Are you flying from Hong Kong to Auckland? The most populous urban area and the only true metropolitan area of the country, Auckland is the vibrant economic heart of the city. Known as the “city of Sails”, Auckland is a harbourside city popular for sailing. It lies between Manukau Harbour to the west and Waitemata Harbour to the east. In fact, many cultural and outdoor attractions are among the top in the country. For sightseeing ideas, refer to our list of top-rated tourist attractions in Auckland.
1) Sky Tower Auckland, SkyWalk and SkyJump
The Sky Tower is a telecommunications and observation tower located in Auckland’s city centre. It is 328 meters tall, making it the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The Tower opened in 1997 standing as an icon of Auckland’s skyline for more than 20 years. It is also a hub of adrenaline activities and breath-taking views. At the base of the Sky Tower, the Sky Tower Auckland entertainment complex is home to world-class hotels, award-winning bars and restaurants, and also a world-class casino. The Sky Tower is suitable for different kinds of visitors, people who would like to snap the city panorama of key landmarks and volcanoes then the observation deck at level 51 is the right place. For many visitors though, it is more than just the view. It offers tourists thrill-seeking opportunities, just like what New Zealanders are known for. The SkyWalk and SkyJump platform is located at level 52. This challenge lets you take a walk and enjoy dizzying views from 192 meters high, and is designed to get your heart racing. If you enjoy a pure adrenaline rush, take the SkyJump from the 192-meter platform in 11 seconds as you jump 53 floors down at the speed of 85kph.
2) Hauraki Gulf & Islands
Auckland city rests on the edge of a sheltered harbour where you can jump on a boat and be on an island within 30 minutes. Thanks to the close proximity and spectacular views, the Hauraki Gulf is the perfect place for exploring, island and water activities. It is a coastal feature that has an area of 4000 km2. Many of these islands are wildlife sanctuaries and feature beautiful walks. Great Barrier Island is the biggest island in the Hauraki Gulf, great for surfing with beautiful white sand beaches. Take a mountain bike with you if you are for an adventure. There is also the famous Kauri trail walk to do if you are a hiker. Waiheke is a must-see ‘island of wine’ that tourists started to take notice of. There are plenty of wineries and we recommend booking a winery tour to try a few. The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is New Zealand’s largest marine reserve. Jump on a whale and dolphin safari and head out to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat for an unforgettable experience.
3) Discover Art and culture
One of the top activities you should do is to discover the artistic and cultural side of Auckland. Explore world-class art exhibitions at art galleries and museums. We recommend the Auckland Art Gallery, the principal public gallery that has the most extensive collection of art in New Zealand. The Auckland Art Gallery is the most well known among others as it exhibits a fusion of historical and contemporary art, which is even expressed in its building architecture. Two buildings, a major extension of the building and another extension which was demolished and remodeled and redeveloped, opened in 2011. The redevelopment increased exhibition space by 50%, and has provided more family friendly spaces for visitors. For more contemporary collections of New Zealand’s sculptures and stunning landscapes, you can visit the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail or Sculptureum.
4) Auckland Zoo
Whether or not you are travelling with kids, you should not miss out the Auckland Zoo. It is a 16.35-hectare zoological garden located next to Western Springs not far from Auckland’s city centre. Auckland Zoo first opened in 1922, though it experienced some early difficulties in maintaining animal health issues, it is now home to more than 1,400 individuals representing 135 species. The themed areas feature animals mainly from Africa, Australia, South Asia and South America, including giraffes, meerkats, wallabies and monkeys. In 2011, the Zoo opened its newest development, focusing on New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. There are also some unique experiences available, with fun things such as an after dark safari, photography workshops and junior zookeeper programs.
5) Auckland Central
Central Auckland, also referred to as the central business district and central suburbs of Auckland, is located between the Weitemata and Manukau harbours. It is the heart of Auckland, with a coastal living vibe at daytime and night-time energy shared with a variety of entertainment. There are exciting events and culture in every corner, concerts, festivals, musicals, sports. At nighttime, central suburbs offer a variety of entertainment - great shopping, dinner, drinks and dancing. Explore the history of the city by visiting the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Despite its name, it is not primarily a war museum, but a general museum. It displays the geography of the Auckland region, arts and crafts of the Maori and Polynesian people, and some other Maori cultural performances. Some other interesting things to do in Central Auckland includes the Auckland Bridge Climb - walk up the arch of the bridge, bungy jumps are also available. Hop on the Wynyard Loop Tram - a short 1.5km circular tour with a commentary pointing out a bit of history and items of interests for you to explore. If you are looking for fresh food stalls and vintage markets, we recommend going to La Cigale French market that emphasizes seasonal fruit and vegetables, and Pauanesia that collaborates with local designers and artists.
Are you ready to book your flights from Hong Kong to Auckland? You can book through Cathay Pacific. Team Cathay Pacific’s mission is to make the most out of your travels...so this applies when you fly from Hong Kong to Auckland too. Book tickets and fly to Auckland now on this website: http://www.cathaypacific.com