Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World
East of Hobson Bay, in the Orakei district is Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World, a popular tourist attraction since 1985. Visitors walk in long acrylic tunnels through huge tanks in which they can observe large numbers of fish of all sizes, including sharks and rays. There is a display devoted to the underwater explorations of Kelly Tarlton (1935-85), in the course of which he studied the marine fauna of the south Pacific and investigated wrecks lying off the coasts of New Zealand. In Antarctic Encounter, a reconstructed research station with a small colony of penguins, visitors can experience within a Snow Cat the difficult conditions under which scientists work in Antarctica.
This 196m high volcanic cone (called after the Earl of Auckland's family name) on the south side of the city, from which there are fine views of the surrounding area, was the most southerly point of the site acquired from the Maoris in 1840 for the building of the new capital. There are slight traces of the Maori fortifications, which may date from the 16th C Nearby is Eden Garden, with fine mature trees.
Near Mount Eden, in the Epsom district is Highwic House, rebuilt in 1862 in a 'carpenter's Gothic' style and later enlarged. It belonged to a landowner named Alfred Buckland and remained in his family until 1978. It is now a museum.
One Tree Hill
Further south is another volcanic cone, One Tree Hill (183m), one of the city's finest viewpoints. At the top are the ramparts of a Maori pa (17th-18th C.) that once occupied the site and could accommodate up to 4000 people. On the highest point of the hill there once stood a sacred totara tree, which was ruthlessly felled by the first European settlers.John Logan Campbell, the true founder of Auckland, established a large farm on One Tree Hill in the late 1830s. On the occasion of a royal visit in 1901 he presented much of his land to the nation as Cornwall Park.
In Cornwall Park is Auckland's oldest surviving building, Acacia Cottage, which was built by John Campbell in 1841. When he died at a great age in 1912 he was buried on the summit of One Tree Hill. Beside his grave is an obelisk recording his respect for the Maoris and their achievements.
On Mount Albert itself there are slight remains of Maori fortifications.
Alberton House a two-story mansion on the slopes of Mount Albert in the southwest of the city, was built in 1862; a ballroom and other apartments were added in 1870 by Allan Kerr Taylor, a landowner who had become rich during the gold boom. Attractive features are the corner turrets and the verandas running round three sides of the building. The house is set in beautiful gardens.
Address: 100 Mount Albert Road, New Zealand
Opening hours: 10:30am-12pm, 1pm-4:30pm; Closed: Mon, Tue
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian
Entrance fee in NZD: Adult $7.50, Child $3.50
Disability Access: Partial facilities for persons with disabilities.
Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT)
This museum, in the Western Springs district is devoted to the history of technology and transport in New Zealand. Its prize exhibits relate to the aviation pioneer Richard Pearse (1877-1953), who made his first flights about the same time as the Wright brothers. Other items include old coaches, railroad rolling stock, trams and vintage cars, collections of material on printing, photography and calculating machines. Between the museum and the nearby zoo runs an old-time tram.
In Western Springs is Auckland Zoo, set in spacious grounds. A popular attraction is the Nocturnal House, where kiwis can be seen grubbing for worms - one of the few places in New Zealand where these shy creatures can be seen.
Howick, New Zealand
23km east of Auckland, beautifully located on the Hauraki Gulf, is Howick (pop. 15,000), an outlying suburb of the city. It was founded in 1847 as part of the chain of defendable settlements established by Governor Gray to protect the new town of Auckland on the south.
Howick Historical Village
Howick Historical Village, with its well-preserved houses, is protected as a national monument and is now an open-air museum with 30 original colonial buildings. All Saints Church (1847), which, like almost all the churches built in Bishop Selwyn's time, was designed by Frederick Thatcher. The nave was widened in 1862. The old churchyard has graves of early settlers. Other buildings of interest are the Courthouse (1848) and Bell House (1852), not available to the public.The seven acre site highlights a Fencible settlement during the 1840 to 1880 period with costumed staff available to answer questions and chat about early life.
Address: Bells Road Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga, New Zealand
Opening hours: 10am-4pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Anzac Day (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) (Apr 25), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian
Entrance fee in NZD: Family $36.00, Adult $14.00, Senior over 65 $11.00, Students $11.00, Child $7.00
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
20km southeast of the city center is the Otara district, with a Polynesian market where visitors can feel something of the atmosphere of the South Seas. On the main square and in the community house there are colorful displays, particularly on Saturday mornings, of foodstuffs, clothing and arts and crafts.
Northeast of the city center, beyond Waitemata Harbour, is the exclusive residential suburb of Devonport with its elegant villas and carefully tended gardens. This is very much a holiday place, with an active beach life, a yacht marina and expensive boutiques. Devonport also affords the finest view of the Auckland skyline.
The Naval Museum in Devonport on the north side of Waitemata Harbour illustrates the history of the Royal New Zealand Navy. The collection includes uniforms, medals, ships' bells, ships in bottles and other items.
Pavilions of New Zealand
The Pavilions of New Zealand, which attracted great interest at the International Exhibition in Brisbane in 1988, have been re-erected near the airport. They now house exhibitions on the mythology, history and environment of New Zealand.
Map of Auckland Attractions