Tag Archives: Auckland

Auckland: A Million Skyline Looks.

Continuing the series of highlighting skylines I’ve captured brings us next to Auckland. New Zealand’s biggest city and skyline offers photographers water shots, a hilly topography and views of the largest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower. You can capture the heart of this city in every place imaginable from up-top dormant volcanoes to peninsulas kilometers away.

I thought I’d share some larger, enhanced versions of photos I took and used in my original Auckland skyline post from a few years back, plus some additional ones. Well without further ado.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from Mount Eden

The Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden.

Auckland skyline, Auckland Harbour Bridge

The skyline as seen when heading across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland skyline, Auckland Harbour Bridge

The skyline as seen when heading across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland skyline from Devonport and North Shore

Head to Devonport and the North Shore to see the skyline from across Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland skyline from Devonport and North Shore

Head to Devonport and the North Shore to see the skyline from across Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland skyline along Tamaki Drive

The Auckland skyline views along Tamaki Drive.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from Mount Eden

The Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Princes Wharf

Viewing New Zealand’s largest city skyline from Princes Wharf.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - SkyTower

Randomly looking up at the Sky Tower and other tall buildings.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Where would you recommend going around Auckland to capture its skyline?

Mount Eden (Maungawhau) in Auckland.

Auckland is New Zealand’s biggest city and urban area, much of which sits within a volcanic field. Because of that there are fifty dormant volcanoes and craters in Greater Auckland. Mount Eden is one of the more well-known ones. It’s Māori name is Maungawhau which means the Mountain of the Whau tree.

Mount Eden - Auckland, New Zealand - cinder cone, volcano

Mount Eden is a major tourist attraction and is the highest point in the city, reaching 196 meters at its summit. The crater is fifty meters deep and has been dormant since it erupted 28,000 years ago. It’s unlikely that it will ever erupt again. More than likely an eruption would occur at a new site in the area.

Located about five kilometers outside the city centre, driving, taking the bus or going for a stroll to get to is an easy proposition. There are plenty of walking areas at the top.

Once at the top you can get great panoramic views of Auckland, the harbours and the skyline.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden

Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden

A shot of suburbia as far as the eye can see.

Auckland, New Zealand suburbia from Mount Eden

What a lot of people like is unlike the Sky Tower, it’s free and you can go there twenty-four hours a day.

Looking towards the northeast you can see Rangitoto Island, the youngest and biggest area volcano, erupting and forming that island about 600 years ago.

Mount Eden - Auckland, New Zealand

Atop Mount Eden sits a survey marker which attracts a lot of tourist attention, Surveyor’s Monument. A survey marker is placed to mark a key survey point on the earth’s surface and is used in land surveying.

Mount Eden - Auckland, New Zealand

An interesting fact: Up until a few years ago you would have been able to see cattle within Maungawhau. Rats. It’s not everyday you can see cattle and a skyline in the same photo. Of course I had to find some older photos online.

Whenever you’re in Auckland make sure to make the trek over to Mount Eden (Maungawhau). What other craters, dormant volcanoes would you recommend visiting in greater Auckland? Anywhere?

Piha Beach in New Zealand.

Looking for a day trip destination with spectacular views when in Auckland? Look no further then Piha. Piha, the settlement and beach, are along the wild, rugged west coast of the North Island just west of the CBD. It’s a popular tourist and local destination for those in the city, especially in the summer months. It’s a scenic, winding and narrow ride over.

You’ll see Piha’s beauty as you reach the settlement and beach from up in the hills.

Piha, Piha Beach, Lion Rock - North Island, New Zealand

One of the first things you’ll notice  is the natural formation known as Lion Rock. It separates North and South Piha Beach. The rock resembles a large male lion and you can climb it to get great views. Lion Rock is the remains of a volcano which erupted sixteen million years ago.

Piha, Piha Beach, Lion Rock - North Island, New Zealand

The beach and settlement sit along the Tasman Sea remotely within the Waitakere range. Its sand is black consisting of iron of volcanic origin. Its the most popular and famous place to surf in New Zealand due to the large waves, having hosted domestic and international competitions over the years. Swimming is not advised due to those hard waves.

Piha, Piha Beach - North Island, New Zealand

Piha, Piha Beach - North Island, New Zealand

Piha, Piha Beach - North Island, New Zealand

Piha Beach and Lion Rock is a scenic destination along the Tasman Sea. It’s definitely worth a day trip when in Auckland. What beaches have you been in awe with over the view? What beaches would you recommend seeing in New Zealand?

Te Henga (Bethells Beach) in New Zealand.

Just west of Auckland along the wild, rugged coast on the North Island is Te Henga (Bethells Beach). It sits where the Waitakere River flows into the Tasman Sea. The Maori named this beach Te Henga for the way the sand dunes are shaped.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

It’s a bit of a walk to the beach and sea from the parking area. As your walking you’ll notice the volcanic sand right away. The beach sand gets its color from the black titanomangenite in the volcanic rocks that are carried by the coastal currents. When your walking you’ll see sand dudes along with quicksand danger signs. Wasn’t going to see if it really was quicksand and kept moving. 🙂

Te Henga, Bethells Beach, volcanic sand - New Zealand

As soon as you reach the beach and coastline you’re in awe.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

It was a quiet summer afternoon during the week, but this is the time of year when people from Auckland flock to the area. It’s near the big city, but has the feeling of being remote. Taking windy, narrow roads to get to it adds to the feeling of going somewhere secluded.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

Surfing is the most popular activity here. When swimming do so between the flags as the waters are a little rough. There are lifeguards in the summer months.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

I became fascinated with all the green clams along the beach.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach, green clams - New Zealand

Some additional travel tips for planning a visit there: There are no gas stations in Bethells Beach so plan accordingly. Also, cell phone service is virtually non-existent.

It was a great afternoon trip over to Te Henga (Bethells Beach). It’s definitely a recommended stop when in and around Auckland. What coastal spots do you like around Auckland? In New Zealand?

Auckland: The Penguins at Kelly Tarlton’s.

I’ve always had a fascination with penguins like a lot of people, seeing them waddle on television, watching the movie “Happy Feet”, that I wanted the chance to see them up close. While in Auckland in New Zealand I had the chance to checkout the penguins at Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World (aquarium).

Penguins in Auckland, New Zealand aquarium

The aquarium houses New Zealand’s only sub-antarctic penguins. I learned that penguins spend roughly half of their life on land, half in the water. It’s no different here. You can watch king and gentoo penguins, around eighty in total, play in the snow or swim in the cold waters.

You work your way through the penguin exhibit in an Antarctic snowcat vehicle.

Penguins in Auckland, New Zealand aquarium, Antarctic snowcat

It was interesting watching them congregate in groups usually by age.

King and Gentoo Penguins in Auckland, New Zealand aquarium

King and Gentoo Penguins in Auckland, New Zealand aquarium

King and Gentoo Penguins in Auckland, New Zealand aquarium

All penguin species originate and can be found in the Southern Hemisphere, including New Zealand where six species can be found. Interestingly enough none can be found at the South Pole, most coming from the outer fridges of the continent.

The penguins at Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World is a must see when in Auckland. You’ll also get to see sharks, stingrays and other Pacific marine life and get detailed history of the various Antarctic expeditions. New Zealand being so close, it’s the perfect launching point.

Penguins in Auckland, New Zealand aquarium

Have you had the chance to see penguins out in the open? At another aquarium?