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Auckland

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Not to be confused with Auckland Region.
The Auckland skyline at night from a beach in Devonport

Auckland 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 downtown area from Northcote wharf

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 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 the British Isles 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/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 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 cemetery. The Botanical Garden is not actually in the CBD proper.

Even though if you live in the CBD, 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), New Zealand's largest airport, is located 25km to the south of downtown Auckland and 15km west of Manukau centre, in the south of the greater conurbation on the shore of the Manukau Harbour.

Auckland is well connected with direct non-stop flights into Asia (Bangkok, Guangzhou , Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, Osaka, Tokyo); Australia Adelaide, Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth; Pacific Islands Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu; North America Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Honolulu, Vancouver; South America Santiago - with one stop services to many other cities including London and Taipei.

New Zealand destinations from the Domestic Terminal - connected to the International Terminal by a free shuttle bus.

To and from the airport

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

Airbus Express is an efficient bus service that runs a 24 hour service from Auckland's Domestic & International Airport direct into Auckland City. The service which takes approx 40 min (traffic dependent)operates a convenient high frequency timetable:

Timetable Weekdays: every 10 min 07:00-19:00, Weekends: every 15 min 06:00-19:00, Evenings: every 20 min 19:00-23:59, late night: every 30 min (00:01-06:00.

The bus alternates between two routes into the City, one via Mt Eden Road and one via Dominion Road. Both routes terminate at Auckland's Downtown Terminal (next to Britomart) for convenient onward travel by Bus, Ferry or Train if needed.

Airbus Express FARES: One Way: Adult $16 / Child $6 and Return: Adult $28 / Child $12 (A child is under 15 years old)

Airbus Express Tickets can be purchased from Airbus Ticket Kiosks (located at the Airport), direct from an Airbus Driver (cash only), OR online [1].

Other bus services run to the suburbs. For the city centre, a convenient option is bus 380 to Puhinui ($3.40) or Papatoetoe (less walking, $3.40 - $4.50) from where suburban trains connect to Britomart station in the city centre. This method will cost $3.40 + $6.80 = $10.20 (2/2013) 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. [2]

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 [3] and GreatSights New Zealand [4]. Regional Northland operator Northliner [5] 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 [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-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.[7] 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 55 million passenger trips a year. Buses to popular destinations usually run at least every 15mins on week-days with reduced frequencies on weekends. 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 in Auckland suffers from reliablity issues, with delays of up to 15 minutes common on certain routes. Buses are also a slow way to travel long distances. It is quicker to take the train or ferry where that is avaliable. Poorly designed bus routes in many areas, an issue currently being resolved during 2013-2016, has resulted in low service frequency across a large number of similar bus routes. Most bus stops that are frequently used have displays showing the times the next buses arrives.

Bus routes

Most public transport routes run to and from the CBD. As such there are few cross-town routes. It is usually quicker and more convenient to take a service into the city to connect with another service to your final destination. If you want to get around the same area, it is also possible to take a service to a hub to connect to another service.

The bigger hubs are (buses only unless otherwise indicated):

  • Albany
  • Botany
  • City
    • Britomart aka Downtown (buses, ferries and trains)
    • Civic Centre aka Midtown
  • Henderson (buses and trains)
  • Otahuhu
  • Onehunga (train station nearby)
  • Manukau (buses and trains)
  • Newmarket (buses and trains)
  • New Lynn (buses and trains)
  • Takapuna

Bus operators

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

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 online 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.

Day passes

Day passes can be purchased on-board the bus Generally bus companies have their own day pass products which are only valid on their services. Some passes, such as NZ Bus's Busabout pass, have additional restrictions, such as validity for travel only after the morning peak on week days. These passes are usually reasonably priced since there are restrictions on their use.

However most bus companies also offer the Discovery Day Pass which is valid for travel around much of the Auckland region on most public bus, trains and ferries except Airbus Express buses. The trade-off is that this pass is the most expensive day pass option. Unless you know which companies you will travel on, it is often best to get the Discovery Day Pass unless you get a better deal by paying for each trip individually.

For travel on the North Shore there is a Northern Pass. Birkenhead, North Star and Ritchies offer day or week passes which covers all travel on any bus operator within the North Shore. It is also possible to buy a pass which includes travel to/from the city. You can buy day passes on buses operating North Shore routes and at busway stations on the North Shore.

No day passes can be purchased on the Airbus Express and they do not accept any day passes for travel on their services.

Smart cards

Currenty each bus operator have their own ticketing system. These indepedent systems are being progressively being replaced by an integreated ticketing system called HOP during mid-late 2013. Some operators have an exisiting smart card system for prepaid travel and/or monthly passes which will continue to operate until the change-over to HOP. It is advised to only buy smart cards when you are certain you know which operator(s) you will encounter on your travels. For short term visitors it is usually cheaper and less hassle to use paper tickets and/or day passes.

Snapper smart cards

Snapper cards can be used to pay for trips on buses operated by NZ Bus. Confusingly, Auckland has its own smart card called the HOP card, of which there are two versions. The original HOP cards are actually Snapper cards with HOP branding which can only be used on services that accept Snapper cards. The newer HOP cards can only be used on services that accept the newer non-Snapper HOP cards. To put it simply, any card with the Snapper logo (including older HOP cards with a small Snapper logo on the back) can be used on NZ Bus services. This excludes newer HOP cards with the Auckland Transport (AT) logo on the front which are not Snapper cards.

When boarding the bus you need to to 'tag' on by touching your card against a Snapper card reader at the front of the bus. Make sure to hold your card flat and still against the reader until you see a green circle appear on the reader. Then when you leave the bus you 'tag' off by, again, touching your card against any of the Snapper card readers on the bus. The card reader will automatically calculate the correct fare for your journey, based on where you tagged on and tagged off, and deduct the amount from the prepaid balance on your card. Snapper cards can also be used on NZ Bus services in Wellington so if you intend to travel to Wellington it would be worthwhile to keep your card for use in Wellington.

Other smart cards

Other bus companies also have a smart card system which can only be used on services operated by the company that operates the smart card system. These companies include Airporter, Howick and Eastern, Ritchies and Urban Express. Birkenhead currently operates a paper-based system until they change-over to HOP. Urban Express will be discontinuing their smart card system in late July 2013 when they change over to HOP. The other bus companies will follow suit during mid-late 2013. When all operators have swithed over to HOP, only the newer HOP cards, with Auckland Transport (AT) branding, will be accepted on all public transport 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. 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. Trains on the Western 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, Museum Circuit, Parnell. ☎ +64 9 309-0443, [8]. 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 Māori and other Polynesian peoples' arts and crafts (also, daily Māori cultural performances). 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, [9]. Interesting exhibits chronicle New Zealand's maritime history. $16, $7 children, $11 senior citizens.
  • Sky Tower, Corner Victoria and Federal St, [10]. 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 [11].
  • Auckland Art Gallery, Corner Wellesley and Lorne Sts, [12] 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, [13], [14]. 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, [15]. Located 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, [16]. 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.
  • MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology), Great North Rd, Western Springs, [17]. 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.

Do

  • Visit the Waitakere Ranges [18], 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 [19].
  • Do the Sky Jump [20], a cable controlled base jump from a height of 192m on the Sky Tower [21]. Or try the Sky Walk [22], a walk around a 1.2m walkway with no hand rails.
  • Rainbow's End [23] 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. Or take the ferry to Devonport, an Auckland harbourside suburb, and take a walk along the beach.
  • Rent skates in Okahu Bay and take a scenic skate along Tamaki Drive.
  • Spend a day exploring the beauty of contemporary Māori culture in Auckland's city centre and urban bush sites.
  • Mangere Town Centre, Mangere. Just like Otara Flea Market on Saturdays open from 07:00-12:00. A good place to buy Polynesian food
  • Explore NZ, Viaduct Harbour Basin, +64 9 359-5987 (, fax: +64 9 358-3137), [24]. 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.
  • Auckland Sea Kayaks, 0800 999 089 or (+64) 21 1924939 (), [25]. Sea kayak to one of Auckland's amazing volcanic islands like Rangitoto island day or night.
  • Skydive Auckland (Skydiving in New Zealand at Skydive Auckland), 72 Green Road, Parakai, Auckland (40 minutes north of Auckland City Centre), 08009216500, [26]. 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.

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 [27] 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.
  • Deve Bar & Brasserie, 460 New North Rd, Kingsland, [28]. 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, [29]. 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. [30]
  • 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, [31]. 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, [32]. 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, [33] including the authentic Spanish Tapas bar Bellota, [34], the fine dining dine by Peter Gordon, [35] and the revolving restaurant Orbit, [36].

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 [37] 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, [38]. 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, [39]. 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, [40]. 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. [41] $7-15.

Drink

  • The Camel Bar, Fort Street, [42]. Part of a hostel and has nightly activities including live music and quiz nights.
  • Cock & Bull English Pubs, [43]. Various locations throughout Auckland.
  • Galbraiths Alehouse, 2 Mt Eden Rd, Eden Terrace, [44]. A brewery and pub, with a great selection of traditional beer and wine.
  • Family, 270 Karangahape Rd, [45]. 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, 9 Vulcan Lane [46]. Great bar and club featuring different music nights.
  • Skycity, (cnr Federal & Victoria Streets), [47]. Entertainment complex with a dozen bars & cafes including a Spanish Tapas bar Bellota, [48].
  • Northern Steamship, 122 Quay St, [49]. A Mac's brewbar with a unique eclectic decor, including hundreds of antique lampshades.
  • Bar Tabac, 6 Mills Lane, [50]. 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), [51]. A great bar to soak up some live music in. Open Weekends and various week days.

Sleep

Budget

An Auckland Backpackers building
  • 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), [52]. $25 dormitory, $66 double.
  • BK Hostel, 3 Mercury Ln, +64 9 307-0052, [53]. 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), [54]. $25 dormitory, $66 double.
  • The Calico Lodge, 250 Matua Rd, +64 9 412-8167. Boutique bed and breakfast.
  • City Garden Lodge, 25 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell, +64 9 302-0880, [55]. 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)
  • Nomads Auckland Backpackers Hostel & Fort Street Union Bar, 16-20 Fort St, City Centre, +64 9 300-9999 (), [56]. $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), [57]. $19 dormitory, $72 standard double room.
  • Ponsonby Backpackers, 2 Franklin Rd, +64 9 360-1311 (, fax: +64 9 360-1365), [58]. 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), [59]. 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, [60]. Easygoing, friendly, cheap. Dorms from $18, doubles $52.
  • Verandahs Backpacker Lodge, 6 Hopetoun St, +64 9 360-4180 (, fax: +64 9 360-9465), [61]. $26 dormitory, $70 double.

Bed & breakfast

  • Aachen House, 39 Market Rd, Remuera, +64 9 520-2329 (fax: +64 9 524 2898), [62]. 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), [64]. Beautifully renovated 1901 Edwardian townhouse.
  • Crowne Plaza Auckland, 128 Albert St, +64 9 302-1111 (), [66]. 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, ), [67]. 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, (), [68]. 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), [69]. 5 star luxury hotel. (Price varies by season).
  • Quay West Suites Auckland, 8 Albert St, +64 9 309-6000, [70]. An exclusive, luxury apartment hotel, ideally located in the very heart of Auckland city featuring fantastic balconies with harbour & city views.
  • Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland, 71 Mayoral Drive, Auckland Central, +64 9 ­366-3000, [71]. Only a minutes' walk from Queen Street and the CBD. $138+ for a double room.
  • Scenic Hotel Auckland, 380 Queen Street, Auckland Central, +64 9-374 1741 (), [72]. Located in Central Auckland, close to shops and restaurants.
  • The Sebel Suites Auckland, 85 - 89 Customs St W, Viaduct Harbour, +64 9 978-4000, [73]. Auckland hotel accommodation situated in Auckland's business and dining precinct at Viaduct Harbour.
  • SKYCITY Grand Hotel, 88 Federal St, [74]. Five-star luxury hotel.
  • Ventura Inn & Suites Auckland Airport, 14 Airpark Dr, Airport Oaks, [75]. 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), [76]. 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, [77]. 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 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.

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.

The emergency number for police, ambulance or fire service is 111, free from any phone.

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

  • Gm-flag.png Germany, 11/41 Shortland St (Axa Building), +64 9 375-8718.
  • 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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