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Auckland Travel Guide
Auckland Travel Guide

Auckland travel guide, best things to see and do — tips

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city. Stroll along the coastal inlets, hike on a volcanic island,  spend an afternoon at the Auckland Museum perched above the Memorial Gardens or a cruise the harbour are just a few ways to absorb the delights of the city. This city has the largest Polynesian population in the world, contributing to the Pacifica, cosmopolitan and dynamic appeal of Auckland. High-end fashion houses, sophisticated restaurants and chic bars compliment the abundance of outdoor activities.

Auckland is situated on 50 islands and over 50 dormant volcanoes which make it unusual and breathtaking to behold.  It is located in the upper part of the North Island, New Zealand. Being the largest gateway to New Zealand visitors have a tendency to rush past Auckland in their desire to see the rest of the place. Great intentions yet visitors are missing out on the magic that is Auckland.

Auckland, New Zealand @Agoda

What is the best time to visit?

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

It is recommended visitors have a poncho or umbrella handy for occasional showers.

Electricity

240 Volts AC, 50Hz flat, 3 pronged plugs used.

Telecommunications

Country code +64

Area code +9

Best Itineraries and trips from Auckland

Gardens & parks

Auckland is a city of parks. The Domain is the city’s oldest park based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Winter Gardens as well as the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Cornwall Park

10 Tom Pearce Drive, Mangere, Auckland 2022, New Zealand

Western Springs Park

731 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland 1022, New Zealand

Parnell Rose Gardens

85-87 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Gardens

19 Hapimana Street, Orakei, Auckland 1071, New Zealand

Auckland Botanic Gardens

102 Hill Road, The Gardens, Auckland 2105, New Zealand

Maungauika/ North Head Park (Devonport)

Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park, Devonport, Auckland 0624, New Zealand

Walks

Heritage and city walks. Self-guided walks for Auckland and surrounding districts. 

Walk coast to coast across an entire country crosses New Zealand’s narrowest neck of land. Start in Viaduct Harbour on Auckland’s east coast and travel west through urban landscapes, beautiful parklands and over dormant volcanoes to finish 16km later at Manukau Harbour. Check travel pack information for map and track details.

Culture & heritage

Historic Places are a must-visit for lovers of history, architecture and gardens.

Acacia Cottage

One Tree Hill, Auckland 1051, New Zealand

Huia Lodge

Michael Horton Drive, Epsom, Auckland 1051, New Zealand

Wynyard Quarter

Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Alberton House

100 Mount Albert Road, Mount Albert, Auckland 1025, New Zealand

Highwic House

40 Gillies Avenue, Epsom, Auckland 1023, New Zealand

Kinder House

2 Ayr Street, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand

Ewelme Cottage

14 Ayr Street, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand

Art galleries

Auckland Art Gallery

Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Clevedon Art Trail

1 Papakura-Clevedon Road, Clevedon, Auckland 2582, New Zealand

Pah House

72 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough, Auckland 1345, New Zealand

Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery

420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi, Auckland 0604, New Zealand

Commercial galleries are listed in Heart of the City website.

Museums

Auckland Museum

The Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

New Zealand National Maritime Museum

Corner of Quay and Hobson Street, Auckland 1140, New Zealand

Museum of Transport & Technology

805 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland 1022, New Zealand

City attractions

Sky Tower

Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

West Auckland vineyards

Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand

Auckland Stardome Observatory

670 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland 1345, New Zealand

Auckland Bridge climb

123 Curran Street, Herne Bay, Auckland 1011, New Zealand

Tamaki Hikoi Maori walk

Tour agency

Auckland Harbour Cruises

107 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Festivals

Auckland with its multi-cultural population including the largest settlement of polynesian people is home to many festivals. During the summer months Pasifika festival is a highlight. The beat of drums and the rhythm is a must do Pacifica immersion and should be on your bucket list.

Beaches

Swimguide is a mobile friendly app “It helps you easily find your closest beaches, know at a glance which ones are safe for swimming, and share your love of beaches” 

For beach aficionado’s city beaches do not compare with the well known beaches of Northland, Nelson and South Island. Unlike in Sydney with its iconic Bondi Beach or Manly esplanade Auckland is not a beach focused destination.  

City beaches include:

Kohimarama and its busy neighbour Mission Bay. Both beaches provide excellent views of Rangitoto Island, Auckland’s most recent volcanic eruption. Both beaches can be crowded on a hot day. A walk towards Achilles Point you will find Ladies Bay Beach. 

Devonport is a scenic harbour cruise destination with a village feel to its main street. Lined with cafes and gift shops as well as historic.

St Heliers Bay Beach

St Heliers, Auckland 1071, New Zealand

Point Chevalier Beach

Harbour View Road, Point Chevalier, Auckland 1022, New Zealand

Judges Bay beach

Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand

Herne Bay Beach

Herne Bay Road, Herne Bay, Auckland 1011, New Zealand

Five City Family Attractions

Butterfly Creek

10 Tom Pearce Drive, Mangere, Auckland 2022, New Zealand

Auckland Zoo

Motions Rd, Auckland 1022, New Zealand

North Head Park

Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park, Devonport, Auckland 0624, New Zealand

Museum of Transport & Technology

805 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland 1022, New Zealand

Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium

23 Tamaki Drive, Orakei, Auckland 1071, New Zealand

Top Ten day trips from Auckland

1
Auckland west coast beaches a day trip exploring surf beaches with iron sands and gannet colony. Check out Auckland West Coast Beaches articles for inspiration for your day trip.
2
Auckland regional parks such as Shakespear and Tawharanui Regional Parks. Follow the link to in depth articles to inspire your exploration of Auckland Regional Parks.
3
Warkworth, Parry Kauri Reserve, Warkworth Museum or Goat Island Check out the article on Warkworth for hidden gems in the area.
4
Hauraki Gulf island treasure exploration of either Rangitoto Island by 4WD road-train or Rotoroa Island with its predator-free status. Rotoroa features in our weekend city break trips check it out and get going
5
Indulge in a harbour cruise observing islands, whales and dolphins. Check our article about one of the favourite places in New Zealand Rotorua Island.
6
Hire a kayak and paddle out to Rangitoto Island or simply explore the harbour. This a great family adventure together, for locals and well as New Zealanders and Australians from out of town.
7
Matakana Coast exploration Slow food destination is an hour’s drive from Auckland. A delicious foodie taste, sip and savour journey where food and feast is the order of the day.
8
Let’s visit a public toilet Kawakawa with a detour to a historic war memorial site, Ruapekapeka Pa. This is the furthest journey recommended as it is part of Northland. Giving locals and visitors a glimpse of the special nature of Northland and temptation to delve further into the Northland experience.
9
A day trip exploring the Pohutukawa Coast especially in late spring gets you out of the winter blues. Check out our day trips for a detailed description of what to expect.
10
Miranda Shorebird experience The PacificJane team are bird watching devotees yet the wide flat Firth of Thames waterways with their dense layers of shell beaches is considered memorizing. The indistinct definition between land, sea and sky where the flatness was layered blues and white. The shorebirds are in their thousands, it is a protected area. Check out the article Miranda Shorebirds for details.

NOTE: Excluded is a trip to Hobbiton. It is over 2 hours one way to travel to Hobbiton. It is a considerable distance in a bus or vehicle. Consider a visit to Hobbiton from a location closer or plan a trip around a road journey to the Coromandel.

Getting around

Due to its recent growth spurt and the international interest developing in Auckland as a tourist destination, traffic has gotten more congested than it was 5 years ago. Given this, Auckland is still a relatively small city and the traffic is still manageable compared to other large cities.

The easiest way to get around Auckland is with Link bus services. Just look for the red, green or yellow buses. The buses run on such a frequent basis so no need to look at the timetable. You only need to head to the appropriate bus stop and wait for your bus. Take 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

8-10 Queen St, Auckland

+64 9 366 6400

http://www.at.govt.nz

Trains are a great way to travel around Auckland with 41 stations across four lines: Southern, Eastern, Western and Onehunga

The Auckland International Airport services all of Auckland. Located 21 km south of the City Center and 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. They operate 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 some hotels.

There are only licensed taxi and shuttle companies at the designated taxi ranks at the terminal buildings, all to make sure that you will get a high standard of service. 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.

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

Check timetables and routes for up to date information.

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