Famous attractions in New Zealand
1 Auckland Sky Tower
Auckland's needle-like Sky Tower is the city's most prominent landmark and at 328 meters high, New Zealand's highest building. If you're looking for a place to snap the perfect city panorama then the observation deck here (reached by zooming up to the top of the building in a glass-elevator) is just the place to get your camera out, with views spanning into the distance for 80 kilometers on a clear day. For many Sky Tower visitors though, it's about more than the view. New Zealanders are renowned for turning attractions into thrill-seeking opportunities, and the Sky Tower doesn't buck the trend. Visitors can enjoy dizzying views by walking the exterior 192-meter-high Sky Walk platform around the tower's pergola, and those looking for a total adrenaline rush can base-jump off the platform on a Sky Jump.
The wide sweep of Waitemata Harbour slices Auckland in two and is the city's most prominent natural feature. It was because of this easily navigable waterway that Auckland became New Zealand's capital in 1840 (the country's capital is now Wellington, though Auckland remains New Zealand's economic powerhouse). The central harbor is dominated by Auckland Harbour Bridge, completed in 1959 and more than one kilometer long and some 43 meters high, which connects downtown Auckland to the northern districts and the sandy beaches of the bays further north. Quay Street runs parallel to the harbor in the central district with access to Princes Wharf and the ferry terminals to the Hauraki Gulf islands.
Address: Quay Street, City Center
3 Auckland War Memorial Museum
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Auckland's imposing War Memorial Museum sits on the highest point of Auckland Domain in a vast Neoclassical building dating from 1929, which was first erected as a memorial dedicated to the New Zealand soldiers who fought in World War I. Today, it houses an impressive collection of artefacts that traces the history of New Zealand from its first Polynesian settlers to the present day and highlights New Zealand's natural heritage. The Main Maori Galleries host a wealth of Maori artistry including a magnificent Maori gateway dating from the 12th to the 14th centuries, a richly-decorated Meeting House, and the 25-meter-long canoe, dating from 1836, in which Maori warriors once sailed into Manukau Harbour. The first floor hosts the natural history collection, including a reconstruction of the country's famed and now extinct giant moa birds. The top floor of the museum is dedicated to the war memorials and displays the story of New Zealand's involvement in world conflict throughout the country's history.
Location: Auckland Domain, Parnell
4 One Tree Hill
For many Aucklanders, the volcanic cone of One Tree Hill is the symbol of their city. The 182-meter-high hill sits amid the lush Cornwall Park with a series of flower beds and stands of mature trees set amid walking trails. One Tree Hill takes up the southwest corner of the park, and the slopes contain remnants of a Maori Pa (fortified village) located here during the pre-European era. At the top of the hill is a lone obelisk built over the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell who gifted this swath of greenery to Auckland to be used as a city park. There are fantastic views across the cityscape from the hill summit.