I figured this would give me some practical hands-on experience for my trip to Australia and give you a strategy for a walking tour if you happen to come here (Auckland).
The end result is 30 Photo Stops in 1.5 hrs + 2 Bonus pics. Unless you’re extremely strapped for time I recommend taking your time while you’re at each of the locations. My goal was to “snap-and-go” so let’s go…
1) 9:10 am – Britomart (Commerce Street & Takutai Square)
I actually started at the bottom of Queen Street and then walked over to Britomart which is just a block away. We’ll come back to Queen Street later. Britomart is a trendy area for clothing, shoes, food and bars. Definitely worth checking out.
2) 9:12 am – Ferry Building (Quay Street)
You shouldn’t get lost in Auckland but this is a very good landmark to use especially if you come here by boat. Now, see that white building in the bottom-left (below)? We’re going in that direction…
3) 9:17 am – Ferry Terminal Pier 3 (Quay Street)
4) 9:20 am – Princes Wharf (Quay Street)
5) 9:21 am – Quay Street
You can rent bikes for a day. Also, what’s that yellow bus over there?
6) 9:23am – Auckland Explorer (by Danny Doolan’s and Viaduct Harbour)
The main hop-on/hop-off bus stop. Sky Tower in the background.
7) 9:25am – Viaduct Harbour
Just one block over from the hop-on/hop-off stop and if you turn around (almost directly behind me) you’ll find…
8) 9:26 am – New Zealand Maritime Museum (Viaduct Harbour)
To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been here (NZ Maritime Museum) so as a traveler and local I better add it to my list of stay cay adventures.
9) 9:28 am – Quay Street
Heading from Viaduct Harbour to the Ferry Building (in the middle) and then Queen Street. Princes Wharf and Pier 3 are just on the left before the Ferry Building so these locations are all fairly close to each other.
10) 9:31 am – Corner of Quay and Hobson Streets
I turned back around to catch the Auckland Explorer heading to Mission Bay. You can see where we just came from (Danny Doolan’s and Viaduct Harbour) in the distance.
11) 9:35 am – Queen Street
Almost directly opposite the Ferry Building and a block away you’ll find the city center’s main street for business and shopping (Queen Street). There’s your usual mix of stores (food, clothes, shoes, souvenirs, etc.), banks (currency conversion) and more.
12) 9:42 am – Farmers (Corner of Queen and Victoria Streets)
Farmers is a mid-market department store chain in New Zealand similar to Myers and David Jones although not quite as high-end.
13) 9:43 am – Sky Tower (from the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets)
If you hate hills you can catch the green Link bus to Sky Tower for a few dollars.
14) 9:47 am – Sky Tower (Corner of Federal and Victoria Streets)
As an Aucklander I’ve been up Sky Tower countless times so today I’m just going to “snap-and-go” but when you find yourself in this very spot – do the thing!
15) 9:51 am – St Matthew (Corner of Federal and Wellesley Streets)
16) 9:54 am – Elliot Street
There’s a few places worth checking out here including Elliot Stables (a really nice food court), Atrium on Elliot (shopping centre), their food court (the okay one), The Warehouse (a lower-end department store), Rebel Sports (sports wear and gear), and more.
17) 9:59 am – Aotea Square
In the winter months they have an ice skating rink. You’ll also find nearby Aotea Centre and Auckland Town Hall (in the background) for shows and events.
18) 10:05 am – Sky World Entertainment Centre (Queen Street)
Cinemas (IMAX), food, bowling, I think they still have a dinosaur themed mini-golf attraction and more.
19) 10:06 am – Auckland Public Library (Lorne Street)
20) 10:07 am – St James Theatre (Lorne Street)
Not much to see right now but a hole in the ground. It’s a good thing I like holes in the ground…
21) 10:09 am – Civic Theatre (Corner of Queen and Wellesley Streets)
Sky World Entertainment Centre in the distance. The Civic Theatre is where you’ll find some of the largest theatre shows in Auckland.
22) 10:11 am – Smith & Caughey’s (Queen Street)
Across the road is probably one of the nicest department store chains we in New Zealand – Smith & Caughey’s. Their window display for Christmas has become a welcome tradition. It changes every year with only one thing in common: animated puppets dancing to music. I love it!
23) 10:12 am – Smith & Caughey’s (Queen Street)
Worth another photo before heading to the next location…
24) 10:17 am – Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (Wellesley Street)
You could probably spend a half day here looking over all the amazing art or get away with an hour or two.
25) 10:22 am – Albert Park
Just behind the Art Gallery.
26) 10:23 am – Albert Park
At this point I was getting the flashing red battery light of death. I should note, I’ve been using my camera for a few days so it’s a little hard to gauge how good the battery life is. So far it seems pretty good and I think I can get away with a full-day’s worth of “snap-and-go’s” if not more however the true test is when I incorporate video.
27) 10:30 am – High Street
This used to be the street for high-end designer clothing stores however in recent years it has changed to a mixture of everything from low-to-high end clothing and cafes.
28) 10:31 am – Durham St E
This is one of the stops for the red Link bus (bottom of the street)
29) 10:32 am – Freyberg Square
Recently renovated from a fairly nice square to “who knows what they were thinking” or “can I have some of what they’re drinking in design school”. Too many straight lines for me! The Chancery (in the background) however is top notch!
30) 10:33 am – Vulcan Lane
The Occidental is world famous in Auckland for their fries and mayonnaise…
31) BONUS 11:22 am – Denny’s (Hobson Street)
I thought I was done for the day but got an invite to lunch (t-bone steak, fries and vegetables with cheese sauce). My camera was still good to go despite that red flashing light of battery death.
32) BONUS 12:06 pm – Coffix (Elliot Street)
One more photo for the day before I head home and I really have to tell you about this little coffee franchise here called Coffix (not endorsed). As of this post they do any flavour, any milk type (plain, soy, etc) of medium coffee for $3.50! It’s the best value premium coffee in town…
And hey, you made it to the end. Thanks for reading!