Parnell is Auckland's oldest and most picturesque suburbbest known for its world-famous restaurants, fashion boutiques and art-galleries. Parnell is where many of Auckland's most important founders had their homes, overlooking Judges Bay beach and the Waitemata harbor, while in walking distance to down-town Auckland. Old and modern buildings are rarely taller than 3 stories high and most streets are lined with over 100 year old native and deciduous trees. There are numerous parks and walking trails displaying a great variety of native and exotic sub-tropical plant species. Parnell is where the Ports of Auckland and its commercial centre were founded and are still thriving today. Parnell is the seat for the Anglican and Catholic churches of New Zealand. Streets with names such as Judges Bay Road, and St. Stephens Avenue, give you clues that Parnell is where New Zealand's most influential in business, politics and law make their homes. Many of New Zealand's best schools and institutions were founded here during the early 1800's. Parnell is the heart of "Auckland city" "the 4th best city for 'quality of living' in the world". More to see and do's while staying at Ascot Parnel, beyond Parnell, + local tour ideas>
|Parnell is your ideal base to experience Auckland. If you only have a couple of days (even just a few hours); with a walk through our neighborhood and its many magnificent parks you will get a good in-sight and appreciate the essence of our beautiful city and its history.|
Public transport is at your doorstep. The city Link Bus stops at the corner of our street (within a 5 minute walk). The Inner-Link bus will take you to downtown, the ferry terminal (picture right) and all major shopping streets and important locations such as the University, the Hospital, Sky city, intercity bus and railway stations. There is a Link-bus every 10 minutes and they run until late. Princes-wharf and The Cloud cruise-ship terminals are an 8 minute drive from our house.
When fitness is important to you, Parnell is the perfect location for cycling, jogging and swimming. We have our own swimming pool plus there are 2 olympic pools within 500 meters from our house. (The Newmarket Olympic pool on Broadway and the open-air 50m historic Parnell Baths, picture right) The Domain park has great jogging trails, so has St. Stephens Avenue. Walk to the end of our street, to get to Tamaki Drive where there is a level walk-way and cycling-path along the Waitemata harbor, with views on the numerous islands in the harbour ! This path goes all the way to Ladies-Bay, 8.5 km from our house (1 way). During January you can enjoy the annual Heineken Open Tennis event, at the ASB Tennis Centre, Parnell. Fergs Kayak-hire is at 3km from our house.
Must see and do's in Parnell and Newmarket: (an easy walk from Ascot Parnell b&b)
- A walk around Parnell should include Saint-Stephens Chapel, the Rose-gardens and the Domain with the Auckland Museum one of New Zealand's finest heritage buildings and the winter-gardens just beyond. Along your walk wonder into historic buildings such as St. Mary's Church and the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. (the world's newest Cathedral and only Pacific style Gothic church) The Cathedral also acts as a centre for the performing arts. With your check-in your hosts Bart and Therese will give you a personalized walking-map pointing out the highlights that may be of most interest to you.
- A walk along the Parnell Village main-street - Unique Colonial style picturesque village with lots of boutiques, art galleries, cafes and restaurants (less than a 5 min. walk from Ascot Parnell). Enjoy at least one fine-dining evening at one of the 50 excellent restaurants in our area. It may not yet so be recognized internationally, but New Zealand offers some of the world's best dining. (by European standards at very reasonable rates). Even pubs offer quality dining.
- On Saturdays and Sundays (9am - 1.30pm) we have the French market in Parnell (La Cigale markets Parnell Auckland)
- The Auckland Museum Parnell. (less than a 10 min. walk from Ascot Parnell), tells the story of New Zealand as a nation, there is a fine collection of Maori treasures, the Cultural group 'Manaia': Unique and colorful display of Maori culture with songs and dance - there are 3 shows per day: 11 am, 12 noon and 1:30 PM. $15 per person. Natural history exhibits, anthropology, a display of WWI and WWII reflecting New Zealand's part in the wars of the world, discovery centers, plus special exhibits.
- The Parnell Rose Gardens - (October till February). Beautiful gardens overlooking the bay with thousands of roses and views of the harbour. Our guests comment "the best and most beautiful Rose Gardens they have ever seen". FREE entrance.
- In the Domain are the Winter and Fern gardens free to the public from 10 am - 4:30 pm open every day.
- Parnell Village and Newmarket are "NZ's best shopping and gastronomic centers" both in easy walking range. Within 1km we have New Zealand's best restaurants, shops, theaters, art galleries, cinemas, olympic pool and a fitness centre right on our doorstep.
Must see and do's in Auckland city beyond Parnell: (with links to in depth information)
- The "Bush & Beach" Wilderness Experience half-day guided-nature-tour noon till 5:30pm. The tour company picks you up from our door and takes you to the "Wild West Coast" of Auckland, where the NZ film "The Piano" was filmed. The west coast of Auckland has native rainforest with unique giant 1000+ year old Kauri trees (native tree of NZ), a gannet colony and also vineyards.
- Gala Local Tours offers customised Auckland tours to reflect your particular interests. Tour options cover the best of Auckland city and surrounds from the Auckland waterfront, volcanoes, museum, parks, cafes, markets, wine tastings and west coast beaches to Matakana, a charming wine growing and arts and crafts area north of Auckland.
- Hobbiton Express Tour, (09) 837-4130, pick-up from Ascot Parnell @ 7:00am. Daily tour from Auckland to the Hobbiton Movie Set, one of the key locations for the filming of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the upcoming Hobbit movies. Hobbiton is the largest green movie set in the world and has been wowing Lord of the Rings fans for over 10 years.
- Book an extra day in Auckland and make a day trip to Waiheke Island.View video here.
- Coromandel day tour. Experience the Coromandel Peninsula, a favourite holiday destination for many New Zealanders. Its amazing landscape consists of a mountainous, forest-covered backbone, with the Pacific Ocean on the east, and the sheltered bays and coves of the Hauraki Gulf on the west. Spend the day in this unique area steeped in history associated with kauri logging and gold mining and stunning coastlines.
- The National Maritime Museum, includes Polynesian migration and history of immigration. You can go sailing on a tall ship.
- The Art Gallery. The rich heritage of New Zealand art.
- Fine Wine Tour - Sample some of New Zealand best wines with Phil Parker as your personal guide.
- Take the Ferry across (10 min.) to Devonport - a picturesque historic Victorian sea-side village with historic homes, out-door cafes, craft shops, walking tracks up Mt Victoria and North Head. Old gun emplacement from WW 1. Breathtaking views ! <http://www.devonport.co.nz/beach.htm> With a bus-day-pass you can use all the city-busses and the ferry to Devonport historic village on a peninsula accross the harbor.
- Take the ferry for a hike on Rangitoto Island (extinct volcano). Nature reserve, unique plants and birds, breath taking views from the top of the volcano. For those who can't quite hike all the way up, there is transportation to take you up the steepest last minutes !
- View the city from the highest building in the southern hemisphere at Sky City. There are two fine-dining opportunities here too, with the Orbit restaurant and the Observatory buffet restaurant at the top of the tower.
- Visit Tiritiri Matangi Island world renowned rare bird sanctuary with endangered native birds. See: To get there you must book the ferry with 360 Discovery Cruises
- A day-trip with Bush&Beach tours to Great-Barrier Island.
- Walk through Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill Domain: The park is renowned for its landscape design and its wide variety of mature trees. It is centred on a volcanic cone, One Tree Hill, with many interesting geological features. A pre-European Maori fortification (pa) was built on the cone, many features of which can still be seen. The park's donor, Sir John Logan Campbell, is buried on the summit of One Tree Hill alongside the obelisk. The Maori name for the hill is Maungakiekie - mountain of the kiekie. Kiekie (Freycinettia banksii) grows as an epiphytic climber or vine. Immediately adjacent to the Park is One Tree Hill Domain.
- Day trip to The Bay of Islands by air: If your itinerary prohibits you from visiting the Bay of Islands, but you do have a day to spare whilst visiting Auckland, Salt Air can offer you a choice of wonderful day tours from Auckland via light aircraft. These tours give you the opportunity to visit Northland and the Bay of Islands offering stunning scenic flight routes along the way. ----> Salt Air can offer you a unique and memorable experience of the Bay of Islands and Northland from the air with spectacular coastline views and island scenery. Our guided tour options and island escapes will also leave you with an appreciation of our local history, culture and coastal environment that is uniquely Northland.
- Sail an Americas Cup Yacht on the harbour ! harbor cruises.
- Scenic and historic walks in the area and The coast to coast trail
- Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari
- Walk to Mission Bay along Tamaki Drive, lined with Pohutukawa trees, gorgeous and unique in NZ, coastal walk - Mission Bay has a beach front with numerous cafes and restaurants.
- Kelly Tarlton Underwater World - Aquarium with N.Z. species of marine life and also an Antarctic area with real penguins.
- Take a 35 min.ferry to Waiheke Island: an island paradise, quiet beaches, nature tracks, very laid back 60's/70"s atmosphere. Markets, cafes, artists and vineyards. As beautiful as the Bay of Islands but only 35 minutes from Auckland.
- New Zealand Hiking Safaris: Our customers have a sense of adventure and share our passion for active travel, wild places, and conservation. We are New Zealand's hiking and outdoor adventure holiday specialist with adventures to suit everyone.
- Auckland Sea-planes will take you to some of the Most Beautiful and Stunning places in New Zealand. Our Pilots have many years experience in showing both visitors and locals the country in a safe, knowledgeable and entertaining Way. - Island Hopping, a 2 hour aerial tour: Visit the remote beauty of Great Barrier Island or the rugged cliffs and black sand beaches of the West coast. Movie locations, Kawau with it's Governor's Mansion and sea life, often including whales and dolphins are part of the possibilities. This package has room for the individual adventurer including water landings. What stunning views we encounter is up to you! (NZ$470 p/p)
- Magic Broomstick Tours Devonport: Sightseeing on a Segway. Take a Guided tour or a short ride. A Must Do attraction for family and friends exploring the military history, the volcanic cones and the awesome views around Devonport Auckland.
- Observe the views from the many volcanoes in Auckland such as Mt. Eden, One-tree-hill, North-head or Mt. Victoria.
- Theaters & cinemas: Major city venues within one mile from Ascot Parnell include the Aotea-concert-hall and convention centre, the IMAX and Civic theaters in downtown, Village 8, Rialto, The Vector Arena at a 20 minute walk from here.
- At the Auckland ZOO you can see the rare nocturnal Kiwi-bird and more New Zealand wildlife. <>
- The Casino and Sky-city.
- A&P Shows throughout the country: Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand.
- Additional links to things to see and do in our area can be found here.