Visitor Information

As a public outdoor space, Aotea Square is open all day, all year round. 

For events such as the Auckland Arts Festival, a box office is available in the Square for shows — opening hours vary depending onteh event.

Practical info

You'll find Aotea Square on Queen Street adjacent to the historic Auckland Town Hall (301 – 317 Queen Street) and the Aotea Centre.

Most events in Aotea Square are free, so you don’t need to buy tickets. For ticketed shows like those in the Auckland Arts Festival's Spiegeltent or the Ice Rink, a temporary box office is usually set up in the Square for you to book and/or collect tickets.

Seating depends on the event but is usually on deckchairs, beanbags and other outdoor furniture.

 

The Civic Car Park is a short walk from Aotea Square, making it a great option for parking. It is important, however, to remember that sometimes all our venues are filled with events. Make sure you have a backup parking plan — or book a space in advance or use public transport.

Visit our Parking and Transport page for more information.

There are several cafes around Aotea Square, including our own container pop-up Container in the Square Cafe and The Terrace Cafe. The Terrace Cafe is open Monday to Friday, serving Caffe L’Affare coffee, tea, and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cold drinks, as well as tasty café food from the cabinet, and gourmet pizzas.

Many other eateries are just a short walk away. During events like Auckland Live Summer in the Square, food trucks often set up shop in the Square serving tasty street food.

Visit our Eating and Drinking page for more information.

Aotea Square is a large outdoor space. As such it is easy to access for wheelchairs, however does not have a hearing aid loop.

Visit our Accessibility page for more information.

Aotea Square is rated Silver for accessibility by Be Accessible.

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Auckland Live Café


Auckland Transport City Carpark Availability

Last updated at ... Please note: During peak times availability can change quickly, please allow plenty of time to find a carpark.
For all public transport and carparking information, please visit Auckland Transport.
Te Waharoa in Aotea Square

About the Venue

Officially opened in 1979 by Auckland mayor Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, Aotea Square is used for activations, gatherings, festivals, and political rallies. Its name is derived from Motu Aotea, the Māori name for Great Barrier Island, which is New Zealand’s  largest offshore island.

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About Aotea Square

A two-year redevelopment programme completed in 2010 has seen the Square expand to now accommodate up to 20,000 people.

At the Queen Street entrance, you’ll find Te Waharoa (Gateway) formed in wood and copper by Māori sculptor Selwyn Muru (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāpuhi). An expressionist version of a traditional Māori entry gate, it features symbols including birds, fish, the crescent moon and stars, and the symbol for nuclear disarmament.

The main paved area of the Square is the Marae Ātea. This term translates to mean a courtyard or public forum, and the name given to the open area in front of the wharenui on a marae; a place where formal welcomes to visitors take place and issues are debated. The marae ātea is the domain of Tūmatauenga, the atua (god) of war and people, and therefore the appropriate place to raise contentious issues. It’s a symbolic reference to Aotea Square’s long history as a site of public protest and civic gatherings.

Trees, predominately native species, are a key feature of the site offering shade while not interrupting the views of what’s happening in the Square. Terraced, grassed areas have been introduced along with granite paving and steps. Long benches and clustered seats provide seating throughout the Square, making it a great place to relax on a sunny day. Pole lighting illuminates the pathways, trees, and seats at night while low-glare dome fittings provide subtle lighting in the paved and lawn areas. New Zealand artworks are prominently positioned around the area.

Following the redevelopment, Aotea Square is now able to host a much greater range of events and public gatherings. Key events in the calendar year include Auckland Live Summer in the Square, the Auckland Arts Festival, and the Aotea Square Ice Rink.

NEW in Aotea Square: The Aotea Centre Wrap


Aotea Square is rated Silver for accessibility by Be.Accessible.

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Aotea Arts Quarter and Aotea Square

The Aotea Arts Quarter is the civic, arts, and cultural heart for the people of Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau: a vibrant, resilient, and unique place to indulge the senses, express creativity, and celebrate our many diverse peoples and cultures. 

Aotea Square is in the heart of the Aotea Arts Quarter and is one of Auckland city’s most important public spaces. Auckland Live stages live events and activations across Auckland, including the Aotea Square, to ensure we play our part in making Tāmaki Makaurau a great place to be and for everyone to enjoy.

Hire this Venue

Aotea Square

Aotea Square is a public space located in the Aotea Arts Quarter and at 4,500 square metres is the largest open-air space in the inner city of Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau with a capacity of 20,000 people and a programme of 180 days of events averaging 160,000 attendees per annum.

Aotea Square is suitable for a range of large community events, art activations, public gatherings, and meetings. The space requires booking for use with one of our team.

Venue Hiring Costs

Venue hire fees and associated service costs and/or rental inclusions vary depending on the venue and the type of production/show. Please contact us with a brief description of your event for pricing information.

Contact Us

Email us at bookings@aucklandlive.co.nz and one of our experienced team members  will be in contact with you to discuss the Aotea Square and provide full specifications, pricing and any other information you will need to know in order to hire this space.