Auckland is not the capital of New Zealand

It is often thought that Auckland is the capital of New Zealand however, as any Kiwi will tell you, the current capital is actually Wellington, a smaller but no less interesting city located further south on the North Island. The original capital of the colony of New Zealand was actually a small settlement called Russell in the Bay of Islands, but I digress, this post is about Auckland, otherwise known as the City of Sails. Auckland was the capital for a short period of time after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and then it moved to Wellington in 1865, Auckland is now considered the economic capital of New Zealand and it is the largest city in the country.

Earlier this year I posted photos taken with my iPhone 3, the quality was pretty poor however I liked the ‘retro’ effect created by the app I was enamored with at the time. These shots were taken with my handy little Panasonic Lumix TZ10, a great point and shoot camera that we bought to take to Europe last year. I did make the mistake of messing around with some of the automatic ‘effects’ such as HDR, although fun at the time the result was pretty ordinary.

Ferry Terminal Auckland


Auckland city, ferry terminal lamps

My time to explore the city was limited to one full day and one night, weather on arrival was woeful and typical of the miserable weather that usually follows me on holiday so imagine my joy when I awoke to blue sunny skies the next day. Friends and family had advised me to hop on a ferry and cruise the Waitemata Harbour weather permitting, it was good advice and for about $20 I spent a relaxing couple of hours on the water. Stops of interest include Devonport, Stanley Bay and Rangitoto Island. Rangitoto Island is a unique, volcanic island with 3 peaks, it formed more than 600 years ago and if you have time you can hop off the boat and walk to the top of the crater for 360 degree views of the city, harbour and environs.

Harbour Cruise, Auckland

Fishing, Auckland Harbour

Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour is a recent development consisting of upmarket hotels, restaurants and office buildings, it is a popular spot for residents and tourists and if you love boats it is worth checking out. I wandered around for an hour or so, soaking up the sun and doing a spot of people watching but looking at boats for long periods of time doesn’t really interest me that much. The National Maritime Museum is near by and I could have spent more than a few dollars on All Blacks World Cup Rugby merchandise but the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki was calling and I’m a sucker for art gallery souvenirs.

The Auckland Art Gallery is free to visit, there is an entry fee for special exhibitions and events, at the time the Degas to Dali exhibition was touring and being a fan of many artists during the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries I couldn’t resist buying a ticket.

Auckland Art Gallery

Art installation, Auckland Art Gallery

Art installation, Auckland Art Gallery

As the sunsets the harbour is quiet a pretty place to visit, a group of us from the conference I was attending gathered to explore the waterfront and find somewhere nice to eat. We headed to Queens Wharf to inspect ‘The Cloud’, a curved structure created to erected to accommodate events during the Rugby World Cup 2011, the view of the harbour and city was great, the lack of a space to sit and have a drink…not so much. Obligatory happy snaps taken, we moved on to the Viaduct harbour precinct and managed to find a most suitable place to drink and eat, alas no decent food photos to share but I can assure you that the meals were creatively presented and tasted absolutely delicious.

This was my first real stay in Auckland, yes, even though it was only for a short period of time and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Most of my trips to New Zealand usually only include a short stop at the airport before heading further north or returning to Australia, next time I hope to extend that to a nice long weekend and visit something of the amazing markets and wineries that I’ve heard so much about 🙂

The Cloud on Queen's Wharf

Sailing on the harbour, Auckland

Viaduct harbour marina at twilight

Snapdragon restaurant, Viaduct Harbour

Past America's Cup defence, Auckland

Auckland's skytower at night



12 thoughts on “Auckland is not the capital of New Zealand

  1. Long Life Cats and Dogs October 30, 2012 / 10:24 pm

    Looks great and I loved the photos. It’s my definite intent that, next time I go to Aussie, I am most definitely making a trip to New Zealand as well. You’ve just increased the size of my travel bug quite substantially.

    • twoblackdoggies October 31, 2012 / 4:07 pm

      Thank you, not bad for a point and shoot that takes me longer to figure out than my DSLR 🙂

  2. megtraveling October 31, 2012 / 7:05 am

    Your pictures are really good and I’m quite impressed with Auckland! I can see why you’d like to spend more time there – I’m hoping to visit there myself 🙂 Great post!

    • twoblackdoggies October 31, 2012 / 4:03 pm

      Thank you, I was quite impressed as well, it is easy to get around, there are lots of great food/design/book shops to explore and the harbour makes for great views. Hope you do get to spend some time there 🙂

  3. This Sydney Life November 2, 2012 / 7:39 am

    2BD – makes me a wee bit homesick. Especially Browns – I love that wee island!

    • twoblackdoggies November 3, 2012 / 7:22 am

      I don’t know what it is like to live in Auckland, but it is a really wonderful (and pleasantly surprising) city to visit. Which island is Browns? My knowledge of the city comes purely from travel brochures 🙂

      • This Sydney Life November 3, 2012 / 7:27 am

        Browns Island is the 6th image down. It is (was?) privately owned and crawling with bunny rabbits when I was a child.

      • twoblackdoggies November 3, 2012 / 8:54 am

        It would have been a wonderful place to explore as a child, I’ve always love bunny rabbits 🙂

  4. foldedcranes November 4, 2012 / 12:07 pm

    We always discuss the merits of Auckland and Wellington. So, it’s always interesting to see the point of view others have of the places that are close to your hear.

    None of that is so important, but I did want to mention specifically – the shots of Auckland Art Museum are wonderful!

    • twoblackdoggies November 4, 2012 / 4:48 pm

      Thank you for stopping by and I’m so happy you liked the photos of the art gallery, it is such great space for art, inside and out.

      I have spent limited time inWellington, but loved it also and hope to go back for a longer visit one day 🙂

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