24Hr in Auckland, the City of Sails

June 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Attractions, Culture, Enchanting Oceania

The beautiful Waitemata Harbour is Auckland’s greatest natural asset © Gareth Eyres

The beautiful Waitemata Harbour is Auckland’s greatest natural asset © Gareth Eyres

A day in Auckland begins as the sun rises and ends way after it sets. With a million of its people residing in the vicinity – one-third of New Zealand’s population – Auckland is undoubtedly one of the most gregarious areas in the country. Enjoy this 24-hour itinerary in the City of Sails!

Wake from your swanky New Zealand hotel and start your day fresh and crisp at the Otara morning market, a 20-minute drive from the city centre where things really start to bustle early on Saturday morning. Lauded as the largest Polynesian market in the world, visitors will find everything from fresh produce and other delectable treats to daily essentials such as clothing and accessories. This place is a favourite amongst the locals and is open only on Saturdays from 7am to noon, so be sure you make your way there bright and early in the morning to catch the action.

While the sun is still ?mild in the morning, take a drive south of the city centre to Mt Eden, the highest natural point in Auckland. Embark on a short trek around the mountain, enjoy the air and admire the beautiful view of the city from up high. By now, your stomachs must be calling, so walk along the shops on Mt Eden and pop into any of the cafes for a hearty breakfast. We recommend Frasers, for its muffins never fail to lure people in.

The sea provides a quick escape from the buzz of the city © Fay Looney

The sea provides a quick escape from the buzz of the city © Fay Looney

Wondering why is Auckland known as the “City of Sails”? Head to the harbour and you will see why. Almost one in three people owns a yacht in Auckland and the harbour is usually jam packed with beautiful boats with their sails up in the air. Take your time to explore the harbour. If you are there in March, you may witness the “Auckland Sailing Festival” which is the biggest sailing event of the year. Be prepared however, to find the harbour swamped with people who are there for the event.

Embark on a harbour cruise to see more of Auckland beyond the city. You can easily book a lunch cruise at the harbour. These 90-minute cruises will bring you to places such as the Bean Rock Lighthouse, Rangitoto Island, Devonport Naval Base, Auckland Harbour Bridge for a panoramic view of the city’s skyline, Chelsea Sugar Refinery and Westhaven Marina, and The Viaduct.

Spend the afternoon exploring Auckland itself. Though it is the most populous area in the country, Auckland has a laidback and soothing charcter which is completely unlike other cities which move at a frantic pace. Visit some of its colonial sites such as the Ferry Terminal and the Auckland War Memorial Museum and soak in its rich European heritage. For art lovers, the Auckland Art Gallery is a beauty on the outside and even more alluring inside showcasing European and New Zealand art works from different eras. Afterward, take a stroll down Queen Street and enjoy the simplicity of Auckland City.

As the South Pacific’s most significant city,  Auckland is interesting and energising © Kieran Scott

As the South Pacific’s most significant city, Auckland is interesting and energising © Kieran Scott

Visiting Auckland’s iconic structure, the Sky Tower, is likened to visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris! Standing at 328 meters tall, the tower offers a panoramic view of the entire city. A world-class entertainment hub, the Sky City houses restaurants, bars, shops and a casino – all under a roof. For dare-devils, get on the SkyJump, and leap off the building at a speed of 85km/h – attached to a cable of course.

Head to the Orbit Revolving Restaurant where it offers a 360 degree view of the city at 190 meters above ground. As the sky starts to darken, the view of Auckland City at night reveals another side of itself, which is absolutely breathtaking. With an array of tantalizing Western cuisine to choose from, stunning view and romantic ambience, it is hard not to feel like you are in love.

While the night is still young, you can head to the Sky Lounge for a drink, relax and chill. But be sure to keep the drinks in check if you are aiming to head to the Sky Casino afterwards!

Try your luck at the Sky City Casino. The casino is open 24 hours a day. With over 100 tables of games such as roulette and blackjack, and more than 1,500 gaming machines, this is probably the one place in Auckland that truly never sleeps.

If you are planning a visit to Asia, don’t forget to check out Unearthing Asia, the best Asia travel portal focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. We have got some of the best travel ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of Singapore’s best romantic views.

Visit some stunning places when opting for car hire croatia. Stay as long as you like or do not stop if you prefer not to. Car hire puts you in the driving seat.