Daniel Vernon

Tips For Day Trips: The Auckland Art Gallery

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A historic building filled with culture, history, and activities for all ages, the Auckland Art Gallery is one of central Auckland’s most frequented day-time activity – and most importantly, it’s free.


The Auckland Art Gallery has the distinct title of being New Zealand’s first art gallery, established in 1888 after many residences of the city called for municipal art collection, the gallery building was originally conjoined with the Auckland public library (which has since moved location). The gallery was originally erected thanks not to the local council, but instead by historic Auckland benefactors, who also promised a public library.

The gallery originally housed primarily European 19th-century art including watercolors and oil paintings sourced and gifted to many of the benefactors from Britain. The collection has since expanded to include a variety of mediums and works of a range of periods and currently numbers of 15,000 works in its collection. A collection of Maori paintings have been gifted to the gallery as well as many local works of art have been featured prominently as well.

Today the gallery is filled with a bounty of styles, mediums, and viewpoints from throughout time and often features interactive pieces that require participation from attendees.


Nestled below the rolling slopes of Albert Park in central Auckland makes the gallery a prime location to start a day of perusing the city. The gallery features its own in-house café that does a selection of food and beverages, otherwise why not walk just above the gallery and sit in Albert Park and enjoy a picnic by the fountain or below its many grand old trees? A mere two-minute walk will land you on Queen Street, one of Auckland’s oldest and most populated streets, filled with history, food, and shopping that leads you down to the waterfront which is a grand historic walk on a nice day, that features a bevy of restaurants and bars.

For those guests that may be in Auckland to visit family/children studying at university, both The University of Auckland and AUT are located above the gallery off Albert Park.


Check out the Auckland Art Gallery’s website for more information on what is being showcased at the gallery, as well as tours and activities for children. If you enjoy your visit to the gallery be sure to make a small donation so it can keep thriving and remain free to the public.