Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki
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Home to New Zealand’s most extensive collection of national and international art, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is a true historic and cultural treasure not only for Auckland city but for the whole of New Zealand.
The gallery’s highly regarded collection of more than 16,000 works showcases the talents of a wide range of artists in both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
A Little Bit Of History
Set below the hilltop Albert Park in the central-city area of Auckland, the gallery was established in 1888 as the first permanent art gallery in New Zealand.
The main gallery building was originally designed to house the City Council offices, a lecture theatre and Public Library. Construction was completed in 1887 with an extension in 1916, there were three levels and a six storey high clock tower.
Over time the City Council moved into the more recently built Auckland Town Hall allowing room for expansion within the Gallery. From 1969 to 1971 remodelling occurred including the addition of a new wing and sculpture gardens and the Public Library was also relocated.
A major (award winning) expansion was undertaken in 2011 providing dedicated education, child and family spaces as well as much needed exhibition space.
Auckland Art Gallery Quick Facts
Visiting the Auckland Art Gallery and want to know the basics? We have condensed all the quick facts to help you plan your trip.
- Location. The Auckland Art Gallery is located on the edge of Albert Park on the corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets.
- Opening Hours. The Gallery is open 10 am to 5 pm daily, it is recommended visitors set aside at least an hour to make the most of the exhibits.
- Entry Fees. Gallery entry is free for New Zealand residents (proof of residency required eg NZ drivers licence, library card or bank card etc). For members and members guests entry is also free (valid Members Card required). All children 12 and under are also free. International visitors are required to pay $20 per adult and $17 per student (ID required).
- Auckland Art Gallery Exhibitions. Make your way through over 16,000 works including the historic, the modern and the contemporary. Find New Zealand art, Māori and Pacific Island art, and international contributions in a range of media including paintings, sculptures, photographs and prints ranging from as early as the 11th century right up to the present day.
- Special Exhibitions. Some exhibitions may require an additional entry fee. This helps contribute to the cost of maintaining such a high calibre of amazing artworks at the gallery.
- Parking. The nearest public parking facility is located on Kitchener Street across the road from the Gallery. Wilson Parking’s Kitchener Street Car Park is roughly 100 metres walk from the Gallery. Auckland Transport’s Victoria Street Car park is also nearby, and offers one hour of free parking (requires validation at the Gallery Information Desk) after 6pm and on weekends.
- Photos. Flash photography is not permitted within the Gallery, however visitors can take regular photographs (for personal use only) except where the no photography icon is displayed.
- Mojo Café. The Gallery has an onsite café open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. Mojo is the perfect place to take a break and refuel while exploring the Art Gallery. Choose from a good selection of hot drinks, all day breakfast options, sides, salads and smoothies.
- Bags. Visitors are required to check any backpacks, bags and umbrellas etc into the free cloakroom for security purposes.
- Map. Visit the Auckland Art Gallery website for a free map of the Gallery.
- Gallery Tours. Get the most out of the artworks with a guided tour. Enjoy interesting facts about the artists, the stories behind the art and historic facts and figures. Free tours are available daily at 11.30 am and 1.30 pm. Tours begin in the main foyer on the ground floor and last around an hour (limited to a maximum of 15 people).
- Group Tours. Larger group tours are also available by booking at least two weeks in advance. Fees will apply.
- Best Time To Visit. Visit between 10 am and 12 for less crowds.
- Gallery Shop. Looking for your very own print, reproduction or memento to take away? Check out the Gallery Shop great selection of items for sale. The shop is open from 10 am to 5 pm.
Top 5 Art Galleries In Auckland (Within Walking Distance)
Feeling inspired after visiting the Auckland Art Gallery? Auckland is full of loads more opportunities to immerse yourself in the arts, here are our top picks within easy walking distance.
1. John Leech Gallery – Kitchener Street (1 minute walk)
One of New Zealand’s oldest dealer galleries, the John Leech Gallery offers a significant collection of historical artworks and indigenous artefacts. Viewing is by appointment only.
2. Gow Langsford Gallery – Lorne Street and Kitchener Street (2 minute walk)
One of Auckland’s most influential, the Gow Langsford Gallery collection is spread over two sites. Find paintings, photography and sculpture works from both local and international contemporary artists.
3. Trish Clark Gallery – Bowen Avenue (6 minute walk)
Representing over 20 artists , both national and international, the Trish Clark Gallery also provides art, acquisition, framing, conservation and insurance advice.
4. Gus Fisher Gallery – Shortland Street (10 minute walk)
As part of the University of Auckland, the Gus Fisher Gallery places its focus on the research and promotion of art and culture in New Zealand. The collection includes historical and contemporary works from the Pacific region, as well as international displays with particular relevance to New Zealand.
5. Ferner Galleries – Sale Street (15 minute walk)
Specialists in the resale nineteenth to the twenty-first century high quality original New Zealand artworks, Ferner Galleries are one of New Zealand’s leading art dealers.
Don’t miss the chance to view New Zealand’s biggest and best visual arts experience. Enjoy the rich artistic and cultural artworks of New Zealand at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki today.