Woman takes photograph from atop Auckland Sky Tower.

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

The impossible-to-miss Sky Tower looks like a giant hypodermic giving a fix to the heavens. Spectacular lighting renders it space age at night and the colours change for special events. At 328m it is the southern hemisphere's tallest structure. A lift takes you up to the observation decks in 40 stomach-lurching seconds; look down through the glass floor panels if you’re after an extra kick. Consider visiting at sunset and having a drink in the Sky Lounge Cafe & Bar.

The Sky Tower is also home to the SkyWalk and SkyJump.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby City Centre & Britomart attractions

1. St Patrick’s Cathedral

0.15 MILES

Auckland’s Catholic cathedral (1907) is one of the city's loveliest buildings. Polished wood and Belgian stained glass lend warmth to the interior of the…

2. Civic Theatre

0.21 MILES

The 'mighty Civic' (1929) is one of only seven ‘atmospheric theatres’ remaining in the world and a fine survivor from cinema’s Golden Age. The auditorium…

4. Auckland Art Gallery


Auckland's premier art repository has a striking glass-and-wood atrium grafted onto its 1887 French chateau frame. It showcases the best of NZ art, along…

5. Albert Park

0.34 MILES

Hugging the hill on the city’s eastern flank, Albert Park is a charming Victorian formal garden overrun by students from the neighbouring University of…

6. University Clock Tower

0.42 MILES

The University Clock Tower is Auckland's architectural triumph. This stately ‘ivory' tower (1926) tips its hat to art nouveau (the incorporation of NZ…

7. New Zealand Maritime Museum

0.44 MILES

This museum traces NZ’s seafaring history, from Māori voyaging canoes to the America’s Cup. Recreations include a tilting 19th-century steerage-class…

8. Old Government House

0.47 MILES

Built in 1856, this stately building was the colony's seat of power until 1865 when Wellington became the capital. The construction is unusual in that it…