Auckland is usually the first port of call for tourists arriving from overseas. It's a super convenient location to start your New Zealand Road Trip.
Around 1.3 million people, 31% of the total population, live here, which makes it the largest city in NZ, but believe it or not, after living for over two years in Berlin, Auckland still felt like a small town to me.
I didn’t want to stick to the museums, Queens Street or the wharf during my short stint here so I decided to try and find the best viewpoints in the city. Here’s what I found.
where to snap the beauty of Auckland without leaving the city
1. Mount Eden lookout
Accessible by foot, approximately 4 km from city center, Mount Eden is the highest non-manmade point in Auckland. It is actually an inactive volcano and once you get to the top you get to see the crater. Not only do you get an awesome 360 degree view of the city, but you can also say that you climbed a volcano ;)
2. Cyril Bassett VC lookout
I stumbled upon this one by just driving around on the other side of Stanley bay whilst looking for a good place to take photo of Auckland’s skyline. It was my favourite spot, but the sad news is, you need a car to get there. If you're doing a North Island road trip though, chances are you'll have a car.
3. Stokes point reserve
Located directly under the north side of the harbour bridge, and although frightfully windy, Stokes Point Reserve is a fantastic lookout to take photos at night of Auckland's dramatic cityscape.
4. Skytower Observation Decks
The highest manmade structure in New Zealand and the only viewpoint I visited in Auckland that I had to pay for.
Two observation decks offer great 360 degrees views of the city both day and night. The downside is, you will always be behind a window therefore it can get a bit challenging taking the photos, especially at night, because of the reflections you will get from the light inside.
From the lower deck you can watch people doing the Skyjump, but the view is spoiled by the ropes used for the activity. From the top deck, labeled as 'Skydeck' you have uninterrupted views of the city.
Tip for visiting: One entry ticket costs 28 NZ dollars, but for extra 4 dollars you can purchase the ‘sun and stars upgrade’ and have unlimited admission to the tower within 24 hours time.
Whilst Auckland would definitely not be my number 1 choice when looking for photography spots in New Zealand if you do find yourself in this city I hope this posts will help you out with planing your visit.
In my opinion, New Zealand isn't about cities, it's about nature, hiking and road trips. Auckland is very well situated to venture out and visit some of the premier hikes on the North Island.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me somewhere in the mountains.