Auckland – ideas for free time

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A great place to start your discovery of Auckland is the 328-metre high Sky Tower. The panoramic observation deck offers superb views of the city’s landscape including numerous suburbs, local landmarks, the glistening waterfront, and the volcanic islands that dot the harbour. There is also plenty of information about the history of the tower and the city along with a little café.

A harbour cruise is a great way to view the city from a different perspective and there are a number of cruise operators departing from the downtown piers. Alternatively, cruise across to one of the islands on a day trip – Rangitoto for walking, Waiheke for food and wine or Tiritiri Matangi for incredible birdlife.

There are a number of excellent art galleries and museums in Auckland,  most notably Auckland Museum which tells the story of New Zealand and its people through an impressive collection of artefacts, interactive displays and artworks. The museum is located in the Domain, Auckland’s oldest park, where you will also find the historic ‘Winter Garden’ glass houses, Auckland War Memorial, pretty duck ponds and several walking paths.

The best place to simply watch the world go by is undoubtedly Viaduct Harbour, where you will find a vibrant mix of cafés and restaurants and plentiful al fresco seating. This is the ideal spot for a meal and wander amongst the rather flashy yachts that line the waterfront.

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