Immerse yourself in colour at Takapuna Winter Lights. © Kathryn Nobbs

Four new things to do in Auckland this July

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There’s plenty of new things worth braving the cold for in Auckland City this winter. From ancient artefacts to ice skating, virtual reality and light shows, wrap up warm and check out these four great things to do this July.

1. Ancient Greeks Exhibition, Auckland Museum

The biggest exhibition ever loaned to New Zealand from the British Museum is now on show at Auckland Museum. Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes showcases artefacts that are more than 2,000 years old, from jewellery to weapons, pottery and sculptures. These incredible Greek treasures tell the stories of life in an ancient world. Learn about how the Greeks competed in sports, debated in politics, fought wars or made music and how their innovations in all these fields influenced life as we know it today. The exhibition includes many examples of Greek artistry from decorative vases to bronze figurines, fine jewellery and the showpiece – a two-metre-long piece of marble frieze. 

2. Takapuna Winter Lights

For four nights this month Auckland’s North Shore hub of Takapuna will be illuminated. Takapuna Winter Lights is a free event held at Hurstmere Green providing a chance to warm up with many multi-sensory, glow-in-the-dark installations created by local artists as well as live music and interactive multi-media displays. Takapuna Winter Lights is one of many events running across Tāmaki Makaurau as part of the 2022 Elemental AKL festival. Dress warmly, grab a bite to eat at one of Takapuna’s many great restaurants and immerse yourself in an interactive evening of imaginative, illuminated art.

3. Aotea Square Ice Rink

You know when winter is here when the famous Aotea Ice Rink opens! Suitable for everyone from skating pros to absolute beginners, the ice rink provides a rare opportunity to skate in the centre of our biggest city. Alongside the rink itself you can also tackle the 35-metre-long Ice Slide, marvel at the lighting installation designed by Jonny Cross or book your spot in one of the cosy and ultra-Instagrammable Snugs for a delicious meal or romantic date night. 

  • The Aotea Square Ice Rink is open until 31 July on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am - 11pm and Sunday - Thursday 10am - 10pm. 

4. SkySlide at SkyCity 

Imagine flying through the air 186 metres above Auckland City on a sparkling summer’s day. Now you can do this in the middle of winter. The new SkySlide virtual reality tour at the top of Auckland’s Sky Tower lets you fly on a sleek, swooping wood and glass slide around the tower in an immersive multi-sensory experience. Wearing an Oculus Rift S VR headset and buckled into a wooden seat that mimics the curve of the slide, you’ll twist around the flanks of the Sky Tower, loop up and over steep slopes and plunge over vertical drops while marvelling at the expansive views of the city. 

  • The SkySlide is available for $15 in addition to your Sky Tower access pass, with experiences running daily from 10.30am until 5.30pm. 

Things to do while you're here

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Family fun

Enchant your inner child at Whoa! Studios

Combine a live theatre experience, a film studio, an excellent restaurant and possibly the best playground in New Zealand and you’ve got a recipe for a great family day out.  Read the story . . . 

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Auckland’s underwater zoo: Kelly Tarlton’s Sealife Aquarium

On underwater walkways, you can lock eyes with everything from urchins and octopi to stingrays, sharks and that little fish with the big rep, the piranha. Read the story . . . 

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Get outdoors: five top Auckland walks

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Meet marine mammals aboard an Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari

Discover the secrets of the Hauraki Gulf aboard a day cruise with Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safaris. Learn about different whale species in Auckland and meet pods of dolphins, not far from the city. Read the story . . . 

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