Auckland’s enviable position on the water makes it a haven for sailors, watersports enthusiasts and anyone like me who loves to be near or on the water. Even with threatening clouds above, the city skyline looks best from the harbour.
A harbour cruise is the perfect way to see the city from the water and to explore the harbour area with zero effort. I purchased a ticket for the 1 1/2 hour Fullers cruise, which also offered me a return trip to the Victorian suburb of Devonport included in the price. Currently an adult ticket is available for NZ$38 or approximately £19/US$30. The return trip to Devonport normally costs NZ$11 so this makes the harbour cruise better value for money.
Top tip! Even in Summer take a jacket on the boat as it gets chilly in the breeze.
Bean Rock Lighthouse is the oldest wave-washed, cottage-type lighthouse still standing in New Zealand and also the oldest wooden lighthouse. Building commenced in 1870 and the light still shines, now powered by roof-mounted solar panels.
The historic Victorian suburb of Devonport. Home to World Heritage buildings, the Royal New Zealand Navy’s national base and some great fish and chips, or “fush and chups” as the Kiwi’s insist in pronouncing it! In the background of the above picture is Mount Victoria, a volcano cone whose peak offers far reaching views over the harbour and Auckland city beyond.
The view from the top of Mount Victoria. Worth the 20 minute clamber, you can always stop for “photo opportunities” on your way up (read getting your breath back!). The harbour water from up here looks a lustrous, shimmering turquoise.
Check out these views from the commanding position of the Auckland Museum in The Domain. Auckland Museum offers fantastic permanent and temporary exhibits, including a Maori Cultural Experience where the Haka is performed to send tingles down your spine. Entrance to the museum is free, however a NZ$10 donation from adults is suggested. The Cultural Experience costs NZ$25 for the performance only or NZ$35 to include the performance and a tour around the Maori gallery with the performers.
Auckland Museum perched up on the hill in the Auckland Domain. The Auckland Domain is the cities oldest park and, at 75 hectares, the largest too. The park was formed around the cone of an extinct volcano and the Museum sits at it’s highest point.
According to Lonely Planet, Auckland is one of the most liveable cities in the world. As soon as I arrived I felt safe and welcome. The city felt different to home but also strangely similar. I loved every minute of my time there and urge anyone thinking about going to New Zealand to stop thinking about it and just do it!