Mount Eden and One Tree Hill
The two best views of the city can be had from Mount Eden and One Tree Hill. Both are volcanic cones that were once the site of Maori pas, or fortified villages (evidence of the pas can still be seen at both places).
Mount Eden is a 200 metre high volcanic structure that is the highest point in Auckland, and which easily affords the best view of the city. From its summit you can get a full, panoramic, 360 degree view of the city's bays, islands, hills and cityscape. It is also right next to Eden Gardens, a very attractive park with some nice rose and flower gardens planted in the rich volcanic earth.
One Tree Hill is so named after a lonely pine tree that grows on the summit. The tree is the burial site of one of Auckland's 'founding' fathers, Sir John Campbell, who played an important part in the city's early development.
The Auckland Harbour Bridge
This is one of the city's most distinctive landmarks. A 4-lane highway built in 1959, it soon became congested with traffic. Luckily, a firm of Japanese engineers came to the rescue and figured out a way of adding extra lanes to the bridge. Locals call the extension the 'Nippon Clip-on', in a tone of humorous appreciation.
The Auckland Domain is a very large park near the centre of the city
full of trees, gardens and playing fields. It also houses, or is very
near, several places well worth visiting in Auckland, and one can
thus spend the best part of a day or two exploring this area of the
city. The Domain hosts the Winter Gardens, and several glasshouses
full of tropical plants.
Auckland University, the largest university in New Zealand is located just across the road to the North West of the Domain. A number of events and performances are held there, most of which are open to the public.
Parnell Village is just a few minutes to the West of the Domain. This area contains some of the best known historic sites in the city. There you can see the first settlers' houses, church, and cemetary. These days Parnell has some of the best (and most expensive) restaurants, and is a pretty trendy area full of Victorian buildings, galleries, antique shops and arts and crafts.
About halfway up Queen St you'll find Aotea Square. In the square there is the Visitors Centre, where all the information about Auckland and New Zealand that anyone could need is to be found (Ph. 0-9 360 3999). There are also the Council Buildings, the Old Town Hall, and the Aotea Centre Cultural Complex. The square is a good place to hang out and explore the city from. It is also very close to the Auckland Art Gallery, a beautiful old building built in 1887 that houses the biggest collection of New Zealand paintings in New Zealand.
Find out about the SkyTower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.