Get an early start, just before sunrise and be waiting to see the dawn from One tree Hill or Mt Eden. Both of these viewpoints will give you fantastic views over the city as well as a glorious panorama from the early rays of the sun as it greets the world. Enjoy the formations of the extinct volcanic cones as the scenery lightens and your views become clearer.
Full of the beauty of the new day, head on down to the waterfront. Auckland is primarily a harbour city, 'the city of sails', and boats and boating occupy a large place in the national culture. The Viaduct is a lovely area to appreciate the harbour views and some of the boats that visit the city. There are a large number of restaurants in the area, but a suggestion is Bellini, on Princes Wharf, which opens at 7.30 am and has a buffet breakfast starting from $10.
Wander to the end of Princes Wharf while your breakfast settles, then stroll along the waterfront to the Maritime Museum, which opens at 10am. If you are early you may choose to catch a Fullers Ferry over to Devonport, a journey of just 12 minutes which will give an additional dimension to your city views. The Maritime Museum tells New Zealand's story as a seafaring nation, from the first visit by Kupe to the present day. Interactive displays make an interesting time, but keep moving as the Heritage scow, Ted Ashby sails at 11.30 and if you did not take an early trip to Devonport, you need to catch this sailing. Typical of scows that were once a frequent sight in these waters, you will enjoy your tour of the Auckland waters on this old boat. Don't forget to appreciate the views of Auckland's cityscape with the Sky Tower dominating the skyline and the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. It is possible to do a bridge walk on the Harbour Bridge, but it's not on today's agenda.
After your sea trip, head down the Tamaki Drive to Kelly Tarltons Sea Life Aquarium. To do justice to this attraction, take a quick lunch at the café in the complex itself. You need to have eaten by 2 pm as the afternoon Sea Life feeds start then. The Shark Feeding (Tuesday & Thursday) or the Oceanarium Hand Feed (other days) are at this time, and there are plenty of other marine creatures to be investigated in the aquariums here. There is everything from penguins, to seahorses, to the giant sharks and rays to see. For additional fun, and price, you can explore behind the scenes or discover close-up a particular animal of your choice.
When you leave Kelly Tarltons, a short drive along the coast is Mission Bay, one of Auckland's prettiest beaches. However, there is no time for beach combing today, so head back to the city and the Sky Tower. At 328 m high, the Sky Tower is the tallest manmade structure in New Zealand, and views of up to 80 kilometres can be seen in every direction on a clear day. The last SkyWalk of the day is at 4.30 pm, so if you want to enjoy this adrenaline-pumping activity, you need to get there promptly. The complex offers entertainment for all, including the very popular Casino. SkyJump is another option, but if you prefer to just settle quietly, a range of restaurants provide meals for all wallets. From Andy's Burgers to the Orbit that rotates once every hour giving a 360-degree vista of the city as you dine. The fun goes on until the early hours of the morning here, so you can see the day out in comfort.
An alternative option to this day out is to jump on the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus at Princes Wharf in the morning at 9am and get to see a selection of Auckland that suits your individual taste. Two bus tours take you throughout the city, and you may choose to see attractions more to your personal choices such as the Zoo, MOTAT (Museum of Transport & Technology), or the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Auckland Harbour Bridge Walk - Adult $130 Child $90
Ferry Auckland to Devonport - Adult $12.50 Child $7.50
Maritime Museum - Adult $20 Child $10 / Including Heritage Sailing - Adult $50 Child $40
Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium - Adult from $32 Child from $22
Sky Tower - Entry to Observation Decks (highest 220m) Adult from $26.10 Child from $10.80
SkyWalk - Adult $150, child $120
SkyJump - Adult $225, child $175 Combo $240.
Sky Tower Dining- Andy's Burgers: burgers from $14.50, other meals from $9-10
Fortuna Buffet - from $31.90 Adult dinner
Orbit - Special 3 course meal from $80.
Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus - Adult $45 Child $20-day pass (discounts to other attractions included with ticket)
Auckland Zoo - Adult from $28 Child From $12
MOTAT - Adult $19 , Child $10
Auckland Museum - Adult $25 Child $10 Extra for special exhibitions
HINT: Online prices are the cheapest available
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