Auckland Icons Roll Out The Welcome Mat
Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) is welcoming Aucklanders and visitors back into all its iconic places, with a range of enriching activities planned over the coming weeks.
The Aotea Centre, Auckland Zoo, New Zealand Maritime Museum, and RFA’s stadiums opened to the public under Alert Level 2. Now, the Auckland Town Hall, The Civic, Bruce Mason Centre, and The Cloud and Shed 10 on Queens Wharf have all opened their doors. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki’s much-anticipated public reopening is tomorrow, 13 June.
RFA CEO Chris Brooks said the organisation is looking forward to returning to full visitor capacity.
“Aucklanders and visitors to the city can once again enjoy gathering to reconnect with nature and learn about conservation at the Zoo, marveling over artwork and artefacts in our extensive collections, cheering on their favourite sports teams, and coming together for inspiring events and performing arts.”
With gatherings for community events, live sport and concerts off the cards during COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent restrictions, RFA has had to look for new ways to inspire Aucklanders and generate revenue.
Brooks says while digital curation, streaming cameras, virtual exhibitions and online education kept Aucklanders connected to their favourite arts, culture and zoo activities during the past few months, “nothing compares to the live experience”.
However, he cautions it will be quite some time before visitors and patrons will experience the full spectrum of pre-coronavirus events.
“While our borders remain closed under Alert Level 1, international conventions, some live events, international theatre productions and stadium concerts will not be returning at scale for a while.
“Like many others in the events space, COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on our business; and on what we will be able to develop and produce for New Zealanders.
“More than ever, RFA is rethinking what is possible and looking for new ways to enrich the lives of Aucklanders, while also protecting our wonderful assets and generating income for the city.”
Some of the enriching activities Aucklanders can enjoy this weekend, and in the weeks to come, include:
- Urban Explorers is a free game that takes users on a self-guided trail across the central city, searching for clues and solving puzzles to help complete the ‘missions’ scattered around RFA’s venues. Download the app here and search for Urban Explorers (the game finishes at the end of June).
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki reopens from 10am on Saturday 13 June with the launch of a new – and very timely – exhibition, Civilisation, Photography, Now (until 18 October). Aucklanders can also see extended exhibitions, Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan (until 16 August) and contemporary art show, Honestly Speaking: The Word, the Body and the Internet (until 30 August).
- The Aotea Centre and its foyers, Aotea Square, the Aotea Centre Box Office, BOX Café and Bar, and BOX in the Square have reopened, and the stunning digital artwork, Ihi, by Lisa Reihana has resumed screening in the Aotea Centre foyer.
- The quirky, colourful, and highly interactive Space Maze, by creatives The Open Fort, has been launched in Aotea Square.
- Patrons will also see a series of live music residencies and more in RFA’s foyers later in June; and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will be back in the Auckland Town Hall from July.
- At Auckland Zoo, visitors can view the exciting progress on our South East Asia Jungle Track and watch the orangutans and siamangs enjoying their new high canopy habitat. The new Te Puna café offers amazing views across the new lake.
- Mt Smart Stadium is hosting a three-night drive-in cinema experience from 25-28 June (details here)
- New Zealand Maritime Museum will resume sailings and free guided tours on selected days, including weekend sailings on Ted Ashby over the holiday weekends.