21 highlights, sights and things to do in Auckland, New Zealand

21 highlights, sights and things to do in Auckland, New Zealand

It shouldn't get boring in Auckland, New Zealand. Here are some travel tips about some highlights of Auckland and other things you might like to see and do.

- Sky Tower, Corner Victoria and Federal Streets. At 328 meters, this is the tallest free-standing tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offering views of up to 80 kilometers away and fine dining in the Orbit revolving restaurant.

- Do the Sky Jump, a cable controlled base jump from a height of 192m on the Sky Tower. Or, try the Sky Walk, a walk around a 1.2m walkway with no hand rails.

- The Waitakere Ranges are Auckland’s best kept secret. With stunning waterfalls breathtaking views and rugged but beautiful beaches, around 45 minutes drive from central Auckland.

- The StarDome Observatory. Located on the slopes of One Tree Hill. The park also contains Maori archaeological sites, a kid's playgrounds and a working farm.

- Kelly Tarlton's. Located on Auckland’s scenic Tamaki Drive and the home of Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World. It's an aquarium which includes a trip through a transparent tunnel while the fish and sharks swim all around you, and tanks of rays with feeding-time talks. Bus routes 740-769.

- Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens. Located in Manurewa (South Auckland) has over 10,000 different plant types spread over 65 hectares with both natives and exotics

- MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology), Great North Road, Western Springs. Situated near the Zoo in Western Springs. $14 Adults, $7 Child & Senior citizens. Children under 5 free. It's an interactive museum with over 300,000 items. Look out for the WWII Avro Lancaster Bomber and the Solent Flying Boat in the Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Collection

- Otara Flea Market. Every Sat, open from 6AM - 12 noon at the Otara Shopping Centre, Newbury St. Huge selection of clothes, household items and food. Otara is densely populated by polynesian people and this market reflects the culture of the area. Well worth a wander around. For other markets see local city council websites.

- Drive or walk up one of Auckland's many volcanic cones such as One Tree Hill or Mount Eden to experience panoramic views of the city, and to see sheep and cows in a major metropolitan area!

- Climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

- Wine tasting on Waiheke Island. Waiheke is home to some fantastic wines and has some of the best beaches in the area. Can get crowded during the weekends, but very quiet during the week, it seems a world away from Auckland, and is only 35 minutes away via Ferry.

- Rainbow's End, is New Zealand's premier family-based theme park with many rides and attractions. Bus routes 471-472, 474, 487, 497

- Bush Walks are unguided walks through forestry whose entrances can be found by roadsides. The paths are generally either wooden or smoothly-trodden earth.

- Take a ferry from downtown to Rangitoto and climb to its summit. Fantastic views of the Waitemata harbour and Auckland city.

- Rent skates in Okahu Bay and take a scenic skate along Tamaki Drive

- Spend a day exploring the beauty of contemporary Maori culture in Auckland's city centre and urban bush sites.

- Auckland War Memorial Museum, Domain Drive, Parnell, +64 9 309 0443. 10AM-5PM. It is more than a war memorial, it is a general museum and one of the best in New Zealand. It stands in an imposing position in the Auckland Domain, a large park on an extinct volcano. Suggested donation $5 adult.

- New Zealand National Maritime Museum, Corner Quay and Hobson Street, Viaduct Harbour, +64 9 373 0800. Interesting exhibits chronicle New Zealand's Maritime history. Admission $16 adult, $7 children, $11 senior citizens.

- Auckland Art Gallery, Corner Wellesley and Lorne streets, 10AM-5PM. The largest collection of national and international art in New Zealand. It is split across two buildings, the main gallery and new gallery. Adults $7.

- Auckland Zoo, Motions Rd, Western Springs, 64 9 360 3800. Sep-May 9.30AM-5.30PM (last admissions at 4.15PM), Jun-Aug 9.30AM-5PM, closed 25 Dec. Has 150 animal species, 500 animals and a number of different habitats such as the Rainforest and Pridelands (an African savannah). Adults $16, children 4-15 $8, seniors and students with ID $12, family rates available.

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