Explore Auckland's exciting new waterfront

By Mike Yardley

Summer is the best time to explore Auckland's watery delights.

Propelled by the Rugby World Cup, the city's waterfront has never looked so good. Nor has it been so appealing to explore.

Viaduct Harbour, a prime spot for hospitality and residential living, is a legacy from the America's Cup. But to the east and west of the Viaduct, the Britomart Precinct and the Wynyard Quarter are its sexy new siblings. Britomart is the newest shopping district, with an array of designer boutiques, specialty stores, bars and cafes. Graze seasonal goodies and artisan produce at the City Farmers Market, operating every Saturday morning. Survey quirky works of art at the Britomart Project Space. Check out the new shopping gallery, Atrium at Takutai, and browse home furnishings and gifts at Nood.

Heading west through Viaduct harbour, the Voyager Maritime Museum remains one of Auckland's premier attractions. The Blue Water Black Magic tribute to Sir Peter Blake is a stirring exhibition and you can top it off with an hour of sailing on the Waitemata.

Tootle around the Viaduct's broad promenade, lined with yachts berthed in the harbour, towards the latest waterside urban space, Wynyard Quarter.

If you have little ones in tow, they'll love the new maritime-themed playspace.

Jump aboard a Dockline Tram and take a ride around Wynyard Loop. These heritage trams, dating back to the 1920s, have just returned to Auckland's streets for the first time in half a century.

For scrumptious fish and chips and a sublime selection of fresh seafood, pay a visit to the Auckland Fish Market.

In a tip of the hat to Wynyard's industrial heritage, the towering cement silos have been transformed to become Silo Park and some of the tanks regenerated as art installations. Silo Park is an edgy precinct playing host to open-air gigs, summer movie screenings and Friday night markets.

Emphasising Auckland's love for its waterfront playground is the Auckland Seafood Festival. Staged on Wynyard Quarter's Halsey Wharf during Auckland Anniversary Weekend, this extravagant seafood celebration comprises a collection of Neptune's harvest, craft beers and wines, celebrity chefs, master cooking classes and live music and entertainment.

- Hamilton News

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