The City of Sails

Auckland sometimes flies under the radar, but that can have advantages: this charming city isn’t overflowing with tourists and has an exciting homegrown food and art scene that’s still a well-kept secret. Wondering what to do in Auckland? Think creative cocktails and lively nights out, inventive meals, stimulating museums, marinas filled with yacht and launches, visits to nearby islands for nature hikes and beautiful beaches… and that’s just to start.

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Arts & Sports

One of the finest attractions in Auckland is the Auckland Museum, an essential first stop, thanks to its superb collection of Maori and Pacific Island artifacts.

Don’t miss the 25-meter war canoe – made from a single log, it could transport up to 100 warriors. It also has a thrilling eruption simulation based on the city’s volcanic field. Schedule your visit to include one of the thrice-daily Maori cultural performances, which include a demonstration of the haka. This ancient war dance is today most famous for its occurrence before rugby matches, when the New Zealand All Blacks perform it with gusto, but the museum’s version might be more traditional.

One of the best things to see in Auckland isn’t just the art collection inside, but the striking exterior of the Auckland Art Gallery. A wood-and-glass atrium has been attached to the 1887 French mansion, an eye-catching architectural move. Home to an excellent collection of work by New Zealand artists as well as some important European works, one of the highlights is the collection of early 20th century photographs of the Maori by Charles Goldie.

Aucklanders are passionate rugby fans, mostly thanks to the success of New Zealand’s most famous sports team, the All Blacks. If you’re in the city in the winter, catching them play (and perform the haka) at Eden Park stadium is one of the most exciting things to do in Auckland. At other times of year, you can see the Auckland Blues, a Super 15 rugby team, and cricket teams from around the world.

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