Arts and Culture

Start your cultural tour of Auckland at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It sits on the highest point of the beautiful Auckland Domain, in a vast neoclassical building dating from 1929 — first erected as a memorial dedicated to the New Zealand soldiers who fought in World War I. Today it houses an impressive collection of artefacts that traces the history of New Zealand from its first Polynesian settlers to the present day and highlights New Zealand's natural heritage. 

The museum is the only venue in Auckland providing daily Māori cultural performances. Learn more about Auckland’s Māori history and heritage on one of a number of tours available, offered at Mangere Mountain, Maungawhau Mount Eden, Rangitoto, Orakei, Maungakiekie One Tree Hill, and more. Walking, biking, and bus options are all available.

The Pasifika Festival, held in March, is a great way to experience Auckland’s rich Pacific cultures. This two-day festival has food, dancing, performances, activities, and more from over ten Pacific cultures represented. Head to Avondale or Otara markets on the weekend to experience more of Auckland’s diverse communities and some of the freshest fruit and vegetable buying in New Zealand.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi Tāmaki, in the central city, is a must-visit for the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand, as well as travelling international exhibitions. It sits in a gracious building in Albert Park, near Auckland University, with other galleries in Lorne Street and Wellesley Street nearby. 

Things are often happening in Aotea Square — food trucks, ice-skating, outdoor bars, performances — check out what’s happening while you’re in town. Also check out what festivals are on at the time of your visit, whether it’s the International Film Festival in the middle of winter, the Arts Festival in March/April, and any number of different food festivals throughout the year. The big music festivals take place mostly over summer, but check out the schedule for other concerts by visiting stars and local acts, and other cultural events during the year. Auckland has a rich theatre scene — check out the offerings at the different theatres and venues around the city, like Q, the Basement, the Civic, and the Classic Comedy Club, among others.