Explore four floors of exhibitions from seven centuries of art at Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki – the building itself is an award-winning piece of architecture. Visit TSB Wallace Arts Centre at the historic Pah Homestead, a magnificent 1879 building showcasing contemporary art and a sculpture garden. Both galleries also have fantastic cafés for lunch or a coffee, so make a day of it.
Head east to explore the Clevedon Arts Trail, a self-drive taking in local art, galleries and workshops, including Art Industry and Woodzone (perfect for gifts or something unique to take home). Relax over lunch at Clevedon Village and spend the afternoon creating your own craft at Forgotten Arts – make sure you book your workshop in advance – and check out contemporary pieces at Katie Blundell's studio next door.
A trip to Waiheke Island is a must do for art lovers. Join Walking by Nature on a four-hour walk around the island visiting galleries, sculpture parks and artist studios, and relax with lunch at a spectacular property. Connells Bay Sculpture Park combines nature and arts to create a unique experience (with spectacular views as you wander), or pop in to Toi Gallery, full of works by talented local artists.
Take a good look at one of Auckland’s most eclectic streets on a free street art walking tour of Karangahape Road – better known as K’ Road. Renowned local graffiti and mural artist Jonny 4Higher is your guide for the two-hour tour, where you’ll see existing art and works in progress and get an insight into the artists’ processes.
Drive north to Matakana wine region and spend an afternoon at Brick Bay Wines and Sculpture Trail. Check out more than 45 sculptures as you walk the 2km trail, then unwind with a vineyard platter and a glass of vino. Fine Arts Tours provides small, specialised half-day or full-day tours around the Auckland region, including Matakana, taking in private and public fine art collections.
Hop on a ferry to Great Barrier Island and indulge your passion for the arts while discovering the untouched beauty of the island. Its natural landscapes have inspired many artists, writers, poets and musicians – get a glimpse on Great Barrier’s self-drive Island Art Discovery Trail. Another hidden gem is Rotoroa Island, with an award-winning museum and exhibition centre and display on Rotoroa's fascinating history. Don’t miss the stunning sculpture by Chris Booth at one of the lookout points.
If you’re interested in Māori culture, visit the sublime Kura Gallery in downtown Auckland, where you’ll find authentic handmade arts and crafts of the highest quality. At Auckland Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira, discover Māori heritage and arts of the past, including carvings, taonga, early waka (canoes) and a full scale marae (meeting house).
Auckland’s inner city has entertainment on tap. See what’s on at The Civic, Aotea Centre or the new ASB Waterfront Theatre for live theatre, musicals and concerts. Check out smaller venues like Q Theatre or The Basement for unique, more intimate productions or catch live stand-up comedy The Classic.
Our rugged west coast is known for inspiring artists, from painters and sculptors to musicians and actors. Browse the changing exhibitions at Te Uru Contemporary Gallery, a fantastic modern addition to Titirangi’s historic Lopdell House. Make a day of it – grab a bite in the village, then visit the black-sand beaches and windswept clifftops that have captivated famous artists. photo credit: Sam Hartnett
Join a photography walk or tour and capture the best of Auckland, from shimmering skylines to the black sands and pounding surf of our west coast beaches. Practice your sunset snaps, see the city lit up after dark or explore natural landscapes by day.