Auckland, New Zealand


A view of the Central Business District of Auckland, New Zealand, from Viaduct Harbor, near the cruise and passenger ferry piers


Auckland, on the North Island of New Zealand, is the most populous urban area in the country with a population of 1,495,000, which constitutes 32 percent of New Zealand’s population.  Consistently ranked among the most livable cities in the world — and New Zealand’s largest by far — Auckland’s dazzling beaches, sunny climate, and profusion of parks, trails and vineyards are all within reach of the culturally dense Auckland Central.  With a Polynesian background and a modern passion for food, wine and shopping, it is easy to see why the “City of Sails” is such a favorite.  “A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world.  The Māori language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning “Tāmaki with a hundred lovers”, in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.” – Wikipedia



The historic 19th century Ferry Building on the quay by the cruise and passenger ferry piers, Auckland, New Zealand



New development along the harbor in the Wynyard Quarter (a current redevelopment project – look at all the cranes!) includes the ASB (sponsored) Waterfront Theater (for the NZ Opera, etc.) and the new ASB headquarters building, Auckland, New Zealand



The Te Wero Bridge is a pedestrian only draw bridge (all boats have priority!) connecting the waterfront piers with the redevelopment area of the Wynyard Quarter, Auckland, New Zealand


We had the opportunity to explore an up and coming new neighborhood in Auckland – the Wynyard quarter.  After visiting the Auckland fish market and procuring some great fresh, local seafood for our kitchen on the ship, we enjoyed a nice restaurant luncheon.   In the evening we attended the NZ Opera performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Mikado” in the new ASB Waterfront Theater (that opened three months ago).

“The Wynyard Quarter is a reclaimed piece of land on the Waitemata Harbour at the western edge of the Auckland waterfront, New Zealand…  As of 2012, a good part of the area [was] still covered by petrol and liquid chemical storage facilities of Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) and various other companies, that gave the area its now slowly disappearing “Tank Farm” moniker.  However, major changes are underway, with the area intended to be redeveloped into a mixed-use residential-commercial area, with a major park to run along the northern headland and up to the point.  As one of the first changes, the eastern section of the Quarter, as well as one of the main west-east roads running across it, were revitalised with new office and entertainment/restaurant areas, with several major projects finishing in time for the Rugby World Cup 2011 tournament.” — Wikipedia



The new ASB (Australian Savings Bank which is now internationally owned) headquarters building is a standout example of contemporary architecture in the Wynyard Quarter, Auckland, New Zealand



Details of the exterior decorations and window “shades” on the new ASB headquarters building in the Wynyard Quarter, Auckland, New Zealand



A close up of the “aquarium” window coverings on the new ASB headquarters building in the Wynyard Quarter, Auckland, New Zealand



Another striking modern building at the entrance to the Wynyard Quarter is the popular ANZ (Australia – New Zealand Bank sponsored) Viaduct Events Center, Auckland, New Zealand



Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand


The 2011 expansion with majestic Kauri (native tree) columns and roof, complementing the original 1887 gallery building, houses seven centuries of New Zealand art at the Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand


“Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is the principal public gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, and has the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand.  It frequently hosts traveling international exhibitions.  Set below the hilltop Albert Park in the central-city area of Auckland, the gallery was established in 1888 as the first permanent art gallery in New Zealand.   The building originally housed the Auckland Art Gallery as well as the Auckland public library.” — Wikipedia



The museum’s atrium in the new wing hosts annually changing sculpture exhibitions, hung from the kauri wood paneled ceiling, Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand; the Māori sign in the entry says: “Nau mai , haere mai” (“Welcome”)


“The main gallery building was originally designed by Melbourne architects Grainger & D’Ebro to house not only the art gallery but also the City Council offices, lecture theatre and public library.  It is constructed of brick and plaster in an early French Renaissance style and was completed in 1887, with an extension built in 1916…  In the late 2000s, a major extension was mooted, which caused substantial criticism from some quarters due to its cost, design and the fact that land from Albert Park would be required for the extension.  In late 2007, the Gallery closed for extensive renovations, and re-opened on 3 September 2011…  The expansion design by Australian architecture firm FJMT in partnership with Auckland-based Archimedia, increased exhibition space by 50%, for up to 900 artworks, and provided dedicated education, child and family spaces.  As part of the upgrade, existing parts of the structure were renovated and restored to its 1916 state – amongst other things ensuring that the 17 different floor levels in the building were reduced to just 6.  The redevelopment has to date received 17 architectural and 6 design-related awards, including the World Architecture Festival’s 2013 World Building of the Year.” — Wikipedia



The Kauri wood panels in the entries to the galleries are all carved in Māori designs, Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand


“We are Auckland’s wharenui (home) for authentic and meaningful engagement with art for all.” –



Kura Te Waru Rewiri (born 1950), “Te Tohu Tuatahi”, 1991 (acrylic on board), draws a powerful continuum between the past and present; at the painting’s center is a cross motif, the mark used by many Māori signatories to sign New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840; Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand


Kura Te Waru Rewiri (born 1950), the artist who painted “Te Tohu Tuatahi” in 1991 and was raised in Waitangi — the first site of the signing of New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840 — commented at that time, “I paint about the Treaty now, wishing for ideals of racial harmony, equal opportunity, recognition of a pact for partnership to become reality.”



The former Auckland public library was stripped of its tall bookshelves and restored to its 19th century architectural design and added to the Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand, in the 2011 expansion



Daniel Malone (born 1970), “Tititangi Apocrypha”, 2015 (mixed media), Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand


Daniel Malone (born 1970), returned from Warsaw, Poland, in 2015 to undertake the McCahon House Artist Residency in Titirangi, Auckland.  The purpose built McCahon House is located adjacent to New Zealand’s most famous painter’s (Colin McCahon, 1919 – 1987) former home.  Malone’s “Tititangi Apocrypha”, 2015 (mixed media), pays homage to Colin McCahon’s paintings, as the present day artist filters McCahon’s interests and achievements through his own.



The atrium of the 2011 extension to the Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand, photographed from above in Albert Park



One of the beautiful native kauri columns supporting the roof at the back of the new extension to the Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand, abutting Albert Park


“The team looked at the existing character of the park [Albert Park] and utilised this to create linkages between the building, the park and the surrounding streets.  New landscaped terraces and paved platforms form a smooth pedestrian connection between Kitchener Street and Albert Park.  One of the most distinctive features of the new building is its roof design, which forms a series of fine ‘tree-like’ canopies that define and cover the Forecourt, North Atrium and gallery areas.  Between the terraces and the roof canopy of kauri wood, large windows allow a view from the Gallery’s forecourt through the building to the park and beyond – inviting discovery and opening the Gallery to Albert Park and public spaces.” –



The new wing of the Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand, as seen from a pathway in Albert Park; note how the kauri columns bring the trees and flora of Albert Park into the museum



A modern sculpture in Albert Park, immediately behind (and uphill from), the Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand



Sky Tower, Auckland’s most famous structure, viewed from Albert Park and the Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki), Auckland, New Zealand