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

You'll find Aotea Square on Queen Street adjacent to the historical 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 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.

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.

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 the 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.

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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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 Auckland mayor Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, Aotea Square is used for activations, gatherings, markets 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 the Waharoa (Gateway) formed in wood and copper by Māori sculptor Selwyn Muru. An expressionist version of a traditional Māori entry gate, it features symbols including birds, fish, and 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 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 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 Tāmaki Makaurau – Auckland: a vibrant, resilient and unique place to indulge the senses, express creativity and celebrate our Māori, Pacific and diverse cultures.

Aotea Square is in the heart of the Aotea Arts Quarter and it 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 Makauraua a great place to be and for everyone to enjoy.