Auckland Art Gallery - Toi o Tamaki

Insider's guide

outside Auckland Art Gallery - Toi o Tamaki
​Feel inspired and creative at the Auckland Art Gallery.

After moving home to Auckland after a period of living abroad, I’m re-discovering how many fun and interesting places there are to discover in Auckland.  One such place is The Auckland Art Gallery perched on the corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets in the city.

After a massive renovation, the gallery building, in my opinion, rivals even the most famous in the world.  It recently opened in September this year after three years of redevelopment.  Check out the time lapse video for an impressive look into the external construction of the gallery.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki commissioned 2011 generously supported by Molly Morpeth Canaday Trust.

We met with the Visitor Experience Manager, Richard Wormley for a fascinating guided tour. He was extremely passionate about both the collections and the redevelopment and it was easy to see why. The interior is spacious, creative and inviting. Even if you’re not into gazing at a wall and interpreting lines and shapes, you will appreciate the structural changes to this iconic building.

There are around 800 artworks on display but a highlight is the opportunity to view paintings by one of New Zealand’s leading portrait painters, Gottfried Lindauer.  The paintings are of major Māori figures of the 19th century in New Zealand.   It’s amazing to see such detail and the perfect brush strokes almost make the paintings look like photographs.

On the terrace is an interesting take on a bench.  Danish artist Jeppe Hein's has created a long seat that weaves up, down and around the length of the terrace. It looks more like a roller-coaster than something you sit on, but the idea is really amazing. At one point, the bench dips down inside the Gallery's building - clever I thought.

The best way to experience the gallery is by joining a guided tour. Tours run twice times daily at 11.30am and 1.30pm.  Best of all the tours are free (and so is entry). It’s the best way to get the most out of your gallery visit.  If you’re like me, you may not be familiar with the artists and collections, so an intimate tour from an expert who explains key pieces and their history will be invaluable.

The Auckland Art Gallery is open daily from 10am to 5pm, except Christmas Day.

By Rena, International Marketing Executive (Tourism), Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development