Difference between revisions of "Auckland"

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*'''Hilton Auckland''', Princess Wharf, Central City
*'''Hilton Auckland''', Princess Wharf, Central City
*'''Amitees Hotel''', 237 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby.
*'''Amitees Hotel''', 237 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby.
Visit [http://www.jasons.com/New-Zealand/Auckland-Region/accommodation/ Jasons Auckland Accommodation Guide] for comprehensive accommodation listings.
Visit [http://www.jasons.com/New-Zealand/Auckland-Region/accommodation/ Jasons Auckland Accommodation Guide] for comprehensive accommodation listings.

Revision as of 21:16, 28 January 2008

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


  • 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


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 rates well in quality-of-life polls consistently rating in the top 5 of the major polls

Get in

The Auckland International Airport, 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 and the adult fare is $15. Other bus services run to the suburbs. 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

If you are travelling to other parts of the country from the airport, you should consider nakedbus.com, 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 [3] 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 more extensive 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 5-15mins). 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. 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. If possible consider taking a train or ferry instead.

While staying in the Eden park area buses were very regular and bus drivers friendly and helpful in helping us get to tourist sites. Fares are expensive and integrated transport doesn't exis but local travel maps of bus routes saved considerable money over renting a car for the 3 days in Auckland. If you don't mind a 5 to 10 minute walk to a bus stop you can get by with out a car in Auckland. It is worth considering though that Eden Park is an inner suburb and therefore is generally well served compared to outer suburbs.

If you are travelling to less frequented areas or outer suburbs be prepared for long travel times and long wait periods (+30mins) 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.


File:Carving Auckland War Memorial Museum.jpg
Carving, Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum, [4]. 10am-5pm. Don't make the mistake of thinking this is just a war museum. This is a general museum and one of the best in New Zealand. It stands in an imposing position in the Domain, a large park on an extinct volcano. Suggested donation $5 adult.
  • New Zealand National Maritime Museum, [5].
  • Sky Tower, [6]. At 328 meters, this is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offering view of up to 80 kilometers.
  • Auckland Art Gallery, [7]. The largest collection of national and international art in New Zealand. It is split across two buildings (main gallery and new gallery)
  • Auckland Zoo, Motions Rd, Western Springs, 64 9 360 3800, [8], [9]. 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, [10]. 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, [11]. 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, [12]. 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), [13]. 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
  • The Lion Beer Experience, [14]. Not a traditional brewery tour but rather an educational beer experience
  • 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.


  • Waitakere Ranges, The Waitakere Ranges are Auckland’s best kept secret. With stunning waterfalls breath taking views and rugged but beautiful beaches. This is a slice of paradise not to be missed.
  • Climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge
  • Do the Sky Jump, a cable controlled base jump from a height of 192m on Sky Tower.
  • Visit Ponsonby, Auckland's cafe mile.
  • 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.
  • Greater Auckland wine route here
  • Rainbow's End, is NZ’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
  • 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 in a major metropolitan area!
  • Potiki Adventures Spend a day exploring the beauty of contemporary Maori culture in Auckland's city centre and urban bush sites.
  • Visit the funky little city village Kingsland (New North Road) and have a coffee or visit the cool individual shops like Mixt, a retro furniture store or Native Agent, clothes and art with a sophisticated kiwi twist.
  • Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret Spectacular dining experience! Located at 461 Karangahape Road (K Road) Price is NZD$50 this is inclusive of a bread starter, soup, your choice of 6 delicious a la carte mains which includes a vegetarian option. Award winning floorshow and dancing till late with a resident DJ. Doors open at 7pm.
  • Spookers Auckland's only "haunted" attraction. Spookers is located in the former nurses hostel in the Kingseat Hospital grounds, Karaka (former psychiatric hospital). Most activities are restricted to persons 16 years and over. Walk around Spookers haunted house or walk through the Freaky Forest, a real live forest with ghouls. There is also CornEvil Haunted Horror Corn Maze. If you're going to do all three then allow at least 2 hours. Awesome props and costumes. You will not be disappointed.



Auckland is home to many established and up-and-coming local designers. Check out Karen Walker on O'Connell St in the city centre which is also the location of the excellent MYHART concept store, stocking avant-garde 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 cult 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. Little High Street arcade is a must-see for Tango's brand of upscale vintage, and Smoove for cheap downtown wear.

Mala Brajkovic - rock and roll womenswear favoured by Auckland's hipsters - is found on Vulcan Lane (off High St), along with the WORLD Beauty Store, a haven for international brands such as Diptyque, Aesop, and Demeter.

Before leaving the CBD, don't miss Made on Customs St West (parallel to Quay St, near to the Britomart transport centre). A favourite of Auckland fashionistas, 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 area favoured by Auckland shoppers. On Ponsonby Rd, find womenswear in Sera Lily, Miss Crabb, Hepburn, Jaimie, IsaKelle, and various other great stores, including Sybella for shoes. K' Rd, a local abbreviation of Karangahape Rd, has excellent 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 Misery, mecca for Auckland's tattooed population (many who get tattoo's 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 - Auckland's premier designer location, with Stella McCartney, Chloe, and 3.1 Phillip Lim in store, and Muse (international labels such as Diane von Furstenburg, James Perse, and Rebecca Taylor. Unity Collection stocks directional New Zealand labels like Jimmy D and Cybele.


  • The Viaduct Harbour provides upmarket dining, starting at ~$NZ30 for mains.
  • The Deve Bar & Brasserie in Kingsland [15] Has top-notch beef & lamb amongst other great choices. A relaxed place where you will leave full & content! Kingsland is a great relaxed neighbourhood with many good value restaurants/cafes and a couple of bars.
  • Saika Japanese Takeaway, Elliott St, 10AM-9PM (closed on national holidays). Common Japanese food. Gyudon, Katsudon, Chicken-don etc. Japanese-speaking staff available. $8 [16].
  • GPK restaurant and bar. Mt Eden, Dominion Rd. Woodfired pizza speciality around $20-30.
  • Japanese Cuisine bien, 55-65 Shortland St, Phone:. Lunch M-F 11am-3pm; dinner Tu-Sa 6-10pm. Sushi, teriyaki chicken rice bowl, eel, etc.
  • South Vietnam Restaurant, 39 Elliott St, Phone:. Lunch M-F 11am-3pm, Su 11am-10pm, closed on Saturdays, $6.50; dinner Tu-Sa 5:30-10pm, closed on Mondays and national holidays, $15.
  • 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, Auckland. Phone: (09) 377 4820. Auckland's Favourite dining experience, with a buffet meal and two Amazing Drag Cabaret Shows, this is place that is not to be missed. visit www.350finale.co.nz
  • Ariake Japanese Restaurant, Cnr Albert & Quay Streets, Auckland. Phone: (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; Tapas and other dishes. Often busy but worth the wait.

For Kosher food, the Auckland Jewish Community Centre, which include the Aucland Hebrew Congregation has a kosher shop it is located on Greys Avenue, Auckland CBD (Right next door to the Duxton Hotel) and is open every day except monday + saturday. it has a wide varietion 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 [17] has the cheapest eats in this somewhat pricey neighbourhood.


  • Cock & Bull English Pubs [18].
  • Galbraiths Alehouse.
  • The Patriot - British Pub, 14 Victoria St Devonport
  • Deschlers - 17 High St, City Centre. Stop here for delicious cocktails and jazz.
  • The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe - 6 Vulcan Lane, City Centre.
  • Shadows Bar - Located on Auckland University Campus, student bar with decent prices.



  • Nomads Fat Camel, 38 Fort Street, City Centre, Phone: (09)307-0181 (Fax: (09)307-0182, email:reservations@fatcamel.co.nz). Free (tiny) supper. Big, unpersonal, unfriendly, noisy. Prices from $24 (Dormitory) to $69 (Standard Double room) http://www.fatcamel.co.nz/
  • Topfloor Backpackers, Wellesley Street West (across post office)corner with Albert St. Easygoing, friendly, cheap. Dorms from $18.http://www.hostelnz.co.nz
  • Bamber House, 22 View Rd, Mt Eden (From Queen Street (IMAX-Theater), catch buses 255-258 to first stop View Rd), Phone: (09)623-4267 (Fax: (09)623-4267, email:bamber@ihug.co.nz). Prices from $20 (Dormitory) to $26 (Double) http://www.oaklands.co.nz/bamberhm.html
  • The Brown Kiwi, 7 Prosford St, Ponsonby, Phone: (09)378-0191 (Fax: (09)378-0191, email:bookings@brownkiwi.co.nz ). Prices from $20 (dormitory) to $26 (double) http://www.brownkiwi.co.nz/
  • Verandahs Backpacker Lodge, 6 Hopetoun Street, Auckland Central, Phone: (09)360-4180 (Fax: (09)360-9465, email: info@verandahs.co.nz ). Prices from $20 (dormitory) to $40 (single) http://www.verandahs.co.nz/
  • The Calico Lodge, Boutique Bed and Breakfast 250 Matua Road, Auckland, Phone: (64) 9 4128167 [19] #2882


  • <sleep name="Hyatt Regency Auckland:"

address="Cnr Princes St & Waterloo Quadrant" directions="In the city centre" phone="+64 9 355 1234" email="CAUCKL@hyatt.com.au" checkin="12:00pm" checkout="15:00pm" url="http://auckland.regency.hyatt.com" >Has views of the habour and parks, a nice spa and a pool.</sleep>

  • Langham Hotel Auckland, 83 Symonds St. (PO Box 2771), +64-9-379 5132 (Fax: +64-9-3779367), [20]. Five-star luxury hotel. (varies by size and season).
  • Aachen House, 39 Market Road (at Remuera), +64-9-5202329 (Fax: +64-9-5242898), [21]. Upscale bed and breakfast. $300-600 (varies by size and season).
  • Braemar, 7 Parliament St, Auckland Central, [22]. Beautifully renovated 1901 Edwardian townhouse. Ph +64 9 377 5463; Fax +64 9 377 3056
  • Heritage Hotel, Albert Street, Central City
  • Hilton Auckland, Princess Wharf, Central City
  • Amitees Hotel, 237 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby.

Visit Jasons Auckland Accommodation Guide for comprehensive accommodation listings.

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.

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 drink 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 to be vigilant around:
Fort Street: The centre of Auckland's red light district.
Karangahape Road (K Rd): A large number of pubs and clubs exist on this road, however, care should be taken late at night as assaults and theft can occur.
Lower Queen Street: Only at night time does this apply as it is practically deserted after dark. A lot 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.

Get out

This city travel guide to Auckland is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.

Rotorua, Hamilton, Waitomo Caves & Taupo are all within close reach and they all have a lot to offer