter

Auckland is renowned for its vibrant culinary scene, with numerous world-class restaurants showcasing the best of both international and local cuisines.  From fine dining to casual eateries, the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter are a food lover's paradise with lovely views of the harbour. 

The Britomart

For those interested in architecture and heritage, the Historic Britomart Precinct is the place to be.  This vibrant area showcases a blend of old and new, offering a glimpse into Auckland's development over the years.  With its charming Victorian buildings, trendy shops, and bustling cafes, exploring this precinct is like stepping back in time. It's a great spot for leisurely strolls and to learn about the city's transformation.

As you wander through the streets of the Historic Britomart Precinct, you can't help but marvel at the architectural marvels that surround you.  The Victorian-era buildings stand tall, their ornate facades telling tales of a bygone era.  Each building has its own unique history, and some have been lovingly restored to their former glory, housing modern boutiques and cafes.

Queen Street 

If you want to sample a bit of everything that Auckland has to offer, head to Queen Street, Auckland's main thoroughfare.  It's 3km long, and stretches from K'Road, all the way to the waterfront, so it's a real artery.

Along here, you can browse some individual, one-off shops, alongside some more well-known names.  At the foot you'll find alot of the designer label stores along with Commercial Bay, a modern mall with the full range of retail stores and an extensive food hall.  Further up is the premier department store, Smith and Caughey's, multiplex cinema, The Civic and Q Theatres, Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Centre.

Parnell Village

Parnell Village, another historical gem, provides an enchanting escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.  With its beautifully restored buildings and quaint streets, it evokes a sense of nostalgia.  Visitors can meander through the village's charming boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops, immersing themselves in the bygone era of Auckland.

As you stroll through Parnell Village, you can't help but feel a sense of tranquility wash over you.  The cobblestone streets and leafy trees create a serene atmosphere, inviting you to explore at your own pace.  The historic buildings, some dating back to the early 19th century, have been lovingly preserved and now house a variety of unique shops and galleries.

Take a moment to step into one of the art galleries and admire the works of local artists.  The vibrant colors and intricate details of the paintings and sculptures will captivate your imagination and give you a deeper appreciation for Auckland's artistic heritage.