Ports of Auckland is once again inviting Aucklanders behind its iconic red fence this Auckland Anniversary Weekend to discover the port from land, sea and sky.

It's the fifth time the event has been held at the port, with more than 70,000 people expected to attend over the three days.

"We started SeePort as a thank you to the community for its support and to give visitors a chance to come behind the red fence to see what goes into keeping Aucklanders supplied with the goods they use every day," said Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Tony Gibson.

"Each year we have grown what's on offer to give visitors a bigger and better experience than the previous year.

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"This year we're still getting people up close to the big machines and vessels people will expect, but we also have some technology that people may not expect to be associated with a port.

"Auckland is a fantastic maritime city with a history spanning more than 800 years, but a lot of the ways we do things here has changed, even in the last 30 years, and SeePort is a great opportunity to tell our story – including what is planned for the future."

Entry to SeePort is free, with almost all activities also being free or offered at heavily reduced rates - including half-price helicopter rides.

This year exhibitors at SeePort include the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Royal New Zealand Airforce, the New Zealand Customs Service, the New Zealand Fire Service, along with Sanford's, Scouts New Zealand, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, and KiwiRail, with a few surprises in store too.

Activities are on the port, on the water and in the air. They include carnival rides, tug boat displays and races, harbour tours, helicopter rides and displays, and the opportunity to try out the ports state of the art training simulators.

Visitors can explore the ports' new robotic machinery and uncover the inner-workings of some magnificent vessels – including the Royal New Zealand Navy's offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Te Kaha and one of the oldest steam tugs in the world, the William C. Daldy.