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Travel guide

Auckland getting around, useful travel facts

  • 3 minutes

North Island, New Zealand

Auckland Transport Weather Seasons Useful Facts

New Zealand useful travel facts

  • Be Prepared for a Strict Customs Check looking for prohibited food & wood items. Commercially wrapped confectionery is usually acceptable.
  • Outdoor gear will be checked for embedded seeds and dirt. Wash geer thoroughly before arriving
  • There Are No Poisonous Animals or Large Predatory Animals in New Zealand
  • New Zealand’s Summer Months Are December to February, it is the Southern Hemisphere
  • Be Prepared to Drive on the Left-Hand Side of the Road

Auckland location

Auckland is located around two harbours. Waitemata Harbour and Manuka Harbour. In the centre is the pinnacle Sky Tower dominating the city centre with its views of the Viaduct Harbour. Auckland city reaches to the North Shore district and beyond embracing urban sophistication with the outdoors as its backyard,

Best time to visit Auckland

March to May or September November. These months offer spring or autumn temperatures with mostly sunny days as well as being the shoulder season for tourists.

Auckland weather & Seasons

It is recommended visitors have a poncho or umbrella handy for occasional showers. The warm coastal climate does not experience temperature extremes making a great year round destination. Summers in Auckland are between 22c to high 20’s with reasonable humidity. Winters are mild and damp. Rainfall is expected between July – September.

Mount Eden Summit, Auckland, New Zealand
Mount Eden Summit - Auckland, NZ

From the Northern Hemisphere – remember New Zealand’s seasons are opposite to Europe and North America. Summer is between November to early March…

Coppermine lookout visitor enjoying the view, Kauwau Island, Auckland
Kauwau Island, Auckland, NZ

What to wear in Auckland

Informal style is the standard. Regardless of the time of the year, include a light rainproof jacket. Pack layers when visiting between May to September. Holiday travel clothes in summer T shirts and shorts are expected. Smart casual is the standard of dress for most restaurants and nightclubs. Except for business meetings men are seldom seen in suits and ties.

What to wear for day hikes

Lace up footwear will ensure sturdy support for uneven surfaces. For tips and what to wear in the forest and bush check out New Zealand walks & hikes, attractions, things to do and places to go sections on bush safety and clothing guidelines.

Auckland transport – getting around

Auckland traffic is congested at peak times. However Auckland is a relatively small city and the traffic is still manageable compared to other large cities. Expect traffic delays in peak hour traffic (between 8.00 – 9.30am) (4.00 – 6.00 pm).

  • Purchase at hop card (public transport)
  • Explore the Hauraki gulf on one of the ferries operating from the downtown (CBD) Harbour terminal

  Look for this symbol on buses, trains and ferries for AT connected networks

Public transport at hop card

If you plan on not using a private vehicle or rental vehicle you will need an AT HOP card. Purchase and load money onto an AT HOP card (a reusable prepay smart card). The AT HOP card is used to travel on AT trains, ferries and buses around Auckland. The card can be purchased online, at the Britomart customer service centre or an AT HOP retailer. Users can manually load money onto the card or set up an auto top-up whereby the balance tops up every time it dips below a certain amount of money. Simply tap on and tap off when you get on and off public transport. You can also use the AT HOP card for travel on the SkyBus to the airport.

Auckland buses, Auckland, New Zealand @akltransport
Auckland buses @akltransport

Auckland bus

The easiest way to get around Auckland is with Link bus services. Just look for the red, green or yellow buses. The buses run frequently with times displayed on the bus stops. Catch the red bus (The CityLink) when travelling within the city centre, the green bus (The InnerLink) to get around Auckland’s inner city and the amber bus (OuterLink) when travelling around the inner suburbs of Auckland. For more details and information, see the website below.

You can buy your ticket from the bus driver (cash only) or get the AT HOP smart card that can be bought online or at the ticket office. One ticket office is Britomart customer service centre. (Ground floor Britomart Transport Centre, 8-10 Queen St, Auckland).

Public Bus Network: Auckland Transport

There are several regular bus services that connect the CBD and inner city suburbs. Departing regularly between 6am and midnight. The bus routes are colour coded.

  • The CityLink (red) bus transports you around the city centre, running from the Wynyard Quarter through Britomart and up Queen Street to Karangahape Road
  • OuterLink (yellow) bus connects the inner suburbs of Parnell, Newmarket, Mt Eden, St Lukes, Mt Albert, Point Chevalier, Westmere and Herne Bay
  • InnerLink (green) bus connects the inner city suburbs of Newmarket, Parnell and Ponsonby
  • TāmakiLink (blue) buses from the CBD to Glen Innes connect the city with the eastern beach suburbs of Mission Bay, Kohimarama and St Heliers
  • The Northern Busway service connects the city with the North Shore

Other bus routes will take you further afield. Taking the bus cuts down on travel time, with dedicated bus lanes avoiding the worst of Auckland city traffic. Consider downloading the Auckland Transport smartphone app to check live timetables, routes and bus stops.

Auckland Trainstation, Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland Trainstation, NZ

Auckland transport – trains

Trains are a great way to travel around Auckland with 41 stations across four lines: Southern, Eastern, Western and Onehunga. Auckland has 41 train stations, check if the train station is more conveniently located than the nearest bus stop. To check timetables and fares, download the Auckland Transport smartphone app or use their online journey planner.

Auckland international / domestic airport

The Auckland International Airport services all of Auckland. Located 21 km south of the City Center, it is easily accessible by bus, shuttle or taxi.

Skybus – is Auckland’s airport transfer service that runs between Auckland City Centre and Auckland Airport. SKYBUS operates 24 hours a day and the bus transfer takes about 40-60 minutes. Tickets can be bought at the Airport Ticket Kiosks (situated by the SkyBus bus stops at the airport) or from the bus driver (cash only). You can also buy your ticket online and at some hotels.

There are only licensed taxi and shuttle companies at the designated taxi ranks at the terminal buildings. The taxi rank is outside the arrivals area at the international terminal as well as the domestic terminal. You can pre-book or just turn up at the terminal rank.

Long term car parks are located either within the airport terminal or in the vicinity of the airport as well as major car and motorhome rental companies.

Auckland International Airport, Auckland, New Zealand @Aucklandnz
Auckland International Airport @Aucklandnz

Check the specific location of your rental vehicle and ensure you have local mobile and/or international roaming to contact the rental company for a complimentary pick up and drop off service.

Auckland hop on visitor bus

To ease the aching feet or the weather isn’t great.

Check timetables and routes for up to date information.

Auckland harbour ferries

Using ferries

Catching a ferry

Planning my trip

  • You can plan your journey by using the AT Journey Planner on our website, using the AT Mobile app or looking at individual ferry timetables.
  • If you are travelling to or from Waiheke for a day, luggage storage facilities are available at the Downtown and Waiheke ferry terminals.
  • If you don’t need you bike at the other end of your ferry trip, these can be left in Bike racks at the ferry terminal
  • Free park and sail facilities are available at Devonport, Birkenhead, Northcote Point, Bayswater, West Harbour (weekdays only), Pine Harbour, Half Moon Bay.

For places to park near the downtown ferry terminal see Parking in Central Auckland.

  • If using an AT HOP card tag on before you board the ferry.
  • Cash tickets may be purchased from Downtown or Waiheke ticket office, or on board most ferries. See here for more details.

  Look for this symbol on buses, trains and ferries for AT connected networks

Auckland transport


Auckland is a harbour city and ferries have been a part of its fabric for over 150 years.  From the ever-popular Devonport and Waiheke ferries, to more recent additions of Hobsonville, Gulf and Pine Harbour ferries to these fast-growing communities

From 26 July 2020, ferry services will be joining AT Metro’s integrated fare system.This means you can transfer between AT bus, train and ferry and pay just one fare for your entire journey with your AT HOP card.


Fullers Ferries is a private commercial Auckland Harbour & Hauraki Gulf marine transport option.

  • Waiheke Island wineries, half day tour
  • Coromandel Peninsula connections
  • Rotoroa Island tour and connections
  • Rangitoto Island tour and connections
  • Discover Devonport


West Harbour Ferry

We can not accept Cash, please use your AT HOP Card or Paywave (EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard).

  • Rakino Island connections
  • West Harbour ferry connections


Pine harbour Sealink ferry service

Pine Harbour Ferries run between Pine Harbour marina and downtown Auckland 15 times daily, Monday-Friday (excluding Public Holidays). Our modern, high-speed catamarans can transport between 49 – 99 passengers at a time …

  • Private charter
  • Chartered fishing Hauraki Gulf experiences



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