How to Spend 24 Hours in Auckland and See the Best Sights on Foot
If you’re a traveller that likes to make every moment count on your trip, then this Auckland city itinerary is for you! While you might not have time to spend more than one day in Auckland, you can still see all the major Auckland city centre highlights by following this one day in Auckland itinerary.
This walking tour itinerary of Auckland in one day will take you on a loop walk (well, almost) around the city, with 11-12km of walking, which is approximately two hours walking time. The itinerary mixes culture, food, scenery and more. However, if you do have more time in Auckland, be sure to check out our 10 Best Things to Do in Auckland and The Complete Travel Guide to Auckland.
Sights on this One Day in Auckland City Itinerary
Here, we’ll break down the sights you will be seeing on this one day in Auckland itinerary.
- Silo Park – A cool urban park with silos, night markets and summer outdoor cinema
- Auckland Fish Market – Iconic market with fresh fish and chips
- New Zealand Maritime Museum – Interactive exhibitions about New Zealand and the South Pacific’s maritime history
- Queen Street, Britomart and High Street – City centre streets for shopping and dining
- Sky Tower – New Zealand’s tallest building with an observation deck
- Weta Workshop Unleashed – Movie props and special effects attraction
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki – The largest art gallery in New Zealand
- Auckland Domain – Picturesque city park with bushwalks, winter gardens and the Auckland War Memorial Museum
- Newmarket – Popular shopping and dining suburb
- Mt Eden – Extinct volcano and scenic viewpoint
- Aotea Square – Urban plaza with sculptures and surrounded by arts and entertainment venues.
Start at the Wynard Quarter
Our one day in Auckland itinerary starts at Wynard Quarter, best accessed across the footbridge of the Viaduct Harbour. Highlights here include Silo Park, a cool urban park with water features, sculptures and huge silos where summer cinema events take place.
Down Jellicoe Street, you’ll find the iconic Auckland Fish Market with fresh fish for sale and the place in Auckland to try fish and chips. It features in our 8 Things to Do in Auckland for Foodies.
Go back to the waterfront to scout out some trendy eateries that will likely entice you back for dinner. Cross the Viaduct Harbour Bridge toward the city centre. Once you reach Eastern Viaduct, take the time to explore the New Zealand Maritime Museum, which you can learn more about in the 10 Best Museums in Auckland.
Walk to the Sky Tower via Queen Street, Britomart and High Street
From the Viaduct Harbour, continue east along Quay Street until you reach the top of Queen Street, Auckland’s main street. Enjoy the designer shopping opportunities, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Swarovski. You can make a side trip to Britomart for New Zealand fashion and eateries via Tyler Street or Galway Street. See the 5 Best Places for Shopping in Auckland CBD for more information.
Back on Queen Street, you can either continue along this main street or take a little-known side road running parallel called High Street. Here, more shopping opportunities await, as well as some of the best cafes in centre Auckland, including Chuffed and The Shelf.
At the end of High Street, head west of Victoria Street West where you’ll get excellent views of the southern hemisphere’s tallest building, the Sky Tower. Continue along Victoria Street West to reach the base of the Sky Tower. Head up for viewing the city from their Observation Deck among other things. Check out Viator and Tripadvisor for more information.
Walk to Albert Park Then the Auckland Domain
After admiring the views from the Sky Tower, walk down Federal Street to Weta Workshop Unleashed to experience some of the movie magic and behind-the-scenes from New Zealand’s movie industry. Book tickets or find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Continue along Federal Street then head east down Wellesley Street West where you can take a quick side trip to Elliott Stables on Elliott Street for an upscale food court.
Cross Queen Street and continue until you reach Lorne Street for a scenic laneway not to be missed up to Kitchener Street. Here, you’ll be faced with the impressive building of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, New Zealand’s largest art gallery. After you’ve checked it out, explore the scenic Albert Park right behind the gallery.
Admire the water fountain and gnarling trees of Albert Park before exiting via Alfred Street, then down Grafton Road past the University of Auckland buildings until you reach the entrance of the Auckland Domain via Grafton Mews. You then have the Lover’s Walk, a gorgeous bushwalk, to enjoy until you’re out onto the quiet roads of the Auckland Domain. Check out the Domain Wintergardens before making your way to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. All an hour or two to wander its Maori, New Zealand flora, fauna and World War exhibitions. Find out more or book tickets on Viator or Tripadvisor.
Leave the Auckland Domain via Football Road, passing sports fields where you might see games of football, rugby or cricket. Head east on Darlton Gore Road until you reach the cool inner-city suburb of Newmarket.
Newmarket to Mt Eden
Make your way to Mt Eden via the bustling retail mecca of Newmarket. Take the time to check out its laneways and smaller streets just off Broadway where you’ll find charming stores, cafes and a shopping mall. Don’t miss Casa Del Gelato for a refreshing sweet treat to keep you going on your walking tour of Auckland.
When you’re done, make your way to Seccombes Road then Mountain Road. Either take Clive Road or Glenfell Place to find the start of roads/walking trails to the top of Auckland’s highest natural vantage point and the extinct volcano, Mt Eden. You’ll see the distinct volcanic crater and get amazing views of the cityscape and off-shore islands.
Back to Auckland CBD and Aotea Square
After soaking in the scenery from Mt Eden, return to the city centre through the Mt Eden suburb. Mt Eden Road is easy to follow north until it reaches Symonds Street. Take any of the streets east to reach Upper Queen Street, then you’re on the right path to make it back to the city centre.
Highlights along the way include Myers Park with sculptures and a children’s playground. You’ll also pass through Auckland’s entertainment district with the Basement Theatre and Q Theatre.
As you approach the bustle of the city centre, stop by Aotea Square for interesting cultural sculptures, the Herald Theatre, Sky World Indoor Entertainment and our favourite little dessert place, OKO Dessert Kitchen.
Continue up Queen Street and you complete your loop of a one day in Auckland city walking tour!