The Auckland Harbour Bridge is a landmark site on the city’s skyline. The 8-lane engineering marvel connects downtown Auckland with North Shore suburbs. Visitors can experience the bridge and the stunning views of the Waitemata Harbour from several vantage points: while driving over it, climbing it, or jumping off it.
The 3,348-foot-long (1,020 meter) Auckland Harbour Bridge was built in 1959 to connect the central and northern parts of Auckland. Aside from its impressive steel construction, the views from it are perhaps its greatest attraction, with hundreds of sailboats on the twinkling waters below, views of the central Auckland skyline, and Rangitoto Island’s volcanic peak in the distance.
Many visitors will cross the bridge at some point during their travels in and around Auckland. While anyone (with a license) can drive over the bridge, pedestrians only have access via a guided tour. A fun way to see the bridge and the surrounding views is to book a bridge climbing tour, which takes visitors to the top arch and away from the traffic below. Or, enjoy a scenic harbor cruise and take in views of the bridge from the water.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tours to the bridge tend to fill up quickly in the peak season (summer), so book ahead.
- To see the bridge from the water, catch a North Shore-bound ferry from downtown Auckland.
- The bridge is quite exposed to the elements, so take plenty of layers and sunscreen if climbing the bridge.
How to Get There
The Auckland Harbour Bridge connects Saint Marys Bay on the Auckland city side to Northcote on the North Shore. To drive across, follow the road signs on State Highway 1 and the Auckland Northern Motorway. To catch a bus, get on a North Shore-bound bus from Central Auckland. For any other kind of access, your tour company will usually transfer you from a downtown location or agreed meeting point.
When to Get There
The bridge is open 24/7, except during roadwork, and can be drive at any time. It tends to get congested on weekdays during morning and evening rush hours. Guided tours giving pedestrian access generally run during normal working hours, excluding public holidays.
Bungy Jump Off the Harbour Bridge
If climbing the bridge seems a bit too tame, consider bungy jumping off it instead. The extreme sport was born in New Zealand, so there’s hardly a better place to try it. The bridge sits 143 feet (44 meters) above the water, and as you plunge toward it you can enjoy the views of the sea, city, islands, and hills in the distance.