Fun things to do in Auckland

  • Mission Bay Fountain
    Mission Bay Fountain
    by Kitty82
  • Skytower Complex and Casino
    by fachd
  • Queen Street
    Queen Street
    by fachd

Most Viewed Things to Do in Auckland

  • littlebush's Profile Photo

    Finding our way in Auckland

    by littlebush Updated May 16, 2015

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Things to do in Auckland:

    -Albert park- nice for relaxing just a stones throw from the city
    -Mission Bay/Tamaki drive- walk this coastal walk past several beaches and village suburbs with views of the water and islands
    -St Heliers - nicer than Mission Bay as less tourists and more of a local feel with shops rather than cafes and a fabulous beach. Nearby Karaka bay beach is a great hideaway, although shelley and not amazing its a fab hidden spot to find a beach.
    -Mount Eden- great views all round
    -One Tree hill- great views again from a slightly different angle
    -Ponsonby road-2km stretch of bars cafés and cool shops with great city views
    -K road- rough and ready with a few seedy characters but some cool looking cafés
    -French market at Parnell(La Cigale)-every Saturday this big market has a great selection of everything
    -Western springs lakeside park- open wilderness with water and great wildlife and quietness away from the centre
    -Kingsland-a cafe culture suburb on the Main Street
    -Pakuranga night market- is a great spot to find cheap, mostly Asian food. Big portions of street style food at this underground car park. $5 will get u fed, $10 will get u stuffed.
    -Orakei Domain-up on the hill above Mission Bay. A great quiet spot with fabulous views across Mission bay and the harbour.
    -Devonport- the historic village across the harbour, $8 return with HOP card from the city. Second hand book shops, cafe cultures and some nice beaches await you here in this wonderful sleepy village, with old colonial buildings. Walk up one of three volcanos. We went to north head for great views all round and the war tunnels and old war guns. The beaches are great. Walk over Cheltenham beach which is quiet and a great spot to relax and have a dip.
    -Takapuna - on the north shore, it has a nice little village feel with good cafes and a fantastic beach with grassy area and long sandy area with great views over the harbour
    -Whangaparaoa peninsula-on the city outskirts on the north shore, 30km away, this peninsula has a couple of lovely wild beaches busy with day trippers but with grassy areas for bbqs, great for groups. Great views up here too.
    -Te atatu peninsula, just west of the city is a nice spot, quiet with no through traffic with views of the CBD and bridge
    -Herne Bay, Auckland's most expensive property area, with quiet streets, big houses all with harbour views. There's some awesome tiny little cove beaches scattered along the coast here which are a perfect hideaway on a weekday at least
    -Point Chevaliar-a nice long beach here not too far from the city with gentle waves, slightly stoney.
    -Waitakere Ranges and West Coast - an hour out of Auckland and you hit the Waitakere ranges - beautiful wild forested wilderness and views over the harbour. Lovely little towns in the way. The black sand beaches on the other side are wild and very rough with huge waves - Whatipu, KareKare and Piha are the beaches i visited - all good. Huia is a nice little place as is Titrangi.
    -Snells beach and Watsons bay-50km+ from the CBD East of warkworh on a lovely peninsula, these two beaches are fairly quiet. Snells is narrow and had seaweed and shells but if pleasant for a stroll and paddle in clear water. Watsons bay is bigger and a bit more wild with nice views of the outer islands
    -Omera beach-massive wide beach in a cool little village. A fabulous spot to spend a day. About 40km from auckland CBD.
    -Mount eden village- a great spot under the shadow of the mount with loads of cafés and restaurants and Belgian beer pub and plenty of small shops. Full of character.
    -Awhitu peninsula, 75 mins south East of Auckland in a remote peninsula with a few villages and several beaches. I stopped at wattle beach which was wild but nothing too great although the surrounding scenery was great, Orua beach which was nicer and bigger with golden sand and several holiday homes, Graham's beach which was the best with clear water and a long stretch of narrow beach with golden sand and a few facilities and holiday homes, Big bay beach which was full of washed up wood and seaweed and finally Karioitahi beach on the Wild West coast with black sand and huge waves.
    -Charcoal bay beach-hidden down a dead end residential street this bay is remote on the western part of the north shore. It's nothing special but feels like a getaway as it's located in a tiny rugged reserve and it's just a small stony/sandy beach.
    -Herlalds island-like a little village with nice houses and a library that's about it, very quiet and a million miles from the city but only a half hour drive
    -Kelvin Strand beach on Te Atatu peninsula is a lovely picnic spot with a reserve and benches and a tiny beach with distant CBD views
    -Omaha/Tawharanui park and around-Omaha beach is massive, sandy and stunning. Very wild with a surf club, a few shops, a BBQ area, and a bunch of huge holiday bachs. Big waves and a really rough rugged feel. Tawharanui is awesome with anchor bay another wild beautiful beach with wildlife all around and just toilets. The waves are big and the sea with rocks but an awesome spot to stroll the beach and surrounding park. Campbell's beach is a lovely spot with calm water and a few holiday homes and small boats. The sand is shelly but the water very clear and calm with picnic tables all around, a good spot to chill with a picnic. Baddeleys beach round the corner is also shelly and slightly more open but another best spot with clear water and picnic chill out areas.
    -Parnell has some great little shops and cafés all bunched together on Parnell Road. All seem Independent.
    -East Auckland beaches - Bucklands is pretty shelly and nothing special but good to watch the Waiheke boats in and out. Musick point has fab views of Browns and Rangitoto islands. Eastern beach is long and decent although still abit shelly. Beachands is a nice spot and nice views from Sunkist reserve bay. The beach at Omana is shelly and not too great but round the corner the one at Maraetai is great with clear water, a little shelly and views of Waiheke.
    -Victoria Park Market- not really a market as such and it's there every day but this new development has many small boutique shops and unusual shops with cafés in between and two roof top good looking bars/restaurants on the top level. Worn a wander.
    -Cornwall park is lovely for a stroll in a wild park with all kinds of trees. It joins one tree hill domain so it can be easily combined with a trip up the hill
    -Waitakere ranges - hikes galore in this hilly forest and coastal paradise. From Karekare, the Comans track up to Te AhuAhu road and back down the AhuAhu track is a good two hour trek with coastal sea views. Some steeps parts. Wainamu lake loop is an awesome little easy 2 trek through blank sand dunes, round a Great Lake in a tranquil setting and takes in some small falls.
    -Bethells beach-another west coast black sand wild beach with a tiny mobile cafe nearby.
    -Matakana and markets-awesome village 45min from CBD. Great farmers market and traders market, with live music and a cool vibe by the river. Lovely little village.
    -Warkworth-lovely little town near matakana, by a small river, with cafes galore and little cute shops including a English food shop
    -Pakiri beach-massive white sandy beach with a really wild feel and no one around, north of matakana. Views of little barrier islands. A fantastic spot to walk and just enjoy the raw beauty.
    -Puhoi village-old historic village with famous cheese shop, old buildings and a good proper pub with outdoor seating in a beautiful valley setting
    -

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    TAKE YOUR FREE VT FLAG WITH YOU

    by DAO Written Feb 16, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    If you are coming to Auckland- make sure you have your free Virtual Tourist Flag with you!

    Just email the wonderful VT staff at:

    feedback@virtualtourist.com

    Just send them your address and the rest is history. History to make!


    Don't forget!

    The VT staff like postcards, so please send them a nice postcard while you are here!


    VirtualTourist
    801 Parkview Drive N.
    2nd Floor
    El Segundo, CA 90245

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    Visit the Botanic Gardens.

    by worldkiwi Written Jun 1, 2014

    In 2014, on the first day of winter, I visited the Auckland Botanic Gardens for the first time. This large parkland is situated in the southern suburbs of Auckland. The Botanic Gardens are easily accessed from the southern motorway (in fact, that very artery is a bit of an annoyance in the native trees section of the garden, because it is very close and doesn't make for a very tranquil stroll). Buses also travel along Hill Road. Parking is tight, so it is best to arrive in the morning. Entrance to the gardens is free. I was a bit disappointed with the quality and variety of displays at the Botanic Gardens, but it was winter. If you are interested in seeing and learning a bit more about New Zealand's native trees, this could be an attraction for you, although the information centre in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is as informative and the setting is far more impressive. Hopefully I'll get back here in the spring one day.

    Interesting sculpture in Auckland Botanic Gardens. The main building at the entrance to the gardens.
    Related to:
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    Waiheke Island

    by MJL Written Mar 11, 2013

    It is not only a summer playground, but also a living suburb of Auckland. You can find nice beaches, shops, vineyards, restaurants, bars etc. from there. Take a ferry from Auckland and buy either Waikeke Explorer Tour (tour+bus pass) or all day bus pass for moving around.

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  • exploring Auckland from a Maori perspective

    by sunshine27 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    When I’ve been to Auckland I booked a one day trip with a tour operator that offers trips with a Maori perspective and I got to see the most beautiful places in and around the city. On our way from One Tree Hill to the Waitakere ranges and the beautiful West Coast beaches many of the Maori Pa sites were pointed out to us and we’ve been told stories about each one of them. Now I’ve got a real idea of New Zealand’s background and contemporary Maori Culture, which I think is very important when travelling this country.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Kayaking
    • Safari

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    Vertigo Climb

    by Lozza_9 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    This is a must. I was very unsure of this and very nervous but the staff are fantasic. If you tell them you are scared they will looked after you and ensure you are 100% happy.

    Before you leave you are given a safety talk and given protective clothing. This is just to protect your clothes and the wether when you get to the top - it is very windy up the top

    The trip involes alot of climbing. You are not allowed to wear rings as they may hurt your hands as your climb up the stairs.

    The views are amazing. You are not allowed a camera but they do take pictures of you climbing and when you reach the top. Doesn't cost too much to buy the pictures.

    YOU MUST DO THIS!!

    Pictures to follow

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  • Harbour Cruise

    by grkboiler Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Take a cruise around the harbour. You will get great views of the city, a chance to go underneath the Harbour Bridge, and you will see another perspective on how big the marina really is.

    If you go to the NZ National Maritime Museum, you can pay a little extra to get a harbour cruise. You will appreciate the cruise even more after visiting the museum and learning a little about New Zealand's connection with the ocean, with everything fresh in your mind. I was able to take a cruise on a small steamboat just outside the museum, the Eliza Hobson, and enjoyed it very much.

    Check the Museum's website for more details.

    Eliza Hobson

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  • Recommended New Zealand Itineraries

    by polin0512 Written Feb 21, 2011

    3 weeks in NZ, rental car or campervan.
    [Day 1] Fly in to Auckland (generally most convenient)
    Stay one night if necessary, to find your feet. Time in the morning to have a nosy round the city and check out galleries and museums - tomorrow's not a long drive.
    [Day 2] Drive south to Waitomo (195km, 3hrs)- the cave formations and glow-worms are pretty cool. There's a B&B on the Waitomo/Main Road corner (Big Bird) that has an ostrich farm, and Ross there used to be a Dept. of Conservation ranger and has a wealth of knowledge about local flora and fauna. He might even take you to a nearby non-commercial glow-worm cave and bush walk!

    [Day 3] The next day, I would suggest cutting across to Taupo (170km, 2.5hrs) to see the majesty of Huka Falls (160 cubic metres/sec). Although Taupo will be a convenient place to stop for lunch, and there are many fine cafés, as an overnight stop it doesn't offer anything too exciting. You can only spend so much time looking at the lake! My recommendation is to continue south around the lakeside, and either stick to Highway 1 through the Desert Road (a barren yet beautiful post-volcanic landscape offering views of the Central Plateau mountains), or head off at Turangi to take in the skifield towns of National Park and Ohakune. You get much close to the mountains here, and can drive right up to the skifield areas summer or winter. *In summer and good weather guided crossings of the volcanic area are available though these leave early morning and can account for most of a day.
    Either path will take you to the army base town of Waiouru where for the historically inclined there is a splendid military museum that documents the role of the NZ army in past conflicts. Worth a look even for the non-violent types, as it is a fine example of a museum that tells it as it was, without any glorification.
    (Taupo-Ohakune-Waiouru 160km, 2.5hrs; Taupo-Waiouru 109km, 1.5hrs)
    This night's stay must be the hill-country B&B of Mairenui, just off the main highway at Mangaweka (Waiouru-Mairenui 50km, ¾hr). Mairenui has been running since 1984, and your hosts Sue & David are very well-travelled and delight in making you wish you had more time to stay with them!
    [Day 4] In the morning, Sue & David will point you in the direction of Wellington via Feilding (14 times NZ's most beautiful town!) and after scenic back road driving, you reacquire Highway 1 south of Levin, and follow it through to Wellington for your next night.
    (Mairenui-Wellington 280km, 4hrs)
    While in Wellington, there are some great galleries and museums (especially the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa) but don't stay out too late as you have a ferry to catch in the morning!
    [Day 5] Catching an 8.30am ferry to the South Island, you'll arrive in Picton around midday. If you're hiring a car, it should be possible to drop yours off in Wellington and collect a fresh one in Picton, saving on ferry prices.
    Head down the east coast - do stop for a bite to eat at the iconic café "The Store" - about as far as Kaikoura (156km, 2¼hrs) and try to catch a glimpse of the Sperm whales and various dolphins through one of several accredited companies.
    This will probably account for your day, so grab a bed and dream of whales!
    [Day 6] A bit of a drive today, but well worth it (Kaikoura-Westport 330km, 5hrs). Head back inland via Hanmer Springs and the Lewis Pass. Heading through Victoria Forest Park you'll encounter bush-clad gorges and gravelly river valleys. There are a couple of options for reaching the West Coast but once you do, make sure you're within driving distance of Paparoa National Park and Punakaiki, with it's dramatic rock formations.
    Make camp at one of of many lovely B&Bs on The Coast.
    [Day 7] Pack your kit and your tin pan - there's GOLD in them thar hills! Shantytown, 10km south of Greymouth, is a gold town recreation where you can try your skills to pan for gold. OK, so you'll walk away with a small amount of gold dust that they've spiked your sample with, but there is still gold in the mountain streams. In fact, my cousins used to travel down there every year, and paid for their holiday with the gold they panned!
    Next on the agenda is glaciers. Get in there before global warming does! Franz Josef is 280km (4 hrs) south of Westport and Fox Glacier a further 23km. If time, weather and finances allow, take a flight to see the full majesty of these ice rivers, otherwise talk a drive/walk to the foot of one to get an idea of what all the fuss is about.
    You'll probably be ready for a bed by now, so either Fox or FJ will offer plenty of accommodation options.
    [Day 8] Continuing down the Coast to Haast, take Haast Pass back across the Alps to Wanaka (Franz Josef-Wanaka 235km, 4hrs). although a bit of a tourist town, Wanaka is a good stop with dramatic mountain scenery and ancient glacial lakes.
    [Day 9] 230km, 3.5hrs further south is Te Anau, though a midday stop at Queenstown will offer some adrenaline thrills for those so inclined. Others may have already got their thrills from the mountain passes! Stay overnight in Te Anau, and take the 1¾hr drive to Milford sound for the obligatory cruise in the fjord the following day. This return trip and boat ride will take up most of the day, so head back to your Te Anau accommodation and take a well-deserved spa or something.
    [Day 10] Head across to the Catlins region via Invercargill and Bluff (just to say you've been to mainland NZ's southermost point!). At isolated Curio Bay, there are beachfront self-contained cabins with local restaurant, café, art gallery and museum only five minutes drive away. Nearby is a 160 million year old fossil forest, and platform viewing of Yellow-eyed penguins.
    [Day 11] On the morrow, 230km (3.5hrs) will take you (via Dunedin) to Oamaru, where renowned Oamaru stone graces the town in Victorian architecture. On the way there, don't miss spectacular Nugget Point and its lighthouse!
    [Day 12] From Oamaru, move on up to the Garden City, Christchurch . Driving to the top of the Port Hills (actually the rim of a long-extinct volcano that created Lyttleton Harbour) will afford you a view right across the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps themselves. Do spend some time in Christchurch before heading out to another ancient crater on Banks Peninsula where you will find the lovely french-styled town of Akaroa where you will spend the night.
    (Oamaru-Christchurch 250km, 3.5 hrs, Christchurch-Akaroa 94km, 1.5hrs)
    [Day 13 Head back into the city, dump the car, and catch a flight to Wellington. Hire a fresh vehicle and take the east coast of the North Island across the Rimutaka Hill to the Wairarapa district (Wellington-Martinborough 82km, 1¼hrs). Martinborough is slightly off the beaten track, but is the home of Wairarapa's Wine & Food Festival, and the center of the region's wine culture.
    [Day 14] carry on up through the farmland regions of Wairarapa, Tararua and Hawkes Bay to Napier, the 'Art Deco capital of the World' The city was virtually destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1931, and rebuilt in the style of the time, making it one of the most complete examples of art deco architecture you could find. Hawkes Bay also specialises in wine, with many of NZ's finest hailing from this area. (287km, 4hrs)
    [Day 15] Take time out for a wine tasting tour of Hawkes Bay's vineyards. Leave the car at home - grab a guided tour bus, or get on yer bike and do it the old-fashioned way!
    [Day 16] If you're not too hung over after all that 'tasting', cross the mountain range and head to Rotorua (via Taupo), where you can experience the Maori culture with professional, experienced operators. Try to get out of town for the night though, as the geothermal nature of the area tends to make the town a bit whiffy.
    [Day 17] You'll probably need another half day in this area, as you've missed out on the natural wonders of Rotorua, such as active geothermal fields. Having seen the geysers etc, travel north-east to Whakatane, and Ohope Beach - you'll probably welcome some quiet time and fresh sea air.
    [Day 18] From here, cruise up the around the Bay of Plenty onto the Coromandel Peninsula for a stopover at Whitianga (Whakatane-Whitanga 270km, 4hrs).
    [Day 19] Based here, you can have a coastal charterboat trip, visit Cathedral Cove, Hotwater Beach, and other superb spots of coastal beauty.
    [Day 20] Driving from Coromandel through Auckland, head north and try to get all the way to Paihia/Russell. It is a long drive, but I'm running out of days! (Whitianga-Paihia 400km, 6hrs)
    [Day 21] It's a squeeze, but 5½hrs will take you across to Omapere and down through Waipoua Forest, where you can see NZ's largest tree. If really big trees really aren't your thing, then you can get the whole trip in easily within three weeks without these last two days' long drives!

    Related to:
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    • Budget Travel

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    Save some $$$ with AKL Multipass for 4 Attractions

    by Kakapo2 Updated Jan 20, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Update Jan. 2011

    I wonder what some marketing experts are thinking... While the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary has got about its fifth name change in three years, the Auckland Superpass has become the Auckland Multipass. This would not be a problem if the links would still work... And it would also be nice if the price rises were moderate and not astronomic. The pass for adults went up from NZ$ 69 (in 2007) to 109 and for children from NZ$ 39 to 55. There must be something more than just inflation and higher fuel prices...



    If you plan to visit Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World, the Sky Tower, Rangitoto Island and the theme park Rainbow's End get yourself the Auckland Multipass. You can save a lot of money with it.

    Until 31 August 2011 it costs for adults $69, for children $39.
    (As two attractions are free for kids under 4y it is cheaper NOT to buy a superpass for children of this age group but separate tickets!)

    Without the pass you (adults) pay $33.90 at Kelly Tarlton's, $28 for the Sky Tower, and $26 for the return ticket to Rangitoto Island. The all-day superpass at Rainbow's End (with unlimited rides) costs $47, a spectators pass $17.

    The Auckland Multipass includes the all-day superpass at Rainbow's End, so if you paid separate admissions at all four attractions you would pay $135, and the AKL pass costs only $109. That is still a good saving while, of course, not as good as previously. (While the added single prices went up $22, the pass went up $ 40.)

    The Multipass is available at any of the four attractions, the Auckland central city i-site information centres and online.

    The Skytower is part of the Auckland Superpass.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Aquarium

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    Auckland beach at Mission Bay

    by fachd Written Nov 14, 2010

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    Apparently Auckland has nice beaches. We didn’t go to any beach in Auckland but I took a picture of a beach at Mission Bay from Bastion Point. The beach looks nice with white sand.

    For more information go to:
    http://www.missionbay.co.nz/
    http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/whatson/outdoors/beaches/default.asp

    Mission Bay beach as seen from Bastion Point
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    Harbour Cruise

    by fachd Written Nov 10, 2010

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    I recommend Harbour Cruise. It takes you to Bean Rock Light House, Rangitoto Island, North Head Devonport and Naval Base, Harbour Bridge, Chelsea Sugar Refinery, Westhaven Marina and Viaduct. The cruise includes a free return trip to Devonport and a brief stopover at volcanic Rangitoto Island. On board the captain will explain to you the history point of interest.

    On the boat you get muffins with coffee or tea or juice. The muffins were delicious.

    Departure: Daily at 10.30am & 1.30pm. Price: Adult $36, Child $18.00, Senior $32.50, Family $90.00.

    Rangitoto Island Bean Rock Light House
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    Civic Theatre

    by fachd Written Nov 10, 2010

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    Strolling along Queen Street looking for something to eat we stumble to this interesting building. It was the Civic Theatre which was built in 1929 and first opened on 20th December. The theatre is owned by the people of Auckland and seats 2350 people. It is located at the corner of Queen Street and Wellesley Street.

    Civic Theatre with a clock
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    El Puerto / The harbour

    by elpariente Written Jan 27, 2010

    Strolling along the pier to the shore, watching the boats, were those who won the last Copa America, the people and drink a cerveza in one of the terraces is a great experiencia
    Strolling along the pier in the shore, watching the boats, we saw those who were in the New Zealand team in the last Americas Cup , the people and drinking a bear in one of the terraces is a great experience

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    Taking On The Pinnacles...

    by Kaikoura Updated Nov 5, 2009

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    Three years ago I was an at home wife. My ex could afford to travel overseas more than twice a year and when we were not overseas we were either on the road or on the water in NZ all year round. Though we travelled often (which didn’t allow me to settle into a job or anything else) I never really enjoyed our trips because we never stayed long enough in one place to appreciate it and we kept going back to the same places most of the time. It’s like being allowed to lick the icing on a cake but never really allowed to eat the cake!

    I have been on my own in the last three years and have not been able to afford to travel as often but I have managed to travel the way I would like to travel. One of the best experiences I had just outside Auckland was our hike to The Pinnacles in Coromandel this year (Aug 09).

    Kauaeranga Valley is less than 2hrs drive from Auckland and about 16k from Thames. We left Auckland around 6pm and managed to get to the camp just after 8pm. I even managed to get myself lost in the dark as the car I was following was a 4WD and I was rather concerned with the big pot holes on the unsealed road just after the Department of Conservation office, or the Kauaeranga Valley Visitor Centre, a well built structure, not far at the end of the road. This is where you would pick up the hut pass. Ours were pre-organised so we did not have to stop here although this is where I actually lost them. We had a great time in the evening even in the rain. DOC closes the road at night to discourage vehicle breaks in – though not a lot of these happen, it is best to leave no valuables inside just in case.

    From where we camped the night, we drove the next day to the end of the road which is also another camping ground. This is where we left our cars. The hike starts from the car park and follows the old pack horse trails over the river and up the valley in an ever ascending fashion until you get to the Pinnacles Hut! After half an hour from the car park, you’ll come to the first swing-bridge. Most of the kids in our group crossed the river as the water level was low that time. I went for the swing-bridge.

    From here on, I realised just how unfit I was (I knew that before I took on the challenge because I have been a couch potato weeks prior to this). My greatest challenge was the fact that the steps were much higher than my knees. I had to really push my whole body up those steps. I would say I spent at least 2hours negotiating these steps before we got the logging camp. From here the ascend gets a little friendlier to my short and very tired legs. There were two other swing-bridges to go through after the first one. The last one was quite a bit of a challenge and really needed to focus where to put my foot as the rocks were quite slippery. I had to actually scramble on all fours.

    Half-way along the track the sky bucketed on us and the strong wind made the walk even harder. At the end of the track the Pinnacle Hut was a welcoming haven! I was quite impressed. It is a huge Hut (I really would not call it a Hut). It sleeps 80 (bunks) split between two big rooms. The kitchen is also quite huge. Showers looked good but I did not use it as it was freezing cold! There are 3 chemical long drops – I normally am not for long-drops but these are quite clean and did not smell. Maybe the fact that I visited the drops at dark made my experience a bit better There was also light in the bunkrooms and the kitchen (solar powered) so you have to keep pressing the buttons each time they turn themselves off)
    The Climb to the Pinnacles from the Pinnacle Hut takes 45 minutes average. Some can do it in less than twenty; others like me will take a lot longer. I would not call it an easy climbed but would not class it as hard either and I would say it’s not for the faint-hearted either. There are steep rock faces that you need to climb. They now have put ladders on two of these rock faces but you will still need to negotiate a few large boulders near the very top. Going up was quite easy for me on these boulders and the view from here was quite good. Coming down was harder as the boulders were slippery.

    There is a viewing deck at the top and the view is really breathtaking. You’ll be able to see Coromandel on each sides of the peninsula, a 360 degrees panoramic view of the peninsula! It would have been awesome to sit at the top and watch the sun as it rises but we were a few minutes late…

    There are two ways to go down from the Pinnacles and that is via the stairs (the track we took up and down) and the Billy Goat Trail.

    It took me almost two days to recover from the hike but it is something I would do again. It was an awesome experience all in all! And it’s only more than an hour drive from the city!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Rita Angus Exhibition from 1 August to 1 November

    by Kakapo2 Updated Jul 25, 2009

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    I have been in this exhibition in Wellington last year on three occasions and have also seen it in Christchurch where it ended on 5 July 2009. Once I flew up to Wellington just for this purpose, the other times I revisited while doing other things in our capital. As entry was free you could just get in and out and in again as you pleased.

    In the meantime Rita's works have been shown in Dunedin and in Christchurch, and now the exhibition will be shown at the Auckland Art Gallery from 1 August to November 2009. This is a great opportunity to see the paintings of one of New Zealand's most famous painters.

    The exhibition is titled “Life & Vision” and was put together to mark the tenth anniversary of Te Papa (museum) in Wellington and Rita Angus’s 100th birthday in 2008. Born on 12 March 1908 in Hastings, she died on 25 January 1970 in Wellington from cancer, only 62 years old. She had lived in Wellington for many years and lived in a cottage in 194 A Sydney Street West, in the suburb of Thorndon. This cottage BTW is now the painter’s accommodation of the Artist in Residence programme. You will see a painting of this cottage with its crooked magnolia tree in the exhibition.

    Some time ago I read in The Press that the curators’ and catalogue writers’ claim Rita Angus was a pioneer in her art is rubbish, and I can even imagine the author is right, as several contemporaries painted a similar style. However, this does not change anything about Rita Angus’s painting. Her bold brush strokes and strong colours are amazing.

    The exhibition has been downsized a bit. Whereas the exhibition in Wellington featured 200 of her works, including the famous painting named Cass which was voted New Zealand’s finest painting in 2006 (?). In Christchurch they showed 141 works. There are also sketchbooks, studies for paintings, and unfinished works. The latter was a big surprise to me – not the fact that someone left unfinished works but the number of unfinished works. Obviously this artist worked parallel on many paintings – perhaps because she did not want to waste her time waiting for the paint to dry until she could apply the next coat… I was also surprised by the incredibly high number of 55 self-portraits. Was she lonesome although she often went painting with her painter friends, as she did not seem to be vain at all?

    I was fascinated by those self-portraits and portraits of other people. Most of them featured landscapes in the background, the landscapes reflecting the lines of the people’s faces, or clothes.

    You can still find a lot of info about the exhibition on the Te Papa website:

    http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/exhibitions/RitaAngus/

    Entry is free.

    Rita's self portrait at Te Papa in Wellington.
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture
    • Hiking and Walking

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