Some people travel the world for this particular reason alone – sunsets and sunrises. There are so many amazing sights to be seen and you never know when a colourful sky is about to strike, you just have to be lucky enough to be there at the right place and time. We are lucky enough here, not only in Auckland but in New Zealand, to have some spectacular colours on the horizon. New Zealand is the first country in the world to see the sunrise. Amazing right? So you are guaranteed to witness some spectacular sights when travelling throughout New Zealand. In Auckland, we know all of the best spots…
Waiheke Island – The now very famous island after being listed in the New York Times ‘46 places to go in 2013‘, Waiheke Island is only a short 30 minute ferry ride from Auckland City Centre – a great spot to spend a day or 2 exploring the vineyards and stunning beaches. I would recommend spending a night out here right along the beachfront. The sunsets and sunrises take you to a faraway place.
One Tree Hill – being Aucklands biggest park and having one of the biggest volcanic cones, you are able to see 360 degree views all the way around the whole city, from the Skytower to Rangitoto Island. So many colours and cloud formations, making for a mind blowing experience when it comes to the art of sun stalking! I would say this is more a night time spot, grab some dinner and take a walk up or a drive up to the summit. Chill out with a nice hot drink and get camera happy. It’s a great way to wind down after a big day of traveling (this being the main thing you backpackers do overseas, right?!).
Bastion Point – Some spectacular views at any time of the day can be seen from this very point. It is generally only well known to locals so this is your inside scoop, one of our little secret spots! It is just around the corner from Aucklands famous Mission Bay 5km stretch of beach and coastline which can be accessed on a bus which takes only 10 minutes to get out of the city. Bastion Point is also a great fishing spot and attracts lots of Auckland locals to its wharf. The reserve is great for activities such as kite flying and picnics, a great little location to see a picturesque sunrise right over the head of Rangitoto Island.
Mount Eden – Sitting at 196 meters high, Mt Eden is the tallest of the city’s volcanoes – which means you are welcomed by stunning views of Auckland city and Waitemata Harbour. Walk to the top of Mount Eden for 360 degree views and an amazing sunrise or sunset – your choice!
So a little bit more info on how to time this all correctly:
In Autumn – Winter time you can expect the sun to set around 5.15-5.30 most days.
In the Spring – Summer due to daylight savings turning our clocks forward by 1 hour, you can catch a great sunset at around 7.30-8pm most nights.
The North Island of NZ gets long daylight hours, as the sun rises late and settles early in the South Island. Yes our 2 big islands seem to be a bit backwards! If you’re out to catch a glimpse of a sunrise all year round you can expect it between around 6-7.30am. The key I think is patience… and just to wait for the magic. On a good day the whole sky will light up magical pinks, oranges and purples. You just have to see it to believe it.
So there you have it – Auckland’s best sunrise and sunset spots! You may also like our guide to the Best Free or Cheap Things to do in Auckland here!