Though our borders currently remain closed, you can still get to know Auckland (and New Zealand) from afar.

From virtual tours to movies and music, here are some fun virtual ways to stay connected with Auckland and learn more about Kiwi culture in 2021.


Be a virtual tourist for a day and discover the best things to see and do in Auckland, whether you’re an adventurer, nature lover, foodie or arts enthusiast. Explore Auckland’s different regions, from our central city precincts to picturesque wine country, beautiful beaches and islands to lively shopping and dining districts.

Take an Auckland Museum virtual tour

Auckland Museum

Take a virtual tour through one of the exhibitions at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum, home to the taonga (treasures), stories and origins of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and New Zealand.

There are lots of tours to choose from, including Voyage to Aotearoa: Tupaia and the Endeavour, which tells the story of the Tahitian navigator Tupaia and his journey to New Zealand with Captain Cook in 1769.

Step back in time in the Photographing Early Auckland exhibition to see the incredible changes between mid-1800s and present-day Auckland urban streets, or take a virtual walkthrough of the popular Landmarks exhibition to see the evolution of fashions, furniture and crafts through the decades. Other tours feature design and decorative arts, and toys spanning a century of play – sure to bring back happy childhood memories.

Meet inspiring Aucklanders


The Voices of Auckland series is a celebration of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Meet some of the inspiring people thinking outside the box to help create our region’s bright future.

Hear from a leading fashion designer dedicated to a more sustainable future for the industry, an innovator bringing traditional Māori stories into the digital age through gaming production, a passionate entrepreneur who created a unique online shopping experience that fosters the creative talent of the people of south Auckland, and a couple lighting up Auckland through creative digital experiences that bring people together. Other stories highlight innovations and inspiration from leaders across the tech, creative, construction, screen and hospitality industries.

Watch a Kiwi movie

Numerous feature films and series have been filmed in Auckland, including Mulan, The Meg, The Luminaries, Baby Done, Black Hands, The Wilds, Ash vs Evil Dead, The Breaker Upperers and The Piano, which made Auckland’s windswept west coast beaches world-famous. Watching is a great way to see some of the region’s diverse landscapes, from city hotspots to natural wilderness, and our local talent on and off screen.

Take a look at other Kiwi movies and TV shows filmed elsewhere for a glimpse into New Zealanders’ unique culture and humour – try Whale Rider, which launched Keisha Castle-Hughes into Hollywood, the quirky Flight of The Conchords and What We Do in the Shadows, and Taika Waititi’s acclaimed movies Boy and Hunt for The Wilderpeople.

Listen to a podcast

Looking for a new podcast? 

Learn about te ao Māori (the Māori world) and te reo (the Māori language) with Taringa, a bilingual English/Māori podcast. The weekly episodes discuss kupu (words), iwi (tribes), stories, or tikanga (customs and protocols) with a fun, relaxed approach.

Check out Voices, a podcast featuring people from diverse global backgrounds living in New Zealand, with stories spanning politics, society, identity, art and culture. The NZ Tech Podcast is ideal for keeping up with the tech industry and covers a huge variety of topics, including cybersecurity, robotics, tech investment, and updates on the world’s biggest tech companies.  

Discover books and music

Auckland is home to an impressive line-up of musical talent, from singer/songwriters like Benee and Lorde to chart toppers Crowded House, Split Enz and Savage. If classical music is more to your taste, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra plays to more than 250,000 people each year and you can watch one of their many concerts online for free.

The annual Auckland Writers Festival brings together hundreds of local and international authors and thinkers to celebrate books, writing and ideas with booklovers. While COVID-19 disrupted the 2020 event, authors from across New Zealand and the world ‘zoomed in’ to discuss their books, share extracts and answer reader questions. All 13 episodes are available to watch free on the festival website and podcasts are also available on Apple or Spotify.

How will you get to know Auckland in 2021?

Like the rest of the world, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is adjusting to life amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Our borders currently remain closed to anyone other than a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, those travelling from quarantine-free travel zones, or those granted a special exemption. Please visit our COVID-19 update for visitors and Aucklanders for the latest information.

Auckland looks forward to welcoming you when the time is right

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