Joining the only free walking tour Auckland

For my first full day in Auckland, I found the only free walking tour of the city, and that was a big surprise, mostly because... I've never seen a free walking tour with so many participants, there was about 25 of us.


Joining the only free walking tour Auckland

For my first full day in Auckland, I found the only free  walking tour ‌  of the city, and that was a big surprise, mostly because... I've never seen a free  walking tour ‌  with so many participants, there was about 25 of us.

Having a look at their Instagram account, it looked like this was not a special case.. and I was even joining on a business day, which usually is less busy.

The only free  walking tour ‌  of a 1.5million people city with a rich history... it was indeed interesting, but short!

How to find us — Auckland Free Walking Tours
Auckland Free Walking Tours - Auckland City | Heart of the City
Accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand on Booking.com
Find accommodation in Auckland, New Zeland

Joining the only free walking tour Auckland

Auckland: Find local activities

The tour starts in the Queens Wharf village, everyday at 10am. It was pretty easy to find the group, as the guide was holding a large blue umbrella, printed with the walking tour's logo.

I was one of the first to arrive, and we waited for all the registered participants to join. It is not necessary to register, but if not... the tour might not wait in case of any delay!

While we were waiting, our nice guide offered us some complimentary sun block, telling us that it is pretty important there to take our precautions, even if the day is cloudy, as New Zealand has a very high UV exposure due to its location right under the hole in the ozone layer.

Once everyone had arrived and the meeting time, 10 am, had passed, our guide started the tour, with some explanations on the colonial history.

Foreshore heritage walk tour

The tour starts by going towards the high rise buildings, which are situated on an area that used to be the harbour, as New Zeland used to be an immigration area.

We then suddenly stop in a small street, and our guide tells us to look around: a red neon light going through the street is there as a reminder that the street used to be the red lights district of the city. It is now more an entertainement area with many bards around.

Before going further to the old town of the city, we stop to look at a sign, that shows us we are walking along the foreshore of the city, and it is possible to have a walk alone by following the heritage walk signs on the street.

However, we quickly reach what is kind of the old town of the city, a small walking street borded with bars, including the oldest building of Auckland, which isn't that old as the city burned down several times.

Continuing walking, we stop to have a look at the sky tower, the highest tower in all of New Zealand with a height of 328 metres, and also an attraction: it is possible to do bungee jump, or to have a safe walk outside the tower. However, we won't have the chance to see anybody jumping!

Sky Tower - SKYCITY Auckland

In the next street, our guide tells us that it is kind of their local Chinatown, as the street has nearly only Chinese shops and restaurants.

We stop in front of one of them, to look at a worker preparing some dumplings right in front of us. Our guide tells us that they are some of the best in town.

World's first women vote history

The next stop is more about some history that impacts most of us.

New Zealand actually was the world's first country to allow women to vote in 1893, and prides itself as being a very progressive country for women rights.

New Zealand women and the vote - Women and the vote | NZHistory

We take the time to stop in a small square that serves as a memorial for this important event, as on the stairs behind our guide, the women that got the country to allow them to vote for the first time went down after getting that huge advance at the time.

The women's suffrage centenary celebration has been sealed in the city's memorial with a beautiful mosaique, that we take the time to admire and to take some photos in front of.

Sunny walk in Albert park

We continue the tour by reaching Albert park, which starts by looking at the Art Gallery.

That gallery has some unique wooden carving decorations inside, and we are told that the wood that has been used is now forbidden for usage, as it is getting pretty old and rare.

We then walk up to Albert park, a beautiful park in the center of the city, and it is actually a good time to admire beautiful flowers and trees.

We all use the opportunity to take some pictures, while trying to catch up with the guide's explanations. She starts telling us about an even that will occur the day after our visit, the ANZAC day memorial, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Anzac Day - Wikipedia

This very important day for New Zealand and Australia is linked with their independance from United Kingdom, as they sent many men to fight in the World War One following UK's call, which was at that time reigning over the territories.

They were sent to fight for a war they did not understand and had nothing to do with, and New Zealand, at that time a country of 1 million inhabitants, send 100 000 men fight in the World War 1, which means 10% of its population - and most of it didn't come back home.

After these explanations, we kept going towards the university, and were told to pay attention to the smell around: that's right, the vomit like smell was actually coming from a smelly tree!

Auckland University garden tour

After the first time smelling such a funny tree for most of us, we got deeper in the vegetation, during which we kept quiet, as our long group of more than 25 persons could not hear the guide.

We got out of the vegetation next to an amazing tree, actually typical from the area.

Avoiding it's huge branches, we were actually walking in the University gardens.

Getting out of the University's gardens, we were back right in the heart of the city center, and could see a nice leisure area, on which what did seem like local people were enjoying a sunny day after having had lot of clouds in the morning.

And that was nearly it for our tour, as we got back to the Ferry terminal, next to which was our starting and ending point on Queens Wharf village.

Our guide wrapped up the tour, and we all got to make a donation for our great guide. That busy tour was very good, and was only a short walk.

The guide was very helpful and answered all of our questions on how to continue that day in the city.

For me, it was time to go back to my AirBNB for a short nap before the next events, a bar crawl.

How to find us — Auckland Free Walking Tours
Auckland Free Walking Tours - Auckland City | Heart of the City
Accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand on Booking.com
Find accommodation in Auckland, New Zeland

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