In the 1990s, Viaduct Harbour was transformed from an underloved port to a bustling, America’s Cup–hosting luxury entertainment district right in the heart of Auckland. The pedestrian mall that runs around the harbor is lined with high-end apartments, and restaurants, cafés, and bars thrive on the ground floor. From quiet little coffee shops, family restaurants, and fine dining restaurants run by celebrated chefs to pubs, bars, and clubs that are open late into the night, there’s plenty on offer. Theater lovers can take in a show at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, home to the Auckland Theatre Company. You can even stay on the harbor, at one of several luxury hotels and apartment complexes located on or near the waterfront.
Viaduct Harbour is also a regular departure point for boat tours out into the harbor and the Hauraki Gulf. It’s also the home of the New Zealand Maritime Museum Hui Te Ananui A Tangaroa, which tells New Zealand’s maritime history through exhibitions and several impressively restored historical boats.
Things to Know Before You Go
Viaduct Harbour is a lovely stop for all first-time visitors to Auckland.
If you fancy a swim or a workout, you can pay a visit to the century-old public Tepid Baths, located on Customs Street West.
How to Get There
If you’re in the Auckland CBD, Viaduct Harbour is just a short walk from the end of Queen Street—just turn left at Quay Street and keep walking. Britomart Train and Bus Station and the Downtown Ferry Terminal are all just a quick stroll down Quay Street, too. If you’re driving, take the appropriate exits off the motorway: exit at Nelson Street from the Southern Motorway or at Fanshawe Street from the Northern Motorway. There are three parking lots near the harbor.
When to Get There
There’s no bad time to visit Viaduct Harbour—a number of cafés are open from the early morning, bars are often open late, and most restaurants serve in between. Try and visit in summer or fall to make the most of the harbor views and outdoor dining.
Best Views of Auckland Harbour and the Harbour Bridge
There are multiple lookout points around Viaduct Harbour, but most of them offer views of only the viaduct itself. Head to the end of Princes Wharf, right next to Viaduct Harbour, for views across the water to Devonport, with the Harbour Bridge in the distance to the west.
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