- Not to be confused with Auckland Region.
Auckland is the largest metropolitan area in both Polynesia and New Zealand, with a population of around 1.5 million people. It is in the northern half of the North Island, on a narrow isthmus of land that joins the Northland peninsula to the rest of the North Island.
This article only deals with Auckland City itself. In November 2010, four formerly separate cities were amalgamated. These four were Manukau in the south, Waitakere in the west, North Shore in the north and Auckland City itself, on and around the isthmus. These other cities, rural areas, small towns and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf can be found in the Auckland Region article.
Auckland is a modern cosmopolitan city with a population of 1.4 million people — roughly one third of New Zealand's entire population reside in Auckland.
The city and suburbs have developed within the same time frame and similar urban patterns as California (Los Angeles and Auckland have shared urban planning designs and are sister cities). Today the city and suburbs sprawl over a large urban area, hemmed to the east and west by two large harbours (Waitemata and Manukau) and ocean (Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea) beyond.
Many suburbs were once separate towns and offer examples of early European settlement (Devonport, Mission Bay, Parnell Village, Ponsonby and Howick are historic suburban centres that remain well preserved and contain good examples of Victorian, Edwardian, Deco and Bungalow residential styles).
An extensive tram system was removed in the 1960s and motorway systems have since been implemented, although recent efforts to return two areas to trams for tourism purposes (in the CBD Wynyard Quarter and at Western Springs linking the Zoo and Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT)) have been successful.
Because of its large geographic sprawl (and urban design focus on motorway systems) public transport can be frustrating and is not cheap by international comparisons - however - most destinations within 5km of the CBD and of appeal to visitors are served by frequent bus, train and ferry services from the Britomart transport centre (located in the downtown area of the CBD). An information desk operates at the ferry building and from inside the street level entrance to the train station with information for all public transport options across the city.
Regular ferry services depart the ferry building; with historic Devonport just 15min away - the view of the city and islands of the harbour make this a highly recommended trip. Further away with plenty of good beaches, boutique accommodation, wineries and olive groves is Waiheke Island (45min). Also worth a visit by ferry is Rangitoto (the large volcanic island that flanks the eastern horizon) - take good walking shoes, food and water to walk to the top - it can be very hot in summer - a bus service operates on some days for those that dont want to walk (enquire at the Britomart or ferry building information centre before setting out - and don't miss the last ferry back to the city as there is no accommodation on Rangitoto).
Popular areas on good bus routes include Ponsonby, Newmarket, Parnell, Mission Bay, Takapuna. A tourist explorer bus also completes a regular circuit of popular tourist sites. For travel to more distant suburban locations a car is recommended - many car hire firms have set up business in Auckland and rental rates are reasonable especially if renting for longer periods of time. Be aware that parking in Auckland can be complicated - make sure you read and understand parking control signs ( local government enforces parking fines and has no hesitation to have your vehicle towed). Be aware also of bus lanes (zones marked out on the road where only buses are permitted at certain times). These zones are also signposted but it can be easy to miss seeing them if concentrating on traffic. Fines are large and the authority administering is not tolerant.
The Auckland area was first settled by a confluence of Māori people of different tribes more than 700 years ago. From 1600 to 1750 the Tāmaki tribes terraced the volcanic cones, building pā(settlements behind protective palisades). Across the isthmus they developed 2,000 hectares of kūmara (sweet potato) gardens. These earthworks are easily seen on Mt Eden - a volcanic hill easily accessible from the CBD.
European settlement began in the early 1800s. The settlement resembled a shanty town in parts and ran along the gully in what is now Queen Street - alongside a creek (now under the road). The original shoreline remained until port reclamation and road development obscured it (although the original sea cliff can still be seen in Shortland St, Fanshawe St and along The Strand in Parnell). The port is the biggest in New Zealand and continues to grow but continued harbour filling is controversial.
In 1840 the city became the capital of New Zealand for 25 years and migration from Europe and Australia began in earnest. The University of Auckland celebrates 130 years in 2013 since it was founded in 1883 and historic buildings and fortifications can be seen on campus.The War Memorial Museum (which houses a good collection of early Māori and European settlement on the ground floor and top floor respectively) was built in 1929 and the eight lane Harbour Bridge (linking the North Shore to the rest of the city) was completed in 1959 (and carries some 170,000 vehicles per day).
Dominating the midtown skyline of the CBD is the Sky Tower - an observation, restaurant and telecommunications tower completed in 1997. It is 328m (1,076 ft) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast, making it the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
Auckland is often known as the "City of Sails" for the large number of yachts that grace the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf. It could also be known as the "City of Extinct Volcanoes". Much of its natural character comes from the fact that it is built on the Auckland Volcanic Field which consists of about 48 volcanoes. All of the volcanoes are individually extinct but the volcanic field as a whole is not.
Auckland is the largest city in Polynesia. For some Polynesian island nations there are more expatriates living in Auckland than in their homeland. Auckland's rich Pacific cultural mix is celebrated at festivals and sporting matches.
Auckland often rates well in international quality-of-life polls, consistently rating in the top five. Culturally, the city is an interesting mix. As Europeans only settled in New Zealand less than 200 years ago, an immigrant culture is prominent - many migrants from the British Isles and their immediate offspring populate the city. The city has attracted a sizeable population of Asians and Pacific Islanders in recent years and in some areas Asian migrants represent 50% of the enrolled voting population. Along with changing demographics and decentralisation of commerce to suburban nodes, the central city has witnessed significant residential influx over the last decade. Education facilities and related services, many aimed primarily at Asian students, now represent a significant portion of commercial and residential building use in the CBD.
The indigenous peoples of New Zealand are the Māori, a large portion of whom have emigrated from their tribal villages in the last 60 years to cities such as Auckland. Representing about 11% of the city, most of these Māori are fully integrated into the urban culture and many are estranged from their tribal roots. Intermarriage rates have been substantial, so rather than appearing only as a prominently distinct ethnicity, an entire spectrum from European white to Māori has emerged. Like many indigenous peoples, the Māori suffered historical injustice/genocide at the hands of the colonizing British, though since the 1960s a revival of the Māori culture and language has emerged with New Zealand now celebrating the distinctness of its native inhabitants. Though most Māori speak far better English than Te Reo Māori, New Zealand added native Māori as an official language in 1987; however, English is overwhelmingly dominant.
Many think that central Auckland does not have enough green space. Instead of parks having been planned as centre pieces of the city from inception, as most other British Empire cities were, Auckland parks were after-thoughts, located on marginal land, as if no one ever expected Auckland to grow beyond being a port town. Meyer's Park (previously a shanty town, bought for the city by the Meyers family) is tucked out of the way in a gully. Albert Park is difficult to access but well worth a visit and adjacent to the University of Auckland main campus and historic buildings. Further up, Grafton Bridge crosses an historic cemetery where it is an easy walk to the Botanical Garden and Domain - although not actually in the CBD proper.
Even though if you live in the CBD, you still need a car since the best shopping is in the suburbs. To get there driving a car is recommended as public transport is not efficient, since it doesn't really work and is not properly integrated. Yet very few city apartments have car spaces!
Auckland is situated in a temperate climate zone and, as such, does not experience hot or cold extremes at any time of year. The summer months are from December through to March. The sun is very strong during this time and it is advisable to use sunscreen and cover exposed skin from prolonged exposure.
April to June brings cooler temperatures and rain toward the end of June which persists through winter until September and October.
Westerly airstreams predominate throughout the year and it is not unusual to experience weather systems that affected Sydney and Melbourne just a few days before - nor is it unusual to see occasional high altitude haze from summer wildfires in Australia; making for spectacular sunsets.
Humid and moist conditions are usual in all seasons. There is no monsoon but tropical cyclones spin down from the Pacific Islands a couple of times a year bringing damaging winds and heavy rain. Rainfall is never far away especially outside the summer months - outdoor activities should be planned with an alternative inside option in case it rains at any time of year. Localised tornadoes occur infrequently in summer months (they have always occurred but only recently been reported as the areas where they occur have only been developed within the last decade).
Summer brings settled dry weather systems most years from early January - but being a maritime environment with no continental land mass it is not unusual to have wet summers also. Winter brings chilly temperatures and overnight frosts to sheltered suburban areas. Snow flurries are a once in a generation event.
Best time for beach swimming is between late December to May.
Auckland International Airport (IATA: AKL) - New Zealand's largest airport and one of three international gateways has been voted top airport in the Asia Pacific region for the five years in a row and been awarded top prize for best staff service in the region for the second year running. Auckland was 12th best overall airport in the world and second globally for airports that handle 10 to 20 million passengers a year in the 2013 SKYTRAX World Airport Awards.
Auckland is well connected by frequent non-stop services to the rest of the world.
- Asia (flight time 9-14 hours): Bangkok, Denpassar/Bali##, Guangzhou , Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, Osaka, Taipei#, Tokyo
- Australia (flight time 3.5-7h): Adelaide, Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth
- Europe (flight time 23h): London Heathrow#
- Middle East (flight time 18 hr): Dubai#
- North America (flight time 9.5-14.5h): Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Honolulu, Houston, Vancouver
- Pacific Islands (flight time 1.5-7h): Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
- South America (flight time 13.5h): Buenos Aires, Santiago
# Destinations requiring transit lounge layover but not requiring a change of aircraft
## Seasonal schedule
Free internet Wi-Fi for 30 minutes is provided throughout the airport.
A special area is provided for assembling bikes that have been crated for air transport: ask one of the security guards.
International check in desks are located on the ground floor. Arriving passengers come into the ground floor at west end of the terminal.
The food court and shops on the first floor in the departures area before security provides comfortable seating and electricity sockets to recharge devices. Tired passengers can get a bit of snooze time - or for a better rest there is a modern hotel located within the parking zone - five minute's walk from the terminal.
A well positioned public viewing area and seating area is up the escalator beside the first level food court. A small games arcade and children's play area is also located there.
A news stand, information booth and a coffee shop is located in the arrivals area - nearby escalators will take you to the first level if you want the food court.
There is duty free shopping available in both the arrivals and departure terminals. Alternatively, travellers can pre-purchase their duty free goods via the Aelia Duty Free website. There are also multiple collection points in Auckland Airport for you to collect your goods upon return.
ATMs, currency exchange booths and Duty Free and souvenir shops are on both sides of security.
- If you are arriving internationally, there is a final chance to purchase duty-free shopping area before immigration and baggage claim.
- If you are departing, the area past immigration and security has good shopping and food amenities and views over the runway, Manukau Harbour and Waitakere Ranges. Keep your eye on the departures screen for notice to proceed to your boarding gate. Auckland Airport has no problem offloading luggage for passengers that fail to show at the gate...
Lockers are available in the terminal for $15 per day.
If you have time between flights:
- Take a taxi to the top of One Tree Hill (the namesake of the song title by U2) for extensive views over the city and suburbs (allow 1.5 hr)
- Head downtown by bus or taxi for a ferry ride across the harbour and back (allow 5 hours)
- There is miniature golf about one km (15min walk) from the terminal. It is complete with a hole on a pirate ship.
- A small retail park with a supermarket, cafes and large discount store is located about 20min walk from the terminal - turn right out of the international terminal and follow the road; turn left at the first major intersection and walk straight on.
A free shuttle bus loops between the International and Domestic terminals every 20min. It's a 5min ride. Otherwise, a paved uncovered walking path is well signposted - follow the blue line painted on the pavement for guidance. The path is level and suitable to take luggage trolleys between the terminals.
The airport's located 25km to the south of central Auckland and 15km west of Manukau's centre, in the south of the greater conurbation on the shore of the Manukau Harbour.
Transport from the airport to central Auckland and suburbs includes bus, shuttle van and taxis. Parking is plentiful for private motor vehicles and car hire firms are located in the area. If driving, orient yourself with a map first - and remember NZ drives on the left (passenger side always at the curb or road edge unless on multiple lane roads).
Airbus Express - runs 24 hours daily - Weekdays: every 10 min 07:00-19:00, Evenings: every 20min 19:00-23:59, late night: every 30min (00:01-06:00). Weekends: every 15min 06:00-19:00, see website.
From/to Downtown Auckland (next to the Ferry Building) via Queen Street. Alternating Dominion Road or Mt Eden Road - Domestic & International terminals.
Journey time 40 minutes. One Way: Adult $16 / Child $6 Return: Adult $28 / Child $12 (A child is under 15 years old)
Tickets can be purchased from Airbus Ticket Kiosks (located at the Airport), direct from an Airbus Driver (cash only), or on-line.
For central Auckland bus 380 departs every 30 min daily 05:08-23:38 from both the Domestic and International terminals and takes about 20min and $4 to Papatoetoe Train Station (bus stop 6480) from where suburban trains connect to Britomart station in another 33 min (if the schedules meet up) and $6. The bus departs from a bus stop to the right of that the Airbus uses (in both terminals).
For Manukau City Centre retail and travel hub; check with the driver and stay on the the 380 bus.
Day passes (Discovery Pass - see Getting Around section) cannot be purchased on the 380 bus but can be used if already purchased on another public transport service prior to boarding.
Shuttles will pick up/drop you to the door of your destination - which can be an efficient and quick option if you are the only passenger - less so if you are the first or last of six passengers to be picked up/dropped off. Rates are set by zone and do not vary much between drivers/companies. It is usual for a driver to wait for other passengers going vaguely the same way as you. There are regulations as to how long a driver can wait after the first passenger arrives at the van. If you turn up and other passengers are already loaded but going to another part of the city, the driver will direct you to the next shuttle in line.
Approximate prices for one person in a shuttle to various destinations:
- to Papatoetoe $29
- to Manurewa $26
- to Howick $42
- to Takapuna $35
- to Henderson $41
- to central Auckland and CBD the fare is between $50 and $65
Taxi fares may be $50-100 from the airport to a city location, about the same as it costs to hire a car per day. Taxis are metered and wait in a rank outside terminals. A cheaper option might be to negotiate a flat fare (if you are familiar with fares and think you can cut a deal). Otherwise, it is possible to call one of the many taxi companies and enquire how much they will charge to take you to your destination - then have the cheapest pick you up from the Drop Zone immediately outside the terminal. Doors into the International Terminal are numbered. For clarity, advise the driver which door you will wait outside of.
Mobile apps Uber and Zoomy offer flat rate airport service. Uber charges $70 to CBD whereas Zoomy charges between $39 and $66.
Many car hire firms operate within close proximity to the airport or nearby suburbs and have free shuttles from airport terminals. Best deals are often when booking in advance of arrival. If you arrive on a public holiday and expect to pick up a car without a booking, you could be out of luck or asked to pay grossly inflated rates.
The InterCity Sky City Bus Terminal (located at 102 Hobson St, behind Sky City Plaza) is the main hub for national carriers InterCity and GreatSights New Zealand. Regional Northland operator Northliner also departs from this location. Facilities include an InterCity ticketing office, free Wi-Fi, cafe and luggage lockers.
New operator, ManaBus.com has services to Whangarei, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo and Wellington leaving from opposite the downtown Ferry Building at 98 Quay Street.
The Overlander train runs from central Wellington to Britomart Transport Centre at the north end of Queen St in central Auckland. The 681km (423 mi) journey takes about 12h. The trip runs much of the length of the North Island with stopping-off opportunity at Tongariro National Park. In a single day you will pass every kind of scenery: coastline, volcanoes and mountains, green farm pastures and dense New Zealand bush from $119.
Auckland is a major cruise ship port of call with over 100 cruise ships a year. Auckland's main cruise terminal, Shed 10, refurbished in 2013, is located on Queens Wharf next to the central business district (CBD) and the Britomart Station.
To get beyond the CBD, look for a bus called "The Link". The red city LINK bus runs along Queen Street and is only $1. The Link bus will always end up back at the place you started so you can never get lost - stay on the bus and see it all for one low flat fare. Explorer runs a hop-on, hop-off bus service. Taxis are relatively plentiful; many, such as those that serve the airport, accept credit cards.
There are a variety of ways to get around including bus, train, ferry, taxi, shuttle and hiring your own car. You can use the Auckland Transport website to find ways to get round Auckland using public transport. Auckland Transport also has a text messaging service which can be used to find out the time of the next bus, ferry or train or to find the quickest way to get to your destination using public transport.
Auckland is a very car-dependent city and for most tourists used to extensive public transport systems, frustrations can mount. It may be more prudent to hire a car if you wish to do a lot of cross city travel, particularly if you plan on leaving to see the nearby natural beauty, though roads frequently become heavily congested and driving standards can be poor. New Zealand law allows you to drive for up to a year if you have a licence in your home country or an International Driving Licence.
The Britomart Transport Centre on the corner of Queen Street and Customs Street is the main information centre for public transportation in Auckland. You will be able to find free bus, train or ferry schedules in this centre. Timetables are also downloadable from the AT website.
Explore Bus Explorer Bus offers a sightseeing tour which runs regularly around an inner city loop to main attractions, and which you can hop on and off as you please.
AT HOP cardEdit
Until recently, all operators operated their own ticketing systems. These have now been replaced by an integrated ticketing system called AT HOP.
AT HOP cards can be used on all Bus (including AirBus Express), Train and Ferry services in Auckland.
AT HOP cards cost $5 and can be topped up with a minimum of $5. They offer a minimum of 20% discount of the equivalent cash fare. Those not wanting to purchase an AT HOP card can still pay by cash for all operators.
Older style snapper cards are no longer accepted. Only new purple AT HOP cards now work.
On buses, users must tag on and off with the blue card readers placed adjacent to the doors. Wait for the tone and green light. On trains and ferries, users must tag on and off with card readers on the platforms. Failing to tag off incurs a penalty fare.
On buses, multiple users can use one AT HOP card. The driver will need to process the tag-on though.
Bus is the most-used method of public transport in Auckland, making over 55 million passenger trips a year. The network can work for you with a bit of planning (decide first where you want to go then consult with the Auckland Transport website or downtown information centre at Britomart).
For a fun way to see the city, why not buy a day pass and hop on and off buses (and trains and ferry) all day?
Be aware that generally the further your destination the longer it will take to get there (and back) - some exceptions (such as Hibiscus Coast) where express (Flyer) buses operate during peak commuter times making use of exclusive arterial and motorway lanes.
It's usual to hail (wave) as the bus you want approaches so the bus driver will know (bus stops can be used by a number of routes - these sometimes have displays showing the times the next bus is expected).
Most bus drivers will let you know where to get off - ask when you get on the bus - otherwise, ask a fellow passenger or consult your smartphone map GPS location and ring the bell when you approach your destination.
Buses usually depart on time but often face traffic delays en route. Frequency of services in the CBD and inner city suburbs usually mean little waiting until the next bus arrives.
Bus services operate every day from early in the morning. Higher frequency services operate during commuter times. Last buses are around 11pm except for [Night Buses] ten routes that depart the CBD to distant suburbs and points in between in the early hours of Friday and Saturday night.
Most bus routes of importance to the traveller will terminate/originate in the CBD.
- Downtown Auckland (routes that terminate/originate at Britomart)
- Midtown/Civic Centre (routes that terminate/originate in Wellesley Street).
- Symonds Street in the uptown area
- Some services to/from North Shore will display City and terminate/originate in Victoria Street.
The Link bus operates three loop routes around the CBD and inner city suburbs and pass many areas of interest - the Link bus will always end up back at the place you started so you can never get lost - stay on the bus and see it all for one low flat fare or combine with the Discovery Pass to hop on and off where you like. The red City Link bus is free for those with Hop cards and 30c for cash riders.
If you want to explore Auckland's more distant suburbs, it's possible to take a service from the CBD to a hub where information and further connections are available. Hubs are located in larger suburban centres - retail malls, entertainment facilities and (depending on destination) beaches are never far away.
The bigger hubs are (buses only unless otherwise indicated):
- Orewa/Hibiscus Coast
- Sylvia Park (buses and trains)
- Henderson (buses and trains)
- Onehunga (train station nearby)
- Manukau (buses and trains)
- Newmarket (buses and trains)
- New Lynn (buses and trains)
There are several bus operators serving different routes. The largest operator, NZ Bus, operates services under several brands.
- Central Suburbs - Airbus Express, City Link, Inner Link, Metrolink, Outer Link and Urban Express
- North Shore - Birkenhead Transport, North Star, Northern Express and Ritchies
- Western Suburbs - Go West and Ritchies
- Southern Suburbs - Airporter, Howick & Eastern and Waka Pacific
- Eastern Suburbs - Howick & Eastern, Metrolink and Waka Pacific
Brands operated by NZ Bus includes: City Link, Go West, Inner Link, Metro Link, North Star, Outer Link and Waka Pacific.
Paper tickets for single trips are charged based on the amount of stages travelled. When purchasing a paper ticket you will need to tell the driver how many stages you wish to travel. If you are not sure, tell the driver your destination and the driver will tell you how much it costs. Or use Auckland Transport's on-line journey planner to calculate the cost of your journey in advance. Some services, such as the Airbus Express, City Link and Inner Link, have a fixed price regardless of how far you travel. City Link is free with a HOP card.
AT Hop Day passEdit
AT HOP day passes can be purchased for $16 or $22 from Auckland Transport customer service centres, ticket offices or AT HOP retailers. AT Hop Day Pass The pass is valid for 24 hours from first tag-on. Only the final tag-on need be within the 24 hour period.
They are not available for purchase on board.
$16 is for zones A and B - most of Auckland including Waiheke busses. $22 if for zones A, B and C - all of Auckland See the zone map here: AT Hop Zone Map
AT HOP Day pass may be used on all Auckland busses (ex. AirBus Express and niteRider), all trains and Fullers inner harbour ferries (Does NOT include Waiheke).
Other Day PassesEdit
See: Auckland Day Passes
Family Train Day pass: Unlimited Auckland train travel is $24. The pass cannot be used prior to 09:00 on weekdays and can be purchased from certain ticket offices in advance. Valid for 2 adults, 4 children or 1 adult and 5 children.
Waiheke Island Day pass: Unlimited travel on Waiheke Bus Company buses after 9am weekdays. $9 Adult, $5.50 Child and $21.50 family.
Travel by train is a good option if you are near a train station and you intend to travel on weekdays. While the train service has had a bad history due to under-investment, it has been improving in recent years due to increased investment in train carriages, increased number of services (especially on weekdays) and the upgrading of many of the train stations. Electric trains are being introduced to replace older diesel trains.
There are five lines in the Auckland train network:-
- The Southern line run from Britomart station to Papakura station. Selected services continue on to Pukekohe station on weekedays. Weekdays peak services runs every 10 minutes. Weekdays off-peak and weekend services runs approximately every 30 minutes.
- The Onehunga line runs from Britomart station to Onehunga station. It follows the Southern line as far as Penrose station then it branches off to Te Papapa and Onehunga stations. Weekdays peak services runs every 30 minutes. Weekdays off-peak and weekend services run hourly.
- The Eastern line runs from Britomart station to Papapkura station. It joins the Southern line south of Sylvia Park station and stops at all Southern line stations en route to Papakura. Selected services continue on to Pukekohe station on weekdays. Weekday peak services runs every 10 minutes. Weekdays off-peak and weekend services runs approximately every 30 minutes.
- The Manukau line runs from Britomart station to Manukau station. It follows the Eastern line as far as Puhinui station then it branches off to Manukau station. Weekday peak services runs every 20 minutes. Weekdays off-peak and weekend services runs hourly.
- The Western line runs from Britomart station to Waitakere station. Selected weekdays services terminate at Swanson station — which will become the terminus for all services when electric trains are introduced. All Sunday services terminate at Henderson station. Weekdays peak services runs every 15 minutes. Weekdays off-peak services runs every 30 minutes. Evening and weekend services run hourly.
Service reliability on the Onehunga and Manukau lines are generally good with approximately 90-95% of trains running to schedule. On the Eastern, Southern and Western lines only approximately 70-80% of services run to schedule. However it is worth noting that during peak times, these lines provide a good option for travel due to the much more frequent services being operated on those lines.
The road network experiences severe congestion at rush hour. The geography of Auckland constrains the network to a limited number of routes. Auckland has a comprehensive road networks for a city its size, but lack of investment in public transport means the city is largely dependent on private cars.
It is often easier and cheaper to hire a car instead of using taxis, simply because the city is so large and spread out.
Auckland city is well covered by the main global car rental companies. All car rental companies offer competitive pricing for economy class vehicles and unlimited mileage options. Local car rental companies like, Apex & Jucy may also offer competitive pricing.
The three main motorway systems running through Auckland are the Northern Motorway (from Orewa to the Central Motorway Junction (CMJ) a.k.a. Spaghetti Junction), the Southern Motorway (from the CMJ past Bombay Hills, where it merges to the Waikato Expressway), and the Northwestern Motorway (from Auckland Port through CMJ to Westgate). These motorways clog up during the morning rush in the CBD-bound direction, and the same thing happens in the opposite direction during the evening rush. The Harbour Bridge has a method of mitigating this traffic load - it changes the lane system from 4-4 to 5-3 favouring the side which has the heavier traffic load, so be careful when crossing the bridge during different times, some lanes might not be there at some times!
Some motorway on-ramps have traffic lights operating in busy periods - they allow one car to proceed every three seconds to ease the merging onto the motorway. Cameras are operating to catch red-light runners.
Auckland taxis are plentiful and may be hailed from the road side, booked over the phone or increasingly with mobile apps. Check for the prices printed on the door - they do vary between operators. Taxi drivers always use the meter and are honest. Most taxis are fitted with CCTV and many take EFTPOS and credit cards. Traditional Taxis are expensive however.
Apps Uber and Zoomy operate extensively in Auckland. Users can hail a cab to their exact location using their smartphone. They will be notified of their driver's car type, registration number and name once he is on his way.
Zoomy uses the taxi's meter (and prices) but allows in app payment.
Uber operated its own considerably cheaper fare structure and are usually less than 1/2 the cost of a regular taxi. Payment is handled entirely within the app - all the user needs to do is ensure he sees the driver "end" the journey by swiping the red bad on his iPhone screen. Note: Many Uber drivers are also regular taxis. If you book a ride through Uber, it will be charged through the Uber system - not the taxi's own meter. This is legal and cheaper.
Regardless of app or regular taxi, all drivers must be licensed and will display their government issued ID card on the dashboard.
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Streets. +64 9 307-7700, Open daily 10:00-17:00, except Christmas Day. Free entry. Charges may apply to special exhibitions. Has a shop and café.
The most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand, housed in an award-winning landmark building on the edge of Albert Park in the heart of Auckland city.
The Gallery regularly hosts touring international exhibitions and offers a lively calendar of talks, performances, film screenings and children's activities to complement its exhibition programme.
- Auckland War Memorial Museum, Museum Circuit, Parnell. ☎ +64 9 309-0443, 10:00-17:00. Suggested donation $10. No admission fee requested of Auckland residents. Has a cafe.
The museum displays collections of significant importance and offers scenic views of the Waitemata Harbour and islands of the Hauraki Gulf from a prominent position in Auckland Domain.
It was constructed in the 1920s as a war memorial to those that fought and died in theatres of war. The cenotaph located on the grounds below the steps leading up to the museum entrance is the focal point for annual ANZAC day remembrance services. The top floor records names in stone as well as sobering tombs and lists of war events and their locations.
The museum contains excellent exhibitions of Māori and other Polynesian peoples' arts and crafts and daily Māori cultural performances (ground floor) as well as geography of the Auckland region. There is a planetarium and a recreated old town street representative of Auckland in early days of European settlement (top floor).
The historically important winter gardens are nearby and well worth the short walk from the Museum to see impressive flower bed displays, tropical plants and statues (free).
Auckland Domain is Aucklands oldest park and also hosts weekend sports events.
- New Zealand National Maritime Museum, Cnr Quay and Hobson St, Viaduct Harbour. ☎ +64 9 373-0800. Interesting exhibits chronicle New Zealand's maritime history. $16, $7 children, $11 senior citizens.
- Sky Tower, Cnr Victoria and Federal St. At 328 m, this is the tallest free-standing tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offering views of up to 80 km away and fine dining in the Orbit revolving restaurant.
- Auckland Zoo, Motions Rd, Western Springs, +64 9 360-3800, email@example.com. 1 Sep-30 Apr 09.30-17.30 (last admissions at 16.15), 1 May-31 Aug 09.30-17:00, closed 25 Dec. Auckland Zoo is home to the largest collection of native and exotic animals in New Zealand, set in 17 hectares of lush parkland and just minutes from central Auckland. Adults (15 years+) $25, children (4-14years) $10, seniors and students with ID $20, family passes available.
- The StarDome Observatory on the slopes of One Tree Hill. The park also contains Māori archaeological sites, a kid's playgrounds and a working farm.
- Kelly Tarlton's on Auckland’s scenic Tamaki Drive and the home of Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World. It's an aquarium which includes a trip through a transparent tunnel while the fish and sharks swim all around you, and tanks of rays with feeding-time talks. Bus routes 740-769.
- MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology), Great North Rd, Western Springs. Situated near the Zoo in Western Springs. $14, $7 Children & Senior citizens. Children under 5 free. It's an interactive museum with over 300,000 items. Look out for the WW 2 Avro Lancaster Bomber and the Solent Flying Boat in the Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Collection.
Auckland is surrounded by nature and much of it is free to enjoy. For days when rain sets in there are plenty of indoor recreation options.
- Visit the Waitakere Ranges. Scenic Drive begins in Titirangi, an artistic suburb with art galleries and cafes. Easy to difficult bush walk tracks are plentiful and many replete with impressive waterfalls and streams suitable for swimming are at Huia. You will need a car - take Exit 8 (Great North Road) off Northwestern Motorway (Hwy 16) and follow the urban arterial straight through all intersections to Titirangi. Around 45 min drive from central Auckland. Rugged but beautiful west coast beaches are further on (swim only in patrolled areas at Piha and Bethells).
- Drive or walk up one of Auckland's many volcanic cones such as One Tree Hill, Mount Eden or Mount Victoria to experience panoramic views of the city, and to see sheep and cows in a major metropolitan area!
- See what's on in in the city's entertainment precinct Aotea Centre, Auckland Town Hall and Civic Theatre (the incredible restored interior make this a must see). Nearby Sky City Cinemas offer the latest released movies in a world class multiplex. Large suburban centres also have multiplex cinema facilities - most notable of these is Sylvia Park with luxury movie watching options and one of the worlds largest 35mm projector screens. Sylvia Park is easily reached by car (Exit 438 from the Southern Motorway) or train or bus from Britomart (downtown) and Newmarket.
- Catch a cricket or rugby match at New Zealands largest sports stadium Eden Park. Bus or Train to nearby Kingsland station.
- Climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
- Do the Sky Jump, a cable controlled base jump from a height of 192m on the Sky Tower. Or try the Sky Walk, a walk around a 1.2m wide walkway 92m above the ground with no hand rails.
- Rainbow's End is a family-based theme park with many rides and attractions. Located 25km south of the CBD. Nearby Manukau City Centre has a shopping mall and large retail outlets. Best reached by car but bus routes 471, 472, 474, 487, 497 from downtown Britomart will get you there.
- Take a ferry from downtown to the volcanic island of Rangitoto that stands prominently near the entrance to the Waitemata Harbour. Climb to the summit for fantastic views of the harbour and Auckland city. Take a picnic or have a swim.
- Or take the ferry to Devonport, an historic harbourside suburb. Plenty of cafes await. Walk (or take a short taxi ride) to the summit of Mount Victoria for spectacular views across the Waitemata Harbour and city skyline. The Navy Museum with attached cafe is an easy and scenic 30 min walk away.
- Rent skates or a bicycle in Okahu Bay and take a scenic skate along Tamaki Drive. Combine with a visit to Kelly Tarltons and Mission Bay - well serviced by bus from the downtown Britomart transport hub.
- Spend a day exploring the beauty of contemporary Māori culture in Auckland's city centre and urban bush sites.
- Go shopping or just hang out at any of Aucklands many shopping malls and fashion districts.
- Explore NZ, Viaduct Harbour Basin, ☎ +64 9 359-5987 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +64 9 358-3137), . Waitemata Harbour sailboat cruises on a boat from the Pride of Auckland fleet. Also offer a 2 hr Sailing Experience on an original America's Cup yacht or an excursion on a power catamaran to see whales and dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Other activities are available. edit
- Auckland Sea Kayaks, ☎ 0800 999 089 or +64 21 192 4939 (email@example.com), . Sea kayak to one of Auckland's amazing volcanic islands like Rangitoto island day or night. edit
- Skydive Auckland (Skydiving in New Zealand at Skydive Auckland), 72 Green Road, Parakai (40 min north of Auckland City Centre), ☎ 0800 921 6500, . 08:00 to 17:00. Skydive Auckland is one of New Zealand's best places to skydive. Enjoy one of New Zealand's highest freefall zones - over 75 seconds and up to 200km/h whilst viewing two coastlines around Auckland. From $295. edit
- Hauraki Blue Cruises offers the chance to cruise the Hauraki Gulf and see its many islands. Lunch cruises and overnight cruises are available on the four-level, 44.5m cruise catamaran Ipipiri, which is also available to charter for weddings, conferences and events.
- Go to the beach. Mission Bay combines urban chic with beach (on Tamaki Drive further on from Kelly Tarltons). Hibiscus Coast and Long Bay are other popular beaches. The coast path walk between Milford and Takapuna is recommended - all easily reached by regular public bus services from the downtown bus terminus.
- Combine a visit to Auckland Zoo (Kiwi enclosure) and MOTAT - ride the historic tram that runs between the two attractions and walk through Western Springs Lakeside Park.
- Whale and Dolphin Watching, . Auckland has become a very popular destination for dolphin and whale watching. One company that specializes in this is Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari. edit
From fashion districts to flea markets, department stores to malls and retail parks - shopping is as much a recreational activity for Aucklanders as watching for the latest sale (discount promotion) is a sport - big retailers are only too happy to oblige - widely advertised sales and offers are announced daily. Competition keeps prices reasonable - although supermarket (food) prices are expensive when compared with some countries in Europe.
Credit cards and cashEdit
ATMs for cash withdrawals are plentiful in high pedestrian areas and at malls.
Most retail shops and supermarkets accept credit cards and EFTPOS (an electronic card similar to a credit card linking directly to your (NZ) cash account). At markets and smaller shops/food outlets pay with cash or EFTPOS. Some larger retailers and supermarkets allow cash back when paying with EFTPOS (i.e. amount deducted from your account is the sum of the goods purchased plus the amount you wish to take from the retailer in cash).
Bank branches prominently display current exchange rates and many have an exclusive currency window. There are also exchange booth operators in tourist areas. Some tourist or souvenir shops might exchange foreign money for purchases (usually at inferior rates) - otherwise, presenting anything other than $NZ will get you a blank stare.
Haggling or bargaining on marked prices is not customary in NZ - there are exceptions on higher priced goods if you need to save a few dollars (whiteware, electronics and motor vehicles for instance). Simply ask the retailer if there is a discount for cash when you are pricing items... this may get an on the spot reduction (usually a split of the % that would otherwise go to the credit card or finance company). Retailers are not permitted to add to a marked price if you wish to pay with finance or credit card.
New Zealanders are a bit shy to haggle over small items - try asking for a discount if buying more than one of something at a market...
A 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applied to all goods and services sold in New Zealand - including (controversially) food items incl bread, milk, fruit and vegetables, and books. It's not a perfect world - petrol is already heavily taxed before the 15% GST is added - effectively a tax on a tax.
Prices on display include GST. Unless otherwise stated you should not be charged extra at the checkout (although the till receipt may document the sales tax component of the total amount).
Sales Tax Refund: the bright side (for international visitors) is New Zealand has a tax refund arrangement on goods purchased (over a certain value) and taken from the country when the visitor leaves.
How the process works:
- the retail outlet must be registered for the scheme (a tax refund sticker is often displayed in shop windows)
- typically there will be a minimum purchase amount per shop/transaction to qualify - ask the shop assistant
- on checkout: the shop assistant will prepare your receipt and complete the paperwork
- on departure: present the paperwork at the refund desk after immigration
- technically the refund officer will want to see the goods to make sure you are taking them overseas (and haven't given them to a citizen without tax being paid)... so technically you should carry the goods with you as you wont be able to retrieve your goods if the officer insists on seeing them and you've checked them in with the airline or already have them on board and the cruise liner is going to depart
- in practical terms it's nigh on impossible to carry those new shoes, possum duvet and everything else you've bought, certainly not as hand luggage on an aircraft - so with a bit of luck your refund officer will understand, greatly appreciate your contribution to the economy, want you to have a good impression so you will come back and shop again; and will process your refund anyway (if not, you still keep the goods but will not get the 15% refund).
Duty Free shopsEdit
Another privilege of being an international visitor is that you may purchase goods on arrival and departure at Duty Free shops - without paying another tax known as Duty. These are the shops you pass by on the way to immigration - or the very large up market duty free department store DFS Galleria in Customs Street West (downtown CBD).
Duty free prices are generally better than buying at full New Zealand (or Australia) retail (i.e. with tax included) but in recent years international competitiveness on electronics and tobacco items seem to have slipped... much better prices are available at the beginning/end of a long haul flight to Asia or Middle East. Cosmetics are another item you might want to check the price of internationally - you might find that jar of moisturizer is cheaper at Bangkok or Heathrow. You can often buy New Zealand beer and wine on sale cheaper at Auckland supermarkets.
Also, make sure you don't exceed your duty free allowance - and be aware of the allowance of your destination if leaving New Zealand. Duty may be requested if you taking more than you are allowed to.
You will need to present your airline ticket or boarding pass to get duty free prices.
The downtown area of the CBD has a number of souvenir shops for a range of budgets. Check around the lower Queen Street and lower Albert Street area. Also inside the Downtown shopping centre and DFS Galleria on the corner of lower Albert Street and Customs Street West.
Hobson Street (at the top end) has a couple of large shops also stocking honey and health products.
Auckland Museum has a well stocked shops as does the Zoo. The airport has souvenir items both before and after immigration.
The High Street/Vulcan Lane/O'Connell Street area is the Fashion centre of Auckland Central and has local designer stores as well as international brands. Look out for womenswear in Ruby, Moochi, Ricochet, Karen Walker and Agatha Paris French Fashion Jewellery as well as many other international brands.
For menswear, visit Little Brother, Crane Brothers, and World Man. For New Zealand and international brands in both mens and womenswear, see Workshop, Brave, Browns and Fabric, along with Ashley Ardrey for shoes.
Made on Customs St West (parallel to Quay St, near to the Britomart transport centre). Recently, some of New Zealand's notable designers moved their flagship stores into this new Britomart precinct, including Zambesi, World and Kate Sylvester.
Womenswear in Zambesi, Karen Walker, World, Cybele, Sera Lily, Miss Crabb, Hepburn, Jaimie stocking local and international brands (Vivienne Westwood), IsaKelle, and various other stores, including Sybella for shoes.
Karangahape Road (K' Rd)Edit
Cultural stores such as Third Eye (Indian), Buana Satu (Polynesian), vintage stores like Fast and Loose and Vixen (St Kevin's Arcade), designer stores like Girl and Vicky Sudarath (both St Kevin's Arcade) and Adrian Hailwood. Across the road from St Kevin's, find Illicit and Miss Illicit. Tattoos from Dermographic, also in Ponsonby.
Branches of the many stores listed above, as well as a few others. Nuffield St is home to Lucy Boshier (a local designer), Trelise Cooper Kids (upscale kids clothing from the New Zealand designer), and Superette (predominantly Australian designers). Look to Teed St for Drop Dead Gorgeous - offering brands such as Stella McCartney, Chloe and 3.1 Phillip Lim and Muse offering international labels such as Diane von Furstenburg, James Perse, and Rebecca Tayl stenbeck&morse stocks directional New Zealand & Australian labels such as Jimmy D, Cybele, Deborah Sweeney and Josh Goot.
Malls offer an ambient environment with good retail options and typically have a food court and cinema multiplex within the facility, if not nearby. Specialst as well as large New Zealand department stores (Warehouse, Farmers, K'Mart), along with large supermarket chains, add scale - many families and teens make malls a destination after school, on late nights and on weekends.
Auckland has one CBD mall and a number of suburban malls. Here is a selecton:
- Downtown - a mix of shops convenient for commuters, shoppers and tourists - across from the downtown Britomart transport centre, ferry building and cruise liner wharves. Food court with a good view of historic downtown buildings is on the second floor. The Warehouse occupies the entire third floor. Parking building (connected by a skywalk over lower Albert Street) is adjacent (parking paid by the hour). No supermarket (nearest are Countdown behind Britomart and New World Metro on Queen Street).
Suburban malls can be reached by bus and in some cases by train, however, a car is often the most convenient and efficient way of crossing the urban sprawl - and mall car parks are plentiful (and free). Late night shopping hours are usual on at least one night of the week.
- St Lukes was the first of the suburban malls to be constructed (1971) - now a large mall complex having been modernised and expanded over the years. Remains a very popular mid to up-market destination. Two supermarkets and cinema muliplex. Exit 6 (St Lukes Road) Northwestern Motorway. Is on the Link bus route (see bus section).
- 277 Broadway (Newmarket) upmarket fashion and retail shops, a food court with a view down Broadway and a supermarket. Closest suburban mall to the CBD - easily reached by car, bus or train. Two hours free parking with a receipt from one the shops.
- Sylvia Park (New Zealand's largest mall) mid to upmarket shopping. Luxury cinema multiplex experience with one of the worlds largest screens. Two supermarkets. Warehouse. Exit 438 from the Southern Motorway - or train or bus from downtown Britomart and Newmarket.
- Milford and Shore City (Takapuna). Mid to upmarket shopping with good bus connections from CBD. Food courts. Free parking; restricted to two hours at Takapuna. No supermarket at Takapuna. Close to beaches.
- Glenfield Mall mid market shopping adjacent to a large indoor swimming pool and recreation centre. Supermarket and Warehouse. Has an interesting night market on Sunday evenings from 5pm to 11pm. Best reached by car as bus services may be limited at night.
- Dress-Smart is an outlet mall specialising in deeply discounted big brand names. Sprawling food court. No supermarket or cinemas. A [ free tourist shuttle bus] runs from various hotels in the CBD.
- Otara town centre has a distinct Polynesian feel with some low end Asian retail. The Saturday morning market is worth experiencing for traditional Maori and Polynesian food - Hangi, Island doughnuts, poke, mayonnaise, chop suey, fried bread. Polynesian music and gifts. Exit 444 (East Tamaki) from the Southern Motorway. Buses from the CBD or Manukau hub are plentiful but should be planned in advance. Car is more efficient especially if visiting the market early on Saturday morning.
- Mangere town centre mall offers plenty of Maori and Polynesian food and atmosphere any day of the week. Some low end Asian retail. Combine a visit to the Saturday morning market with the market at Otara. Mangere town centre can be reached by bus from Downtown or the Sylvia Park hub, but car is more efficient especially if visiting the market early on Saturday morning.
- Northcote Mall has become almost entirely Asian and offers a number of ethnic food and good value fruit and vegetable outlets. Asian and western supermarket. Just over the Harbour Bridge - Exit 421 (Onewa Road) Northern Motorway. Bus connections from Takapuna.
Large urban retail zones in typically newer suburbs upwards of 15km from the CBD. Big box/large format stores and outlets. You drive within these areas if doing serious shopping - bring a car or buy one in the area.
Here is a selection of suburbs where you will find them:
- Albany - large mall within a larger retail park - shops, bars, restaurants, supermarkets and multiplex cinemas
- Wairau Park - retail park with restaurants and multiplex cinemas
- Manukau City Centre - large mall within a larger retail park - shops, restaurants, supermarkets and multiplex cinemas - Rainbows End amusment park adjacent
- Botany Downs - retail park with multiplex cinemas
- Westgate - retail park with multiplex cinemas
Auckland has a vast selection of eating choices reflecting a diverse ethnic mix with budget, mid and high end markets well catered for.
There are some good cheap food courts (food halls) offering a variety of usually Asian foods usually priced around $10.
Try next to the Queens' Arcade at the bottom of Queen St (slightly hidden entrance), or the Metro award winning Food Alley at 9 Albert St.
Very good value and good quality non-Asian choices are available at The Stables located in Elliott Street. Also on Elliott Street is a good quality food court of predominantly Asian food Atrium on Elliott.
The Ponsonby International Food Court has the cheapest eats in this somewhat pricey neighbourhood with the Mexican stall a standout among the Asian stalls.
There is also a popular food court at 184 Karangahape Rd (with a mini buffet) and at the nearby Chinese supermarket at the bottom of Mercury Lane.
Also on "Karangahape Road' is Hare Krishna Food For Life (286 Karangahape Rd) with $5 vegetarian morsels.
Suburban malls are a good choice for good quality food at reasonable prices (see the Malls section). 277 Broadway (Newmarket) is the closest mall to the CBD.
- SPQR Cafe and Bar. Modern Italian cuisine, dimly lit, loud music great atmosphere, you may feel like you are in New York. 150 Ponsonby Rd. ☎+64 9 360-1710.
- The Viaduct Harbour provides upmarket dining, starting at $30 for mains. Whilst this location has some very nice bars and restaurants, be wary of certain restaurants lacking customers and usually very quiet.
- Saika Japanese Takeaway, Elliott St, . 10:00-21:00 (closed on national holidays). Common Japanese food. Gyudon, Katsudon, Chicken-don etc. Japanese-speaking staff available. Meals from $8.
- Japanese Cuisine Bien, 55-65 Shortland St, M-F 11:00-15:00 Tu-Sa 18:00-22:00. Sushi, teriyaki chicken rice bowl, eel, etc.
- Fujisan, 474 Queen St, Ph. +64 9 357 0866. Cosy and delicious Japanese restaurant near the upper end of Queen St. Try the Teriyaki beef set ($15.50).
- South Vietnam Restaurant, 39 Elliott St, M-F 11AM-3PM, Su 11AM-10PM, closed for lunch on Sa, Tu-Sa 5:30PM-10PM, closed M and national holidays. Lunch from $6.50, dinner from $12.
- Valentine's Restaurant. Traditional buffet restaurants in many locations around Auckland.
- New Orient Restaurant, Strand Arcade, Queen St. Chinese restaurant. A la carte or buffet options.
- Korean Pancakes, High St opposite the New Gallery. $4.50.
- Finale Restaurant and Cabaret, 350 Karangahape Rd. ☎ +64 9 377-4820. Buffet meal and drag cabaret shows.
- Sushi Bento, Parnell Village, Parnell Rd.
- Burger Fuel, Parnell Rd, Ponsonby Rd and Dominion Rd (Mt Eden). Delicious gourmet burgers.
- Fatimas, Ponsonby Road in Ponsonby and Anzac St in Takapuna. Excellent kebabs and pitas, a step above typical post-clubbing fare. 
- Mezze Bar, Little High St Arcade. Serves tapas and other dishes. Often busy but worth the wait.
- Al Volo Pizzeria, 27 Mt Eden Rd, ☎ +64 9 302-2500, . 5PM-9:30PM, til 10:30 F Sa, Closed M. Limited seating, but you can order from the Corner Bar across the street. No delivery. $15-25. edit
- Mexicali Fresh, Prince's Wharf, ☎ +64 09 307-2419, . 11AM-10PM. Fast Mexican food on Auckland's waterfront. Mouthwatering but not for the health-conscious. $13.50. edit
- The SKYCITY entertainment complex, cnr Federal & Victoria St, has a dozen restaurants for all tastes and budgets,  including the authentic Spanish Tapas bar Bellota, , the fine dining dine by Peter Gordon,  and the revolving restaurant Orbit, .
For kosher food, the Auckland Jewish Community Centre, which includes the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, has a kosher shop located on Greys Avenue, Auckland CBD (right next door to the Duxton Hotel) and is open every day except Mondays, Saturdays and Jewish festivals. It includes a large range of kosher products.
- Nishiki, Robata-Yaki Bar, 100 Wellington St, ☎ +64 9 376-7104, . 6PM-11PM, closed M. Great Japanese restaurant. Requires reservation for all days of the week. Great value for money! $10-25. (36°51'8.48S,174°45'5.19E) edit
- The Dominion, 234 Dominion Rd, (corner of Dominion and Valley Rds), Mt Eden, ☎ +64 9 623-2121, . Bar, restaurant, and cocktail bar. Handy to Eden Park. (-36.875789,174.751489) edit
- The Camel Bar, Fort Street, . Part of a hostel and has nightly activities including live music and quiz nights.
- Cock & Bull English Pubs, . Various locations throughout Auckland.
- Galbraiths Alehouse, 2 Mt Eden Rd, Eden Terrace, . A brewery and pub, with a great selection of traditional beer and wine.
- Family, 270 Karangahape Rd, . 7 days till 5AM. Gay drag/DJ bar/club. Gay owned and operated edit
- The Patriot, 14 Victoria St, Devonport. British themed pub. Has a great beer garden.
- Deschlers, 17 High St, City Centre. Cocktails and jazz.
- The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe, 6 Vulcan Lane, City Centre. A popular place with the after-work crowd. Serves traditional Belgian beers alongside mussels and frites.
- Shadows Bar, University of Auckland campus. Student bar with decent prices.
- Cassette Number 9, 9 Vulcan Lane . Great bar and club featuring different music nights.
- Skycity, (cnr Federal & Victoria Streets), . Entertainment complex with a dozen bars & cafes including a Spanish Tapas bar Bellota, .
- Northern Steamship, 122 Quay St, . A Mac's brewbar with a unique eclectic decor, including hundreds of antique lampshades.
- Bar Tabac, 6 Mills Lane, . In a rustic heritage building in the back streets of downtown Auckland. Co-owned by musician Neil Finn of Crowded House.
- Khuja Lounge, 3/536 Queen Street (At the top of Queen Street, Intersection with K Road), . A great bar to soak up some live music in. Open Weekends and various week days. edit
- Whammy Bar, 83 Karangahape Rd. Down a flight of stairs in St Kevins arcade, premiere venue for local music of a wide range of genres edit
- Base Backpackers (ACB) (base auckland), Level 3, 229 Queen Street, Auckland (From the airport: Once you have exited your terminal, walk to the right, just past the taxi ranks is the pick up point for the Airbus Express. The bus comes every 15 mins between 0630am and 0000am between 0000 and 0630 its every half an hour.), ☎ +64 9 358 4877, . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. Centrally located hostel in downtown Auckland. Bar & Travel Shop onsite. from $21. (-36.849748,174.764825) edit
- Nomads Auckland (nomads auckland backpackers), 16 - 20 Fort Street, Auckland (From Britomart Train Station walk 2 minutes up Queen Street, if taking Airbus then it stops at the end of Fort Street), ☎ +64 9 300 9999, . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. Fun and friendly hostel in central Auckland. The Camel Bar is cheap and cheerful. Travel shop also onsite. From $19. (-36.846223,174.768177) edit
- Airport Skyway Lodge, 30 Kirkbride Rd, Mangere, ☎ 0800 726 880 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Comfortable airport transfer service and very friendly staff. Car hire possible. $31-89 + motel units available. edit
- Bamber House, 22 View Rd, Mt Eden (From Queen St at the IMAX-Theatre, catch buses 255-258 to first stop View Rd), ☎ +64 9 623-4267 (email@example.com, fax: +64 9 623-4267), . $25 dormitory, $66 double. edit
- BK Hostel, 3 Mercury Ln, ☎ +64 9 307-0052, . They do not have dorm rooms. Nice atmosphere, kitchen and laundry. single/twin/triple rooms from $40/$50/$81. edit
- Borders Beyond Backpackers, 8 Nixon St, Grey Lynn, ☎ +64 9 360-9880 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Really nice, friendly backpackers. Run by a very friendly french guy named David who will help with any queries. Located right next to nightlife in Ponsonby, 10 minute walk to CBD, 10 minute walk to Mount Eden.. $20 dorm, $56 dbl air-con.. edit
- The Brown Kiwi, 7 Prosford St, Ponsonby, ☎ +64 9 378-0191 (email@example.com, fax: +64 9 378-0191), . $25 dormitory, $66 double. edit
- The Calico Lodge, 250 Matua Rd, ☎ +64 9 412-8167. Boutique bed and breakfast. edit
- City Garden Lodge, 25 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell, ☎ +64 9 302-0880, . Charming, individual backpackers', not right in the middle of the city, but beautifully located in Parnell within walking distance of the Auckland War Memorial Museum (also, only a 20mins walk to the city) edit
- Nomads Fat Camel, 38 Fort St, City Centre, ☎ +64 9 307-0181 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +64 9 307-0182), . $19 dormitory, $72 standard double room. edit
- Ponsonby Backpackers, 2 Franklin Rd, ☎ +64 9 360-1311 (email@example.com, fax: +64 9 360-1365), . Located in an original 19th century villa right in the heart of Ponsonby. $25 7 bed dormitory,$27 4 bed share, $31pp double. edit
- Queen Street Backpackers, 4 Fort St, City Centre, ☎ +64 9 373-3471 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +64 9 358-2412), . Shared rooms starting from $25 to private rooms for $65. edit
- Topfloor Backpackers, Wellesley St W (on the cnr of Wellesley and Albert Sts, across post office), ☎ +64 9 374-4237, . Easygoing, friendly, cheap. Dorms from $18, doubles $52. edit
- Verandahs Backpacker Lodge, 6 Hopetoun St, ☎ +64 9 360-4180 (email@example.com, fax: +64 9 360-9465), . $26 dorm, $70 dbl. edit
- Surf 'N' Snow Backpackers, Corner Victoria St. & Albert St, Auckland CBD, ☎ +64-9-363-8889 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +64-9-363-5502), . a backpackers with many Asians, especially from Japan, Korea and Taiwan! Dorms from $18, Singles from $58, Doubles from $72. edit
Bed & breakfastEdit
- Aachen House, 39 Market Rd, Remuera, ☎ +64 9 520-2329 (fax: +64 9 524 2898), . Upscale bed and breakfast. $300-600 varies by size and season. edit
- Eden Park Bed & Breakfast, 20 Bellwood Avenue, Mt Eden, ☎ +64 9 6305721 (email@example.com, fax: +64 9 6305720), . Eden Park Bed & Breakfast is a Luxury Inn that is located in Mt Eden, Central City Auckland, and offers affordable B&B accommodation in a historic Edwardian villa. edit
- Rosa Mystica Homestay, Sunnyvale in West Auckland, (firstname.lastname@example.org). checkin: after 1pm; checkout: 11am. Beautiful restful homestay for female travellers and students. Breakfasts, Wi-Fi, laundry use and shared accommodation (two or three beds per room). 3 mins walk to train station, regular connections into city. $23 per night. edit
- Auckland Waterfront Apartments, Princes Wharf, ☎ +64 21 972004 or 0800 287 338 within NZ (email@example.com, fax: +64 9 817 9329), . checkin: 2.30pm; checkout: 11am. Luxury 1, 2 & 3 bedroom fully self contained apartments on Princes Wharf with fabulous harbour views. edit
- Braemar, 7 Parliament St, ☎ +64 9 377 5463 (fax: +64 9 377-3056), . Beautifully renovated 1901 Edwardian townhouse. edit
- CityLife Auckland, 171 Queen St, ☎ +64 9 379-9222 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +64 9 379-9223), . edit
- Crowne Plaza Auckland, 128 Albert St, ☎ +64 9 302-1111 (email@example.com), . 4 star plus Auckland Hotel, 352 recently refurbished guest rooms and suites, offering first class accommodation. edit
- Heritage Auckland, 35 Hobson St, ☎ +64 (09) 379-8553 (toll free: 0800 368 888, firstname.lastname@example.org), . Four star plus hotel with restaurant and bar. Serviced apartments available. edit
- Hilton Auckland, Princess, ☎ +64 9 978-2000. A modern waterfront building. edit
- Hyatt Regency Auckland, cnr Princes St & Waterloo Quadrant, (CAUCKL@hyatt.com.au), . checkin: noon; checkout: 3PM. Has views of the harbour and parks, a nice spa and a pool. edit
- Langham Hotel Auckland, 83 Symonds St, ☎ +64 9 379 5132 (fax: +64 9 377-9367), . 5 star luxury hotel. (Price varies by season). edit
- Quay West Suites Auckland, 8 Albert St, ☎ +64 9 309-6000, . An exclusive, luxury apartment hotel, ideally located in the very heart of Auckland city featuring fantastic balconies with harbour & city views. edit
- Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland, 71 Mayoral Drive, Auckland Central, ☎ +64 9 366-3000, . Only a minutes' walk from Queen Street and the CBD. $138+ for a double room. edit
- Scenic Hotel Auckland, 380 Queen Street, Auckland Central, ☎ +64 9-374 1741 (email@example.com), . Located in Central Auckland, close to shops and restaurants. edit
- The Sebel Suites Auckland, 85 - 89 Customs St W, Viaduct Harbour, ☎ +64 9 978-4000, . Auckland hotel accommodation situated in Auckland's business and dining precinct at Viaduct Harbour. edit
- Ventura Inn & Suites Auckland Airport, 14 Airpark Dr, Airport Oaks, . Closest accommodation to Auckland International Airport. edit
- Kudos Airport Apartments, Unit 40 Kudos Business Centre 203 Kirkbride Rd, Mangere (3 min from airport), ☎ +64 9 275 9988 (fax: +64 9 523-9285), . checkin: 2.00 p.m; checkout: 10.00am. 12 serviced apartment suites with 2 bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. edit
Auckland is generally a fairly safe place to visit.
However, be careful in these areas: Karangahape Rd (K Rd): A large number of pubs and clubs and cafes are located here, but care should be taken late at night and you should avoid being alone or intoxicated during very late hours on Friday and Saturday night. Taxis frequent the area at these times and should be used if you are not confident or familiar with the city. Taxi fares are set by meter and shouldn't cost more than $15 within the CBD.
Queen Street: During the day, this is a respectable shopping area, and after dark, there are usually still a large number of pedestrians and traffic until the early hours of the morning so the area it is relatively safe. On Friday and Saturday nights, there are typically many heavily intoxicated people wandering up and down the street. Some may seem intimidating, but they are usually more interested in getting to their next drinking destination than anything else. An increasing number of homeless people sleep around this area, but they are unlikely to bother you except a plea for loose change.
Fort Street: Once the centre of Auckland's red light district. Fort Street is now considered backpackers street with 3 major backpackers' hostels calling it home. During the day you can drink at one of Fort Streets many cafes and dance the night away in one of Fort Streets many bars.
High Street/Vulcan Lane: During the day, this is an elegant and upmarket shopping area. At night, it gets quieter, but on weekends, there will be a large young crowd at the various bars and clubs along the street, and is usually quite safe. Recent shop closures and what appears to be council neglect, however, has turned High Street into a bit of a dump. Police regularly patrol this street on weekends for disorderly drunk youths.
Britomart: Behind the Britomart train station, a number of bars and restaurants have opened, dragging tourists and locals away from areas previously popular (such as High Street).
Viaduct Harbour: Many bars are located here, and care should be taken late at night as intoxication levels rise.
Theft from parked motor vehicles is not uncommon - ensure your vehicle is locked when parked and do not leave valuable items in view - better still, do not leave anything of value inside your vehicle.
The emergency number for police, ambulance or fire service is 111, free from any phone.
- Midcity, 54 Wellesley Street, Opposite the ASB Bank (corner of Albert and Wellesley Streets). They are open 24/7. This is probably the best internet cafe in the city and have the fastest and most reliable computers / network. Rates are $3 per hour, or $4 for a card with 2 hours access or $6 for 4 hours, which expires within 24 hours. A $5 refundable deposit is required for cards. Other notable cafes include HTC Internet Cafe at 63 Wakefield St.
There are many internet cafes around the CBD area with prices ranging from $1 per half an hour to $5 per hour, however free internet is available from the public library (limited 100MB per IP address per day).Furthermore there are also free wifi internet in the skycity foodcourts. There are 40 HotSpots that offer WiFi connectivity, most notably Esquires cafe (inside Skycity Queen Street, Middle Queen Street, Lower Queen Street, Nelson Street), Starbucks (Victoria Street, K' Road, Lower Queen Street) and various other cafes around Auckland.
See the New Zealand article for information about mobile phone and associated data networks.
- Australia, Level 7 PriceWaterHouseCoopers Tower, 186-194 Quay St ☎ +64 9 921-8800
- Canada, Level 9, 48 Emily Pl, ☎ +64 9 309 3690
- China, 588 Great South Rd, Greenlane, Auckland ☎ +64 9 525-1589
- Germany, 11/41 Shortland St (Axa Building), ☎ +64 9 375-8718. edit
- Greece, 108 Paihia Rd, One Tree Hill, ☎ +64 9 571-0238 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +649 571-0529). edit
- Japan, Level 15, AIG Building, 41 Shortland St, ☎ +64 9 303-4106 (email@example.com, fax: +64 09 377-7784), . edit
- Korea (South), Level 12, Tower 1, 205 Queen St, ☎ +64 9 379-0818 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +64 9 373-3340), . edit
- Poland, 51 Granger Rd, Howick. ☎ +64 9 533-5166
- Spain, 11 Blakeborough Drive, Forest Hill, North Shore, ☎ +64 (9) 410-0211 (email@example.com). edit
- Taiwan (Taipei Economic & Cultural Representative Office), BDO Tower Level 18, 120 Albert St, ☎ +64 9 303-3903 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +64 9 302-3399). edit
- United Kingdom, Level 17, 151 Queen St 1142, ☎ +64 9 303-2973, . edit
- United States, 3rd Floor, Citigroup Building, 23 Customs Street East, ☎ +64 9 303-2724 x2800 (fax: +64 9 366 0870). edit
Go wine tasting on Waiheke Island. Waiheke is home to some fantastic wines and has some of the best beaches in the area. Can get crowded during the weekends, but very quiet during the week. It seems a world away from Auckland, but is only 35 minutes by ferry.
On your way through the Waitakere Ranges, head to the little beachside village of Piha and be prepared for stunning natural beauty.
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