New Zealand is rife with incredible photo opportunities, from the thermal hotspots of the mid-North Island to the mirror-glass mountain lakes of Central Otago. You don’t have to drive for hours out of the city for sights worth remembering however. There are a great number of perfect places within the super-city of Auckland, so grab your DSLR, pick up your rental car from our Auckland airport location and get snapping!
Here are our top 3 spots in Auckland for iconic photo opportunities:
1. Maungawhau (Mount Eden)
What better spot to get a sweeping panoramic view of all of Auckland city than from the summit of its tallest volcano. Long dormant, Maungawhau (or Mount Eden), is the highest geographical point on the Auckland isthmus at 196 metres.
There’s no vehicle access to the top of the mountain, but with plenty of parking at the base you’re in for a pleasant climb. Head out at sunrise or sunset to see the unique Auckland city skyline beautifully silhouetted.
For a glimpse into the history of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people, take a guided walk up the mountain. Tamaki Hikoi’s Heaven to Earth tour will unlock the mountain’s role as a former strategic stronghold, or pa, with occupation terraces, storage pits and housing sites.
2. Te Henga (Bethells Beach)
Around 40 minutes west of Central Auckland, through the lush Waitakere Ranges, the west coast is home to a number of famous beaches. While Piha is best known for its choppy conditions and riveting rescue stories, Te Henga can be recognised as one of the New Zealand filming locations from Taylor Swift’s Out of the Woods music video.
The reflective black sand creates a dramatic site for photographs – with a sharp contrast between the dark sand and vibrant sea. The beach is much more sheltered than others on the west coast, meaning once you’ve gotten your shots you can enjoy a refreshing dip.
3. Nelson Street Cycleway
Snaking across the junction of Auckland’s many highways, the Nelson Street Cycleway not only provides a convenient shortcut for Auckland’s two-wheeled commuters, but turns into an image of modern vibrancy once the sun sets.
Cities don’t have to just be black and grey anymore. The eye-catching pink tarmac of the cycleway encourages an unique spontaneity in urban design aesthetics.
The cycleway was once a long-redundant highway, but was converted into a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly pathway leading from Nelson Street to Upper Queen Street. The completion of the cycleway closed a loop of bike paths around the central city, giving active travellers another great way to see the city at its finest.
4. Mission Bay Beach
Another quintessential sight in Auckland’s volcanic landscape is the island mountain of Rangitoto. From the shore of Mission Bay, you’ll look directly out across the water to see the volcano perfectly framed in the bay.
Not only does Mission Bay offer beautiful views of Rangitoto, the popular beach is home to a number of great restaurants and an iconic fountain.
To get around Auckland as easily as possible, why not hire one of our rental cars? After flying in, pick up your car from our Auckland airport location and drop it off again on your way out. Contact us today to arrange your rental.