CWC 2015: Auckland First XI Highlights

There is something for everyone in New Zealand’s biggest city. From the stunning coastline and beaches to a thriving city and world-class harbour - there is no shortage of action in Auckland.

Auckland hosts four matches during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, including the big-clash between tournament hosts Australia and New Zealand on 28 February 2015 and a semi-final on 24 March 2015.

Visit the offical ICC website for a full list of fixtures in Auckland and read on to discover 11 must-do things in the ‘city of sails’.

View from a volcano

There’s no better place to get 360-degree views than from the top of one of Auckland’s 48 volcanic cones. Hop on the ferry to Rangitoto Island and walk through the pohutukawa forest and lava caves, or take the 4WD road train to the top.

Climb or drive to the summit of Mount Eden (Maungawhau) for spectacular views across the city and Hauraki Gulf. Choose a picnic spot in the beautiful parkland surrounding One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie) or explore the historic underground tunnels and gun emplacements at North Head.

Auckland's volcanoes

Surf’s up

The sea is never far away in Auckland. Take a board to one of the black-sand surf beaches on the west coast - check out favourites like Piha, Muriwai or Karekare. Head north to the expansive golden sands and clear waters of Tāwharanui and Pakiri.

Looking for a beach near the city centre, visit Mission Bay, Kohimarama or St Heliers, just a 15-minute drive from downtown Auckland. Enjoy a stroll along the promenade, hire a kayak or stand up paddleboard, or tuck into fresh fish and chips.

Auckland's beaches

Ready, set, eat

Auckland has an impressive variety of restaurants, cafés and bars to suit every taste and budget, from fancy to casual. In the inner city there is plenty of modern dining at Britomart, Federal Street and City Works Depot.

Enjoy dinner and drinks or a casual bite in the Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter waterfront precincts. The fringe suburbs of Parnell and Ponsonby both offer stylish dining day and night, and Ponsonby’s bars and clubs are popular nightlife spots.

Taste of the city

Fun on the water

Find out why Lonely Planet named Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf as the best experience in New Zealand. With the sea on the city’s doorstep, there are so many ways to get out on the water.

Kayak out to a nearby island, help sail an America’s Cup racing yacht or take a spin on a high speed jet boat ride. Land a big one on a fishing charter, or unwind and see the sights with a relaxing dinner or coffee cruise on the Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland water activities

Island hopping

Explore Auckland’s magnificent Hauraki Gulf and its beautiful islands. The jewel of the gulf is Waiheke Island, a haven of vineyards, olive groves, beaches and fine dining, just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland.

For an exciting day trip, discover the history and sandy coves of Rotoroa Island, explore the open wildlife sanctuary of Tiritiri Matangi Island or climb the volcanic cone of Rangitoto Island for incredible views from the summit. A little more time could include a light plane flight to Great Barrier Island, renowned for its rugged beauty and unspoilt wilderness.

Explore the Gulf

Step back in time

Explore Auckland’s galleries and museums to discover the city’s melting pot of cultures and fascinating stories. Wander through more than 15,000 traditional and contemporary artworks in the beautiful heritage building of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (with free entry).

Discover fascinating cultural, historical and scientific exhibitions at Auckland War Memorial Museum and check out one of the cultural performances. Learn about the country’s rich maritime heritage at Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum or discover a replica 17th Century Māori village at Te Hana Te Ao Marama. Pick up your own piece of Kiwi art at one of the great galleries in the seaside village of Devonport.

Culture and heritage

Get an adrenaline rush

For thrill seekers, Auckland is one big playground. First stop is the Sky Tower - admire the incredible views from the observation deck, ‘SkyJump’ off it in a base jump by wire, or ‘SkyWalk’ around the outside on a narrow platform 192 metres above the ground.

See the city sights on the back of a Harley Davidson motorbike, go canyoning down waterfalls in the rainforest or ziplining high above the trees on Waiheke Island. Climb under, up and over the Auckland Harbour Bridge or leap off it in New Zealand’s only ocean-touch bungy.

Auckland adventures

A tranquil escape

Auckland has the best of both worlds, with beautiful rainforest, parks and beaches all so close to the city centre. The west’s Waitakere Ranges Regional Park has more than 250 kilometres of walking and hiking tracks through lush native rainforest, past cascading waterfalls and along magnificent coastline.

Walk through the region’s largest native forest in the Hunua Ranges, home to more than 450 species of native plants and the spectacular Hunua Falls. Explore the striking landscapes of some of Auckland’s 26 regional parks, such as Shakespear, Wenderholm, Tapapakanga or Awhitu.

Best of both worlds

A visit to the market

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Auckland’s numerous farmers’ markets and pick up fresh local produce and tasty treats. Head to Matakana Farmers’ Market or Clevedon Village Farmers’ Market for organic and locally grown food and produce.

Wander through the French style La Cigale market in Parnell and stock up on freshly baked breads and pastries, French cheeses and cakes. Check out the City Farmers’ Market at Britomart for great coffee and goodies. Visit the summer Silo Park markets on the waterfront, or the Asian-inspired night markets at Glenfield on Sundays for delicious cooked food and a side of entertainment.

Shopping and markets

On the wine trail

Auckland has not one but four wine growing regions, where superb wine and stunning scenery go hand in hand. Visit Waiheke Island, known as ‘the island of wine’ for its 30 wineries and vineyards, some of which also have excellent restaurants.

North of the city, discover Matakana’s boutique wineries set amid picturesque countryside and close to some of Auckland’s most spectacular beaches. Kumeu in the west is home to Auckland’s oldest established vineyards, while Clevedon in the east is a slice of rural New Zealand perfect for a Sunday drive.

Wine growing regions

A wild encounter

Hear the birdsong and soak up the scenery at the world-renowned open wildlife sanctuary Tiritiri Matangi Island. Head out on the Hauraki Gulf, one of the most diverse marine environments in the world, to see magnificent whales and dolphins. Swim, snorkel and dive at New Zealand’s first marine reserve, Goat Island, and learn more at the Marine Discovery Centre.

Visit Auckland Zoo to see the largest collection of native and exotic animals in New Zealand, Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium to get up close to stingrays, sharks and penguins, or Butterfly Creek to see giant saltwater crocodiles, farm animals and hundreds of colourful butterflies.

Wild encounters

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