Who doesn’t love a good city skyline view. Here’s my list of the 5 best views of Auckland’s skyline. By no means comprehensive, this list is just an outline of my favorite spots with great views of the City of Sails (all from natural viewpoints). I’ve selected viewpoints that give all round bang for your buck. In addition to a great skyline view, at most of these location, you can do a 180 degree turn and enjoy even more particularly awesome views, whethere they be of the wild West Coast, or the Hauraki Gulf! Whether you’re viewing from the bustling harbor, within the CBD, or from afar, Auckland’s skyline is a standout, so you really shouldn’t miss the chance to soak in these views.
Most of these locations are easy to access by car, or via public transport, and if you’re feeling energetic, you can even visit the city based locations on foot. As a bonus, access to most of these viewpoints is free – with the exception of Rangitoto, but that one is well worth the fare, as I think you’ll see! So, what are you waiting for, get out there and check them out, then let me know which one you think offers the best view of Auckland’s skyline.
Read on to see where you can find the best views of Auckland’s skyline. If you don’t have time to read now, pin it for later!
Maungawhau – Mt Eden Summit
This is the highest natural point in Auckland (the summit rises 196 metres /643 feet above sea level), and is one of Auckland’s 53(ish) volcanoes. Walk up to the summit of this dormant volcano and look over the verdant crater towards Auckland’s CBD and harbor.
Being sacred to the Māori, the crater is not accessible to the public, but a boardwalk is currently being constructed around the rim of the crater. There’s work going on for the boardwalk construction, but don’t let that stop you, the views from the top are outstanding! Where else in the middle of a city are you treated to views like this? It’s a must do, and easily earns top place on this list of the best views of Auckland’s skyline!
Takurunga – Mt Victoria Summit
One of Devonport’s most outstanding landmarks, Takurunga offers commanding views of the Auckland skyline from across the harbor. Originally a Māori defense settlement (pā), the summit of Takurunga – Mt. Victoria was developed into a military position in order to defend the country against an expected Russian invasion. At the summit, you can explore the remaining artillery emplacements, and bunkers, or if you’re like me, just enjoy another of the best views of Auckland’s skyline!
Maungauika – North Head
Maungauika is just up the road from Takurunga, but for now, I’ve decided to include them both, as I think some of the views from here overlooking the Devonport beaches are unique from Takuranga.
North Head is one of Auckland’s oldest volcanic cones, formed around 50,000 years ago. The site was a military installation up until the second World War, and with it’s easternmost position, was the most significant coastal defense site in NZ. There’s plenty of military history to explore around the site, but above all, Maungauika offers striking views over the Hauraki Gulf and the inner harbor.
Arataki Visitor Center & Waitakere Ranges
Just 30 minutes outside of the Auckland CBD, the Arataki Visitor Center gateway to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. If you’re heading out to the West Coast, stop in at the visitor center, or on one of the pullouts along the road, and peep some great panoramic views of Auckland from the Waitakere Ranges. You’ll even score some of the lush sub tropical rainforest in the foreground of your pics!
I’ve saved the best (in my opinion) for last! Hands down, Rangitoto Island, just a 20 minute ferry ride from the CBD, has the BEST views of Auckland’s skyline. An easy 50 minute hike to the summit leads you to the most awesome panoramic views of not only Auckland’s skyline, but the entire Hauraki Gulf!
If you’re thinking about checking it out, don’t think any longer, just lace up your walking shoes and hop on the ferry ASAP, you won’t regret it.
Depending on the route you take on Rangitoto Island, you can catch even more views of the city and surrounds peeping through the lush foliage that covers the lava flows.
If you want more information about the hike to Rangitoto Summit, look out for my upcoming blog post on the experience.
Top 5 – what do you think?
So, there you have it, my personal suggestions for the five best views of Auckland’s skyline! If you need any more info on the logistics of visiting any of these locations, then just let me know. All five locations can be visited within easy reach of central Auckland. In fact, if you were up for a real Tiki Tour of the city, you could probably visit all five in just one day.
There were a couple of other options which didn’t quite make the list… One Tree Hill, Sky Tower, Mount Hobson…. They’re all strong contenders, but in the end, I’m satisfied with my list, and I hope you have the chance to check them out and let me know what you think.
If there’s an epic view that I’ve missed, then let me know, I’ll be happy to go and check it out!
Get out and enjoy!