North Harbour is the northern part of the city of Auckland, so named for being north of the Waitemata Harbour. It includes the North Shore, Orewa and the Hibiscus Coast.
It has an area of approximately 13,000 hectares and a population of around 200,000 people. It has the longest unbroken urban coastline in New Zealand – 150 km. There is an average of 240 days of sunshine every year and an annual rainfall of 1100 mm.
There is a visitor centre on the Devonport wharf.
North Shore suburbs from north to south:
- 1 Long Bay
- 2 Torbay
- 3 Browns Bay
- 4 Takapuna – the beachside business, shopping and entertainment centre of the North Shore
- 5 Devonport – long-established seaside suburb a 10-min ferry ride from Auckland CDB
Auckland Airport in South Auckland is the main airport for the region. SkyBus runs from the airport to Akoranga, Smales Farm and Albany (Westfield), stopping at separate platforms from the regular buses. It takes 50–80 minutes to go all the way and runs on a half-hourly schedule for the main part of the day. Tickets are $25 adult, $13 child. It's a half-hour drive from the airport to the nearest part of North Harbour.
A 10 minute drive over the Harbour Bridge from Central Auckland should get you there.
Information at Auckland Transport (AT) public transport website
- 1 Chelsea Bay, 100 Colonial Rd, Birkenhead. Visitor centre and one-hour guided tours of the Chelsea Sugar Refinery. Also has a bakery and cafe for some sugary goodies. Opened Oct 2018.
- Long Bay Regional Park. Stroll around the park and along the beach and enjoy the views over the Hauraki Gulf and adjoining marine reserve. There are also walks, sea kayaking, picnic areas, the historic Vaughan homestead and a kid's playground that has a miniature train.
- Harbourside Art Trail. Take your time and visit the studios of the local artists and craftspeople in Birkenhead and Northcote.
- Movies (Hoyts Hibiscus Coast), 6 Link Cres, Arkles Bay (on Whangaparaoa Peninsula). It has cheap ticket prices: adult tickets at $10.90. Events Cinemas at Albany charges $18.50, the usual Auckland price, while at Hoyts Wairau Park they are $19.50, the highest price in Auckland – both these places have a Tuesday special of $12.50. (in 2017).
- 1 North Head, Devonport. Take a stroll around. It's in Devonport at the mouth of the Waitemata Harbour. It has stunning views over the Hauraki Gulf and inner harbour. Look out for the complex of tunnels, guns and other fortifications. Spending a day exploring the tunnels and having a picnic is strongly advised. North Head offers spectacular views of North Shore, central Auckland, the harbour bridge and the volcanic island of Rangitoto.
- 2 Snowplanet, 91 Small Road, Silverdale, ☏ . Daily 10AM -10PM or longer. New Zealand's only indoor ski resort. 2 hours $46 + equipment hire.
- Walk the North Shore section of Te Araroa Trail. A 23-km coastal walking route from Long Bay to Devonport, part of Te Araroa, which runs the length of New Zealand.
- Glenfield Night Market, 48 Downing St, Glenfield. Su 5:30-11PM. Lots of food stalls in the carpark beneath Glenfield Mall.
- 1 Bushman's Grill, 31 Northcote Rd, Hillcrest, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Dinner daily from 5:30PM, lunch F Su noon-2PM. Steak house.
- 1 Quest Albany, 32 Kell Dr, Albany, ☏ . Air-conditioned apartment accommodation with free Wi-Fi and unlimited data.
- Puhoi, a small country village to the north, just off State Highway 1
- Warkworth, a town a bit further to the north