Auckland, New Zealand North Island

Auckland is the largest city in the North Island and all of New Zealand. Tāmaki-makau-rau was first settled by the Māori people in the mid-14th century and then sold to the British five hundred years later. Enjoy exploring this wonderful harborside city.

Share this
View MAP

Central Business District Skyline of in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city with a metro population over 1.6 million residents. Tāmaki-makau-rau (its Māori name) is located near the middle of the North Island on an isthmus fronting Waitematā Harbour (also called Auckland Harbour). The land was first settled by the Māori people. After selling it to the British Crown in 1840 during the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand became a self-governing colony. William Hobson, New Zealand’s first governor, named the settlement after George Eden, the Earl of Auckland. From those colonial times, Auckland has blossomed into a wonderful community filled with culture, entertainment, sports and a thriving economy. These are just a few reasons why Auckland is often ranked among the world’s most livable cities.

Enlarge/Slideshow

1 Queens Wharf in Auckland, New Zealand

The first wooden pier built to service cargo ships arriving at Waitematā Harbour was constructed in 1862. The name Queens Wharf honored the reigning Queen Victoria. During the last century, this waterfront has evolved extensively and become a very busy place. The Edwardian Baroque style building in the background opened in 1912 as the Auckland Ferry Terminal. The landmark was converted to retail space in the 1990s when a new ship-shaped ferry terminal was constructed at its base. The wharf was rebuilt with ironwork at the turn of the 20th century and then concrete during the 1960s. Along the 1,150 foot pier is Shed 10, the main terminal for cruise ships. Next to it is The Cloud, a 585 foot, white-canopied event complex built for the Rugby World Cup in 2011. Near the port’s entrance is a large souvenir store. The iconic Queens Wharf Gates and Red Fence were added from 1913 until 1923. You will enjoy following the Red Fence Heritage Walk. Along the 1.5 miles are signposts explaining the historic features of the Auckland waterfront.

89 Quay St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

2 Dilworth Building in Auckland, New Zealand

James Dilworth was an Irishman who became wealthy in New Zealand. When he died in 1894, his will created a trust to establish a boys’ boarding school. The Dilworth School in Auckland still funds full scholarships for its students. This apartment complex was built in 1927 to generate additional money for the school. The Dilworth Building’s Stripped Classical style was designed by William Gummer in association with his partner Charles Ford. Among their numerous credits in Auckland during the early 20th century are The Strand Station and Domain Wintergardens.

Queen St & Customs St E, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

3 Old Customhouse in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland grew rapidly within decades of its founding in 1840 as a port for international shipping. In response, warehouses sprung up along the waterfront. The French Renaissance style Customhouse was built in 1889 to manage the trade. Other government offices occupied the upper floors. The architect for the Customhouse was Edward Mahoney. Born in County Cork, Ireland, Mahoney became a prolific designer of Auckland’s schools and churches during the late 19th century. After an extensive renovation, the landmark reopened as the T Galleria by DFS, a duty-free retailer based in Hong Kong. The Victorian building is listed as Category 1 by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

22 Customs St W, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

4 Shopping on Queen Street in Auckland, New Zealand

Queen Street is the main boulevard traversing Auckland’s central business district. The almost two mile thoroughfare is lined with heritage buildings, modern high-rises and plenty of shops. The retailers range from souvenir vendors, the Smith & Caughey’s department store and luxury boutiques. Gucci and Louis Vuitton are two of the exclusive brands. The real evidence of Queen Street’s importance is it replaces Boardwalk – the highest priced property – in the New Zealand Edition of the Monopoly board game. You can’t pass “Go” in Auckland without strolling on Queen Street.

48 Queen St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

5 Guardian Trust Building Clock in Auckland, New Zealand

The New Zealand Insurance Company Ltd. was founded in Auckland in 1859. It became one of the country’s largest insurance companies. Since 2003, the NZI brand has been a subsidiary of IAG New Zealand Ltd. In 1918, NZI built a Stripped Classical structure on Queen Street as their headquarters. The nine floors designed by William Gummer qualified as one of the city’s first high-rises. Their trademark clock was transferred from an earlier building. After an extensive renovation in 2003, the Guardian Trust Building became the Guardian Apartments.

105 Queen St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

6 Queen’s Rise in Auckland, New Zealand

The Bank of New Zealand was founded in 1861. Their corporate headquarters – designed by Leonard Terry – opened on Queen Street four years later. The financial services firm is one of the country’s “Big Four.” The bank has been officed in the Deloitte Centre since 2009. In 2018, a collection of a dozen restaurants serving international cuisine opened inside their former building known as Queen’s Rise.

125 Queen Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

7 Old, New and Newer Architecture in Auckland, New Zealand

125 Queen Street is an example of how Auckland is combining the old with the new. At the base is the 1865 BNZ Bank Building, now called Queen’s Rise. In 1986, the 314 foot glass Bank of New Zealand Tower became the visual centerpiece of the address. After an extensive renovation in 2017, the former BNZ Tower was renamed 125Q and began marketing as a “new” office complex with 25 floors of A-grade commercial space. Also new is a huge LED screen flashing rotating advertisements next to the historic BNZ façade. The handsome Victorian Italianate structure on the left is the Blacketts Building. This was the headquarters for the South British Insurance Company when it opened in 1879.

125 Queen Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

8 Shakespeare Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand

Shakespeare Hotel was very popular among locals and visiting famers after it opened in 1898. It had a lasting reputation for serving good cheer. Inside this rose-colored Victorian structure were three taverns. Two of the bars were private and one was public. In the basement were well-stocked cellars. Fortunately, good things don’t change. The Shakespeare is noted for its delicious craft beer served below its boutique accommodations. In the timeless words of William Shakespeare, “Blessings of your heart, you brew good ale.”

61 Albert St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

9 Creation of Adam Mural in Auckland, New Zealand

It took four years – from 1508 until 1512 – for Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling including the famous Creation of Adam. Considerably less time was required to create this 19.6 x 44.2 foot reproduction in Auckland. Actually, less than one day. The image consists of 12 panels generated on a laser printer. The project was produced in 2014 by Osmand Signs for Samsung.

Wyndham St & Federal St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

10 St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland, New Zealand

It seems fitting Auckland’s first chapel for Irish immigrants would be named after Ireland’s patron saint: Saint Patrick. New Zealand’s first Roman Catholic Bishop, Jean-Baptiste François Pompallier, founded the parish in 1841 along with a dozen other missionary stations throughout the country. Auckland became the Catholic diocese seven years later. A church was constructed in 1850 and then expanded during the rest of the century. By 1908, the old section was demolished and the current Gothic Revival cathedral was finished. The Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph is the Mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland.

43 Wyndham St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

11 Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand

Defining the Auckland skyline is Sky Tower, the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere at 1,076 feet. It was built in 1997 as a telecommunications and broadcasting facility. But ask any of the nearly half million tourists who visit annually what makes this icon so exciting. There are three observation platforms offering 50 mile views. Dine at the Sky Lounge Café at the lowest lookout deck or enjoy the one-hour rotation at Orbit 360° Dining. If you fancy yourself a daredevil, then test your nerves at the 360° SkyWalk. If you want to test your sanity, then jump off the 53rd floor and drop 630 nerve-shattering feet at a top speed of 53 mph.

78 Victoria Street West, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

12 SkyCity Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand

The city’s only casino is SkyCity Aukland, featuring over 100 gaming tables and 1,600 gambling machines. Also inside are two hotels (SkyCity Grand Hotel and SkyCity Hotel), a convention complex, a theater plus numerous restaurants and bars. All of this entertainment is very easy to find. Just look up in the sky, find the Sky Tower and rush towards it.

61 Albert St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

13 Auckland Civic Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand

The late 1920s and early 1930s was the era of grand movie palaces worldwide. Proprietor Thomas O’Brien had a vision of building the grandest in Australasia (Australia and New Zealand). O’Brien commissioned architect Charles Bohringer to design a theatre with a capacity for over 2,700 people. But not just a big theater. It had to be lavish inside and out. The interior displayed atmospheric Moorish elements below a dome of twinkling stars. The façade features a frieze of dancing cherubs. After a significant restoration in 1999, The Civic has been revitalized as a performing arts venue specializing in musicals. According to legend, this Heritage New Zealand Category 1 property is haunted by Freda Stark. She was a flamboyant and shameless cabaret dancer during WWII – nicknamed Fever of the Fleet – and a key witness during the 1935 murder trial of her female lover, Thelma Mareo. When Stark died in 1999, the two women were reunited at nearby Waikumete Cemetery.

Queen Street & Wellesley Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

14 Entertainment on Queen Street in Auckland, New Zealand

Adjoining The Civic Theatre and built in the same year (1929) were the Civic House and Fergusson House. Both were drawn by architect Sinclair O’Connor. The former housed a luxury glassware retailer named Tanfield Potter & Co. The latter was headquarters for the Samuel Vaile & Sons real estate firm. Both evolved into office space until the historic facades were transformed into Event Cinemas, a chain of movie theaters operated by Australia-based Event Hospitality and Entertainment. Next door is the Sky World building. Inside is a food court, restaurants and retailers.

291-297 Queen St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

15 Town Hall in Auckland, New Zealand

The architectural jewel of Queen Street is Auckland Town Hall. The Edwardian Baroque structure with its 148 foot clock tower served the Auckland City Council from 1911 until 1955. The façade was crafted from Oamaru stone, a white limestone quarried north of Dunedin on the South Island. In addition to the civic offices, the building’s specifications included the Great Hall with a seating capacity for over 1,500 people, the Concert Chamber and the country’s largest pipe organ. The original Norman & Beard organ was replaced in 2010 with the acoustically superior instrument by Orgelbau Klais. After extensive restorations in the 1990s and again in 2007, the landmark has become a prime location for concerts and special events.

301 Queen St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

16 Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand

Aotea Centre is a special event complex containing the ASB Theatre (2,139 seats), the intimate Herald Theatre (186 seats) plus several banquet rooms. A prominent feature of Aotea Square is the artwork Waharoa. This means “gateway” in the Māori language. The 23 foot high, macrocarpa wood (Monterey cypress) arch was sculpted by Selwyn Muru. The symbols depict various deities including the god of the seas, forests, elements and planets. The namesake for the center and square is Motu Aotea which is the Great Barrier Island near the northeastern tip of New Zealand.

50 Mayoral Dr, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

17 Auckland Art Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand

The Auckland Art Gallery’s collection began in the 1880s when two prominent philanthropists – James Mackelvie and former governor George Grey – gifted an extensive number of manuscripts and art to the city. When a French Renaissance style building was finished in 1887, it housed the gallery plus the municipal library and city council offices. As the museum’s collection grew into more than 15,000 works by New Zealand and international artists, the gallery’s footprint was expanded in 1971 and again in 2011. This is the new entrance for Toi o Tāmaki – the gallery’s Mâori name. Schedule plenty of time to explore the four floors of modern, contemporary and Māori art exhibited on four floors. Admission for New Zealanders is free.

1 Kitchener St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

18 Band Rotunda at Albert Park in Auckland, New Zealand

In 1846, the British military began construction of Albert Barracks on 22 acres. The military post was occupied by various regiments – up to 1,000 soldiers – until 1870. Then the buildings were demolished and only 279 feet of the defense walls were left behind. Soon afterwards, most of the land was repurposed for the University of Auckland. 15 acres were reserved for Albert Park. This band rotunda was constructed in 1901.

Albert Park, Bowen Ln, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

19 Throwback Sculpture at Albert Park in Auckland, New Zealand

Albert Park is located in central Auckland on a hill formed by a volcano about 60,000 years ago. The Māori people called it Rangipuke meaning fortified village. The greenspace took shape in the 1880s based on the design of James Slator and William Goldie. Inside the park are several sculptures, including statues of Queen Victoria (1897) and Governor George Grey (1904) plus the Floral Clock (1953). This harp-shaped Throwback Sculpture was created by George Grey in 1988 as part of the Auckland Art Gallery centennial celebration.

Albert Park, Bowen Ln, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

20 University of Auckland ClockTower in Auckland, New Zealand

This is the crown of the old Arts Building at the University of Auckland. The 177 foot ClockTower is stunning and elegant. The interpretive Art Nouveau design was created by Roy Alstan Lippincott. He was a member of the “Chicago School of Architecture” famous for masters such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Hobson Richardson. The foundation is Mount Somers stone and the pinnacle is concrete. The lacelike appearance is more than decorative. Lippincott incorporated Mâori motifs plus New Zealand flora and fauna. Aucklanders affectionately call it “The Wedding Cake.”

22 Princes St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

21 St. Andrew’s Church in Auckland, New Zealand

Scottish Presbyterians were among the first Europeans to arrive at the fledging settlement of Auckland. They formed a congregation in 1847 and finished this church three years later. In 1860, the church was dedicated to Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The bell tower of First Presbyterian Church of St. Andrews was added in 1882.

2 Symonds St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

22 Auckland High Court in Auckland, New Zealand

The Supreme Court of New Zealand was founded in 1841, the same year the Colony of New Zealand was established and Aukland became its capital. The Gothic Revival plans for a new building were on the drawing board of architect Edward Rumsey when Wellington became the capital in 1865. Despite the move, this courthouse was finished in 1868. The building features carvings by Anton Teutenberg of gargoyles and faces of prominent 19th century Aucklanders including Ngāpuhi chief Hōne Heke. Fortunately, this impressive façade was maintained during the expansions in 1936 and 1988. Since the new Supreme Court of New Zealand was established in 2004, this has been called the Auckland High Court.

24 Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

23 Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland City Arena was constructed between Quay Street and The Strand in 2007. The 12,000 seat stadium for sports, concerts and entertainment was called Vector Arena on opening day. Since 2017, naming rights belong to Spark New Zealand, a huge telecommunications company made public after a divesture from the New Zealand Post Office in 1990. Sports regularly played in the facility include ice hockey, boxing, wrestling and basketball.

42-52 Mahuhu Cres, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

24 The Strand Station in Auckland, New Zealand

The Strand Station was the major transportation facility serving central Auckland from 1930 until 2003 when the Britomart Transport Centre opened on Queen Street. The only rail service currently operating in the Auckland Strand Station is the Northern Explorer. This is an 11 hour scenic journey between Auckland and the capital city of Wellington. Along the way, you will watch over 400 miles of the North Island whiz by your window.

26 Te Taou Cres, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

25 Auckland Domain Band Rotunda in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland Domain is a 185 acre, tree-lined park established by Governor FitzRoy in 1843. It required vision to set aside such a large tract of land in the early years of the settlement’s development. You wouldn’t know it but this area was a volcanic crater. Māori people called it Pukekawa. Over the generations, Aucklanders have enjoyed the grounds for sporting events, parades, celebrations, exhibitions and time with family and friends. The park regularly hosts free concerts during the summer months. The Auckland Domain Band Rotunda was built for the 1913 Auckland Exhibition and was a gift of J. M. Mennie, a biscuit manufacturer.

Auckland Domain, Park Rd, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

26 Domain Wintergardens Greenhouse in Auckland, New Zealand

A popular free destination within Auckland Domain is Wintergardens. Two of these barrel-vault greenhouses were designed by the architectural team of Gummer and Ford and opened in 1928. Domain Wintergardens has been recognized as Category 1 by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and given five stars by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.

Domain Wintergardens, Wintergarden Rd, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

27 Domain Wintergardens Courtyard in Auckland, New Zealand

There are two greenhouses at Domain Wintergardens. The unheated Temperate House was built first in 1928 followed by the heated Tropical House shown here. Between them is a tranquil courtyard enriched with Victorian statues and planters. The terrace steps lead to a central lily pond accented with a mosaic fountain.

Domain Wintergardens, Wintergarden Rd, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

28 Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland, New Zealand

Dominating the tallest ridge at Auckland Domain is the impressive, Neoclassical façade of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The museum began in 1852 and now curates over four million items. As the name implies, inside are extensive exhibits devoted to military conflicts. But there is so much more to see and enjoy. The collection includes natural and social artifacts plus exhibits about the Māori people dating back over 1,000 years. The museum’s Māori name is Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Interestingly, a delegation of 80 Māori chiefs attended the museum’s opening in 1929. The Auckland Museum is New Zealand’s oldest and visited by over a half million people annually.

80 Cenotaph Rd, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

29 Wynyard Quarter in Auckland, New Zealand

Western Reclamation has been dominated by liquid storage tanks since the mid-20th century. The locals call it the Tank Farm. Plans for revitalizing the 88 acres facing the waterfront began in 2007. Early improvements since Phase One opened in 2011 are a shoreline promenade, 10 restaurants, the Jellicoe Square, Silo Park and Karanga Plaza plus the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre. Apartments and commercial offices are also under development to take advantage of the harbor views. Easy transportation around the area is provided by Dockline Tram, a service previously operated from 1902 until it closed in 1956.

North Wharf, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

30 ASB Bank Headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand

Since its founding in 1847, ASB Bank has become a member of New Zealand’s Big Four and is consistently named Bank of the Year. In 2013, ASB made a significant commitment to the Wynyard Quarter redevelopment by constructing the area’s first commercial structure in decades. What a stylish addition to the old industrial waterfront! This two-block long, seven-story building is called ASB North Wharf and is the bank’s corporate headquarters. The innovative design is more than just a pretty face. The open floorplan and windows let in plenty of sunlight and the building is rated 5 stars for sustainability.

12 Jellicoe St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

31 Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland, New Zealand

People love gorgeous waterfronts. What better place is there to host a special occasion than a glass facility with ample balconies? That is what the Viaduct Events Centre has provided since it opened in the Wynard Quarter in 2011. Beneath the wavy roofline is a 65,000 square foot facility with seven banquet rooms ideal for corporate events and weddings

161 Halsey St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

32 Wynyard Crossing in Auckland, New Zealand

As Auckland’s waterfront became revitalize, the Viaduct Basin created a gap between Quay Street and the emerging Wynyard Quarter. The solution was Wynyard Crossing. The 330 foot Te Wero Bridge was finished in 2011. Two sections lift within 90 seconds to create a 118 foot channel for passing boats. The bascule bridge is restricted to pedestrians and cyclists.

Wynyard Crossing, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

33 Viaduct Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand

After Freemans Bay was created along the harbor in the early 1840s, the area quickly became the “wrong side of town.” The slum was filled with rancid-smelling industrial plants and shipyards plus the morgue and city dump together with plenty of crime and prostitutes. It was appropriate named after James Freeman who was described as a disgustingly immoral scoundrel. In the early 20th century, the Harbour Board dredged the Viaduct Basin to handle cargo. The venture failed. During the 1990s, the waterfront was extensively redeveloped as Viaduct Harbour. It is now an oasis of high-priced apartments, stores and restaurants overlooking moored yachts and pleasure boats.

220 Quay St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions

34 New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland, New Zealand

The New Zealand Maritime Museum has fascinated fans of ships since it was founded by Dr. Rodney Wilson in 1993. Hui Te Anaui A Tangaroa (its Māori name) has an extensive collection of seafaring artifacts, artwork, photographs and 130 watercraft. The exhibits tell the stories of the earliest Polynesian and European explorers, whalers, commercial shipping and recreational watercraft. In the foreground is Waitangi, the last rigged cutter created by legendary yacht builder Robert Logan Snr. The 75 foot vessel won the Wellington Anniversary Regatta during its first year of sailing in 1895 and created a legacy at New Zealand yacht races. After a long list of owners, the ship was totally restored for its 100th anniversary and is now permanently displayed as a working museum.

149 Quay St, Auckland 1140, New Zealand
Enlarge/Slideshow See On Map Directions
TOP