With a variety of museums in Auckland to choose from, seven stand out as must-see destinations for both locals and visitors. These include cultural and historical overviews, hands-on science, classic and contemporary art, and our southern hemisphere night sky.
Auckland is the country’s largest city, so it should come as no surprise that it is home some of the best museums in New Zealand. However, Te Papa Tongarewa (the New Zealand National Museum) is located in the capital city of Wellington.
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Auckland map of museums
Getting to museums in Auckland
Auckland city has an excellent public transportation system in the central city, and there are buses or trains that can get you to all of the Auckland museums on this page. The easiest way to find your route is with the free AT Journey Planner.
Auckland Explorer: Hop-on-hop-off bus
While this is a great way to see the city, it will only get you to four of the museums listed above: Auckland Museum, MOTAT, Maritime Museum, and Auckland Art Gallery.
⇒ Check price for the Auckland Explorer Bus
Taxi or Uber
Unless you are in the heart of the central business district (CBD), you will need to call for a taxi if you want one. Uber is also a popular option for getting around in New Zealand. Both are generally considered safe.
The latest craze in Auckland is the Lime Scooter. Located throughout central Auckland, scooters are found with an app. Simply find one, tag on with your phone’s app, and pay by the time used. Helmets are recommended, although not provided. Howick Historic Village or Te Uru are outside of the service area.
Honestly, this is my favourite way to see any city. There are so many lovely walks in Auckland, an isthmus built on the cones of 48 extinct volcanoes. From the city centre, it is an easy walk to the Maritime Museum or the Auckland Art Gallery. Longer walks include the Auckland Museum (2.7 km from Britomart) or MOTAT (5 km from Britomart). For the other three museums, you would need some sort of transportation.
Driving in Auckland is not much different than driving in any other major city around the world. Traffic is heavy, people drive less politely than they do in the suburban areas, and parking is both difficult to find and expensive. As a visitor, we recommend picking up a rental car when you are ready to leave the city. Within the city, use one of the methods above.
However, if you are going to rent a car in New Zealand, we use and recommend RentalCars.com. As a conglomerator, they present a list of rental options from local and international companies that allow you to quickly compare vehicle size, price, and company ratings. Plus, we have been consistently impressed by their customer service.
⇒ Compare prices with RentalCars.com
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After visiting the museums in Auckland, don’t miss these 75 free or nearly free things to do in the city.
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