As the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand, Auckland’s 1076-foot high (328 metre) Sky Tower is the quintessential high altitude attraction. Its three circular public observation levels – Sky Deck, Main Observation level, and Sky Lounge – each provide a unique 360-degree view of Auckland.
The 597-foot high Sky Lounge, where visitors can enjoy coffee, cocktails, or a light lunch, is the highest cafe in the Southern Hemisphere. A bit higher at 610 feet above ground level, the Main Observation level offers spectacular views, in literally all directions. Looking straight ahead through the curved plate glass windows provides sweeping vistas over the city and across the harbor to the ocean. But looking down provides quite another view – through a plate glass floor straight down to the buildings directly below your feet. On this level, live camera touch-screen computers offer information about Auckland and visitors can send a post card from the highest post office in the Southern Hemisphere.
Nearly 722 feet high, the Sky Deck is the highest public observation deck in the tower, offering the very best views through nearly seamless glass. On a clear day you can see approximately 51 miles to the Leigh Peninsula in the north, east to Great Barrier Island, west to the Waitakere Ranges, and as far south as the Bombay Hills. Visitors who pay the extra fee required to visit this highest platform also have a birds-eye view of the Sky Jump Platform, New Zealand’s highest base jump by wire, which offers daredevils the opportunity to plunge for 16 seconds at 75 kph for what is considered one of the world’s greatest adrenaline rushes.
Even those who have unconquerable fear of heights may want to visit the ground level SKYCITY Theatre, which has an ever-changing program of live drama, comedy, singing, dancing, musicals, and magic shows, or the tower’s two different casino levels with over 1600 gaming machines and over 100 tables.
Adult admission to the Sky Lounge and Main Observation level is $25 New Zealand (approximately $17.50 U.S. at the time of writing), but for just $3 New Zealand additional ($2 U.S.) visitors also have access to the Sky Deck. The Sky Tower is open seven days per week: Sunday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., with the last tickets sold at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., with the last tickets sold at 11 p.m. For more information, phone 0800 759 2489 or visit the tower’s web site, http://www.skycityauckland.co.nz.
Photo credit: Barbara Weibel
Article by Barbara Weibel at Hole In The Donut Travels