Auckland - Sightseeing
Auckland’s tightly knitted grid of city centre streets is home to a surprisingly varied and exciting array of shopping opportunities. The city’s shopping plazas and malls are every bit as up-to-date and fashion conscious as anything you’d find in Sydney - if not quite on the same dazzling scale as their Asian counterparts.
Fashion central is the area around High Street and Vulcan Lane, with its array of international and home-grown talent displaying the latest must-have designs in a series of elegant boutiques and fashion malls. Head to Customs Street West (parallel to Quay Street) for funky threads, jewellery and leather goods and to the Aotea Square market for original pieces and NZ crafts. Queen Street’s arcades hide a warren of fascinating, unique gift ideas and coffee shops.
Karangahape Road is the place to head for more ethnically minded pieces, Maori crafts and retro/vintage gifts, while the inner city suburbs of Ponsonby (bo-ho and chic), Parnell (upmarket and stylish) and Newmarket (traditional and family friendly) offer big names (Stella McCartney, Diane Von Furstenburg etc) mingled with local talent, bargain-hunting markets, outlet stores and galleries.
Westfield Downtown is a 70-store mall with edgy home furnishings, fashion and gifts, while the Britomart precinct combines farmers’ market produce with locally-made arts and crafts for a totally authentic Auckland shopping experience.
For air conditioned malls and convenience, try Shore City, St Lukes, West City, Lynn Mall, Manukau City, Pakuranga and Botany Town Centre.
The Sky Tower, Victoria and Federal Streets
You can’t really miss it - at 328 metres it’s the tallest structure in New Zealand and it offers stunning views over Auckland’s harbour. For the brave, there’s even the chance to enjoy a ‘SkyWalk’ around the pergola, 192 metres up, or even experience a SkyJump off the tower. Perhaps, though you’ll settle for a leisurely lunch with a view.
Waiheke Island Albert Park, Princes Street
Waiheke Island is only a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland and is home to around 30 wineries and vineyards. Head to a vineyard for lunch and wine tasting and enjoy the fantastic views over the Auckland Harbour. As well as winery’s, Waiheke is well known for white sandy beaches for a relaxing day out to escape the urban life.
Viaduct Basin & Wynnard Quarter
If you’re looking for a night out with great food and wine, then Wynnard Quarter, down by the Viaduct Basin is where you’ll find first class dining with great views overlooking the Auckland Harbour. With a wide range of restaurants & bars from around the world, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Mission Bay Auckland
Mission Bay is only 20 minutes from the Auckland CBD and offers a great beach, restaurants and bars as well as outstanding views of Mt Rangitoto, Auckland’s largest Volcano. It has a great sidewalk, children’s playground and a football sized field to picnic or play games – it’s a great day out for families, friends and couples.
This Auckland icon is only a 25 minute ferry ride from downtown Auclkand and boasts amazing panoramic views at 259m above the sea level. With lush native bush and sandy coves, it’s a great hike offering all different walks varying in length and difficulty. It’s definitely one to tick off the bucket list.
Rainbow’s End, Manukau City
A good, family-friendly theme park, with thrill rides, amusement arcades, shows and colourful fun-fare side stalls, Rainbow City is an Auckland institution that somehow manages to blend adrenalin-pumping action with home-spun, traditional fun too.
A trim north shore suburb, Devonport’s antique shops, coffee shops and tidy, tree lined avenues make for a refreshing break from downtown Auckland’s often traffic-clogged streets. The ferry from Auckland’s CBD takes around 12 minutes.