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.
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.
S’élevant à 260 mètres d’altitude, Rangitoto est le plus grand et le plus jeune volcan d’Auckland. Sa dernière éruption remonte à il y a 600 ans, et il est recouvert de coulées de lave arides et de buissons se régénérant, y compris de vastes forêts de pohutukawa. Les vues depuis son sommet sont exquises par temps clair, donnant sur l’île Kawau au Nord, ainsi que la Grande Barrière et la Petite Barrière au Nord-Est. Rangitoto est accessible en ferry, et une promenade de 45 minutes sur un sentier bien entretenu vous mènera jusqu’à son sommet, à moins que vous préfériez un tracteur avec une remorque, que vous pourrez réserver en même temps que le ferry.
L’un des plus grands cônes de scorie du champ volcanique d’Auckland, le mont Éden s’élève à 196 mètres d’altitude et abrite trois cratères avec de vastes vestiges terrestres de stockage, défensifs et d’habitation. Appelé « Maungawhau » (colline de l’arbre whau) en maori, le mont Éden est le principal poste de triangulation de la région. Accessible par la route et à pied, il offre des vues imprenables sur Auckland jusqu’au golfe d’Hauraki et au-delà. Venez en bus ou marchez 15 minutes depuis la gare ferroviaire. À proximité, la Government House accueille chaque année le Summer Matinee Concert de l’orchestre philharmonique d’Auckland.
This island in the Hauraki Gulf is a haven for endangered native birds such as Takahe, Silvereye and Kokako. Managed by the Department of Conservation, their staff is available for guided walks. Access to the island is limited, and ferry bookings are essential. In the summer, Hobb's Beach provides the opportunity for swimming and picnicking. Walks are easy to moderate in difficulty and range from ten minutes to four hours. There are extensive sea views from the Tiritiri lighthouse - once the most powerful in the Southern Hemisphere, and a souvenir shop for a memento of your visit. Ferries to the island start from Auckland.
From Queen Street walk up Vulcan Lane to enter Auckland's "fashion central." The narrow and sometimes cobbled streets and alleyways are home to some of New Zealand's top designer labels including Kate Sylvester, Karen Walker, Zambesi and World. Bring all of your credit cards and check out top international labels such as Versace, in the new and very chic Chancery pedestrian mall. Chanel-suited women trot alongside gray office workers and designer dressed-down students - there's a bustling sidewalk café or restaurant to match all styles. Cross Victoria Street onto Lorne Street, for a more Bohemian flavor, including cool second-hand book stores and New Zealand-made arts and crafts. Turn left at the end of Lorne Street, past the New Gallery and the Auckland Art Gallery. Head back along Kitchener Street to complete a loop of Auckland's finest exhibiting art galleries. It must be time for that coffee back on High Street!
Adjacent to the University of Auckland, Albert Park is a fine example of a Victorian-era municipal park, complete with formal gardens, band rotunda, fountain, statues and flowered clock. The Albert Barracks were here--hence the military gun installation! Free concerts, usually sponsored by b-FM, the University's alternative radio station, are held at the rotunda on summer weekends. Albert Park is also a popular lunch break destination for Auckland's office workers, who make the trek uphill from Queen Street, just two blocks away.
Featuring a tropical glass house built in 1929, a cool house and a sunken fernery built in the remains of a disused scoria quarry, the Wintergardens is a "must-see" when visiting Auckland Domain. Featuring ever-changing collections of temperate and tropical plants, the gardens feature a formal courtyard with a lily pond and extensive displays of succulents, cycads and tropical orchids. The Fernz Fernery provides a lush green welcome escape from the heat on a summer's afternoon. Across the road from the Wintergarden is a popular tea house and kiosk.
The Rose Gardens and Dove Myer Robinson Park are sited above Judges Bay, sloping downwards with pleasant shaded pathways and numerous fine old mature trees. There is a great lookout over the harbor and the busy container wharves, from the cliff-top edge. The Rose Gardens contain some 4,500 roses. The Nancy Steen Cottage Garden with old-fashioned roses and white flowers is especially attractive, and occasional outdoor concerts are held here in summer. Note the old stone archway at one end known as the Elephant!
Planted 35 years ago by local horticultural enthusiasts in an abandoned quarry on the flanks of Mt. Eden, Eden Gardens is a 2.25 hectare showpiece. The park features mature trees and flowering shrubs with special collections of camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons. A café on site serves light refreshments and Devonshire teas; the latter are considered a specialty. The garden is set up so that there are plants blooming every month of the year.