Exploring Urban Auckland
Exploring Urban Auckland
In between cache finds, we suggest you take some time to look around some of Auckland's most iconic spots. The city has over 800 restaurants and more cafes than we care to count (not that we counted the number of restaurants either, we thank the Internet for information like that). We'd suggest you grab yourself a flat white, turn the GPS off for a bit and go visit these places but we're pretty sure each of the spots we'll suggest below has at least one cache for you to find nearby so make sure you're prepared!
Ten Spots in Urban Auckland You Shouldn't Miss
Auckland War Memorial Museum
This is the best place to start if you want to learn more about the geology of Auckland and the history of the people that first populated it. If you can, do attend one of the Maori Cultural Performances that take place several times a day in the museum (there is an extra charge for those but you will catch a unique glimpse of Maori culture, by Maori people). The museum also includes a whole floor dedicated to New Zealand’s participation in the two world wars so do take time to wander around and show your respect for our fallen soldiers. Once your visit to the museum is finished, take a stroll inside the Auckland Domain, including a walk inside the Wintergardens (just a few meters down from the museum).
Auckland Art Gallery
For contemporary art lovers, a visit to the Auckland Art Gallery is mandatory. From there, we suggest a stroll down Queen Street (and High Street, which runs parallel to Queen) for a taste of Auckland's urban life.
Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology is worth a visit, for the historic civilian and military aircraft and other land transport vehicles. The museum is conveniently located right next to one of Auckland’s nicest parks - Western Springs - and next door to the Auckland Zoo, another spot you shouldn’t miss. I mean, pandas. Need I say more?
Commonly known as K Road (because, well, you try pronouncing Karangahape...), this is one of the most iconics streets in the city. It is considered one of the main veins of Auckland's cultural areas, with a range of cafes and boutique shops to please any taste, but turns into a bit of a "red light district" at night. Interesting to visit at night too, but not to everyone's taste. It is well worth a visit, regardless of the time of the day, as it is home to a number of iconic buildings that reveal a lot about the history of the city.
If walking through underground tunnels with glass around you through which you can see sharks and other fish swimming around is not your thing, then you really need to re-think that opinion. You can also get on a little train and go visit the colony of Antarctic Penguins that likes hanging around there. For an extra fee, if you're feeling adventurous, you can do the shark-cage encounter, the cageless encounter (for the reaaaaally brave) and even swim in the stingray tank.
Don't listen to anyone else, this is the absolute best spot for that view of the city you cannot wait to photograph. Walk to the top and sit down to take in the breathtaking panoramic views of the city. There's almost nothing you can't see from here. Spot Rangitoto Island (Auckland's youngest volcano), the Waitakere Ranges, One Tree Hill (another lookout you should visit, once you're done with Mount Eden) and the famous Sky Tower. Take as many photos as your SD card can handle and then head back to Mount Eden village and explore the range of cafes that the little suburb has to offer.
There is no better place to go to find out why Auckland has been dubbed the "City of Sails". Enjoy the harbour views, sit down for a drink or a seafood feast. The Tepid Baths and the Maritime Museum, located here, are well worth a visit.
This is one of the youngest, most recently developed areas in the city and it is a hit among Aucklanders and visitors alike. This reclaimed piece of land is located just west of the Viaduct basin area and boasts a number of bars and restaurants, along with green outdoor areas especially designed so that families and groups of friends can enjoy their time in the heart of the city. According to the people in charge, the revitalisation of Wynyard Quarter, lead by Waterfront Auckland is New Zealand's largest urban revitalization project and will continue for 20 more years. There is always something going on at Silo Park so make sure you spend some time there. Experience the Sounds of the Sea, visit the Wind Tree and the Flooded Mirror, check out the Wynyard Quarter Piano and relax on Karanga Plaza.
We couldn't not mention the Sky Tower, undoubtedly Auckland's most iconic structure and the ultimate landmark in the city. The views from the top are stunning and, if you go up, you can then tell all your friends you were up on the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. If you're feeling brave, risk it all with the Sky Jump. No extra points for that, though.
New Zealand is where the bungy jump was invented so, if you feel adventurous enough for it, no trip to the country is complete without falling off a really tall height with an elastic rope tied around your ankles. Ok, that didn't sound all that pleasant. But it's thrilling, for sure, and if you're ever going to, New Zealand is the place to do it. Pack your sense of adventure, head to the Harbour Bridge and jump off it. Your stress over those DNFs will melt away, guaranteed.