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 depend on the festival. 

Practical info

Where are we?

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

Tickets and seating

Most events in Aotea Square are free, so you don’t need to buy tickets. For ticketed shows like those in the Spiegeltent at Auckland Arts Festival 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 and other outdoor furniture.

During the Auckland Arts Festival, the Spiegeltent sets up in Aotea Square for shows. You can book tickets for these through our event pages.

Parking and transport

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

Visit our Parking and Transport page for more information.

Eating and drinking

There are several cafes around Aotea Square, including our own container pop-up BOX in the Square and BOX Café and Bar on the terrace of Aotea Centre. BOX Café and Bar is open daily, 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 ‘Summer in the Square’, food trucks set up shop in the square serving tasty street food.

Visit our Eating and Drinking page for more information.

Accessibility

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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Hiring Aotea Square

If you're a promoter interested in bringing a show to Auckland Live please visit our Hiring Our Venues page for more information.

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.
The Waharoa in Aotea Square

About the Venue

Officially opened in 1979 by Sir Dove- Myer Robinson next to Queen Street, Aotea Square is used for activations, gatherings, markets and political rallies. Its name is derived from Motu Aotea, the Maori name for Great Barrier Island, which is the largest offshore island of New Zealand.

Take Virtual Tour

About Aotea Square

Aotea Square has undergone a two-year redevelopment programme, which was completed in 2010 to make the space appropriate for use up to 20,000 people.

At the Queen Street entrance, there is an arch called “Waharoa’ (Gateway in Maori), formed in wood and copper by Maori sculptor Selwyn Muru. This is an expressionist version of a traditional Maori entry gate. It features symbols like bird, fish and the crescent moon and stars but also elements like the nuclear disarmament symbol, reflecting the modern influences of New Zealand Art.

The main paved area of the square is named the Marae Ātea. This term translates to mean a courtyard or public forum, it is the name of the open area is front of a wharenui on a marae 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 thereby honouring 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 and maximise shade but don’t interrupt your view of what’s happening in the Square. Terraced, grassed areas have been introduced along with granite paving and steps. Long benches and clustered square seats provide seating throughout the Square, making it a great place to relax on a sunny day. Pole lighting lights the pathways, trees and seats at night while low-glare dome fittings provide subtle lighting in the paved and lawn areas. New Zealand art works 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 Summer in the Square, Auckland Arts Festival, Winter Showtime and 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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The Aotea Arts Quarter - Framework

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

Aotea Precinct

Auckland Live now stages live entertainment across Auckland, but the Aotea Precinct remains an important city centre hub and we want to play our part in making it a great place to be, not just at showtime. Aotea Square is one of Auckland’s most important public spaces and we want to encourage people to travel in to visit, not just drop in on the way past.