Central Auckland is the central business district and central suburbs of Auckland, located on the Auckland isthmus between the Waitemata and Manukau harbours. With its range of accommodation, attractions, restaurants, bars and transport links, it’s the part of Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city, where most visitors base themselves and spend the most time.
The Auckland isthmus was settled by Māori around 1350. The central business district (CBD) on the shore of the Waitemata Harbour is where the first European settlement of Auckland began in 1840. It was the capital of New Zealand from 1841 to 1865, when Wellington became the capital, and the Old Government House still stands, now part of the University of Auckland. Central Auckland is the part of wider Auckland that was known as "Auckland City" and governed by the Auckland City Council until 2010, when the region-wide Auckland Council replaced it.
The Britomart Transport Centre on the corner of Queen St and Customs St near the waterfront in the CBD is the final arrival/departure point for the Auckland Transport (AT) train network that links Central Auckland with South Auckland and West Auckland. It is the main information centre for public transport, where you will find free bus, train and ferry schedules. Timetables can also be downloaded from the AT website.
The ferry terminal is across Quay St from Britomart and has connections to a number of points on the North Shore. There are also a few ferry services to West Auckland and South Auckland.
- 1 Auckland Art Gallery, corner Kitchener and Wellesley Sts, ☎ . Daily 10:00-17:00, closed 25 Dec. The largest collection of national and international art in New Zealand, housed in an award-winning landmark building on the edge of Albert Park in the heart of Auckland. Regularly hosts touring international exhibitions and offers a calendar of talks, performances, film screenings and children's activities to complement its exhibition programme. Has a shop and café. Free entry; charges for some special exhibitions.
- 2 Auckland Domain, Park Rd, Grafton. A large park (75 ha) on an extinct volcano. It has the War Memorial Museum on its highest point and also the historically important winter gardens with impressive flower bed displays, tropical plants and statues (free). There are scenic views of the Waitemata Harbour and islands of the Hauraki Gulf from in front of the museum.
- 3 Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Domain, Parnell, ☎ . 10:00-17:00. Despite the name, this is not primarily a war museum – it is a general museum and one of the best in New Zealand. It stands in an imposing position in Auckland Domain. It includes excellent displays of Māori and other Polynesian peoples' arts and crafts and daily Māori cultural performances (ground floor) as well as geography of the Auckland region. The top floor records names in stone as well as sobering tombs and lists of war events and their locations. It also has a planetarium and a cafe. The museum was constructed in the 1920s as a memorial to those who fought and died in wars. The cenotaph located in the grounds below the museum entrance is the focal point for annual ANZAC Day remembrance services. Overseas adult $25, overseas child 6-14 years $10; NZ residents donation invited; Auckland residents free with MyMuseum card or proof of residency.
- 4 Auckland Zoo, Motions Rd, Western Springs (bus route 18 from outside 99 Albert St), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 1 Sep-30 Apr 09:30–17:30 (last admissions at 16:15), 1 May–31 Aug 09:30-17:00, closed 25 Dec. The zoo has the largest collection of native and exotic animals in New Zealand, with 120 animal species, over 750 animals and a number of different habitats such as the Rainforest and Pridelands (an African savannah) set in 17 hectares. Adults (15 years+) $28, children 4–14 $12, seniors and students with ID $23, family rates available.
- 5 Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, 23 Tamaki Drive, Orakei (bus routes 740–769). Located on the scenic Tamaki Drive and the home of Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World. It includes a trip through a transparent tunnel while the fish and sharks swim all around you, and tanks of rays with feeding-time talks.
- 6 MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology), Great North Rd, Western Springs (bus route 18 from outside 99 Albert St). Daily 10:00-17:00. 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. Has a special exhibition on the history of cardiac medicine in New Zealand, which runs till Jan 2018. Adult $19, child $10, child under 5 free.
- 7 Mount Eden (Maungawhau), 250 Mt Eden Rd (vehicle entrance). The highest natural point in Auckland at 196 m above sea level, this volcanic peak provides 360-degree views from beside the 50-metre deep crater at its summit. There are numerous pedestrian entrances from surrounding streets to the hill's walkways.
- 8 One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie), 670 Manukau Rd (main entrance). The second highest peak in the city at 182 m above sea level, this volcanic cone offers panoramic views of the city. An obelisk on the summit marks the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell, a founding father of Auckland city. The summit has not had a solitary tree, for which it was known, since 2000. Terraces where the structures of a fortified Maori village (pa) once stood are still visible on the slopes. The peak is surrounded by One Tree Hill Domain and Cornwall Park, the largest parkland on the Auckland isthmus, where you can see cattle and sheep grazing within a major city. There is a children's playground near the Stardome (see below).
- 9 Sky Tower, corner Victoria and Federal Sts. Daily 9am–10pm. 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. $29.
- 10 Stardome Observatory & Planetarium, 670 Manukau Rd, One Tree Hill Domain.
- 11 New Zealand Maritime Museum, corner Quay and Hobson Sts, Viaduct Harbour, ☎ . Daily 10:00–17:00. Many interesting exhibits chronicle New Zealand's maritime history, including actual yachts from the America's Cup and interactive displays and machines. There is an Auckland harbour cruise on an old-style cargo scow that takes about 1 hour and costs extra (adult $25). Adult $20, Auckland residents free.
All these homes have at least some gardens that the public can wander through.
- 12 Alberton, 100 Mt Albert Rd, Mt Albert (entrance from Kerr-Taylor Ave). W-Su 10:30-16:30. An 18-room mansion started in 1863. It was the centre of social life for its area during the late 19th century. Admission charge.
- 13 Highwic, 40 Gillies Ave (entrance from Mortimer Pass) (walking distance from Newmarket). W-Su 10:30-16:30. Home for a very large family (21 children, although the older ones would have left before the youngest was born) built from 1862. Admission charge.
- 14 Ewelme Cottage, 14 Ayr St, Parnell (walking distance from Parnell shops). Su 10:30–16:30. Built in 1863–64 as a home for a vicar's family. Much smaller than Alberton and Highwic. Admission charge.
- 15 Pah Homestead / Wallace Arts Centre, 72A Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough. Tu–F 10:00-15:00, Sa-Su 10:00-17:00. An art gallery with a very substantial collection in a mansion built 1877-79. A collection of New Zealand art is displayed as the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre. The large Monte Cecilia Park surrounds the house and was once its grounds. Free.
- 1 Auckland Bridge Climb, 105 Curran St Extension, Westhaven Marina. If you have a head for heights, you can walk up the arch of the Harbour Bridge. Bungy jumps from the bridge are also available. Adult $125, child $85.
- 2 Auckland Sea Kayaks, St Heliers Central Boat Ramp, 384 Tamaki Dr, ☎ , toll-free: 0800 999-089, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sea kayaking tours including to the islands of Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe and Motukorea (Browns Island). Auckland is one of the world’s most unique sea kayaking locations. Tours suitable for all experience levels. Tours launch at St Heliers - free pickup from downtown.
- 3 Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari, Viaduct Harbour Basin (at the western end (left as you are looking at the harbour) of downtown Quay St. On arrival by foot, look for the Voyager Maritime Museum entrance on the right immediately after the large ‘KZ1’ yacht), toll-free: 0508 365-744, fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily, times vary seasonally. Explore the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park during a 4.5 hour marine eco-safari on a purpose-built vessel, the ‘Dolphin Explorer’. They have years of experience and guarantee that you will see marine mammals – or your next trip is free. Adult $180, child $125.
- 4 Eden Park, Kingsland. New Zealand's top sports stadium, which mainly hosts the unofficial national winter and summer sports of rugby union and cricket. Watch the national rugby team, the All Blacks, beat all comers here (as of the end of 2014, they have not lost a game here since 1994). Event tickets often include free train travel to and from the park – be sure to get off the train at Kingsland Station (not Mt Eden Station).
- Explore NZ, Viaduct Harbour Basin, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Other activities are available.
- Manukau coastal walks between Onehunga and Blockhouse Bay. The track is 9 km long in total, but meets the roads in many places, so you can easily do just part of it. It includes areas of native forest.
- 5 Rangitoto Island (take ferry from downtown). A dormant volcano island 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. There is a guided tour that will take you most of the way up the volcano (on a very bumpy road in a tractor trailer) for about $30. There are no shops on the island, so buy any food and drink you need before you go. Toilets are available at the harbour.
- Rent skates in Okahu Bay and take a scenic skate along Tamaki Drive.
- Sky Jump. A cable-controlled base jump from a height of 192 m on the Sky Tower. Also the Sky Walk, a walk around a 1.2 m walkway with no hand rails.
- 6 Wynyard Loop tram. Sundays and public holidays 10:00 - 16:00. A short tram loop. Operating hours and length of loop in operation depend on the redevelopment in progress in the area. $2.
There are a number of sometimes-crowded family beaches with a good range of shops lining the shore along Tamaki Drive in the upmarket suburbs of Mission Bay and St Heliers. Swimming is safe. 7 Mission Bay Beach is Auckland's equivalent of Los Angeles' Venice Beach or Santa Monica, and is extremely popular on a hot summer's day. To its east, 8 Kohimarama and St Heliers beaches are usually less crowded. 9 Ladies Bay, to the east of St Heliers, has historically been a nudist-friendly beach, but is frequented by regular beachgoers too, and is accessible by a 5 min walk down from the cliff-top road.
- 10 Albert Park (next Auckland Art Gallery). A central park, laid out in the 1880s, with floral displays and a floral clock, and two field guns from 1879.
- 11 Myers Park. A park, which can be used as route between Queen Street and K Road (passing through St Kevin's Arcade), with a children's playground.
Britomart is the up-and-coming fashion centre of Auckland, home to local designers and international brands.
The High Street/Vulcan Lane/O'Connell Street area is another popular fashion centre. 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 (closing after Jan 2016) and Miss Illicit.
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 and Australian labels such as Jimmy D, Cybele, Deborah Sweeney and Josh Goot.
- La Cigale French Market, 69 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. Sa 08:00-13.30, Su 09:00-13.30. The emphasis is on seasonal fruit and vegetables (organic or spray-free whenever possible), artisan baked bread, cheese, confectioneries, oils, spices and home made preserves and jams.
- 1 Pauanesia, 35 High St. Daily. Collaborates with local designers, artisans, jewellers and ceramic studios to create unique home textiles, accessories, bags, jewellery and stationery that celebrate New Zealand nature and lifestyle.
- Victoria Park Market, Victoria St West (walking distance from the CBD). Daily. Cafés from 07:00, shops from 10:00. It used to have lots of craft stalls, then was renovated and reopened in 2013.
- 2 The Warehouse, 21 Elliott Street (inside Atrium on Elliott Shopping Centre). Daily 8:00–20:00. Value chain store for household goods, clothing and a small selection of food.
Britomart Precinct on the waterfront in the city centre is home to an array of popular and diverse bars and eateries: Agents + Merchants, Cafe Hanoi, Tyler St Garage, Ebisu, Britomart Country Club, Mexico to name a few. Viaduct Harbour provides upmarket dining, starting at $30 for mains. Some of the establishments there have a reputation for sub-par food and service for the high price. For kosher food, the Auckland Jewish Community Centre, which includes the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, has a kosher shop located on Greys Ave in the CBD (next to the Duxton Hotel) and is open every day except Mondays, Saturdays and Jewish festivals. It stocks a large range of kosher products.
There are some good cheap food courts 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 has the cheapest eats in this somewhat pricey neighbourhood with the Mexican stall a standout among the Asian stalls.
- 1 Countdown Auckland City, 76 Quay St. Daily 24 hours.
- 2 Countdown Auckland Metro, 19-25 Victoria St (just off Queen St). Small central supermarket.
- 3 New World Metro Queen Street, 125 Queen St. Daily 8:00–22:00. Small central supermarket.
- 4 New World Victoria Park, 2 College Hill. Daily 7:00–24:00. Large, fairly central supermarket.
- 5 Hare Krishna Food For Life, 286 Karangahape Rd. Closes at 7PM. Vegetarian meals, especially curries. $8.50–15.
- 6 No.1 Pancake, Lorne St (just off Wellesley St). Korean pancakes. $4.50.
- South Vietnam Restaurant, 39 Elliott St. M-F 10:00-15:00, Su 11:00-22:00, closed for lunch on Sa, Tu-Sa 17:30-22:00, closed M and national holidays. Lunch from $6.50, dinner from $12.
- 7 Al Volo Pizzeria, 27 Mt Eden Rd, ☎ . Tu-Th 17:00-21:30, F-Sa 17:00-22:30. Limited seating, but you can order from the Corner Bar across the street. No delivery. $15-25.
- Bien Japanese Cuisine, 55-65 Shortland St. M-F 11:00-15:00 Tu-Sa 18:00-22:00. Sushi, teriyaki chicken rice bowl, eel, etc.
- Burger Fuel, Parnell Rd, and Dominion Rd (Mt Eden). Delicious gourmet burgers.
- 8 The Dominion, 234 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden (corner of Valley Rd), ☎ . Bar, restaurant, and cocktail bar. Handy to Eden Park. Mains $23–34.
- Fatimas, Ponsonby Rd in Ponsonby; and Anzac St in Takapuna. Excellent kebabs and pitas, a step above typical post-clubbing fare. $10–15.
- Finale Restaurant and Cabaret, 350 Karangahape Rd, ☎ . Buffet meal and drag cabaret shows.
- Fujisan, 474 Queen St, ☎ . Cozy and delicious Japanese restaurant near the upper end of Queen St. Try the Teriyaki beef set ($15.50).
- Mexicali Fresh, Prince's Wharf, ☎ . 11:00-22:00. Fast Mexican food on Auckland's waterfront. Mouthwatering but not for the health-conscious. $13.50.
- Mezze Bar, Little High St Arcade. Serves tapas and other dishes. Often busy but worth the wait.
- 9 Nishiki, Robata-Yaki Bar, 100 Wellington St, Freemans Bay, ☎ . Tu-Su 18:00-23:00. Great Japanese restaurant. Requires reservation for all days of the week. Great value for money. $10-25.
- Richmond Rd Cafe, 318 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn (walking distance from Ponsonby Rd). Excellent, laid back, but very high standard café. Enjoy their great variety of food (their breakfasts are particularly good), their outstanding coffee or their delicious sweet selection, while soaking up the sun on the balcony. Although not the most central, it is a favourite with the locals, and is therefore regularly busy (particularly during the weekend). Suitable for small business meetings, family breakfasts, or can even be used as a good quiet working space during the day. Around $16–24.
- Sushi Bento, Parnell Rd, Parnell Village.
- Valentine's Restaurant. Traditional buffet restaurants in many locations around Auckland.
- One Tree Grill Restaurant, 9-11 Pah Rd (Greenwoods Corner), Epsom (near One Tree Hill), ☎ . Enjoy outstanding, down-to-earth dining at this iconic restaurant, consistently rated in the top restaurants in Auckland. It specialises in contemporary New Zealand cuisine and offers an outstanding cellared wine list. One Tree Grill offers a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of inner city dining. Since 1996, it 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 – it offers a complete dining experience where it's the little things that make the difference. Mains average $40.
- SKYCITY entertainment complex, corner Federal & Victoria St, has a dozen restaurants for all tastes and budgets, including the authentic Spanish Tapas bar Bellota, the fine dining dine by Peter Gordon and the revolving restaurant Orbit.
- SPQR, 150 Ponsonby Rd, ☎ . Modern Italian cuisine, dimly lit, loud music, great atmosphere, you may feel like you are in New York. Mains $30–40.
There's a high concentration of bars in the Viaduct area near the waterfront.
- Tyler St Garage, Britomart precinct.
- The Camel Bar, Fort St. Part of a hostel and has nightly activities including live music and quiz nights.
- Cock & Bull English Pubs. Various locations throughout Auckland.
- Galbraiths Alehouse, 2 Mt Eden Rd, Eden Terrace. A brewery and pub, with a great selection of traditional beer and wine.
- The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe, 6 Vulcan Lane, CBD (just off Queen St). A popular place with the after-work crowd. Serves traditional Belgian beers alongside mussels and frites.
- Shadows Bar, Student Union Building, 34 Princes St (University of Auckland campus). Student bar with decent prices.
- Cassette Number 9, Vulcan Ln. A bar and club featuring different music nights.
- Skycity, corner of Federal & Victoria Sts. Entertainment complex with a dozen bars & cafes including a Spanish tapas bar, Bellota.
- 1 Northern Steamship, 122 Quay St. A Mac's brewbar with a unique and eclectic décor, including hundreds of antique lampshades.
- Bar Tabac, 6 Mills Ln. In a rustic heritage building in the back streets of downtown Auckland. Co-owned by musician Neil Finn of Crowded House.
- 1 Auckland City YHA, 18 Liverpool St, ☎ . Nice hostel, just off the top of Queen St, with a basic kitchen and an outdoor sun terrace. There is also Auckland International YHA a block away. Beds from $30.60, rooms from $80.10.
- 2 Bamber House, 22 View Rd, Mt Eden (from Queen St at the IMAX Theatre, catch buses 255-258 to first stop View Rd), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. $25 dormitory, $66 double.
- Base Backpackers, Level 3, 229 Queen St, ☎ , toll-free: 0800 2273 69, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2pm, check-out: 10am. Large centrally located hostel with bar and travel desk.
- 3 BK Hostel, 3 Mercury Ln, ☎ . Just 4 beds in the dorm rooms. Nice atmosphere, kitchen and laundry. Dorm/single/twin/triple rooms from $22/$44/$56/$90.
- 4 Brown Kiwi, 7 Prosford St, Ponsonby, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. $25 dormitory, $66 double.
- 5 Choice Backpackers, Wellesley St W (cnr of Wellesley and Albert Sts, across post office), ☎ . Easygoing, friendly, cheap. Dorms from $18, doubles $52.
- 6 Nomads Auckland, 16-20 Fort St, City Centre, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also Nomads Fat Camel a few doors down at 38 Fort St from $19 a night (09 301 0181 - email@example.com). $26 dormitory, $99 standard double room.
- 7 Ponsonby Backpackers, 2 Franklin Rd, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in an original 19th century villa right in the heart of Ponsonby. $33 7 bed dormitory, $35 4 bed share, $60 single, $82 double.
- 8 Queen Street Backpackers, 4 Fort St, City Centre, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Shared rooms starting from $25 to private rooms for $65.
- 9 Verandahs Backpacker Lodge, 6 Hopetoun St, Freemans Bay (just off Ponsonby Rd), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. $26 dormitory, $70 double.
- 10 Eden Park Bed & Breakfast, 20 Bellwood Ave, Mt Eden, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A luxury inn in an historic Edwardian villa. Single from $145.
- Heritage Auckland, 35 Hobson St, ☎ , toll-free: 0800 368-888, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Four star plus hotel with restaurant and bar. Serviced apartments available. From $144 and up.
- Quest Auckland, 363 Queen St, ☎ . Close to Aotea Centre, the Town Hall, restaurants and shopping. 70 studios, one and two bedroom serviced apartments all with kitchen and laundry facilities. One of a number in the Quest Serviced Apartments chain in Auckland. $145 and up (2 people).
- 11 Grand Millennium (formerley Rendezvous Hotel), 71 Mayoral Drive, cnr Vincent St, ☎ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. A grand 4 star plus hotel built in 1989 with 452 guest rooms and suites, a bar, Straits Cafe, and Katsura Japanese restaurant. The lower-priced rooms when discounted are very reasonably priced for a hotel of its rating. From $110 (winter Sunday).
- Auckland Waterfront Apartments, Princes Wharf, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Luxury 1, 2 & 3 bedroom serviced apartments with harbour views.
- Braemar, 7 Parliament St, ☎ , fax: . Beautifully renovated 1901 Edwardian townhouse. From $225 (dble).
- CityLife Auckland, 171 Queen St, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. From $206.
- 12 Cordis, Auckland, 83 Symonds St, ☎ , fax: . Five star luxury hotel, formerly called the Langham. Price varies by season.
- 13 Crowne Plaza Auckland, 128 Albert St, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Four star plus hotel with 352 guest rooms and suites. From $204.
- 14 Hilton Auckland, Princes Wharf, 147 Quay St, ☎ . Check-out: 11AM. A modern waterfront building with great views over the harbour. Quite close to the ferry terminals and a short walk to the Wynyard area. From $409.
- 15 Pullman Auckland, corner Waterloo Quadrant & Princes St, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Five star hotel in the CBD with 340 rooms and self-contained apartments, free Wi-Fi, health club and spa, restaurant. From $300.
- 16 Sebel Auckland Viaduct Harbour, 85–89 Customs St W, Viaduct Harbour, ☎ . Apartment hotel in the business and dining precinct at Viaduct Harbour. From $299.
- Sebel Quay West Auckland, 8 Albert St, ☎ . A luxury apartment hotel in the CBD featuring balconies with harbour & city views. From $250.
- SKYCITY Grand Hotel, 88 Federal St. Five-star luxury hotel. From $239.
Auckland is generally a fairly safe place. Be careful in these areas:
Karangahape Road (K Rd): A large number of pubs and clubs are located here, and 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.
There are many internet cafes in the CBD with prices ranging from $1 per half an hour to $5 per hour. Free internet is available from the public library (limited 100MB per IP address per day). There is also free Wi-Fi in the Skycity food courts. There are 40 HotSpots that offer Wi-Fi connectivity, most notably Esquires cafe (inside Skycity Queen St, Middle Queen St, Lower Queen St, Nelson St), Starbucks (Victoria St, K' Rd, Lower Queen St) and other cafes around Auckland.
- Midcity Internet Cafe, 54 Wellesley St, opposite the ASB Bank (corner of Albert and Wellesley Streets). Open 24/7 and probably the best internet cafe in the city with 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.