Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and its capital. It has a population of 1,8 million people, making it one of the most populated cities on earth. The city was founded by British settlers from Australia who came to settle here after being given free land by King George III. In 1840, when the first Europeans arrived at what would become known as “New Plymouth”, only around 200 Maori lived in this area. Today, however, more than half of all residents are immigrants or descendants. Many things make Auckland unique: beautiful beaches, great food, friendly locals, fantastic nightlife, world-class museums and galleries, an active cultural scene, and more! Here’s a list of things you should not miss in Auckland.
* Climb up the Sky Tower
This giant tower stands 553 meters high and offers breathtaking views over the whole city. On top of the building, there are restaurants, bars, shops, cinemas, and even a revolving restaurant where you can enjoy 360� panoramic views. You can also take a ride up to the observation deck if you want to get closer to nature. The Sky Tower contains several interactive exhibitions with local culture and traditions. This will make your trip here very interesting.
* Visit Aotea Square
The square itself isn’t very big, but it still attracts thousands of tourists every day. This place is full of interesting buildings like the Town Hall, St Mary’s Cathedral, and the Civic Theatre. If you’re looking for something fun to do while visiting Auckland, then go shopping at Queen Street Mall – home to some of the best stores such as Apple Store, Nike Factory Shop, Guess, Sephora, H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Mango, Massimo Dutti, Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Tiffany & Co., Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Bvlgari, Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Escada, Dolce & Gabbana, Lacoste, Emperor io Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Celine, Tod’s, Topshop, Bershka, Urban Outfitters, Diesel, Gap, Forever 21, Primark, etc…
* Walk along Ponsonby Road
Ponsonby Road is considered to be one of the hippest places in Auckland. Many famous musicians have lived here, including Neil Finn, Phil Judd, and Richard Taylor. Some other well-known artists live nearby too. For example, David Bowie lived near the intersection between Karangahape Rd and Hobson Ave. He moved out of his house in 2016 because he wanted to spend time with his family. Again Ponsonby Road has a lot of cool cafes, pubs, clubs, art galleries, boutiques, bookstores, music venues, and lots of hipster hangouts. So if you love good coffee, delicious cakes, and excellent cocktails, then you’ll find everything you need here.
* See the Waitemata Harbour Bridge
If you ever come to Auckland, don’t forget to check out the Waitemata Harbour bridge. It connects North Shore City with downtown Auckland. At 690 meters long, it’s the longest single-span suspension bridge in the Southern Hemisphere. It took almost 20 years to build and open in 1987. During construction, workers had to deal with extreme weather conditions and earthquakes. But despite these challenges, the bridge looks stunning today. And since it’s located right next to the beach, you won’t regret spending hours admiring its beauty.
* Watch rugby games at Eden Park Stadium
Eden Park stadium is an iconic venue that hosts many major sporting events. This is New Zealand’s most prominent sports arena. There are two main stadiums: Westpac Stadium and Forsyth Barr Stadium. Both stadiums offer excellent facilities for watching sports matches or concerts. They both contain luxury boxes, VIP lounges, corporate hospitality areas, press conferences rooms, and more. However, they differ from each other by their capacity. While Westpac Stadium holds around 50,000 people, Forsyth Barr Stadium seats only 25,000 spectators.
* Take a helicopter flight above Auckland
Auckland is surrounded by water, so why shouldn’t we fly over it? Take a scenic helicopter ride above Auckland city and admire the beautiful sights below. Heliflight operates flights throughout the year. Their helicopters seat up to 12 passengers per trip. Each tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. Prices start from NZD 150. This is an exciting way to get a bird’s eye view of Auckland. You can also choose to visit different parts of the island on your private charter flight. The price depends on how much fuel you use during the journey.
* Enjoy a sunset cruise on the harbor
There are several companies offering cruises through Auckland Harbor. These include Cruise New Zealand, Water Taxis, and Kiwi Experience Cruising Company. All three provide similar services. They operate daily trips starting from 10 am until 5 pm. A typical ticket costs about NZD 40. If you want to save some money, buy tickets online before going there. That will help you avoid any unexpected fees when checking in. Also, bring comfortable shoes as most tours last 2 – 3 hours.
* Go whale spotting
Whale watching is very popular among tourists visiting New Zealand. Most operators organize day trips where visitors travel to specific spots along the coast. Usually, boats leave every hour or half an hour, depending on the season. On average, whales migrate close to shore between November and April. Therefore, you’re likely to spot them while cruising past beaches like Karekare Beach, Pakiri Point, or Cape Brett. Some operators even allow guests to swim with dolphins!
* Try bungee jumping
New Zealand has become famous worldwide because of its active volcano Mount Tarawera which erupted in 1886. Today, it still attracts thousands of thrill-seekers who jump off cliffs into the crater lake. Bungee Jumping Taupo offers such activities. Its location near Lake Rotorua makes it perfect for those looking to experience something new. It takes place at 9 am sharp every day except Mondays. Tickets cost about NZD 120. Make sure to book ahead if you wish to participate.
* See kiwi birds
Kiwi is a native animal found in New Zealand. Although they look cute, could you not feed them? They have long tongues that could easily cause serious injuries. Besides, these little creatures are protected under law. So, could you keep away from them? Also, you need to know that kiwi eggs hatch after 13 days. During this time, parents cannot be seen feeding their babies. After hatching, chicks stay hidden inside dense vegetation for four weeks. Then, they venture out to search for food. When they grow older, they begin hunting insects and small reptiles.
Auckland is an excellent destination for anyone planning to explore New Zealand. Remember that traveling around the country requires patience and dedication. Plan well and prepare yourself accordingly. Whenever you think of traveling, think of Cathay Pacific Airways first. With more than 50 years of history behind it, Cathay Pacific remains committed to providing safe and reliable air transportation service to customers across the globe.