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Auckland is located on the North Island of New Zealand and is the largest city in the country. Its nickname is City of Sails, because you can usually find many sailing boats in the Bay of Auckland. The big city is also the economic center, with tourism playing an ever increasing role.

A day in Auckland – sights and tips

In this New Zealand report you can find out what I experienced in the city in the first 24 hours and what sights you can visit in Auckland.

How to get to Auckland

Accommodation in Auckland – our hotel tip

With an ideal location for exploring Auckland on foot and a view of the harbor, the Rydges Auckland Hotel awaits its guests. In the surrounding area there are not only some sights of Auckland, but also many restaurants, pubs, or shops. The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, free WiFi, TV, safe, and much more. A good hotel to explore the New Zealand city on your own.

Many other accommodations in Auckland’s CBD or in other parts of the city can be found in this list.

Auckland: Tours and tickets

When I arrived at the airport of New Zealand’s biggest city I was a little bit skeptical if I would like it here. I didn’t get myself any tips regarding the sights of this city. The only thing I’ve seen before was the skyline on some pictures. Also the weather in Auckland was a bit cooler than I thought and wasn’t really helping to improve my mood at that time.

My expectations weren’t very high, but maybe this was caused by my memories of Sydney. I just came from there and did really like Sydney! Well, now I was in New Zealand and so I went to the little hostel, the Lantana Lodge, which I recently booked before my arrival.

It was quite a nice and cozy hostel. Not too big like some other with a mass processing. A relaxing atmosphere and not too far to walk to the city center. A good start I would say.

The next day I went on a sightseeing tour around the city by myself. I didn’t have a plan so far, but sometimes I prefer it like that. The ways of the public transportations are not that easy to understand in Auckland, so I just started walking instead. Anyway, for me this is the best way to explore a new city.

Auckland Railway Station
The former Auckland train station
Chilled atmosphere in Auckland with armchairs in the city
Chilled atmosphere in Auckland with armchairs in the city
One of Auckland's landmarks - the Ferry Building
One of Auckland’s landmarks – the Ferry Building

Viaduct Harbour

Past the former central station and the Ferry Building, one of Auckland’s landmarks, I went towards the Viaduct Harbour. I love cities near the water and there is nothing better to start exploring a new one from there. The sky was not too cloudy anymore and the sun was about to shine at least a little bit. Good luck for me and it made me feel way better than before!

View from the harbour at the CBD of Auckland, New Zealand
View from the harbour at the skyline of Auckland

Tobi in front of Auckland's skyline

The Viaduct Harbour is actually really nice and offers some great views at the Harbour Bridge and from some higher lookouts an amazing view at the city, too. If the weather is not too bad, you can definitely spend some good hours in Auckland.

View from the harbour at Auckland's CBD

A container exhibition at the harbour of Auckland, New Zealand

The Harbour Bridge of Auckland
Auckland’s Harbour Bridge
The view from the harbour at the Central Business District of Auckland
The view from the harbour at the Central Business District (CBD) of Auckland
Amazing idea, a free library at the harbour of Auckland
Amazing idea, a free library at the harbour of Auckland

CBD and Sky Tower

Back at the Ferry Building I continued my tour along the Queen Street, which starts opposite the building – directly into the Central Business District (CBD). The Queen Street offers everything what you could desire for shopping. Here I was in the middle of the city center of Auckland. I wasn’t that much into shopping and so I went along the Queen Street until I saw the famous Sky Tower on my right-hand side. The TV Tower is with a height of 328 meters the highest in the southern hemisphere and has two observation decks. The highest one is at a height of about 220 meters. From up there I guess you would have a fabulous view on the city, which I unfortunately missed. Don’t ask me why. The tickets are quite expensive and cost about NZ$ 28. So if you are in Auckland, don’t miss that like it did.

The famous Sky Tower in the CBD of Auckland
The famous Sky Tower in the CBD of Auckland

Aotea Square and Town Hall

A little bit more further up the Queen Street is the Aotea Square. The name of the square comes from the Maori language and was derived from the words “Motu Aotea”. If you translate these it means something like “Great Barrier Island”, which refers to the biggest island of New Zealand. Somehow confusing, because New Zealand only consists of one or rather two big islands. During the summer there will be some open air concerts at the square and in December a big Christmas market.

The Aotea Square in Auckland
The Aotea Square

Opposite the Aotea Square is the Town Hall of Auckland. It’s one of the historical buildings of the city and is still used by the government. After all the skyscrapers along the Queen Street it’s a nice change and absolutely beautiful.

The Town Hall of Auckland
The Town Hall of Auckland

After all that sightseeing, my first 24 hours in Auckland came to an end. Maybe we’re not the best friends right now, but at least we got to know each other. If I’m ever coming to New Zealand again, I definitely will pay you another visit because I need to see the city from the Sky Tower, which I somehow missed this time.

Have you ever been to Auckland? What did you like the most and which sights I shouldn’t miss the next time? Leave us a comment!