The Auckland Art Gallery is home to the largest collection of artwork in New Zealand, with more than 17,000 pieces in its collection. Permanent and rotating exhibits show a wide range of art, from historical Maori and Pacific art to contemporary international works. A gallery visit is a great addition to any central-city sightseeing tour.
The Auckland Art Gallery houses an impressive collection of New Zealand, Pacific, and international art in beautiful buildings that are works of art themselves. There’s the old wing, housed in a building dating from 1887, and the new wing, which opened in 2011. The gallery holds works from the 11th century until the present day, so there’s something to interest practically everyone.
Many travelers visit the Auckland Art Gallery on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, which also visits many other must-see attractions around the city. This is a convenient way to add the gallery to a wider sightseeing trip around Auckland.
Things to Know Before You Go
- International visitors need to pay an admission fee, but New Zealand residents can access the permanent collections for free (bring your driver’s license, bank card, or proof of residence).
- There are free tours of the gallery in both English and Mandarin Chinese every day. Check the website for current timings.
- There’s an on-site cafe, or bring a picnic to eat in nearby Albert Park.
- The gallery often holds special educational events, including some especially for kids.
How to Get There
The Auckland Art Gallery is conveniently located in central Auckland, just off Queen Street. Buses to and around the central city will get you close to the gallery. If you’re staying at a downtown hotel, the gallery will be a short walk away. Or, arrive via the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus; the Red Circle Route stops right in front of the museum.
When to Get There
The gallery is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 10am until 5pm. While any time of year is a good time to visit the gallery, Auckland experiences many rainy days, so the gallery is a good place to visit when it’s cold and wet out.
The Auckland Art Gallery commissioned three special works of art by Maori artists for its refurbishment in 2011. The works by Arnold Manaaki Wilson, Fred Graham, and Lonnie Hutchinson are embedded into the design of the buildings themselves, in the form of carvings or other structural elements. These works are on permanent display and enable visitors to see the integration of contemporary and traditional practice in Maori art.