Aside from a handful of shade-producing trees, the square houses large, public works of art such as statues and Maori sculptures, the best-known being the waharoa, or gateway, which serves as the entrance from Queen Street. During any time of year, simply sitting and people-watching is an entertaining activity. If it happens to be a nice summer day, then grab a picnic and stop by the square for a leisurely coffee or other drink.
Things to know before you go
- The public outdoor space is open all day, year-round.
- The large, flat sidewalk provides easy access to strollers, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters.
- Most events are free, with the exception of ticketed events like shows at the Auckland Arts Festival.
- Auckland Live ensures all theater venues are accessible, including hearing aid loop performances.
- Several cafés selling food and drinks line the square.
How to get there
Aotea Square is centrally located and within walking distance of most of downtown. It’s across the street from Auckland Town Hall as well as the Aotea Centre. The address is 50 Mayoral Drive and the closest bus station is on the same street, which connects with the rest of the city. Limited pre-paid parking spaces are available at the Civic parking lot in the evening.
When to get there
In warmer months, dance under the stars when part of the square is converted into a dance floor, or taste your way between food trucks at Summer in the Square. Strap on skates in the middle of winter when an ice rink is built here. Whatever the season, the whole of Auckland seems to twirl right around you—centered right here on the square.
Annual Arts Festival
From a free sing-along in the heart of the Aotea Arts Precinct to an adults-only burlesque cabaret in the Spiegeltent, there’s something for everyone at Auckland’s annual arts show, including family-friendly shows. With its history of political protests, Aotea Square also features edgy performances that engage viewers in a cultural conversations on relevant topics.
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