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.
Surrounded by the water, Waiheke Island is known to be the second-largest island of the Hauraki Gulf. With an abundance of caves, the island branches into several peninsulas, breaking up the coast into a series of 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 and the Cascades Waterfall.
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.
At 260 meters (850 feet), Rangitoto is Auckland's largest and youngest volcano. It last erupted over 600 years ago and is covered in regenerating forests and barren lava flows. Views from the summit are incredible on a clear day, with vistas to Kawau Island to the north and Great Barrier and Little Barrier to the north-east. Access to this volcanic island is provided by ferry and a 45-minute walk up the well-maintained track leads to the summit. A tractor and trailer, booked in conjunction with the ferry, also goes up to the summit.
Just a short walk east from the city center, Auckland Domain is among New Zealand's oldest municipal parks. Founded in 1843, the Domain features the Auckland War Memorial Museum, an outdoor fernery and the splendid Wintergardens, a band rotunda, sculptures, lush lawns, kiosks and more. Additionally, the park is home to numerous notable memorials. Apart from inviting leisurely pursuits, the Domain also serves as a venue for prominent events such as Christmas in the Park, during which spectators come together for a night of music and fireworks.
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.
The sky-piercing Sky Tower is known to be one of the tallest man-made structures in New Zealand, and is a part of the SkyCity Auckland casino complex. To be able to best experience the view from the top, visitors are provided with not one, but two observation decks that offer sweeping views of the city's skyline. The first is at a height of 186 meters (610 feet), while the Skydeck is perched on the 60th floor, exactly below the main antenna, and offers unrestricted views of Auckland. The Sky Tower also features restaurants, bars and thrilling activities such as the Sky Walk and Sky Jump. The Sky Walk involves strolling a platform that encircles the tower at a height of 192 meters (629 feet), whereas the Sky Jump is for true adventurers, offering visitors a chance to leap off the Sky Tower while safely suspended by a wire.
If you are looking for some adventure then head up the elevator at one of the tallest towers in New Zealand and probably the world, the Sky Tower. There are four elevators in the tower, made in glass and gives you the panoramic view of the city. The floor of the elevators is also made of glass and you are sure to get a rush by looking below. This is one adventure ride for which you do not have to go to an amusement park.
Located inside the neo-Romanesque building which houses The Kenneth Myers Centre, the Gus Fisher Gallery showcases a fine mix of contemporary and historic art within it's exhibition rooms. The gallery functions under the aegis of University of Auckland Centre for Art Research and participates extensively in research as well as preservation of historic art of New Zealand and Pacific. Apart from the exhibition spaces, the gallery also houses dance studios and performance hall where other events like concerts, dance shows and theater take place throughout the year.
SkyWalk and SkyJump is one of the city's most thrilling adventure spots. With the opportunity to have an entire 360 degree view of the scenic city from the Skywalk, to jumping off it, you are bound to have an amazing experience. There is a lot that you can do at SkyWalk, like taking pictures and digging a little deeper into the history of the spectacular architectural marvel. So join your group and take a trip to this enthralling landmark of the city.
Established in 1987 by father and son duo, Douglas and Mark Gibson, Auckland Hop On Hop Off Explorer Bus is among the most loved sightseeing operators in town. The yellow, double decker bus with a huge signage of Auckland Hop On Hop Off Explorer is a popular sight to behold on road. Running in two different routes, the Blue Loop and Red Loop, the fleet size also differ, with the Red Loop buses being bigger. Get to know Auckland's top 14 attractions with commentaries in different languages. The all-day pass ensures you can get on and off at your pace. You can also make your own sightseeing list for an adjustable ticket that is valid for a maximum of two days. So hop on or off the bus to see the best of the city.
The Britomart Space Project is unique in its idea. It uses the arched windows of the Stanbeth Building, a heritage structure, to display works of art by various artists. These works of art are changed every few weeks. Along with paintings, it also holds performances and displays of multimedia installations as well as visual arts through the year. Take a walk down Customs Street East to visit this one-of-a-kind art gallery.