Before the development of downtown Auckland’s viaduct precinct, the city’s Midtown area was unarguably the most happening heart of Auckland’s CBD. While in recent years, a lot of the excitement of the city has moved further down Queen Street, Midtown is still most definitely an area of the city centre worth checking out. Major highlights of Midtown include some of the most recognisable attractions in Auckland: the Auckland Art Gallery/Toi o Tamaki, the University of Auckland, Auckland Town Hall, SkyCity Casino, and of course, the Sky Tower. But Midtown also has a rich history hidden in amongst some of these more famous landmarks.

Places like the now-derelict but still beautiful St James Theatre, and the still-active Civic Theatre are two of the oldest and most revered buildings in the city, while Aotea Square remains today as our city’s public town square and home to everything from markets and fairs, to music festivals and protest rallies, and is even the home of the annual seeing-in of the New Year. Albert Park, just behind the Auckland Art Gallery, is a favourite hangout spot of local university students, and plays host to some of Auckland’s most unique public events, like J-Day, Auckland Critical Mass and the Auckland Lantern Festival.

One block east of mid-Queen Street is High Street and its surrounding network of alleys and laneways. The High Street precinct is one of the best spots in the city for shopping, and there are a number of cute little eateries and drinkeries worth a visit here too, namely Cassette Nine (which is open until the wee hours) and The Occidental on Vulcan Lane.


Top Tip Academy Cinemas is a small cinema located beneath the Auckland City Library that plays mostly independent, arthouse and foreign films. Every Wednesday, all movies, all day, are only $5.

Surrounding areas:
Downtown, K’Road, Grafton, Freemans Bay.

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