I land in Auckland on January 3rd on a 12 month WHV. I'm hoping to work in or around the CBD, but my main question here is about where to stay. I've got accommodation booked in a hostel for the first week, but once I find work I would like to rent a shared place will fellow young people. Looking at the map of Auckland there seems to be quite a spread of suburbs. Ideally, I would like to live somewhere that is close to the CBD, either a walk or short bus journey, that isn't too expensive etc etc. Also, which areas have a good nightlife as wouldn't want to constantly go into the CBD.
Any other info on life in Auckland would be great too.
I would recommend Ponsonby as a good place to live which fits your criteria. it's within walking distance from the CBD and there are regular buses (Link is the main bus company for this route) which take a few minutes. It's also a really good area for nightlife - much better than the CBD! Ponsonby Road is lined with bars, restaurants and takeaways - I'm currently living just off Ponsonby Road and it's a great location. There are plenty of big shared houses and rents are reasonable if you are sharing with a few others.
Other suburbs you could consider are Grey Lynn (not far from Ponsonby), Mt Eden, Kinglsand, Parnell (nice restaurants and shops) and Newmarket (good for shopping and a few good bars/pubs). All these are a short bus journey from the centre.
Have a look at http://www.backpackerboard.co.nz and http://www.trademe.co.nz for rental accommodation.
Hope this helps - let me know if you need any more info on Auckland. I did a whv in 2005 and loved it - now I have permanent residency!
Agree with Bex76 - have lived in Grey Lynn and Kingsland, however suggest you add Herne Bay to list as next to Ponsonby. Don't be put off by all the pricey housing - there are quite a lot of flats towards the Ponsonby end.
I lived in Auckland for 8yrs, and would give agent listings the swerve in favour of Bex76 suggestions unless you are desperate. I got a great flat through the classified once - you might check out the NZ Herald (Akl's daily newspaper) to see what's current. The online Herald links to this Search4Homes, which might be useful, if only to check out prices/locations.