Auckland tourist attractions include Sky Tower, SheepWorld, SEA LIFE Aquarium, whale and dolphin safari, and the Auckland Museum.
Sky Tower is Auckland’s most significant landmark, and symbolizes the city similarly to, say, the Eiffel tower symbolizes Paris.
Height of the tower is 328 meters (1076 ft, the highest structure in the southern hemisphere), and it is located at the very center of Auckland.
You can access the tower with a lift, with the best views being from the tower’s 3 observation platforms, one of which has a glass floor…
…and even the elevators, by themselves, provide great views to the surroundings.
There are 3 restaurants in the tower, as well as a gift shop.
Activities within the tower include Sky Jump bungee jump from the tower (skyjump.co.nz) and Sky Walk (skywalk.co.nz), a walk along the outer edges of the tower (using harnesses).
The entire Sky City complex (skycityauckland.co.nz), which the Sky Tower is part of, has, for example…
- 17 restaurants and bars,
- live nightly shows,
- 2 hotels (5 star SKYCITY Grand Hotel and the 4+ star SKYCITY Hotel), and
- two casinos (that have an age limit of 20 years).
Of the restaurants, noteworthy is especially the a la carte restaurant Orbit, offering New Zealand cuisine, located on top of the Sky Tower.
The restaurant rotates slowly, so that during a meal, you’ll have a 360 degrees view to the Auckland city skyline.
Sky Tower also has a less expensive restaurant, The Observatory, with, for example, buffet dining, and a la carte fish specials.
SheepWorld (sheepworldfarm.co.nz), meanwhile, is one of the best ways to get to know the most typical animal to New Zealand, sheep.
The attraction is also a way to explore the local farming life, represented best, however, by the many small villages in the Southern Island of NZ.
SheepWorld is spread within 30 acres, and in these venues, you can…
- see local farm animals,
- participate in eco-activities, and
- see the famous sheep dog show (two daily showtimes).
The place also features a cafe, Black Sheep Cafe, as well as a gift and souvenir shop, where you can purchase locally made products.
SheepWorld is located about 65 km (40 miles) from Auckland, an easy daytrip away.
SEA LIFE Aquarium (officially Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium, www.kellytarltons.co.nz), on the other hand, is a water theme park, where you’ll be able to get close to exotic animals.
At the place, you’ll see, for example:
- penguins playing with snow and ice,
- a shark feeding,
- and a selection of rare frogs, stingrays, and eels.
The theme park has often special themes, such as a ‘rare turtles theme‘, surrounding which are often a variety of events and themed activities for the visitors.
Whale and dolphin safari (www.explorenz.co.nz) is one of the most fitting Auckland tourist attractions, in the ‘The City of Sails‘, with the safaris departing from Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.
These popular whale and dolphin safaris are typically about 4 and a half hours long.
A typical safari will include guided commentary about the harbor and the sights within Auckland Hauraki Bay.
You can also participate in a harbor islands cruise with Discovery 360 (www.360discovery.co.nz), whose tours include the famous Motuihe Island.
Finally, top Auckland tourist attractions also feature Auckland Museum (www.aucklandmuseum.com), housed within a magnificent Neoclassical building, providing stunning views to the city of Auckland.
The museum’s best collections include Maori taonga (“Maori treasures” in the Maori language), as well as an exhibition of findings from the South Pacific Ocean, one of the best of its kind in the world.
From the museum, you’ll also find…
- a discovery center,
- interactive activities, and
- an exhibit called ‘Scars of the Heart’, telling the tale of New Zealand military history.
The museum is easy to get to using Explorer buses (www.explorerbus.co.nz), which circulate the city center and the major Auckland tourist attractions — including Auckland Museum.
You can buy a daily or a hourly ticket to the buses, allowing you to hop on and hop off the bus during its validity periods, at the stops that you choose.