Auckland Tourism Information
Although Auckland is not the capital of New Zealand, (being Wellington) it is the main gateway to the country and is a great starting or ending point to any trip.
It's a city which has many modern facilities, hotels for all budgets, many tourists attractions and a great variation in places to eat.(due to its great mix of cultures). Auckland is a very international city, you will find a very strong Asian influence, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian nationals making up the cosmopolitan life of the city.
Auckland is situated on a narrow strip of land, flanked by two magnificent harbours to the east and west. Known as the 'City of Sails', with a larger boat-to-person ratio than anywhere else on earth, it is a paradise for sailing enthusiasts. Every weekend the waters of the Hauraki Gulf come alive with a flotilla of colourful sails. The best way to experience the city is from the water, sailing around the attractive harbour or on a ferry cruise to one of the many stunning islands dotted about the Gulf.
Auckland is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in New Zealand, yet it has a friendly small-town atmosphere and a relaxed pace of life. Beyond the bustling downtown area, dominated by the southern hemisphere's tallest building, the Sky Tower, the city sprawls outwards, with low buildings and wooden houses among leafy parks and walking tracks.
For many visitors Auckland is only a stopover city whilst they take up the rent car or motor-home as they travel within the country. However as you will see there is much more you can do in the capital. In the city you're never far from breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches, invigorating walks, idyllic holiday islands, outstanding food and wine, great shopping and exciting nightlife.
Auckland enjoys a varied oceanic climate, with warm, humid summers and fresh winters. The city experiences plenty of rain throughout the year, but predominantly in winter, between June and August, temperatures average between 5°C and 15°C. However, summer months are the driest, between December and February, with temperatures average between 15°C and 27°C.
Be advised that the weather can be very changeable in Auckland year-round, with tropical cyclones and cold fronts causing occasional extreme conditions like hailstorms.
The city has a well developed public transport system comprising of trains, busses and ferry's. From the airport there is an express service run by SkyBus. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service operates two bus routes between the Airport and the city, one via Mt Eden Road and one via Dominion Road so there are plenty of convenient places you can catch the service. Airport to city transfers take approximately 40-60 min. Tickets are available at the airport ticket kiosks (located by the SkyBus bus stops at the airport), from the bus driver (cash only), SkyBus Hub/Lounge (396 Queen Street) selected city hostels, hotels, Auckland i-Sites, and online at Skybus. Fares are NZ $18 adult one way and NZ $32 adult return.
Alternatively, a cheaper option is available from the airport, taking a bit longer. Get the local bus to Papatoetoe station for only $3. Take the bus number 380 in direction to Manukau. (you will recognise the busses by their distinctive orange colour). Get off at Papatoetoe station and continue the journey by train to the centre, costing another $3-5.
To ride the transportation in Auckland is cheaper to get a AT HOP card, which gives 20% discount over single cash fares. Get the card at selected stores, valid on trains, ferries and busses around Auckland. (excludes NiteRider, SkyBus and Waiheke ferry services). Below you find the main transport maps for Auckland:
In Auckland you will find plenty of activities to do, explore the city and visit it's highlights, both it's buildings and natural wonders like wine regions, stunning beaches, pristine rainforest as well as sports and harbour adventures right on your doorstep.
Popular highlights in the city include:
- The Sky Tower, an observation and telecommunications tower located at the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets. At a Height: 328 m offers stunning 360 degree views from the city. it opened in 1994. Prices from NZ $29 per adult. Booing online is advised for cheaper fares.
- Queen Street, famous for shopping and dinning options. Check out the lively nightlife and entertainment in and around Queen Street, from major international shows to local theatre and live music. At the top of the street you will find the Aotea Centre, The Civic, Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Square. Also not too far is the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, located at Wellesley St.
- Princess Wharf and The Wynyard Quarter, a reclaimed piece of land on the Waitemata Harbour at the western edge of the Auckland waterfront, Located to the north of Freemans Bay. Near by you will find the port, The ANZ Viaduct Events Centre, The New Zealand Maritime Museum and centre for tours information and activities. Also it's an area popular for good quality restaurants, bars and late evening events and parties.
- The Auckland War Memorial Museum, its collections concentrate on New Zealand history, natural history, as well as military history.
- Mount Eden is a suburb with a winning combination of culture and nature. Walk to the top of Mount Eden’s volcanic cone for some of the best views in Auckland and afterwards you can go for shopping or eating, in the village at one of the hip local cafés. Get there by bus number 274 and 277.
- Newmarket, entertainment area in Auckland. Offering a great mix of high street fashion, a large mall and designer boutiques. Dining in Newmarket is also top notch, with loads of eateries and bars. There’s plenty more to do in Newmarket, ten pin bowling, swim in the Olympic pool or watch a film at one of the cinemas. Get there by train, at the station Newmarket.
- Mission Bay, it's only a short ride on the bus (767, 757, 745 or 769) from Britomart station. Get off at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, where the city's aquarium is located. Not only there are some incredible views from the city from this point, but as you walk along you will find more attractions. Continuing the road along the coast line, you will see the entrance to the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial. (was the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand). As well from here there are great views to the city and beyond.
Specially if you see it in the evening dusk light. Afterwards head down to Mission Bay, where you can discover beautiful white-sand beaches and a vibrant beachfront promenade lined with stylish but relaxed eateries, it's Auckland’s most urban beach. From Mission Bay you can then catch the same busses back to downtown.
For more info on what to do and see in more detail please visit: Aucklandnz.com
This popular island can be visited year around, located 21.5 km from the Harbour at Auckland. It's just a 40-minute ferry ride away. Waiheke is home to a number of wineries and vineyards nestled into the landscape. There are loads of activities for adventure seekers too (horse riding, archery and laser clay pigeon shooting, hire a scooter, take a scenic flight or zoom across the tree tops on a flying fox zip line).
You will love the island, specially if you into beautiful landscape, rural lifestyle and unique experiences! The white sandy beaches at Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi slope gently down into the Hauraki Gulf and are perfect for swimming, kayaking, or having a picnic when the weather is at its best.
If you’re a walker, explore the island’s trails which meander along cliff tops, down to the beaches and into cool enclaves of native forest. At the eastern end of the island the Stony Batter walkway leads you to a system of World War II gun emplacements and underground tunnels. Waiheke is not only about nature, it also has a thriving arts scene, from local galleries and studios to an inspiring sculpture park.
There are many tours which give a good insight and a whole day of sights and activities. You can check prices and details at the information hut next to the Harbour Port Entrance. Usually for the basic tour it's $55 NZD and up to $155 NZD for more in depth tours.
You can also stay overnight, rent a beach house and wake up to the sound of the waves, or if you’re on a budget, go to a friendly backpacker hostel.
Getting around is easy too. You can also go there by yourself, catch one of the regular ferries that run to Waiheke from downtown Auckland. Once on the island, there are public buses and taxis, or you can hire a mountain bike, motor scooter or car. And if you've already got a car or bike, you can bring it over with you on the car ferry.
To check timetables, fares and more info on how to get there, visit sealink.co.nz
Auckland's is a very active city during the day with its many "sailors" returning to dock in the evening and start off a different kind of entertainment, late night party-goers will not be disappointed. Auckland comes alive at night, with clubs, bars, cinemas, and pubs, all offering good options from chilled moments to relax to best music venues in the city.
The city has a great selection of clubs and bars catering for the higher demanding businessmen, highflyers and young rich students. The main nightlife areas include High Street, Ponsonby, Viaduct Harbour, Parnell, and Karangahape Street. There is a great mix of bars, clubs, and quirky establishments in Auckland from which visitors can choose, including a great live music scene.
If one is looking for something totally different, Auckland does provide some places that are a bit out of the norm, such as a bar which constantly has the temperature set to -5°C and another which is furnished with a variety of beds and pillows which guests can snuggle up in while enjoying a drink.
Being the most popular city in New Zealand, means that there is ample opportunity for shopping, from high end to crafts and handmade shops. Most of the main shopping takes places around Queen Street in central Auckland.
Other key areas include, High Street. Local names include Karen Walker, Marla Brajkovic, Workshop and World, where also good fashion outlets are mainly located. Don't miss Fabric (5 High Street) which sells quality brands like Citizens of Humanity. Pauanesia (35 High Street) is a celebration of Polynesian handcrafted items and gifts.
Another key area is Ponsonby Road. One of the hippest streets in New Zealand, it's home to one-off and funky boutiques.
In Auckland you can find Hotels to suit every pocket and taste. It's important to compare and contrast websites for the best deals and book early to grab best prices.
Staying further away from the centre will also bring the price down. Hostels and Airbnb is also a good idea to save money. Average Hotels can cost €40 per night per room.
💭 Suggestion! One recommended Hotel is Kiwi International Street Hotel, a 3 star Hotel, at 411 Queen St. Quiet yet centrally located in Auckland. All of the city's major attractions are within walking distance, including the Viaduct Basin, the central business district, theatres and the flamboyant nightclub area of 'K' Road. Rooms are fully equipped single, double or twin ensuite rooms with, Free WIFI, TV, telephone, clock radio, tea and coffee making facilities and hair dryer. The House Bar, has a pool table, and offers a snack menu of light meals.On the ground floor there is a travel desk.The entire building is smoke-free.
Staying in Auckland after coming back to "civilisation" from the nature will be a relaxing experience and probably many travellers, choose to end their trip in Auckland on a low key to relax and take in the city peacefully. The city is well prepared with many cafes and WiFi connections.
But for those who want to remain active, there is still lots to see and do, 4 nights would be enough, including a tour to the nearby islands and to see most of the city.
Auckland Photo Slide 📷