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Auckland

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Not to be confused with Auckland Region.


Auckland City

Auckland [1] is the largest metropolitan area in New Zealand, with a population of over one million. 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.

Understand

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 boats

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 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 ex-pats from England and Ireland and their immediate children populate the city. The city has also attracted a sizeable population of Asians and Pacific Islanders in recent years.

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 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, New Zealand has added native Māori as an official language in 1987, however English is overwhelmingly dominant.

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. The Gorge is a cemetary. The Botanical Garden is not actually in the CBD proper.

Even though if you live in the CBD myself, you still need a car since the best shopping is outside the city, in the suburbs. To get there, you have no choice but to drive, as public transport is not enough, since it doesn't really work and is not properly integrated. Yet very few city apartments have car spaces!

Get in

By plane

Inside the airport in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland International Airport (IATA: AKL) [3], New Zealand's largest airport, is in the southern suburb of Mangere on the shores of the Manukau Harbour. There are frequent services to Australia, and to other New Zealand 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.

Ground transportation to and from the airport

Transport from the airport to central Auckland and suburbs includes buses, shuttles and taxis.

Airbus Express [4] is an efficient bus service that runs from Auckland's domestic/international airport down into Auckland City. The service runs 24hr, 365days at 10 min intervals during the day (7am-7pm)and 30min during the night. The bus alternates between two routes into the City, one via Mt Eden Road and one via Dominion Road. Both terminate at Britomart in the heart of downtown Auckland.

A one-way fare for adults is $16 or $26 return, children's fare are $6 one-way or $12 return. Tickets can be purchased onboard from the driver, online [5], from the Airport isite kiosk or from selected hostels.

A $1 discount card is available from the Airbus website under "Frequent Traveller" which can be printed and redeemed when purchasing a ticket on board.

Other bus services run to the suburbs. For the city centre, a convenient option is bus 380 to Puhinui from where suburban trains connect to Britomart station in the city centre. This method will cost $3.40 + $5 = $8.40 to the city centre. Total time approx 12+33=45 min. Ask for the bus stop at the infocentre. It is very close to the exit from International, the same stop that the airbus uses.

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 (city) 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.

Terminal transfer

There are separate domestic and international terminals. A free bus runs between the terminals every 20 min and takes a few minutes. The walk is around 800 m and takes about 10 min. It is indicated by signposts and a blue line to follow. The path is level, and you are permitted to take luggage trolleys between the terminals. The walk is uncovered and exposed to the weather.

Airport facilities

The international terminal has ATMs on both sides of security. There is a typical food court in the departures area before security, a McDonalds and a coffee shop in the arrivals area, and some more cafe-style food after security. There is the usual collection of expensive shops and souvenirs on both sides of immigration.

  • If you are departing, you might want to avoid going to your gate until you are called: the gate lounges are dismal, and the waiting area upstairs is much more pleasant, with a nice view over the ranges and Manukau harbour.
  • If you are arriving internationally, you have to walk through a duty-free shopping area to reach baggage claim.

If you have time to kill, there is miniature golf about 1 km (15 min walk) from the terminal. It is complete with a hole on a pirate ship, which beats hanging around in the terminal for hours. [6]

Lockers are available in the terminal for $15 per day.

By bus

The InterCity Sky City Coach Terminal (located at 102 Hobson St, behind Sky City Plaza) is the main hub for national carriers InterCity Coachlines [7] and GreatSights New Zealand [8]. Regional Northland operator Northliner [9] also departs from this location. Facilities include an InterCity Coachlines ticketing office, free wifi, cafe and luggage lockers.

By train

The Overlander train runs from central Wellington to Britomart Transport Centre at the north end of Queen St in central Auckland. The 681 km (423 mi) journey takes about 12 h. 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.

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 [10] 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-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.[11] Beware that New Zealand drives on the left.

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 - something that is very handy since the frequency of some public transportation services is low and sometimes irregular. These timetables are also downloadable from the MAXX website.

The Auckland Discovery Pass can be purchased for $14, and provides travel on all forms of public transportation in Auckland, except the Fullers ferries and the Airbus that runs from the CBD to the airport.

By bus

Bus is the most-used method of public transport in Auckland, carrying over 40 million passenger trips a year. Buses to popular destinations usually run every 5-15mins. For example Kelly Tarltons and Mission Bay have buses (numbers 745-769) running at least every 15 mins Monday to Saturdays though much less frequently Sundays.

If you don't mind a 5 to 10 min 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 min 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.

Auckland's bus services are not integrated - there are different bus companies serving different parts of Auckland. The largest operator,NZ Bus, has relabelled their own brand with different names indicating parts of Auckland that it serves. The following are buses that run to different parts of Auckland:

  • Central Auckland - Metrolink (includes the Link bus and the City Circuit), Urban Express
  • North Shore (including Hibuscus Coast) - North Star, Ritchies, and Birkenhead Transport
  • Waitakere - Go West and Ritchies
  • Manukau (South Auckland) - Waka Pacific
  • Manukau (East Auckland) - Howick and Eastern


The Link bus ($1.70) services Auckland CBD and the surrounding areas of Newmarket, Parnell and Ponsonby - it is fairly frequent and is a useful way of getting around these areas. The City Circuit bus runs around the CBD and is since 01.01.2012 not free anymore, but still very affordable (50c). Bus fares are measured in stages, with one stage being $1.70 cash, $3.30 for two stages, $4.40 for three and $5.50 for four (as of May 2010). Any bus travel within the CBD will cost $0.50 (for at most a 5 min ride).

There is a new integrated bus system in Auckland, the Hop card which allows transport on all NZbus services and will soon allow transport with train, ferry and other bus providers.

Bus passes in Auckland are troublesome since there is a lack of an integrated bus system - each bus service uses its own card system and they are mutually incompatible. All NZbus(i.e. Metrolink, North Star, Go West, Urban Express, Waka Pacific) buses use a snapper based contactless smart card system, Ritchies uses a touch sensor, and Howick and Eastern uses a wayfarer chip system.Buy bus cards (they can be bought from different locations in Auckland, Britomart being one of them) if, and only if you are certain about where you'd be travelling to - otherwise you'll find yourself paying cash.

One exception to this is bus travel on the North Shore. They have recently introduced a Northern Pass system whereby travellers (and commuters) can purchase a day- or week-long pass which covers inter-operator travel on the North Shore. You can buy day passes on the buses heading to and in the North Shore - just keep the ticket and show it to the next bus driver, and you will be let on the bus.

Most bus services run to and from the CBD, and so there are relatively few "cross-town" buses. It might sometimes be faster (and more convenient) to take buses into the city to take another bus out! If you want to get around the same area easily, it is also possible to take the bus to a "hub" where lots of buses run through, to connect to another bus. The bigger bus hubs are (but are not limited to):

  • Takapuna on the North Shore
  • Bus stations on the North Shore
  • Otahuhu in Manukau
  • New Lynn in Waitakere

Most bus stops that are frequently used have displays showing the times the next buses arrive. These are fairly reliable but do not place all your faith in them - sometimes the signs display that a bus has come and gone, and then several minutes later the bus arrives.

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. Nonetheless Auckland trains are famous for being highly unreliable compared to Wellington trains.

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. The Eastern Line is a short line that runs from Britomart through four stations in the east of central Auckland 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 on 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 run every 15-20 minutes on-peak, every 37 mins off-peak and every 30 minutes on weekends. Approximately 60-70% of these trains run on-time.

By car

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 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.

Auckland city is well covered by the main global car rental companies, such as Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty & Europcar. 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.

See

Auckland War Memorial Museum at night
Carving, Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum, Domain Dr, Parnell. ☎ +64 9 309-0443, [12]. 10AM-5PM. Despite the name, this is not even primarily a war museum - it is a general museum and one of the best in New Zealand. You will find inside a lovely sampling of Maori and other Polynesian peoples' arts and crafts. It stands in an imposing position in the Auckland Domain, a large park on an extinct volcano. Suggested donation $5 adult. Student discount for anyone with a college ID.
  • New Zealand National Maritime Museum, Corner Quay and Hobson Sts, Viaduct Harbour. ☎ +64 9 373-0800, [13]. Interesting exhibits chronicle New Zealand's maritime history. $16, $7 children, $11 senior citizens.
  • Sky Tower, Corner Victoria and Federal St, [14]. 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 [15].
  • Auckland Art Gallery, Corner Wellesley and Lorne Sts, [16] 10AM-5PM. The largest collection of national and international art in New Zealand. It is split across two buildings, the main gallery, which reopens on 3 September 2011 after an extensive heritage restoration and expansion, and the new gallery.
  • Auckland Zoo, Motions Rd, Western Springs, ☎ +64 9 360-3800, [17], [18]. 1 Sept- 30 April 9:30AM-5:30PM (last admissions at 4:15PM), 1 May - 31 Aug 9:30AM-5PM, closed 25 Dec. Has 120 animal species, over 750 animals and a number of different habitats such as the Rainforest and Pridelands (an African savannah). Adults (15 years+) $22, children 4-14 $11, seniors and students with ID $18, family rates available.
  • The StarDome Observatory, [19]. 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, [20]. 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, [21]. 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 Rd, Western Springs, [22]. 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 WWII Avro Lancaster Bomber and the Solent Flying Boat in the Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Collection.
  • Otara Flea Market. Sa 6AM-noon at the Otara Shopping Centre, Newbury St. Huge selection of clothes, household items and food. Otara has a large Polynesian and Maori population and the market reflects the culture of the area. Well worth a wander around. For other markets see local city council websites.

Do

  • Visit the Waitakere Ranges [23], replete with impressive waterfalls 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 [24].
  • Do the Sky Jump [25], a cable controlled base jump from a height of 192m on the Sky Tower [26]. Or try the Sky Walk [27], a walk around a 1.2m walkway with no hand rails.
  • Rainbow's End [28] 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 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.
  • Rent 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.
  • Mangere Town Centre, Mangere. Just like Otara Flea Market on Saturdays open from 7AM-12PM. A good place to buy Polynesian food
  • Explore NZ, Viaduct Harbour Basin, +64 9 359 5987 (, fax: +64 9 358 3137), [29]. 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 catamran to see whales and dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Other activities are available.
  • Auckland Sea Kayaks, 0800 999 089 or (+64) 21 1924939, [30]. info@aucklandseakayaks.co.nz Auckland Sea Kayaks offers complete Sea Kayaking tours suitable for all experience levels. Auckland is one of the world’s most unique sea kayaking location.


Buy

Fashion

Freyberg Place, an Auckland shopping plaza

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 Jewelley 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.

On Ponsonby Rd, find 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.

K' Rd (short for 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

  • One Tree Grill Resturant [31] Enjoy outstanding, down-to-earth dining at the iconic One Tree Grill Tree Grill restaurant. Located near One Tree Hill, the restaurant is consistently rated in the top restaurants in Auckland. One Tree Grill specializes in contemporary New Zealand cuisine and offers an outstanding cellared wine list. Situated alongside it's famous One Tree Hill namesake, One Tree Grill offers a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of inner city dining. Since 1996, One Tree Grill has been a staple part of the Auckland restaurant scene, having evolved from their small 40 seat suburban beginnings to the modern, up market restaurant it is today. Enjoy the best of Pacific Rim cuisine in a stylish setting. Outstanding cellared wines, innovative cuisine, thoroughly professional service - One Tree Grill offers a complete dining experience. At One Tree Grill, it's the little things that make the difference. 9-11 Pah Rd (Greenwoods Corner) Epsom. ☎+64 9 625-6407
  • 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. An example is The V Grill (The Viaduct Grill), where the service is appalling - Chinese staff with bad attitudes and the food is below average. Avoid at all cost
  • Deve Bar & Brasserie, 460 New North Rd, Kingsland, [32]. 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, [33]. 10AM-9PM (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 11AM-3PM Tu-Sa 6PM-10PM. Sushi, teriyaki chicken rice bowl, eel, etc.
  • Fujisan, 474 Queen St, Ph. 09 357 0866. Cozy and delicious Japanese restaurant near the upper end of Queen St. Try the Teriyaki beef set ($15.50).
Meat pies are a popular New Zealand dish
  • 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.
  • Hare Krishna Food For Life, 286 Karangahape Rd. $5 vegetarian dinner.
  • 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.
  • Ariake Japanese Restaurant, corner Albert & Quay Sts. ☎ +64 9 379-2377. M-Sa noon-2PM, M-Sa 6PM-10PM (9:30PM last order); closed on Su & public holidays. $12 lunch specials. Serving most Japanese dishes, but no teppanyaki.
  • Sushi Bento, Parnell Village, Parnell Rd.
  • Burger Fuel, Parnell 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. [34]
  • 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 (09) 302 2500, [35]. 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.
  • Mexicali Fresh, Prince's Wharf, +64 09 307-2419, [36]. 11AM-10PM. Fast Mexican food on Auckland's waterfront. Mouthwatering but not for the health-conscious. $13.50.
  • The SKYCITY entertainment complex, cr Federal & Victoria St, has a dozen restaurants for all tastes and budgets, [37] including the authentic Spanish Tapas bar Bellota, [38], the fine dining dine by Peter Gordon, [39] and the revolving restaurant Orbit, [40].

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 (food halls) offering a variety of usually Asian foods. For downtown food halls, try next to the Queens' Arcade at the bottom of Queen St (slightly hidden entrance), or the Metro award winning one at the bottom of Albert St. The Ponsonby International food court [41] has the cheapest eats in this somewhat pricey neighbourhood with the Mexican stall a standout among the Asian stalls.

  • Nishiki, Robata-Yaki Bar, 100 Wellington St, +64 9 376-7104, [42]. 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)
  • The Dominion, 234 Dominion Rd, (corner of Dominion and Valley Rds), Mt Eden, +64 9 623-2121, [43]. Bar, restaurant, and cocktail bar. Handy to Eden Park. (-36.875789,174.751489)
  • Blue Bird Vegetarian Cafe, 299 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden, +64 9 623-4900, [44]. Vegetarian cafe located in the Valley Rd shops. Along with the usual cakes and coffees, they serve tasty bowls with a either rice, potato or kumara, and a selection of toppings. [45] $7-15.

Drink

  • The Camel Bar, Fort Street, [46]. Part of a hostel and has nightly activities including live music and quiz nights.
  • Cock & Bull English Pubs, [47]. Various locations throughout Auckland.
  • Galbraiths Alehouse, 2 Mt Eden Rd, Eden Terrace, [48]. A brewery and pub, with a great selection of traditional beer and wine.
  • Family, 270 Karangahape Rd, [49]. 7 days till 5AM. Gay drag/DJ bar/club. Gay owned and operated
  • 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, Vulcan Lane. A new bar and club featuring different music nights.
  • Skycity, (cnr Federal & Victoria Streets), [50]. Entertainment complex with a dozen bars & cafes including a Spanish Tapas bar Bellota, [51].
  • Northern Steamship, 122 Quay St, [52]. A Mac's brewbar with a unique eclectic decor, including hundreds of antique lampshades.
  • Bar Tabac, 6 Mills Lane, [53]. 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), [54]. A great bar to soak up some live music in. Open Weekends and various week days.

Sleep

Budget

An Auckland Backpackers
  • Airport Skyway Lodge, 30 Kirkbride Rd, Mangere, 0800 726 880 (). Comfortable airport transfer service and very friendly staff. Car hire possible. $31-89 + motel units available.
  • 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 (, fax: +64 9 623-4267), [55]. $25 dormitory, $66 double.
  • BK Hostel, 3 Mercury Ln, +64 9 307-0052, [56]. They do not have dorm rooms. Nice atmosphere, kitchen and laundry. single/twin/triple rooms from $40/$50/$81.
  • The Brown Kiwi, 7 Prosford St, Ponsonby, +64 9 378-0191 (, fax: +64 9 378-0191), [57]. $25 dormitory, $66 double.
  • The Calico Lodge, 250 Matua Rd, +64 9 412-8167. Boutique bed and breakfast.
  • Nomads Auckland Backpackers Hostel & Fort Street Union Bar, 16-20 Fort St, City Centre, +64 9 300-9999 (), [58]. $21 dormitory, $99 standard double room.
  • Nomads Fat Camel Backpackers Hostel & The Camel Bar, 38 Fort St, City Centre, +64 9 307-0181 (, fax: +64 9 307-0182), [59]. $19 dormitory, $72 standard double room.
  • Ponsonby Backpackers, 2 Franklin Rd, +64 9 360-1311 (, fax: +64 9 360-1365), [60]. Located in an original 19th century villa right in the heart of Ponsonby. $25 7 bed dormitory,$27 4 bed share, $31pp double.
  • Queen Street Backpackers, 4 Fort St, City Centre, +64 9 373-3471 (, fax: +64 9 358-2412), [61]. Shared rooms starting from $25 to private rooms for $65.
  • Topfloor Backpackers, Wellesley St W (on the cnr of Wellesley and Albert Sts, across post office), +64 9 374-4237, [62]. Easygoing, friendly, cheap. Dorms from $18, doubles $52.
  • Verandahs Backpacker Lodge, 6 Hopetoun St, +64 9 360-4180 (, fax: +64 9 360-9465), [63]. $26 dormitory, $70 double.

Bed & breakfast

  • Aachen House, 39 Market Rd, Remuera, +64 9 520-2329 (fax: +64 9 524 2898), [64]. Upscale bed and breakfast. $300-600 varies by size and season. .
  • Amitees Hotel, 237 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, +64 9 378-6325. A comfortable B&B outside the hustle of the city centre.

Splurge

Auckland Hilton & Princes Wharf with Sky Tower in background
  • Braemar, 7 Parliament St, +64 9 377 5463 (fax: +64 9 377-3056), [66]. Beautifully renovated 1901 Edwardian townhouse.
  • Crowne Plaza Auckland, 128 Albert St, +64 9 302-1111 (), [68]. 4 star plus Auckland Hotel, 352 recently refurbished guest rooms and suites, offering first class accommodation
  • Heritage Auckland, 35 Hobson St, +64 (09) 379-8553 (toll free: 0800 368 888, ), [69]. Four star plus hotel with restaurant and bar. Serviced apartments available.
  • Hilton Auckland, Princess, +64 9 978-2000. A modern waterfront building.
  • Hyatt Regency Auckland, cnr Princes St & Waterloo Quadrant, (), [70]. checkin: noon; checkout: 3PM. Has views of the harbour and parks, a nice spa and a pool.
  • Langham Hotel Auckland, 83 Symonds St, +64 9 379 5132 (fax: +64 9 377-9367), [71]. 5 star luxury hotel. (Price varies by season).
  • Quay West Suites Auckland, 8 Albert St, +64 9 309-6000, [72]. An exclusive, luxury apartment hotel, ideally located in the very heart of Auckland city featuring fantastic balconies with harbour & city views.
  • Scenic Hotel Auckland, 380 Queen Street, Auckland Central, +64 9-374 1741 (), [73]. Located in Central Auckland, close to shops and restaurants.
  • The Sebel Suites Auckland, 85 - 89 Customs St W, Viaduct Harbour, +64 9 978-4000, [74]. Auckland hotel accommodation situated in Auckland's business and dining precinct at Viaduct Harbour.
  • SKYCITY Grand Hotel, 88 Federal St, [75]. Five-star luxury hotel.
  • Ventura Inn & Suites Auckland Airport, 14 Airpark Dr, Airport Oaks, [76]. Closest accommodation to Auckland International Airport.


Serviced apartments

  • 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), [77]. checkin: 2.00 p.m; checkout: 10.00am. 12 serviced apartment suites with 2 bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • Quest Serviced Apartments, 363 Queen St, +64 9 300-2200, [78]. Close to Aotea Centre, the Town Hall, restaurants and shopping. 70 studios, one and two bedroom serviced apartments all with 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 that they are hidden from sight.

The local emergency contact number is 111 for police, fire and ambulances.

You will generally find police to be quite trustworthy and helpful, and never try to bribe them, unlike in many other cities around the world.

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.

Be careful in these areas:

Karangahape Road (K Rd): A large number of pubs and clubs are located here, but care should be taken late at night as assaults and theft can occur.

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. Police regularly patrol this street on weekends for disorderly drunk youths.

Viaduct Harbour: Many bars are located here, and care should be taken late at night as intoxication levels rise.

Contact

  • 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.

Cope

Consulates

  • Gr-flag.png Greece, 108 Paihia Rd., One Tree Hill, +649 571-0238 (, fax: +649 571-0529).

Get out

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.

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

This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!




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