Located right in the middle of Auckland’s downtown, St. Patrick’s Cathedral stands in stark contrast to the modern city skyline. Founded in 1841 along with Auckland itself, the Catholic cathedral has seen modern-day Auckland literally grow up around it. Today, about 2,500 parishioners gather there for weekly Mass each Sunday morning.
Officially named the Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Joseph, this historic church has undergone multiple renovations. The original structure was made of wood, although the increasing population necessitated expansion to the neo-Gothic brick-and-mortar church that stands today. If you’re searching for services while traveling in New Zealand’s North Island—or simply want to see the church—this heritage cathedral is a welcoming spot in the heart of bustling Auckland.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There’s no fee to visit the cathedral, but donations are welcome.
- Photography inside the church is permitted.
- Families are welcome; a children’s liturgy is offered during Sunday Mass.
- A few parking spaces on either side of the Cathedral doors are available to people with mobility issues.
- Help maintain St. Patrick’s Cathedral as a sacred space by being respectful and quiet when you enter.
How to Get There
The cathedral is located at 43 Wyndham Street. It’s a 5-minute walk north of the Sky Tower and a 10-minute walk from Viaduct Harbour, the downtown ferry terminal, and Britomart Train Station. Parking garages are available nearby, and there’s metered parking on some surrounding streets. Parking is not allowed at St. Patrick’s Square, which is a pedestrian mall.
When to Get There
Church doors stay open during daylight hours year-round. Mass is held at 8am, 11am, 4:30pm, and 7pm on Sunday; at 7am and 12:15pm Monday through Friday; and at 8:30am on Saturday and public holidays. Visitors can listen to the Cathedral Choir rehearse on Thursday evening and sing at the 11am Sunday Mass three times per month. The professional Cathedral Vocal Ensemble sings at one 11am Mass each month.
A Peek at the Design
The two bells in the cathedral tower are the oldest in New Zealand, having been cast in Rome in 1723 and purchased in 1884. Inside the cathedral, gaze up at the Belgian stained glass that filters light from above, and admire the polished wood that climbs up the altar to the beautiful vaulted ceiling. Don’t miss the informative side display about the life and work of Suzanne Aubert, coined "New Zealand's saint in the making.”