Where to Find Cultural Experiences in Auckland
What great city is a city without some culture? New Zealand may be one of the youngest discovered countries in the world but we have still packed in a lot of cultural value over our short history. Auckland is the perfect place to start experiencing New Zealand’s cultural side from the fascinating Auckland Museum to Maori cultural experiences.
Whatever subject rocks your boat, you’re bound to find it in New Zealand’s largest city. Want to explore some World War II tunnels, or take a walking tour to find out the history of Tamaki (Auckland)? Additionally, there are live shows to enjoy citywide, as well as intriguing outdoor sculptures that provide a good photo opportunity.
So explore the listicle below to help you on your way to fully explore Auckland city! Plus, find a place to stay from The 50 Best Accommodations in Auckland.
1. Auckland Museum
Also known as the Auckland War Memorial Museum, New Zealand’s biggest museum is home to plenty of exhibitions that will suit all tastes. From the volcanic activity of the region to the Maori history, and a huge exhibition centred around New Zealand’s role during World War I and II, you will discover a whole new side of New Zealand through very educative displays. See a list of more Auckland museums in the 10 Best Art Galleries & Museums in Auckland.
2. New Zealand Maritime Museum
New Zealand is a country that lives for the water. It is no surprise that sailing is a huge part of its history. Located on the Auckland Viaduct, the Maritime Museum will take you on a journey through time. Starting with a reproduction of a typical rocking cabin where early immigrants spent months making their way through the oceans to settle in New Zealand and finishing with high-speed sailboats that race yearly across the globe. The Maritime Museum also offers the cheapest cruise in the Auckland Harbour.
Location: Auckland Viaduct, Auckland Central
3. Auckland Art Gallery
This gallery right in the centre of Auckland features an eclectic collection: early settlers paintings, European art, Asian brushed paintings, and even modern art – pretty awesome if you have a short attention span and can only cope with a few rooms of one thing at a time.
Location: On the edge of Albert Park, on Kitchener Street, Auckland Central
4. Tamaki Hikoi
Do you ever wonder what happened in New Zealand before the European settlers arrived? Do you want to know why Auckland (“Tamaki” in Maori) was fought over so hard and for so long? Tamaki Hikoi takes you on a walking tour of Auckland focusing on the Maori culture and heritage of the area. Check out their tours on Viator and Tripadvisor for more information. Plus, find out where else you can experience the Maori culture in 13 Places to Experience Maori Culture in New Zealand.
Location: Orakei Marae, Orakei, Auckland Central. Book your tour with Tamaki Hikoi here.
The Museum of Transport and Technology, more typically known as MOTAT, retraces the history of Technology and Transportation in New Zealand. Its extensive collection of early technology is a treat for tech geeks! The museum curators seem to have a very “hands-on” approach where almost every exhibition can be played with. That’s how you learn right?!
Location: Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland Central
6. Outdoor Art
Scattered around Auckland are dozens of outdoor pieces of art. From the kinetic sculptures of the Auckland Viaduct to the sinking buildings in Western Park, you will find a great photo opportunity around every corner. Some areas have also been recently redesigned, such as the Wynyard Quarter, Britomart and the Victoria Park Market – all worth checking out too.
Location: All over Auckland!
7. Live Shows
No big city is complete without its lot of live shows to entertain the hipster masses. From the huge music acts showing at Vector Arena, Mt Smart Stadium or the Civic Theatre to the homegrown comedians testing their jokes at the Classic Comedy Club, take your pick. For theatre amateurs, the great Q Theatre is a great place to check out a live play. Many bars will also have live bands playing for those that only want to be entertained over a pint. For more inspiration, head to 10 Things to Do in Auckland at Night.
Location: All over Auckland!
8. North Head Tunnels
The short ferry ride between the Downtown Ferry Building to Devonport only costs NZ$11 for a return ticket. From the ferry building in Devonport walk right until you find Takarunga Road. Then it’s a short but steep climb up to reach the North Head Reserve and its rich World War I and World War II history. The tunnels and alleys are open to anyone who is eager to learn more about the New Zealand efforts to defend itself during the great wars. The reserve also offers some great views of the Auckland skyline. Check out more activities in the area using the 10 Damn Good Things to Do in Devonport.
Location: Devonport, North Shore