Sandwiched between the suburbs of Grafton and Parnell, Auckland Domain is the oldest park in the city. It is located on the slopes of the extinct volcano Pukekawa and is lined with forests, gardens, and open fields for sports and picnics. The volcano’s crater is now an amphitheater that hosts large public events. Also here is the historical Wintergardens, greenhouses displaying a range of colorful plants and flowers from all over the world, and a short walk away is the Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum.
The Domain is also littered with public art, including a statue to legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns, and has a range of nature walks that pass through gullies, cherry groves, and dense urban forests. Many small-group tours of Auckland include the Domain, and hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tours stop here too.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Auckland Domain is ideal for nature lovers and anyone looking for a verdant respite from the urban crush.
The War Memorial Museum offers donation entry for New Zealand residents and a fee entry for international visitors.
The Domain, Wintergardens, and Auckland War Memorial Museum all regularly host public talks, concerts, and more; check the Auckland Council and museum’s websites for details.
Auckland Domain bans alcohol from dusk until dawn.
Much of Auckland Domain is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, but be aware that some of the tracks run uphill and can occasionally get steep.
A sensory garden for blind visitors, full of rich aromas and tactile plants, is located on the intersection of Titoki Street and Maunsell Road.
How to Get There
The Domain is easy to get to from Auckland city center. The Domain’s north entrance is a short walk from Queen Street and a quick drive down Wellesley Street East. There is parking under the museum and on the street, as well as parking garages around the Domain. Alternatively, catch the Parnell bus from Wellesley Street East.
When to Get There
Visit during the spring or summer to make the most of the Domain’s natural beauty. Pink and white cherry groves flower in spring, making for a charming and romantic daytime stroll. The Domain is alive in summer with sports and events, including the huge annual Christmas in the Park concert.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
The museum has a range of permanent exhibits telling the stories of New Zealand’s natural history, war history, and Maori and Pacific history. The Maori galleries display beautiful Maoritaonga (treasures), and there are always temporary exhibits from New Zealand and overseas. You can also enjoy a Maori cultural performance and learn more about the culture of the localiwi (tribe) Ngāti Whātua.
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