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=== By plane ===
 
=== By plane ===
  
Auckland International Airport [http://www.auckland-airport.co.nz/], New Zealand's largest airport, is located in the southern suburb of Mangere on the shores of the Manukau Harbour. Transport from the airport to central Auckland and suburbs includes buses, shuttles and taxis. The bus to central Auckland is called Airbus [http://www.airbus.co.nz/] and the adult fare is $15 (backpacker/student $13). Other bus services run to the suburbs including one which connects with the rail system at Papatoetoe Train Station.  
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Auckland International Airport [http://www.auckland-airport.co.nz/], New Zealand's largest airport, is located in the southern suburb of Mangere on the shores of the Manukau Harbour. There are frequent services to [[Australia]], and to other domestic destinations.  There are also direct connections to many locations in the South Pacific, to the United States, Asia and to [[Buenos Aires]] and [[Santiago]] in South America.
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Transport from the airport to central Auckland and suburbs includes buses, shuttles and taxis. The bus to central Auckland is called Airbus [http://www.airbus.co.nz/] and the adult fare is $15 (child $6).   Currently there is a $1 off voucher on their website. 
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Other bus services run to the suburbs including the 380 connects with the rail system at Papatoetoe Train Station.  This local bus and train will cost $8 to the city centre.
  
 
Approximate prices for one person in a shuttle to various destinations are:  
 
Approximate prices for one person in a shuttle to various destinations are:  

Revision as of 06:27, 11 May 2009

Auckland City

Auckland [1] is the largest metropolitan area in New Zealand, with a population of over one million in the greater urban area. It is located 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. It is composed of four separate cities, Manukau City in the south, Waitakere City in the west, North Shore City in the north and Auckland City itself, on and around the isthmus. The wider local government area which includes rural areas, small towns and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf is Auckland Region.

Contents

Districts

  • Auckland City - Central Auckland - covered by this article
  • Manukau - South and outer East Auckland
  • Waitakere - West Auckland
  • North Shore - Auckland north of the Waitemata Harbour and the Auckland Harbour Bridge

Understand

Auckland Boats

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 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 [2] and sporting matches.

Auckland often rates well in quality-of-life polls; consistently rating in the top five.

Get in

By plane

Auckland International Airport [3], New Zealand's largest airport, is located in the southern suburb of Mangere on the shores of the Manukau Harbour. There are frequent services to Australia, and to other domestic destinations. There are also direct connections to many locations in the South Pacific, to the United States, Asia and to Buenos Aires and Santiago in South America.

Transport from the airport to central Auckland and suburbs includes buses, shuttles and taxis. The bus to central Auckland is called Airbus [4] and the adult fare is $15 (child $6). Currently there is a $1 off voucher on their website.

Other bus services run to the suburbs including the 380 connects with the rail system at Papatoetoe Train Station. This local bus and train will cost $8 to the city centre.

Approximate prices for one person in a shuttle to various destinations are:

  • to Papatoetoe $29
  • to Manurewa $26
  • to Howick $42
  • to Takapuna $35
  • to Henderson $41
  • to central Auckland (city) the fare is between $50 and $65

By bus

If you are travelling to other parts of the country from the airport, you should consider nakedbus.com [5], a low cost bus operator with services from the airport to many parts of the country.

Get around

There are a variety of ways to get around including bus, train, ferry, taxi, shuttle and hiring your own car. You can use the MAXX website [6] to find ways to get round Auckland using public transport. MAXX 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 dependant 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 though roads frequently become heavily congested and driving standards can be poor.

By bus

Bus is the most preferred method of public transport in Auckland, carrying over 40 million passenger trips a year. Buses to popular destinations are often regular (usually every 10-15mins). For example Kelly Tarltons and Mission Bay have buses (numbers 745-769) running at least every 15 minutes Monday to Saturdays though much less frequently Sundays. If you don't mind a 5 to 10 minute walk to a bus stop you can get by without a car in Auckland. However buses are not always reliable, especially during peak hours. Delays of up to 15 minutes are common on certain routes. Buses are also a slow way to travel long distances, and travel is remarkably more difficult going across town than on a main North-South route. If possible consider taking a train or ferry instead. If you are travelling to less frequented areas or outer suburbs be prepared for long travel times and long wait periods (30+ mins) between services.

By train

Travel by train is a good option if you are near a train line, but there are only three lines so many suburbs are not served. 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 and the upgrading of many of the 36 train stations. An annual patronage increase of 30% was achieved in 2005, bringing total patronage to over 5 million passengers a year for the first time since the 1960s.

There are three lines: the Eastern, Southern and Western Lines. Services on the Southern line run from Britomart station in downtown Auckland south to Papakura, with a few services on to Pukekohe. The Southern Line runs roughly parallel to the Southern Motorway and indeed runs right beside the motorway through part of Auckland City. The Eastern Line is a short line that runs from Britomart through four stations in the east of Auckland City before joining the Southern line just before Westfield station. Services on the Eastern line also continue to Papakura and Pukekohe. The Western line runs from Britomart west to Waitakere Station. There are no train services on the North Shore or in the eastern suburbs of Manukau City.

The Southern and Eastern Lines have the most frequent and reliable services. Trains on these lines combined run every 10 minutes on-peak, 15 minutes off-peak and 30 minutes evenings and weekends. Approximately 80-90% of these services run on-time. The Western Line suffers from somewhat unreliable and less frequent services, and is currently undergoing development to improve frequencies and reliability. Trains on this line runs every 15-20 minutes on-peak, every 37 minutes off-peak and every 30 minutes weekends. Approxmently 60-70% of these trains run on-time.

By car

The Auckland roading network experiences severe congestion at rush hour. The geography of Auckland constrains the network to a limited number of routes. Studies have shown that Auckland has one of the most comprehensive roading networks of any city in the world relative to its size, but lack of investment in public transport means the city is largely dependent on the private automobile. It is often easier and cheaper to hire a car instead of using taxis, simply because the city is so large and spread out. Taxi fares may be NZ$50 - NZ$100 from the airport to a city location, about the same as it costs to hire a car per day.

See

Carving, Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum, Domain Drive, Parnell, +64 9 309 0443, [7]. 10am-5pm. It is more than a war memorial, it is a general museum and one of the best in New Zealand. It stands in an imposing position in the Auckland Domain, a large park on an extinct volcano. Suggested donation $5 adult.
  • New Zealand National Maritime Museum, Corner Quay and Hobson Street, Viaduct Harbour, +64 9 373 0800, [8]. Interesting exhibits chronicle New Zealand's Maritime history. Admission $16 adult, $7 children, $11 senior citizens.
  • Sky Tower, Corner Victoria and Federal Streets, [9]. At 328 meters, this is the tallest free-standing tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offering views of up to 80 kilometers away.
  • Auckland Art Gallery, Corner Wellesley and Lorne streets, [10] 10am-5pm. The largest collection of national and international art in New Zealand. It is split across two buildings, the main gallery and new gallery. Adults $7.
  • Auckland Zoo, Motions Rd, Western Springs, 64 9 360 3800, [11], [12]. Sep-May 9.30am-5.30pm (last admissions at 4.15pm), Jun-Aug 9.30am-5pm, closed 25 Dec. Has 150 animal species, 500 animals and a number of different habitats such as the Rainforest and Pridelands (an African savannah). Adults $16, children 4-15 $8, seniors and students with ID $12, family rates available.
  • The StarDome Observatory, [13]. Located on the slopes of One Tree Hill. The park also contains Maori archaeological sites, a kid's playgrounds and a working farm.
  • Kelly Tarlton's, [14]. Located 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.
  • Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens, [15]. Located in Manurewa (South Auckland) has over 10,000 different plant types spread over 65 hectares with both natives and exotics
  • MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology), Great North Road, Western Springs, [16]. Situated near the Zoo in Western Springs. $14 Adults, $7 Child & Senior citizens. Children under 5 free. It's an interactive museum with over 300,000 items. Look out for the WWII Avro Lancaster Bomber and the Solent Flying Boat in the Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Collection
  • Otara Flea Market. Every Sat, open from 6am - 12 noon at the Otara Shopping Centre, Newbury St. Huge selection of clothes, household items and food. Otara is densely populated by polynesian people and this market reflects the culture of the area. Well worth a wander around. For other markets see local city council websites.

Do

File:Mt Eden.jpg
View of Auckalnd from Mt. Eden

Nature and tramping

  • The Waitakere Ranges [17] are Auckland’s best kept secret. With stunning waterfalls breathtaking views and rugged but beautiful beaches, around 45 minutes drive from central Auckland.
  • Drive or walk up one of Auckland's many volcanic cones such as One Tree Hill or Mount Eden to experience panoramic views of the city, and to see sheep and cows in a major metropolitan area!
  • Climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge [18].
  • Do the Sky Jump [19], a cable controlled base jump from a height of 192m on Sky Tower.


  • 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, and is only 35 minutes away via Ferry.


  • Rainbow's End [20], is New Zealand’s premier family-based theme park with many rides and attractions. Bus routes 471-472, 474, 487, 497
  • Take a ferry from downtown to Rangitoto and climb to its summit. Fantastic views of the Waitemata harbour and Auckland city.
  • Hire skates in Okahu Bay and take a scenic skate along Tamaki Drive
  • Spend a day exploring the beauty of contemporary Maori culture in Auckland's city centre and urban bush sites.

Buy

Fashion

Freyberg Place, an Auckland shopping plaza

Auckland is home to many established and up-and-coming local designers. Karen Walker on O'Connell St in the city centre which is also the location of the MYHART store, stocking the New Zealand label Lonely Hearts Club, as well as Australian designers Tina Kalivas, Josh Goot, and Gail Sorronda.

High Street, parallel to O'Connell St, has local designer stores as well as international brands. Look out for womenswear in Kate Sylvester, Ruby, Moochi, Ricochet, and the WORLD Luxury Store, stocking the eponymous label as well as items from international brands. For menswear, visit Little Brother, Crane Brothers, and WORLD Man. For New Zealand and international brands, see Workshop, Brave, Browns and Fabric, along with Ashley Ardrey for shoes.

Mala Brajkovic - rock and roll womenswear - is found on Vulcan Lane (off High St), along with the WORLD Beauty Store.

Made on Customs St West (parallel to Quay St, near to the Britomart transport centre). Stocking international and New Zealand labels. The Aotea Square markets (Queen Street) are held on Fridays and Saturdays and often feature original designers in addition to the usual market fare.

Ponsonby is another great shoppng area. On Ponsonby Rd, find womenswear in Sera Lily, Miss Crabb, Hepburn, Jaimie Stocking local and international brands (Vivienne Westwood), IsaKelle, and various other stores, including Sybella for shoes.

K' Rd, a local abbreviation of Karangahape Rd, has 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.

Newmarket has outposts 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 Taylor. stenbeck&morse stocks directional New Zealand & Australian labels such as Jimmy D, Cybele, Deborah Sweeney and Josh Goot.

Eat

  • The Viaduct Harbour provides upmarket dining, starting at $30 for mains.
  • The Deve Bar & Brasserie 460 New North Road, Kingsland [21] Has top-notch beef & lamb amongst others. A relaxed place, and the neighbourhood has other good restaurants, cafes and a couple of bars.
  • Saika Japanese Takeaway, Elliott St, 10AM-9PM (closed on national holidays),[22]. Common Japanese food. Gyudon, Katsudon, Chicken-don etc. Japanese-speaking staff available. Meals from $8.
  • GPK restaurant and bar. Mt Eden, Dominion Rd. Woodfired pizza specialty, meals from around $20-30.
  • Japanese Cuisine Bien, 55-65 Shortland St. Lunch M-F 11am-3pm; dinner Tu-Sa 6-10pm. Sushi, teriyaki chicken rice bowl, eel, etc.
Meat Pies are a popular New Zealand dish
  • South Vietnam Restaurant, 39 Elliott St. Lunch: M-F 11am-3pm, Su 11am-10pm, closed on Saturdays. Dinner: Tu-Sa 5:30-10pm, closed on Mondays and national holidays. Lunch from $6.50, dinner from $12.
  • Valentine's Restaurant. Buffet restaurants in heaps of places around Auckland.
  • New Orient Restaurant, Strand Arcade, Queen St. Chinese restaurant. A la carte or buffet options.
  • Hare Krishna Food For Life, 286 Karangahape Rd. $5 vegetarian dinner.
  • Korean Pancakes, High St opposite the New Gallery. $2.
  • Finale Restaurant and Cabaret, 350 Karangahape Road, +64 (09) 377 4820. Buffet meal and Drag Cabaret Shows.
  • Ariake Japanese Restaurant, Corner Albert & Quay Streets, +64 (09) 379 2377. Cheap ($12) lunch specials. Serving most Japanese dishes, but no Teppanyaki. Lunch: Mon-Sat 12p-2p; dinner: Mon-Sat 6p-10p (9:30pm last order); closed on Sundays & New Zealand Public Holidays
  • Sushi Bento, Parnell Village, Parnell Rd. Premier Sushi destination.
  • Burger Fuel, Parnell Rd. Delicious gourmet burgers.
  • Mezze Bar, Little High St Arcade. Serves tapas and other dishes. Often busy but worth the wait.
  • Al Volo Pizzeria, 27 Mt Eden Road, +64 (09) 302 2500, [23]. 5-9:30pm, til 10:30 Fri and Sat, Closed Mondays. Limited seating, but you can order from the Corner Bar across the street. Will deliver to central suburbs. $15-25.
  • Mexicali Fresh, Prince's Wharf, +64 09 307-2419, [24]. 11am-10pm. Fast, fresh & healthy Mexican food on Auckland's waterfront $13.50.

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.

There are some good cheap food courts about. Try next to the Queens' Arcade at the bottom of Queen st for a variety of Asian food for lunch (slightly hidden entrance). The Ponsonby International food court [25] has the cheapest eats in this somewhat pricey neighbourhood.

Drink

  • Cock & Bull English Pubs [26]. Various locations throughout Auckland.
  • Galbraiths Alehouse A brewery and pub, they have a good selection of beer and wine.
  • The Patriot, 14 Victoria St, Devonport. Devonport's only British Pub. Has a great beer garden.
  • Deschlers - 17 High St, City Centre. Stop here for delicious cocktails and jazz.
  • The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe - 6 Vulcan Lane, City Centre. A popular place with the after-work crowd. Serves traditional Beligian beers alongside mussels and frites.
  • Shadows Bar - Located on Auckland University Campus, student bar with decent prices.
  • Cassette Number 9 - Located on Vulcan Lane, a new bar and club featuring various different music nights.

For gay and lesbian nightlife in central Auckland, K Road and Ponsonby Road have a number of bars. GayNZ is worth checking out for specific info on gay and gay friendly places to go.

Sleep

Budget

  • Bamber House [27], 22 View Rd, Mt Eden (From Queen Street @ the IMAX-Theater, catch buses 255-258 to first stop View Rd), + 64 (09)623-4267 (Fax: +64 (09)623-4267, email:bamber@ihug.co.nz). Prices from $20 (Dormitory) to $26 (Double).
  • BK Hostel, 3 Mercury Lane, +64 (09) 307-0052, [28]. They do not have dorm rooms, but shared twin rooms for $25. Nice atmosphere, kitchen and laundry.
  • Nomads Fat Camel Backpackers Hostel, 38 Fort Street, City Centre, Phone: +64 (09)307-0181 (Fax: (09)307-0182, email:bookings@fatcamel.co.nz), [29]. Free supper. Prices from $19 (Dormitory) to $69 (Standard Double room).
  • Nomads Fusion Backpackers Hostel, 16-20 Fort Street, City Centre, +64 (09)300-9999 (Email:info@nomadsfusion.com)[30]. Prices from $26 (Dormitory) to $99 (Standard Double room).
  • Topfloor Backpackers, Wellesley Street West (On the Corner of Wellesley and Albert Street, across post office), +64-9-3 74 42 37, [31]. Easygoing, friendly, cheap. Dorms from $18.
  • The Brown Kiwi [32], 7 Prosford St, Ponsonby, +64 (09)378-0191 (Fax: (09)378-0191, email:bookings@brownkiwi.co.nz ). Prices from $20 (dormitory) to $26 (double).
  • The Calico Lodge, 250 Matua Road, (64) 9 4128167. Boutique Bed and Breakfast
  • Verandahs Backpacker Lodge, 6 Hopetoun Street, +64 (09)360-4180 (Fax: (09)360-9465, email: info@verandahs.co.nz )[33],. Prices from $25 (dormitory) to $48 (single).

Bed & Breakfast

  • Beresford B & B Homestay, Beresford St, Bayswater, North Shore, +64 9 445-3959, [34]. Short walk to ferry, 10 minute trip across harbour to Downtown Auckland, .
  • Aachen House, 39 Market Road (at Remuera), +64 (09) 520-2329 (Fax: +64-9-5242898), [35]. Upscale bed and breakfast. $300-600 (varies by size and season).
  • Amitees Hotel, 237 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, +64 (09) 378-6325. A comfortable B&B outside the hustle of the city centre.

Splurge

Auckland Hilton with Sky Tower in background
  • Hyatt Regency Auckland:, Cnr Princes St & Waterloo Quadrant (In the city centre), +64 9 355 1234 (), [36]. checkin: 12 PM; checkout: 3 PM. Has views of the habour and parks, a nice spa and a pool.
  • Langham Hotel Auckland, 83 Symonds Street. (PO Box 2771), +64 (09)379 5132 (Fax: +64-9-3779367), [37]. Five-star luxury hotel. (prices vary by season).
  • Braemar, 7 Parliament St, Auckland Central, +64 9 377 5463; Fax +64 9 377 3056, [38]. Beautifully renovated 1901 Edwardian townhouse.
  • Heritage Hotel, Albert Street, +64 (09) 379-8553.
  • Hilton Auckland, Princess Wharf, 147 Quay Street, +64 (09) 978-2000. A modern waterfront building.
  • Ventura Inn & Suites Auckland Airport, 14 Airpark Drive, Airport Oaks, +64 (09) 275-4540, [39]. Closest accommodation to Auckland International Airport.

Serviced Apartments

  • Quest Serviced Apartments, 363 Queen Street, +64 (0)9 300 2200, [40]. Close to Aotea Centre and Auckland's Town Hall as well as restaurants and shopping. Has 70 studio, one and two bedroom serviced apartments all with kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • Kudos Business Apartments, 203 Kirkbride Road Mangere (3 minutes from Airport). Kudos Auckland accommodation is close to the Auckland International Airport. Has 12 x 2 bedroom serviced apartments with fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities.

Stay safe

Auckland is generally a fairly safe place to visit. Be vigilant as you would in any other cities in the world, and with a little bit of common sense you will be safe. Being part of a group is obviously safer than walking about alone, particularly for women. Try to stay in lit areas and avoid dark side streets. Consider carefully where you leave your car especially if you park it in daylight and will have to relocate it after nightfall. Theft from cars is a common problem in New Zealand, so don't leave valuables in your vehicle, or at least make sure they're hidden from sight.

The local emergency contact number is 111 for all Police, Fire and St John Ambulances, from a mobile phone, the numbers 111, 112, 911 and 999 will all work too.

Friday and Saturday nights can be dangerous on the road due to the high rate of drunk driving and "boy racer" culture. Excessive speed, poor vehicle maintenance and bad driving attitudes can result in fatal crashes and care should be exercised.

Areas in central Auckland to be vigilant around: [not in any order of dangerousness]

Karangahape Road (K Rd): A large number of pubs and clubs are located here, however, care should be taken late at night as assaults and theft can occur.
Lower Queen Street: During the day this is a repectable shopping area but care should be taken after dark as there will be few pedestrians about. A number of homeless people sleep around this area, they won't hurt you, and if you do have to go here at night time, walk quickly or in a group and you'll generally be fine.
Fort Street: The centre of Auckland's red light district. After dark this area may be rather intimidating and it pays to be sensible.
High Street/Vulcan lane: During the day this is an elegant and upmarket shopping area but care should be taken late at night as assaults and theft can occur.
Viaduct Harbour: A large number of bars are located here and care should be taken late at night as intoxication levels rise.

Get out

Rotorua, Hamilton, Waitomo Caves and Taupo are all within several hours drive and all have a lot to offer.

If returning to the airport by Airbus [41] be sure to allow for the service running late—often the '15 minute' schedule is more like 30.

Contact

  • Midcity, 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 has the fastest and most reliable computers / network, $3 (NZD).

There are many internet cafes around the CBD area with prices ranging from $2 per half an hour to $5 per hour. 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 cafes around Auckland.

See the New Zealand article for information about mobile phone and associated data networks.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




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