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Sandwiched between the sprawling premises of the country’s only national multi-media broadcaster and a university campus, Auckland Park in Johannesburg is an established suburb favoured by those involved in the arts and entertainment industry and university educators and their students.
Auckland Park is one of the older Johannesburg suburbs once used as a country retreat for the wealthy of which many architectural gems are still visible. The suburb is home to a number of academic institutions and the headquarters of media corporates. The lively restaurant scene and Auckland Park’s convenient location – it is practically at a junction point leading to all areas around Johannesburg – makes it an attractive urban living space. However, the demand for housing is great as residents tend to stay put…
The original farm owner named the suburb after his hometown of Auckland in New Zealand.
Top 6 reasons to visit Auckland Park
1. The Country Club Johannesburg has tennis and squash courts, a cricket oval, running track and gym facilities at their Auckland Park grounds. The club also has a swimming pool to cool off after a game. Sit under the large oaks and enjoy a meal at the Gallery Restaurant.
2. Travel the short distance to Greenside to visit the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and enjoy the well-laid out gardens set along meandering paths. Emmarentia Dam adjoins the gardens, hire a canoe for a gentle paddle around the dam.
3. The Wits Art Museum houses significant African art and beadwork. Most of the exhibits are dated from the 20th and 21st century, however, some date back to as early as the 4th century. The museum has a vast resource centre for arts, culture and heritage research. Open Wednesday to Sunday.
4. Adjoining Melville suburb is renowned for its restaurants and club scene and the streets are abuzz most evenings. The Xai-Xai Lounge will have you thinking you’re chilling on a remote Mozambique beach.
5. The national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), offers tours of their radio and TV broadcasting facilities. Visitors are able to watch a live broadcast during the 90 minute tour.
6. Purchase a ticket to watch the daily astronomy show at the Johannesburg Planetarium on the University of Witwatersrand grounds. Discover the solar system as seen from the southern hemisphere.
Auckland Park is exactly 33km from both OR Tambo International Airport and Lanseria domestic airport north of the city. Both airports have car rental agencies on site or a vehicle can be ordered online. There are a number of metered taxi and shuttle service companies operating around Auckland Park otherwise register with Uber and call for a ride via your mobile phone. The suburb is on the bus feeder route for trips to the Park Station terminus in order to catch the Gautrain, the city’s rapid rail service to the airport.
Did you know?
Richmond Avenue in Auckland Park has an oak tree grown from an acorn collected from Delville Wood in France by a survivor of the famous WW1 battle that resulted in 2536 South African casualties.
The Johannesburg city council have big plans for the Auckland Park area; a circular skywalk is planned for the busy Kingsway intersection to allow thousands of students to safely reach their campuses without impacting on traffic. Also planned is a massive project known as the Corridor of Freedom, an attempt to improve access between the city and outlying areas.