As New Zealand’s biggest city and home to nearly a third of the country’s population, Auckland is an excellent choice for filmmakers scouting for both urban and natural locations. Sitting on an isthmus near New Zealand’s northern tip, Auckland is surrounded by clear waters on either side. This geographical quirk makes it one of the few major cities with two harbors bordering different major bodies of water. If you want your video to feature harbors, beaches, piers, and/or other seaside attractions, Auckland has what you need.
Despite having a large population compared to the rest of the country, Auckland is actually sparsely populated relative to other major cities around the world. In this less hectic atmosphere, videographers have more breathing room and flexibility to create. Additionally, the temperate climate and sunny skies are a production team’s best friend — shooting video in Auckland is a breeze.
This black sandy beach was made famous by the Oscar winning film The Piano. With its iconic rock outcrop set just offshore and the west facing aspect, Karekare is a cinematographer’s perfect beach. Great sunsets, black sand and the endless horizons make for a beautiful location for any video production needs. And less than an hour from downtown Auckland, Karekare is accessible for film crews of all sizes.
The dramatic cascades of Kitekite Falls are a beautiful natural backdrop less than an hour from central Auckland. Surrounded by lush forest and with the falls tumbling into a beautiful green pool at the bottom, the area is perfect for any imagery needing a backdrop of a swimmable pool and fine cascading waterfall. The area surrounding the falls includes nature trails and the small town of Piha with its fantastic beach.
Just across the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Little Shoal Bay is a picturesque spot to take in dramatic scenery across the bay towards the city. This quiet area has a variety of nature reserves and areas for sailing recreational boats, all with the backdrop of the city.
The suburb of Northcote is the main town straddling the bay, which is mostly a quiet residential area with a small shopping district. The area is relatively upscale and is great for residential imagery.
This beautiful seaside neighborhood offers a variety of fantastic opportunities for filmmakers. From the art deco inspired Berkeley Cinema to the Trevor Davis memorial fountain, the al fresco and outdoor lifestyle in Mission Bay makes for a great cinematic backdrop.
From the beachfront promenade with the views of Rangitoto Island to the tree lined suburban streets, it’s easy to find an interesting angle in Mission Bay. The neighborhood is a short 20-minute drive from downtown Auckland.
One of around 50 extinct volcanoes in the Greater Auckland area, Mount Eden sits overlooking the CBD with fantastic panoramic views in all directions. You’ll find a mock-up of a Maori village and nature trails all over the hill.
The neighborhood of Mount Eden is vibrant and home to artists and communities from around the world. Eden Park, home of the mighty All Blacks, is also found in the suburb of Mount Eden. If you’re looking for some images of “the real Auckland” as well as fantastic city views, then you’ll find many great angles in Mount Eden.
The area around Viaduct Harbour is the glitzy centerpiece of Auckland’s CBD. With the high rise skyscrapers creating an urban backdrop, the harbor area is home restaurants, bars and plush apartments. From a filmmaking perspective, the images of the ships and boats makes a great backdrop for the “City of Sails”
The area is particularly vibrant at night but is equally picturesque by day. If you’re looking for a shot of the Auckland high life, head to Viaduct Harbor.