10 Things to do in Auckland

  1. THE SKY TOWER Rising 328 meters, the Sky Tower dominates Auckland’s city skyline. There’s plenty here to entertain the whole family including a revolving restaurant, cafe and bar. But the star attraction is the view from the sky deck with its ravishing 360-degree panorama of the city. Corner Victoria and Federal Streets. Tel: 0800 759 2489. www.skycity.co.nz
  2. BETHELLS BEACH AND KAREKARE This is your chance to get up close and personal with Hollywood. Bethells Beach was the site of Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules while Karekare formed the bleak backdrop for The Piano. If nothing else, the beaches offer great swimming spots and an opportunity to work on your tan.
  3. WESTHAVEN MARINA One of the largest marinas in the Southern Hemisphere, Westhaven has been pulling in the schooners, yachts and dinghy’s of Auckland’s well-heeled for generations. With the sails down, the thousands of boats anchored here really do resemble a forest of white poplars. Westhaven Drive
  4. NEW ZEALAND MARITIME MUSEUM Maritime enthusiasts will take to the museum’s meticulously kept collection of seafaring vessels and all things nautical, charting the country’s long history with the sea. From the first Polynesian vessels to the massive whalers, it’s an engaging experience. Corner Quay and Hobson Streets. Tel: 64.9 373 0800.
  5. THE EDGE It’s not quite as dangerous as it sounds. The Edge is actually an entertainment enclave comprising theatres, Imax, cafes and shops. A popular nightspot, the place comes alive especially during special events such as WOMAD, operas or plays. Queen Street
  6. AUCKLAND WAR MEMORIAL MUSEUM Rather than the usual sobering experience, Auckland’s version is fairly upbeat. Its Greek temple-inspired frontage leads into a fine collection of Maori artifacts, laid out under a lovely stained glass dome; a gallery of Spitfire planes and, of all things, a section dedicated to the bones of extinct animals. The Domain. Tel: 0800 256 873. www.akmuseum.org.nz
  7. TAMAKI DRIVE Head for the eastern shores of Auckland and nose around the mansions of the city’s rich and famous. Paritai Drive, just off Tamaki, is Auckland’s exclusive millionaire’s row. From here, the view of the city centre, dominated by the Sky Tower, is quite special, especially at sunset.
  8. AUCKLAND REGIONAL BOTANIC GARDENS You can always tell if a nation was once settled by Mother England by its adoration of gardens and all things green. The Botanic 3ardens sprawl over 640 sq km with over 10,000 species of plants. It’s a lovely way to spend a few hours just drinking m the bountiful colors and lush greens. Hill Road, Manukau City
  9. CATCH A SHOW The main venues for Auckland’s live entertainment are Aotea Centre and Auckland Town Hall at the Edge. Whether it’s the Royal New Zealand Ballet or its Symphony Orchestra or some stand-up comedy, there’s something happening almost every night. Check the local papers for the most current shows.
  10. HENDERSON The focal equivalent of Napa Valley and the Hunter Valley, the Henderson is a veritable haven of fine wineries. Almost every bottle promises a fine toast, especially when paired with a picnic basket, some cheese and a warm blanket for the post-prandial nap.


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