Auckland and the Tutukaka Coast: Art, Architecture & Design 2024

Status: open

4 Nov – 13 Nov 2024


Auckland and the Tutukaka Coast: Art, Architecture & Design 2024
Tour Highlights

Photo credits on slider:

  • Awaawaroa Bay Project, Waihike Island, New Zealand. Photo courtesy of Cheshire Architects.
  • Bossley House, Coxs Bay, New Zealand. Photo courtesy of Bossley Architects.
  • Keene Family Home, North Head, New Zealand by Bull O’Sullivan Architecture.
  • Under Pohutukawa, Piha Beach, New Zealand by Herbst Architects.

With architecture and design writer Stephen Crafti explore the very best of New Zealand’s contemporary art, architecture, furniture and fashion in Auckland, Piha Beach and the Tutukaka Coast. For 5 days Stephen will be joined by John Walsh, New Zealand’s leading architectural writer, editor and commentator. John is the former Communications Director of Te Kahui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects, editor of Architecture New Zealand magazine and author of several books including Auckland Architecture: A Walking Guide.

Overnight Auckland (5 nights) • Tutukaka Coast (1 night) • Auckland (3 nights)



The following itinerary describes a range of private projects we plan to view, and a number of key designers we hope to meet. A number of visits may only be confirmed closer to the tour’s departure in 2024. The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in opening hours, flight schedules and confirmation of private visits. Participants will receive a final itinerary, together with their tour documents, prior to departure. The tour includes meals indicated in the detailed itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=dinner.

Auckland – 5 nights

Day 1: Monday 4 November, Arrive Auckland
  • Short Welcome Meeting at 4pm
  • Designer Benny Castles at World-Fashion
  • Orientation Walking tour of Britomart with John Walsh
  • Welcome Dinner at Amano (Jack McKinney Architects 2017)

Meeting Point: Please meet at the M Social Auckland (check-in time is 3.00pm). Our tour official starts at 4pm with a short welcome meeting.

Next, we meet with Benny Castles, the co-director and designer for WORLD and Project Runway New Zealand, at his outlet in the Britomart.

Led by John Walsh, we continue with an orientation walk of vibrant Britomart, a waterfront precinct of heritage buildings new developments, and open and intimate public spaces.

Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at the Italian restaurant, Amano, which occupies the ground floor of two heritage buildings in Britomart. Designed by Jack McKinney Architects, this project was the recipient of a number of awards including the New Zealand Institute of Architects 2018 National Architecture Award [Hospitality and Retail]. (Overnight Auckland) D

Day 2: Tuesday 5 November, Auckland

John Walsh accompanies us on a full day orientation tour of Auckland. From our hotel we travel to the Wynyard Quarter passing one of Auckland’s most iconic buildings, West Plaza, designed by Neville Price. Its distinctive finned, sailed-shaped design won an enduring architecture award in 2005. Located on a reclaimed peninsula to the west of Auckland’s CBD, the Wynyard Quarter comprises approximately 20 hectares of waterfront land and maritime structures including infrastructure to support the 36th Americas Cup held in the summer of 2021. Urban design elements include the North Wharf hospitality strip (Fearon Hay Architects, 2012) and Silo Park (re-purposed former cement storage silos). The Silo Marina is now New Zealand’s premier superyacht marina as well as the berthage for classic wooden yachts from Auckland’s designers/boatbuilders. We also view apartment buildings by Architectus, Athfield Architects and Studio of Pacific Architecture. During our tour we meet with Patrick Clifford, one of the founding Principals of Architectus. Patrick has been responsible for the design leadership of all major projects by Architectus in New Zealand and produced the master plan for Wynyard Quarter. In 2014 he was awarded the NZIA Gold Medal, the highest honour awarded to an individual in NZ architecture.

Situated in the residential suburb of Parnell lies Holy Trinity Cathedral, the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. We take a guided architecture tour of the Cathedral, including the Bishop Selwyn Chapel. Designed by Fearon Hay Architects in 2016, the chapel features a gleaming, gold-tiled ceiling which floats over a transparent glass box.

From Parnell we travel to the Auckland Domain to view the Wintergardens, which are of great historic interest. Designed in the 1920s by W.H Gummer in the style of Edwin Lutyens (for whom Gummer worked before the First World War) and Gertrude Jekyll, the two barrel-vaulted  glass houses provide an ever-changing display of rare and spectacular plants.

Within the Auckland Domain also lies Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, constructed in 1929. The Neo-Classical style museum’s south atrium has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment – a design collaboration between Jasmax, Design Tribe, Salmond Reed Architects and Australian firm FJMT. The new South Atrium features a Noel Lane-designed Tanoa bowl and artwork by Ngati Whatua artist Graham Tipene. We will have lunch at the museum’s bistro-style restaurant designed by Jack McKinney and then take a self-guided tour of the building. In the Maori Court we also view the treasured collection of paintings by late nineteenth / early twentieth century artists Charles Fredrick Goldie and Gottfried Lindauer who were best known for their portrayal of Maori dignitaries and scenes of Maori life.

A drive up Mount Eden, Auckland’s highest volcano, and a walk to the viewpoint provides spectacular views of the city and an interesting way to see a caldera. We will then return to our hotel via Princes Street which features a number of interesting 19th-century merchant houses, a reminder that this was once one of Auckland’s most prestigious residential areas. Nearby is the Northern Club, built in 1867 as a hotel and later established as a gentleman’s club, and Old Government House.

This evening we attend the Gaggenau Tuesday Test Kitchen. Here we enjoy the taste of chef Sid Sahrawat’s two award-winning restaurants – Cassia and Sid at the French Café – under the one roof. The Test Kitchen is designed for Sid and his chefs to innovate new dishes. A number of dishes from each restaurant will be prepared. (Overnight Auckland) BLD

Day 3: Wednesday 6 November, Auckland – Coxs Bay – Point Chevalier – Remuera – Epsom – Grey Lynn – Auckland

As New Zealand’s population continues to grow and plots reduce in size, urban living is being redefined. Accompanied by John Walsh, we spend this morning visiting the private homes of two of New Zealand’s leading architects – Pete Bossley and his partner artist Miriam van Wezel, and Guy Tarrant – to see how they design contemporary inner city homes.

We also visit two projects that were winners of the Auckland Architecture Awards 2023: Seaward House by Space Division Limited and Ōhinerau House designed by Bossley Architects.

Seaward House by Space Division Limited began as a remediation of an existing 1990s home, but it soon became clear that it would be more costly to renovate. Retaining only a small portion of the original structure, the brief was to create essentially a new four-bedroom house and associated living spaces with an emphasis on sustainability – the home is divided into two levels with the upper level including the more private areas and the lower for the living functions. Given the slope of the site, the house is not visible from the road, with the upper level appearing as a single storey house to neighbouring homes.

Ōhinerau House designed by Bossley Architects, was conceived as two individual but connected rectilinear forms with a glazed circulation area – separated for privacy but coming together in the living areas for an extended family. On the banks of the Ohinerau Mount Hobson, the house is fortunate to have the maunga as well as views over the reserve – making it feel like it’s part of its rural setting.

In the leafy suburb of Epsom we view Rock House by Stevens Lawson Architects which was a finalist in the ‘Home of the Year’ award and recipient of the NZIA Auckland Award for Architecture in 2015. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the house includes the rock form as a centrepiece of the design – a geological artefact enclosed within a vitrine, with living spaces wrapping around and over the top of this rock. The top level contains the main bedroom and the living areas that lead to a number of terraces. Complete with a lift, this design, for elderly clients, allows for the ease of single-level living for most of the time.

Behind a regular villa facade the Reynolds McLintock House by Malcolm Walker Architects offers all sorts of surprises. Designed for renowned local artist John Reynolds, this extensive renovation project was awarded the 2015 NZIA Architecture Award for Housing – additions and alterations. This Victorian timber home, with its bluestone front steps and ornate verandah, conceals a contemporary home – with light-filled open plan living spaces, boarded concrete walls and painted timber-battened ceilings. While palm trees frame the entrance, an established tree ‘pierces’ the home’s rear deck. The project even caught the attention of UK Grand Designs host Kevin McLeod who used the house as a location for promoting the television series. The home was also featured in homemagazine.nz. (Overnight Auckland) B

Day 4: Thursday 7 November, Auckland

This morning we visit the residential district of Ponsonby, known for its dining, stylish boutiques, bookshops and trendy cafés. We begin with a visit to The Shelter, a contemporary space of like-minded design-led brands curated by Vicki Taylor.

Next, we visit TÜR Studio the combined studio and gallery space of designer Joseph Yen. The studio showcases his own work alongside contemporary ceramics, handmade textiles by Christopher Duncan and jewellery from fellow practitioners. Joseph, who works in clothing design and silver, will give us a talk on the studio and his own designs. We also visit  the private studio of contemporary craft practitioner Christopher Duncan who specialises in hand woven textiles. Duncan’s work is exhibited throughout New Zealand, Japan, Belgium and the USA and is held in the collections of Auckland Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira.

Following some time at leisure for lunch at St Kevin’s Arcade we visit Anna Miles Gallery. Anna’s gallery, which focuses on contemporary New Zealand art, represents critical and influential artists working in a diverse range of media. During the time of our visit there will be an exciting exhibition by ceramic artist, Richard Stratton. On arrival Anna will introduce us to the exhibition and to a selection of work by artists including Isobel Thom, Peter Hawkesby (who work with ceramics), Vita Cochran (who works with textiles), and Warwick Freeman and Octavia Cook who (who work with jewellery). Richard Fahey has been collecting postwar ceramics, predominantly from the 70s, for many decades. He will show us his extraordinary collection which is displayed in the couple’s home above the gallery.

We end the day with a visit to the Zambesi Britomart flagship store. Founded by designers Elisabeth and Neville Findlay in 1979, Zambesi is one of New Zealand’s most iconic labels, known for its directional designs. (Overnight Auckland) B

Day 5: Friday 4 November Auckland – Waiheke Island – Auckland

We depart early this morning, taking the short 40-minute ferry ride across to Waiheke Island, a haven of beautiful vineyards, olive groves and beaches. On arrival we meet with Jerome Buckwell (Crosson Architects) who has kindly agreed to show us the Jewellery Box which he designed. Clad in timber shingles, the new wing comprises a series of angular windows and doors with strategically-placed windows that punctuate the home’s timber-shingled walls. Irregular-shaped skylights and angled ceilings further animate the interior spaces. The Jewellery Box was also amongst the 2023 Auckland Architecture Awards winners.

Following lunch at a local restaurant we meet with project architect, Sarah Gilbertson (also from Cheshire Architects) for a tour of the Awaawaroa Bay Home, a site abounding in natural views. The project features three forms, which each speak to its function and respond to the terrain in differing ways. It was featured in the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards.

We return to Auckland by ferry in the late afternoon where the evening is at leisure. (Overnight Auckland) BL

Tutukaka Coast – night

Day 6: Saturday 9 November, Auckland – Matakana – Whangarei – Whale Bay – Tutukaka
  • Matakana Farmers Market
  • Light lunch at the Aqua Restaurant & Bar, Hundertwasser Art Centre
  • Hundertwasser Art Centre & Wairau Maori Art Gallery, Whangarei
  • Bowden House, Tutukaka (Belinda George Architects 2020)
  • Whale Bay
  • Dinner at local restaurant overlooking Tutukaka Bay

We depart Auckland early this morning and travel north to Matakana where there will be time at leisure to explore this lively organic Farmers Market which features locally sourced vegetables, fruit and baked goods.

Further north lies Whangarei, capital of the Northland region, whose harbour entrance was first sighted by Europeans on James Cook’s first voyage in the Endeavour in November 1769. Here we visit the Hundertwasser Arts Centre. This new centre, which includes the Wairau Maori Art Gallery, opened in December 2021. The project, which converts the former Northland Harbour Board building into an arts centre, was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1993. The centre is home to Hundertwasser’s art, the only permanent collection outside of Vienna, as well as the Wairau gallery, the world’s first gallery dedicated solely to contemporary Maori art. Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an Austrian painter, architect and ecological activist who made an important contribution to art history’s post war modernism. He was an active contributor to the avant-garde scene in Paris during the 1950s. For the last decades of his life he lived near Kawakawa, an hour north of Whangarei. He died in 2000 aged 71 aboard the Queen Elizabeth II. We will tour the centre and enjoy a light lunch at the centre’s Aqua Restaurant & Bar.

Mid-afternoon we visit Bowden House, a 2020 Auckland Architecture Awards Winner, which sits on a clifftop edge on the Tutukaka Coast. Designed by Belinda George Architects in association with Mandeno Design, this stunning cedar-clad house is an outstanding project. “The semi-circular plan nestles into the site, and the curved form conveys a sense of spatial coherence. The house’s natural rhythm allows for spaces that connect with each other, and the environment. The material palette is beautifully resolved and perfectly articulated to fit the crescent moon shape.” [www.nzia.co.nz/awards/]

We end the day with a walk to Whale Bay, an idyllic white sand, bush-fringed beach accessed by a 30min walking track through groves of ancient Puriritrees.

Following check-in at the Quality Hotel Oceans, we dine together at a local restaurant which overlooks Tutukaka Harbour. (Overnight Tutukaka) BLD

Auckland – 4 nights

Day 7: Sunday 10 November, Tutukaka Coast – Point Wells – North Head – Auckland

Pac Studio are a youngish practice based in Auckland who have designed two interesting projects on a property at Point Wells near Matakana: a house – Point Wells Gables – and the Point Wells Cricket Club, both award-winning works. Point Wells consists of a series of gabled forms, organised around a central boardwalk, and reveals a collection of outdoor spaces that respond to the sun’s trajectory throughout the day. The immersive interior is layered and combines various ‘grains’ of finishes – from the raw to the delicate. The adjacent cricket pavilion that forms part of this property, was conceived to bring locals together.

Following our tour of these projects we enjoy a light lunch at a local café and then continue with a visit to Crinkle Cut House, recipient of the Designers Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards (Residential) in 2022. Designed with perimeter walls of louvres and sliding glazed panels, this house, painted entirely in a pale pink, can be opened or closed in myriad ways. Verandahs, breezeways and internal courtyards allow the house and garden to appear as one. Referred to as the Crinkle Cut House due to the way light appears on the interior walls, the house is continually animated.

In the afternoon we journey south to North Head to visit Keene Family Home by Bull O’Sullivan Architecture, also a winner in the 2023 Auckland Architecture Awards, Housing – Alterations and Additions category. Originally built in the early 20th century, this timber home has been given a contemporary addition – with angular glazed walkways, rich timber-lined ceilings and an angular rear edition that loosely references the home’s period façade. (Overnight Auckland) BL

Day 8: Monday 11 November, Auckland – Piha Beach – Grey Lynn – Auckland

We spend the morning visiting two award-winning beach houses at Piha Beach, a scenic black-sand surf beach on the rugged coast, west of Auckland.

On arrival we are joined by Chris Tate to view one of his favourite projects. This dark and foreboding house provides a completely different take on the traditional beach house. Overlooking Piha Beach, the Bunker House features minimal windows rather than floor-to-ceiling glass apertures that frame the idyllic water views. Elevated above the street and supported by a massive concrete pillars, it’s been a drawcard for locals as well as those travelling from overseas.

Nearby we also view Under Pohutukawa by Herbst Architects, a recipient of several awards including the NZIA Auckland Architecture Award 2012 and HOME Magazine’s Home of the Year Award. The 2012 NZIA Jury Citation states: “From the road, this beach house, in its opened-up summer configuration, reads as an encampment; up close, it is experienced as a beautifully sited verandah. The house is a beguiling essay in the relationship between structure and setting, order and nature, requirements and responsibilities. There is nothing extempore about the building, which is designed and executed with perfectionist exactitude, but it is also a highly successful exercise in sympathetic placement: the pohutukawa among which the house politely nestles are constantly and closely present. An iconic beach has been graced with an exquisite house.”

Following a light lunch at the Piha Café we return to Auckland to visit two residential projects in the inner suburb of Grey Lynn. We begin with a visit to Lightly Weighted designed by Oli Booth Architecture and currently a finalist in the 2023 NZIA Interior Awards. Perched on a hillside, this modest two-bedroom home punches ‘well above its weight’. Creating an interplay between light and shadows, the home’s textured rippled façade offers a mystique as well as a strong sculptural quality.

We end the day with a visit to Malcolm Walker’s home/studio. Walker has won a number of awards, mostly for residential work and has projects in Northland, Auckland, Christchurch, Rakino Island, and a Scout Hall in Hokitika. (Overnight Auckland) BL

Day 9: Tuesday 12 November, Auckland

We begin this morning with a a visit to Fingers, a contemporary jewellery gallery, where we meet Alan Preston, one of New Zealand’s leading jewellers. Alan was one of the first contemporary New Zealand jewellers to use Pacific influences and expression in his work. His knowledge and ability in the cutting of shell enables him to produce beautiful wearable art works. Using gold and black-lipped oyster shell, paua and vau (hibiscus bark fibre) Alan creates breastplates, bangles, necklaces, brooches and earrings. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt in 2007.

Nearby is the Auckland Art Gallery, home to one of the most important collections of European Old Masters in the South Pacific. The nine-year building development completed in 2011 by Australia’s Richard Francis-Jones (FJMT) and Auckland architects Archimedia, makes it one of the most exciting contemporary buildings in the city. Following our guided tour there will be time at leisure to further explore the gallery’s collection.

Following an afternoon at leisure we enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (Overnight Auckland) BD

Day 10: Wednesday 13 November, Depart Auckland
  • Tour concludes in the morning
  • At leisure/Check out

Our tour ends in Auckland after breakfast. Participants will be required to make their own way to the airport. Please contact ASA if you require further assistance. Check-out time from the M Social is 11.00am. B



ASA has selected 3- and 5-star centrally located hotels. A hotel list will be given to all participants prior to departure.

  • Auckland (5 nights): 4-star M Social Auckland – located on the iconic Quay street, M Social offers accommodation in the heart of Auckland. Rooms reserved: M Social View Rooms
  • Tutukaka (1 nights): 3-star Quality Hotel Oceans Tutukaka  – a modern property located in Tutukaka offering a mixture of countryside and marina views. www.oceansresorthotel.co.nz
  • Auckland (3 nights): 4-star M Social Auckland – located on the iconic Quay street, M Social offers accommodation in the heart of Auckland. Rooms reserved: M Social View Rooms

NoteHotels are subject to change, in which case a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a double/twin room for single occupancy throughout the tour. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

How to book

How to Book


Please complete the ASA RESERVATION APPLICATION and send it to Australians Studying Abroad together with your non-refundable deposit of AUD $1000.00 per person payable to Australians Studying Abroad.

Practical Information

Practical Information

The number of flags  is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, seven to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 10-day tour involves:
  • A moderate amount of walking often up and down hills and/or flights of stairs.
  • The daily schedule often involves an early-morning departure (between 8.00-8.30am), concluding in the late afternoon (between 5.30-6.30pm).
  • You must be able to carry your own hand luggage. Hotel porterage includes 1 piece of luggage per person.
  • A moderate amount of coach travel, several on winding mountainous roads. Transport by public ferry on Day 5.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the Terms and Conditions section given below.

Tour Price & Inclusions

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $8180.00 Land Content Only – early bird special book before 30 September 2023

AUD $8380.00 Land Content Only

AUD $1860.00 Single Supplement

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with private facilities in 3 and 4-star hotels
  • Meals as indicated in the tour itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch & D=dinner
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach and public ferries as outlined in the tour itinerary
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage per person where available (not all hotels offer this service)
  • Lecture and site visit program
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare: Australia-Auckland, Auckland-Australia
  • Personal spending money
  • Airport-hotel transfers
  • Luggage in excess of 20kg (44lbs)
  • Travel insurance
Tour Map

Tour Map

Terms & Conditions

A non-refundable deposit of $1000.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on this ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 75 days before departure: your initial deposit of $1000.00 is non-refundable.**
  • 75-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**$500.00 of this amount (ie 50% of your deposit) may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply.

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions or services of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products, services, terms and conditions. If a service provider cancels or does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, and does not give a refund, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA.

ASA will not be liable for any claim (e.g. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, border closures, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any tour service provider or authority however caused (contingencies). You must take out such travel insurance as is available against such contingencies.

ASA’s liability in respect of any tour cancelled or changed will be limited to the partial refund of amounts you have paid, less an administration fee of $500 and other costs and charges of third party service providers. No compensation will be payable to you by ASA where ASA cancels or changes a tour, or any part of a tour.

ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate and in the best interests of health, safety and wellbeing of tour participants. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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