(Travel) 10 reasons to visit Auckland, New Zealand

by - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I had done a compilation on the 10 reasons you must visit Auckland, New Zealand.

As I always told people, it depends on what you want to do and who are you with.
I travelled to NZ with my family and my parents are too old to do those extreme activities.
Hence, this trip was a very relaxing trip.

Slow pace and enjoy life.

10 reasons to visit Auckland, New Zealand now!
(Not in specific order)

 1st, To visit the beautiful Albert Park in CBD area

Albert Park is a public park in central Auckland, bounded by Wellesley Street East, Princes Street, Bowen Avenue and Kitchener Street. From the entrance at the corner of Bowen Ave and Kitchener St, sealed footpaths climb steeply through native trees to the large flat area at the summit, where a formal layout of paths and flower gardens encircle a fountain.

Seriously, I love the building structure in New Zealand.

Vintage and yet a touch of modernism.

 Bowen Ln, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand

Plenty of ducks in NZ.

I could get use to it.


2nd, Auckland Museum

How can I not take picture with this heritage?

I can compose a post on how to pose like a pro during your vacation.
Wonder if anyone is interested? *Hmm....*

Opening hours
Auckland War Memorial Museum is open daily from 10am - 5pm, closed Christmas Day

The Auckland Domain
Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland War Memorial Museum is New Zealand's first Museum.

The Museum tells the story of New Zealand, its place in the Pacific and its people. The Museum is a war memorial for the province of Auckland and holds one of New Zealand's top three heritage libraries.

It has pre-eminent Māori and Pacific collections, significant natural history resources and major social and military history collections, as well as decorative arts and pictorial collections.
(Source: HERE)

However, there are three packages:
  1. Package 1 (MOA) - Museum entry + Maori Cultural Performance + Highlights Tour
  2. Package 2 (TUI) - Museum entry + Maori Cultural Performance
  3. Package 3 (KIWI) - Museum entry + Highlights Tour
  4. Museum entry ONLY
All three packages at different admission prices.
Prices shown below are for International visitors.
Package 1: Adult $55; Child $25; Family $110
Package 2: Adult $45; Child $20; Family $100
Package 3: Adult $40; Child $20; Family $100
Option 4: Adult $25; Child $10; Family $60

We opted for Option 4 due to time constraint (Parking time constraint).

Auckland Museum protects and cares for an outstanding and significant collection of Māori treasures (taonga).

The Museum has two dedicated Māori galleries along with a yearly Matariki exhibition.  Cultural performances and tours can be enjoyed every day.

This museum covers from Maori culture to modern.

This section is about the life during 70's, 80's when they were young.

This collection features works made by significant and well-known makers and ranges from mid 1700s court fashion to the mid 1900s designs of Coco Chanel, from Art Nouveau and Bauhaus to 21st-century design featuring Maarten Baas’ remarkable Clay Chair.

Wild Child looks at the patterns of play and routine that transformed the wild colonial child of the 1880s into the cherished modern child of the 1950s.

At this section, there were microscopes and some specimens for you to have an upclose view on the body structure of the specimens available or you can even have an upclose view on the clothes you are wearing.

For 600 million years this land has been evolving and growing, defining itself amongst the land masses of the world. Origins picks up this story from about 100 million years ago at the time when New Zealand began to break away from the vast continent of Gondwana. Cast adrift, alone, it was free to follow its own evolutionary destiny. It's a big story for a little country - starting with a prehistory that saw dinosaurs roaming the land.

Origins tells the story of the beginnings of the land and the origins of its plants and animals. Visitors will be forgiven for believing they've stumbled into "Jurassic Park" when they see the lifesized replica skeletons of the four-metre tall cryolophosaurus and malawisaurus. There is also a flying pteranodon soaring through the air above the gallery. Scientists only realised about 20 years ago that dinosaurs and reptiles like these even lived here and these skeletons on display will give visitors an insight into the prehistoric creatures that once occupied ancient New Zealand.

Many rare and unusual prehistoric objects are displayed, including a huge tooth from the largest shark that ever lived.  There is also a slab of rock from the Kaikoura coast on the South Island, showing the fossilised remains of a plesiosaur, a marine reptile that lived here 65 million years ago and was one of the last of its kind in the world.

The gallery also highlights links to this prehistoric past which survive in New Zealand today. The famous reptile, the tuatara, is the direct descendant of a prehistoric life form that exists nowhere else in the world today. Plants, insects, snails, spiders and birds whose ancestors go back to Gondwanan times are displayed. The reason they survive here is because New Zealand broke away from the main continent, effectively isolating our animals from mammal predators and so ensuring their preservation until the arrival of humans.

The central area of the Logan Campbell Gallery features restored 19th century plaster casts of classical Greco-Roman sculptures.

In contrast with the stark, contemporary architectural spaces of the Decorative Arts Galleries, these three casts of classical Greek sculptures (the Dying Gaul’, Laocoön’ and ‘Discobolus)’ emphasise the Greek Revival architecture of the Museum building.

Most of what we know of our ancestors for almost all of human existence is told by their arts and artefacts left to us. These date back to simple stone tools 2,500,000 years old found in Africa. In the long Palaeolithic era that followed (Palaeo = old; lithic = stone) simple tools were fashioned from chipped stone to provide an effective cutting edge, food was hunted and gathered from wild animals and plants.

The first domestication of plants and animals took place ca 11-10,000 BC in south-west Asia, probably triggered by the end of the Ice Age not long before. The Agricultural or Neolithic Revolution was based on maintaining and harvesting plants and animals for future food supplies. Genetic improvement took place by conscious or unconscious human selection.  Increased food production led to population growth. Important plants were wheat, barley and millet.

Five or six thousand years ago in a few places where conditions allowed, Neolithic farmers first gave way to more complex societies. It was the development of irrigation especially that allowed for intensive farming and thus further population growth, leading to new social and political structures.  Egypt is the greatest example. Common feature of these societies was the city and literacy, and a complex division of labour which included artists who created many of the items shown here for privileged political, religious and merchant classes.

‘Ancient Worlds’ shows how much all of the world’'s people have in common. Tools needed to butcher game, harvest crops, catch fish and work fibres and timber must meet the same requirements everywhere. But the artistic creativity of different societies could take them in very different directions.

This rare look at our turbulent geological home is an up close and personal examination of the scientific and human stories of volcanoes. The highly interactive exhibition will give visitors a walk through deep sea black smokers and also a grandstand as-live view of a volcanic eruption in Auckland.

We’'re all fascinated by volcanoes. They'’re destructive and deadly, but at the same time they’'re beautiful and creative. We'’re horrified by them, but we can’t keep away from them either. And of course, their unpredictability only adds to the mix: we still never know exactly what they are going to do next.…

3rd, Go-Kart @ BlastaCars Drift Karts

BlastaCars is surprisingly professional with all your scores recorded to compete with other players.

Sounds just like Darts, isn't it?


Standard hours

Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Friday: 12pm - 10pm
Saturday - Sunday 10am - 10pm

Holiday hours

Public Holidays + School Holidays: Open 7 days, 10am - 10pm


24th Christmas Eve - 10am - 5pm
25th Christmas Day + Boxing Day - CLOSED
31st New Years Eve - 10am - 5pm
1st New Years Day - CLOSED

The price depends on how long do you want to be on track.
We opted for 30 minutes which costed us approximately $59 per pax.

The length of this drifting track is 220 metres and allow you to drift skillfully at the corners.
Before each track, we were being briefed on how to control or reverse the karts, just in case we accidentally hit the corners but try not to.

Are you ready to race?

Blastacars West Auckland - 82 The Concourse,  Auckland 0610
Just head on the South Western Motorway (16) take the Lincoln Road Exit, then head right and over the overpass onto The Concourse and we are at the end.

4th, Parnell Rose Gardens

 Dove-Myer Robinson Park, more commonly known as the Parnell Rose Garden, is a park containing a rose garden in Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand. Some of the plants in the garden have been bred by internationally celebrated rose breeders and each year in November, the park is host to the Parnell Festival of Roses, which showcases New Zealand craft stalls, art exhibitions, music, strolling performers and thousands of roses. The park is named after Dove-Myer Robinson, the longest serving mayor of Auckland, who served for 18 years.

The 'white garden' is a popular venue for weddings. As of 2010, the park was home to the oldest manuka and the largest pohutukawa tree in Auckland.

85 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand

For the very first time, I was surrounded by colourful roses.

What we usually see are only pink, red, white and yellow.
This Rose Gardens really amazed me with the rose species available.

This park is a very common park for locals to jog or even walk their dogs.

It isn't hard to see locals walking their dogs while enjoying the beauty of the colourful roses.

I couldn't resist the beauty of roses.

Especially when they are colourful and aromatic.
It's just beautiful.

5th, Auckland Sky Tower

The Sky Tower stands 328 meters tall as an icon of Auckland’s sky line for almost 20 years. It’s an exciting hub of adrenaline activities, superb dining and breathtaking views.

We get to enjoy the Panoramic 360˚ views up to 80 kilometres in every direction right above.

They even offer Free WIFI at the sky deck for you to connect with your loved ones.

Only Sky Viewing Deck - Adult: $29; Child: $12; Family: $65
Dining at Orbit 360 - $55 per pax (inclusive of 3-course meal and admission Sky Viewing Deck)

However, if you are opting for ala-carte meals, an average minimum spend of $30 per person applies for lunch and dessert reservations after 10.00pm and $40 per person for dinner.

Sky Tower
Corner of Federal and Victoria Streets, Auckland


Don't worry about the glass you are walking on, it is 38mm thick!

Why Orbit 360?

It will orbit on its own and allows you to have a 360 degree view on the entire Auckland.
At the same time, enjoy your scrumptious meal.

3-course express meal - Starter, Mains and Desserts

The food here are surprisingly good.
It is definitely worth the money as eating good food in Auckland ain't that cheap too.

If you are interested in visiting Sky Tower, my advice is to dine-in Orbit 360.
At $55, you get the magnificent views and yummy food.

6th, The University of Auckland

The interior design.
The infrastructure.

Auckland, 1010, New Zealand

The University of Auckland (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau) is the largest university in New Zealand, located in the country's largest city, Auckland. It is the highest-ranked university in the country, being ranked 81st worldwide in the 2016/17 QS World University Rankings.[3] Established in 1883 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, the university is made up of eight faculties over six campuses. It has a head count of more than 40,000 students, and more than 30,000 equivalent full-time students.


7th, Vineyards hopping at Waiheke Island

It's not hard to book tours to Waiheke Island in Auckland.

We got our bookings booked at Sky Tower which there is a tourist centre with plenty of Travel Information.

There are a few different packages, namely:
  1. Wine on Waiheke (Ferry + Tour + All day bus pass)
  2. Taste of Waiheke (Ferry + Tour  + Lunch + All day bus pass)
  3. Waiheke Explorer (Ferry + Guided tour + All day bus pass)
  4. Wheels on Waiheke (Ferry + All day car or scooter hire)
  5. Ecozip Adventure (Ferry + eco-zip adventure)
  6. Zip, Wine & Dine (Ferry + eco-zip + Package 2 [as above] + All day bus pass)
Due to time constraint, we opted for Package 2 - Taste of Waiheke.

Adult: $140 per pax (Children are not allowed to drink yo!)

Ferry departs from Auckland 11.00am Daily.

This package is mainly for people who enjoy good quality of wine.

The taste is definitely smooth and the aroma is irresitible.

I can still feel it in my mouth.

Taste the best of Waiheke Island in one day with the popular best value tour at some of the islands iconic destinations.

The vineyards visited are as below:
  1. Stonyridge Vineyard
  2. Casita Miro
  3. Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant
 However, we also visited Rangihoua Estate that produces Good quality of Olive Oil and of course, we were allowed to taste it fresh with readily available bread.
Stonyridge Vineyard is the ongoing dream of owner Stephen White and was conceived with the sole intention of producing one of the world’s greatest wines. Nestled in a shimmering valley of olive trees, colourful vines, and the aromas of the south of France, our Veranda Café is one of the most romantic and exotic venues in New Zealand for café dining, private functions, and weddings catering for up to 1,000 people.

At Stonyridge, food were served as lunch as well as to pair with the wine.

If you need gluten free or dairy free food, do remember to inform them.

What is better than having a glass of Rose Wine?

Rangihoua produces one of the best extra virgin Olive Oil.

You have to taste it for yourself.
The taste and the aroma.

Distinctively delicious.

Waiheke Island is one of Aucklanders' favourite getaway places.

It is serene, quiet and relaxing much for busy city people.

If it wasn't Spring with the strong Antartica wind, I would've hop onto the beach and sunbathe myself.

Beach is where I belong.

Food pairing at Casita Miro is interesting.

Let me share with you how they paired it.


1. Rose Wine (100% Merlot with 11.3% Alcohol content)
 Tasting Note: Gentle, crisp and dry on the palate with soft strawberry aromatics
Food paired: Soft grass hills and sunshine, jamon and bread with extra virgin olive oil

2. Chardonnay (100% Chardonnay with 13% Alcohol content)
Tasting Note: An unoaked style, with lush round fruit, delectable peach notes. Medium weighted, balanced with lovely acidity.
Food paired: Grilled fish, seafood pasta, paella, roast chicken

3. Malbec (100% Malbec with 13.2% Alcohol content)
Tasting Note: Ripe fine tannins and a long tangerine finishing. Beautifully perfumed blackberry, plum and toasty vanilla oak. The palate displays an integrated and balanced structure of firm acid.
Food paired: Beef, lamb and Venison

4. Madame Rouge (100% Merlot with 18.5% Alcohol content)
Tasting Note: Rich and displays intense raisin and cherry stone notes creating sweetly dense and complex flavours mid palate and a delicious clean finishing.
Food paired: Rouge-roasted Walnuts, Fresh figs, dried fruits, chocolate, blue cheese

Meet Robyn and Nicholas Jones. They purchased Mudbrick in 1992 when Nicholas was 28 and Robyn was 27 years old.

They still own and operate the property today.

Once upon a time, Robyn and Nicholas, who were working in reasonably mundane employment in Auckland, decided to do something different. In 1992, they bought a lifestyle block on Waiheke Island – bare land with wonderful sea views, loaded with hope and promise. Their plan could be described today, as predictable:

They would set up a vineyard, live off the land, quaff the fruit of the vines, and live happily ever after. They had both trained as Accountants – Nick was working as an actual accountant, but Robyn was not. There was a time when she thought she might be one of those people that gain a degree but never use it. She didn’t like accounting, and couldn’t face the thought of working in this environment for the rest of her life. Nick could sympathise – he didn’t like the predictable future stretched out in front of him either.

Mudbrick definitely offers you a nice environment on top of the hill.

The life when the PIC at Mudbrick introduced you about Mudbrick while carrying a tray of Wine Bottles.

They welcome you to top up any wine you want on the tray anytime and anywhere (Only limited to Mudbrick area, of course) you want.

My life, is perfect with a glass of delicious wine and a magnificent view.

If you want to hide your chubby face, pose like this.

No, I am kidding. My face is still chubby in this photo.

I heart New Zealand.

8th, food, Food & FOOD

If you want something affordable and on-the go for your breakfast, feel free to try this shop.

It isn't hard to find this sort of parlours in New Zealand.

A night out with Fresh Oysters and Wine from tap?

Oh yes, please!

Depot Eatery and Oyster Bar

86, Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010

Operating hours
Monday - Friday 7am - 11pm
Saturday & Sunday 11am - 11pm

Zomato link

Craving for some Hot Chinese Soupy Noodles?
This place offers the most authentic hand-pulled Chinese Noodles.

Shaolin Kung fu Noodle

636 Dominion Road, Balmoral, Auckland 1041

Operating hours
Daily 11.30am - 11pm (Except for Thursday 5pm-11pm)

Zomato link

Craving for some healthy clean food?

Found my kind of food place in Auckland.
Imagine how happy I was!
They serve hummus and more but not those typical salads and the price can go as low as $8 per meal, depending on which set you are opting for.

Revive Cafe

33 CBD, Lorne Street, Auckland 1010

Operating hours
Monday - Thursday 11am - 7pm
Friday 11am - 3pm
Closed on Saturday and Sunday

Zomato link

My favourite smoothie goes to........DARK COCOA BANANA SMOOTHIE!!!
They used Coconut Milk instead of Milk.

Yummy =P

Surprisingly, This vietnamese place in Auckland serves pretty good Vietnamese food.
It isn't a very fancy restaurant but just a stall at one of the Food Court in Auckland.

Who cares about the place?
I care mostly about the food. Yummy yum!
The must try is the Drip Coffee which gotten me hooked.

The Bamboo Basket

Atrium on Elliott, 21-25 CBD, Auckland, Elliott Street, Auckland 1010
Operating hours
Monday - Friday 9am - 5.30pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am - 5pm
Zomato link

I don't usually fancy beef but when I do, I make sure it is good!
Had pastrami at this place made me changed my mind on BEEF!

 Federal Delicatessen

86 Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010
Operating hours
Monday 7am - 10.30pm
Tuesday - Thursday 7am - 11pm
Friday & Saturday 7am - 1am
Sunday 7am - 10.30pm

Zomato link

9th, SHOPPING!!!

For Malaysians, even though the exchange rate is pretty high for us but hey, I couldn't resist my kind of styles in Auckland.

I bought 5 pairs of footwears and no, I don't feel guilty. =P

Lots of Promotions going on.

Not hard to see people shopping here.

Of course, this street ain't as busy as Harajuku, Japan but look at the amount of people shopping during weekdays.

FYI, the shops usually close before 6pm.
Kindly perform your shopping before 6pm or else, you can only shop at those Supermarket/Hypermarket i.e. Countdown.


 10th, Street view

Standing on street, take a deep breath and observe the Aucklanders' lifestyle.
I always love to observe the street wherever I go.
Isn't local culture part of the itinerary when we travel to new places?

On a side note, thanks for reading and the support.
Appreciate it a lot.


Eggie Jiayeen

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