The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand

Culture and History in Auckland, New Zealand

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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki

Auckland

Arts & crafts

With the most extensive collection of national and international art in the country, Auckland Art Gallery or ‘Toi o Tamaki’ remains the largest art institution in New Zealand, with a collection numbering over 14,000 works. These include major holdings of New Zealand historic, modern and contemporary art, and some outstanding works by Maori and Pacific Island artists. There are also many European paintings, sculptures and print collections from 1376 to the present day and busy programmes of international touring exhibitions.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
  • Prices: Open daily 10am - 5pm except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Entry to the gallery is free. Admission charges apply for special exhibitions: adult $7, concession $5. Family Passes and Multi Passes available.
  • Contact: Corner Wellesley and Lorne Streets, Auckland
  • Tel: 09-307-7700
  • Fax: 09-302-1096
  • Email: gallery@aucklandartgallery.govt.nz
  • Web: www.aucklandartgallery.govt.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Lopdell House Gallery

Titirangi

Arts & crafts

En route to Auckland’s stunning west coast beaches and the Waitakere Ranges is the peaceful little village of Titirangi. A building that wouldn't look out of place in the South of France, is home to Lopdell House Gallery, Waitakere City’s Regional Art Gallery. Natural light and airy spaces, concrete pillars and polished timber floors, are the perfect framework for touring exhibitions that reflect the excellence of contemporary New Zealand art and the cultural diversity of the city. Afterwards drop by to the Hardware Café, Java Central, with experienced barristas serving great coffees and lunchtime snacks.

Lopdell House Gallery
  • Prices: Admission is free. Open daily from 10am - 4.30pm.
  • Contact: Corner Titirangi and South Titirangi Roads, Titirangi, Waitakere City
  • Tel: 09-817-8087
  • Fax: 09-817-3340
  • Email: info@lopdell.org.nz
  • Web: www.lopdell.org.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Connells Bay Sculpture Park

Waiheke Island

Arts & crafts

A large Easter Island styled wooden head carved by a Samoan artist watches over one of the country’s finest collections of contemporary sculpture which brings together art and nature in its most beautiful forms. John and Jo provide a two-hour guided walk as you wander along an elaborate system of paths through nikau palms and pungas and view some mind-boggling kinetic sculptures as well as stunning views that sweep over the Hauraki Gulf.

Connells Bay Sculpture Park
  • Prices: Open by prior appointment only, mid-October to mid-April. Bookings are essential and children must be supervised. Adults $30 and children $15. (Fees and donations are paid to Creative Arts Trust to promote its charitable activities and support NZ sculptors.)
  • Contact: Cowes Bay Road, Waiheke Island, Auckland
  • Tel: 09-372-8957
  • Email: info@connellsbay.co.nz
  • Web: www.connellsbay.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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NZ National Maritime Museum

Auckland

Museums

New Zealand’s maritime heritage is rich with tales of exploration, discovery, design and success. To discover the history of the nation you must understand its vital relationship with the seas that surround it. Located in the heart of the Viaduct Harbour in the ‘City of Sails’, this is one of the finest maritime museums in the world. You can view the widescreen presentation of the first Polynesian migration to New Zealand, step inside some of the life-size exhibits and learn about the sailing feats of the late Sir Peter Blake, NZ yachting legend.

NZ National Maritime Museum
  • Prices: Museum entry: adults $16, children $6. Heritage harbour cruise: adults $15, children $7. Under 5's go free and concessions apply for students, seniors and families. Combined rates available for museum and harbour cruise.
  • Contact: Cnr Quay and Hobson Streets, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland
  • Tel: 09-373-0800
  • Fax: 09-377-6000
  • Email: museum@nzmaritime.org
  • Web: www.nzmaritime.org
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Auckland Museum

Auckland

Museums

Housed in one of the nation's finest heritage buildings and with spectacular views of Auckland City and the harbour, Auckland Museum tells the story of New Zealand. Three expansive levels follow the emergence of a nation through the loss and suffering of war, explain its uniquely ancient natural history, and showcase a collection of priceless Maori and Pacific treasures. Definitely worth seeing is a performance of the story of Aotearoa through traditional song and dance by the Maori cultural group, Manaia. They perform three times every day (four times a day from January to March). For kids there’s a fantastic hands-on discovery centre - touch real fossils, discover drawers full of creepy-crawlies, go face to face with enormous cockroaches and watch frogs catch their breakfast!

Auckland Museum
  • Prices: Open daily 10am - 5pm. Admission free but $5 donation per adult greatly appreciated.
  • Contact: Domain Drive, Parnell, Auckland
  • Tel: 09-309-0443
  • Fax: 09-379-9956
  • Email: info@aucklandmuseum.com
  • Web: www.aucklandmuseum.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Summer Jazz Concerts at the Domain

Parnell

Music & theatre

What could be more pleasant than listening to top-quality jazz and other classical sounds whilst sitting on the beautiful grounds of the Auckland Domain and looking out over the shimmering Hauraki Gulf? I can’t really find an answer, except perhaps to do it with a picnic and some wine. Pop into the Pandoro Bakery (open 7 days) on nearby Parnell Road, turn up just before the 2pm kick-off and make a thoroughly pleasant Sunday afternoon of it.

  • Prices: Free for all. From 2pm every Sunday for three months over summer (Dec - Feb). Look for the Music in Parks section on the aucklandcity.govt.nz web site for dates.
  • Contact: Auckland Domain Band Rotunda, Parnell, Auckland
  • Tel: 09-379-2020
  • Web: www.aucklandcity.govt.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Auckland Highlights

  • Get sailing on the Waitemata Harbour in this the 'City of Sails'; even better if you can bag a space on one of the America's Cup yachts that operate here.
  • Learn about the history, geology and wildlife of New Zealand at the Auckland Museum. Do this on a Sunday morning and spend the afternoon (during summer months) picnicking at the Domain, watching a free jazz concert.
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