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Aotea Square, Auckland

3.4
#18 of 39 in Sightseeing in Auckland
Landmark Tourist Spot
Aotea Square is a large paved public area in the CBD, of Auckland, New Zealand. Officially opened in 1979 by Sir Dove-Myer Robinson next to Queen Street, it is used for open-air concerts and gatherings, and markets and political rallies. In November 2010, a major redevelopment of Aotea Square was completed. The square was redesigned to make it appropriate for use by crowds of up to 20,000 people.Its name is derived from Motu Aotea, the Māori name for Great Barrier Island, which is the largest offshore island of New Zealand, approximately 90 km from downtown Auckland.HistoryConstructionThe square was created in 1979, with a large part of it being the former end of Grey's Avenue, which used to connect directly to Queen Street - a large underground carpark with 930 spaces had been erected underneath in 1975.In 2000 a competition for a redesign was held, but in 2004, before the winning design by Ted Smythe and Associates (including Rod Barnett and Dr Dushko Bogunovich) could be built, damage to the car park roof was discovered, which stopped the project. While the roof was temporarily stabilised and plans for its repair made, a consultation process initiated by mayor Dick Hubbard called 'Outside the Square' resulted in a new proposal. This proposal was abandoned after it was estimated to cost up to $600 million. After this the old design was revised several times (including some feedback from public consultation in August 2008) and was adopted in 2008.Construction started in November 2008 and ran to late 2010, during which there were no events in the square. The project was projected to cost NZ$80 million, around $45 million for the car park repair, $25 million for the upgrade, and $10 million for works on the Aotea Centre facade. A cost saving of $15 million was identified during the process due to a modified construction process for the car park roof, which allowed the project to dispense with building a temporary car park.
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As a modern and cosmopolitan city, Auckland benefits from a range of accommodations. From downtown luxury and boutique hotels to suburban bed and breakfasts, motels, and campsites, visitors of all persuasions and budgets can find something to suit them. A cluster of accommodations around the airport make convenient stops for those traveling late, while the popular harbor area offers rooms with a nice view. RV parks on the edge of town make a great basecamp for getting out into the surrounding landscape.
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4.2
  • A great open air venue in the city.....check out what is coming up....unfortunately for us it was in preparation for an upcoming arts festival so the grounds were closed.  more »
  • A good spot to sit and eat some takeaways - there are lots of interesting and unique food shops nearby with every cuisine. Events are held regularly here and there was a community edible garden (being...  more »
  • They seemed to be setting up for a festival of some sort but this well kept square is surrounded by eateries next to teh town hall.  more »
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  • Council have done a great job modernising the square. It's now a nice clean well laid out location with regular events and entertainment. However, parking nearby could be improved as the council have extremely small car plots which mean it's extremely hard to get in and out of cars. Not to mention potential damage to your and other cars.
  • Right at Queens St. Great place for open space events. Of you just want to chill and have a seat this place is for you. People watching here is nice coz there are a lot of people passing by.
  • Always enjoy looking at the different things going on. It is always very tidy and there are always clean up people around. Great to see people and families enjoying the space.
  • Great space to relax and watch the city go by, there is always something happening at the square at any given time so pop past and see what's on offer. There are always dances and musicians that are adding to the atmosphere there are alot of local coffee shops and restaurants around the square for you and the family to enjoy.
  • A breath of fresh air in the heart of the city. Always something going on and a great place for coffee, lunch or a rest.