Auckland’s art scene is alive and kicking, with an impressive web of independent galleries and not-for-profit artist-run spaces that orbit around New Zealand’s largest art institution, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

The stunning revamped structure lies at the intersection of Wellesley Street East and Kitchener Street in the CBD, with the picturesque Albert Park at its back. It was once a fusty old building, but in 2012 it unveiled the results of a decade-long renovation. The heritage colonial nest is still intact, but there’s now a sweeping extension of kauri wood and glass that speaks more appropriately of the institution’s importance.

Inside you’ll find works from local icons Rita Angus, Gordon Walters, Len Lye, Colin McCahon, Marti Friedlander and Francis Upritchard.

World-class international shows tour frequently, but the excellent quality of Auckland’s flagship gallery is better understood as a reflection of the city’s own incredible art scene.

You’ll need to account for extra time browsing in the gallery’s shop, filled with New Zealand-made jewellery, homeware and decorative objects, plus books, stationery and more.

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Updated: April 28th, 2022

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