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Top Rated Attractions in Auckland

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Piha Beach

Piha Beach, on the wild Tasman coast, is famous for the Lion Rock vistas, black sand beaches, great surf and deadly rips. If you venture into the water, do so only between the lifeguard flags. Changing rooms, a shop and campground are available. If coming in summer, bring plenty of sunscreens and a hat as it can be blistering hot on the black sand. The beach is also spectacular on a wild, windy day. From north Piha, there are walking tracks to more secluded beaches.

Waiheke Island

Surrounded by the water, Waiheke Island is known to be the second-largest island of the Hauraki Gulf. Freckled with an abundance of caves, the island branches into several peninsulas, breaking up the coast into a series of tranquil bays. The island's beaches are spotless and a popular choice for family picnics. Visitors may also wander around the island along the various trails that riddle its cliffs and slopes. Waiheke houses many art galleries and sports facilities, as well as a cinema, a theater and various wineries. Waiheke Island's prime attractions include the Whakanewha Regional Park, the Waiheke Community Art Gallery, the Oneroa Bay, Onetangi Beach, the Cascades Waterfall and Pohutukawa Reserve.

Kitekite Falls

Located in the heart of Piha's tropical forests is Kitekite Falls, a beautiful tri-level 40 meter (131 feet) waterfall that that flows into a pristine pool. After a comfortable trek through lush forests, visitors are rewarded with the sight of gorgeous white ribbons of cascading water bordered by tall towering trees and Nikau Palms. Take along a picnic and enjoy it on the banks of the pool after a refreshing swim. The adventurous can swim under the falls to emerge behind the sheet of tumbling water. This place is great for a casual hike or a picnic with family and friends and should not be missed.

One Tree Hill

Also known as Maungakiekie, One Tree Hill is a terrestrial elevation which is characterized by typical volcanic features like scoria cones. This volcanic peak was once marked by a single 120-year-old Totara tree at the top, which was later cut down leaving only the stump to mark its existence. The land is now interspersed with a few trees which were later planted by the Tupuna Maunga Authority in 2016. The summit of Maungakiekie features a very prominent obelisk, fronted by the statue of a Māori warrior, it's lofty perch granting a panoramic view of the surroundings. Underneath the obelisk lies the burial place of Sir John Logan Campbell, who was actively involved in the construction of this memorial to the Māoris. An elevated swathe of open land, One Tree Hill is an ideal location for stargazing.

Auckland Domain

Just a short walk east from the city center, Auckland Domain is New Zealand's oldest municipal park. Founded in 1840 by Governor Hobson, the Domain features the Auckland War Memorial Museum, an outdoor fernery and botanic The Wintergardens, a band rotunda (watch for free concerts on summer weekends), sculptures, lawn bowls, kiosks and more. The Domain is the location of the huge concerts such as Coca Cola Christmas in the Park when 300,000 people jam in for a night of music and fireworks.

Fo Guang Shan Temple

Fo Guang Shan Temple is a beautiful example of Asian temple architecture and is a place of true peace and serenity. The temple welcomes visitors and features fantastic and awe-inspiring statues of Buddha, well-maintained grounds, a small eatery that serves delicious meals, and a souvenir shop. Prayer services are frequently conducted for the religious. A visit to the Fo Guang Shan Temple is definitely a must when in the city.

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