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Auckland is one of the world's most liveable cities, and Kiwis know it. Auckland is home to over a quarter of the country's population, which is over 1.4 million people, and all indications are that it will continue to grow rapidly. Auckland is also has the largest polynesian population of any city in the world! Originally settled by Maoris in the 1350s, because of fertile soil, many Maoris had left the area by the time Europeans had shown up because of fire arms had made coastal Maori towns too vulnerable to raids. Auckland was settled in February of 1840 and the Governor of New Zealand and it was the country's second capital, Russell in the Bay of Islands being the first. The capital was moved to Wellington in 1865 because at that time the South Island was being settled quicker. Even after losing the capital status Auckland continued to grow.
Known as the "City of Sails", Auckland is strung narrowly along an isthmus between two harbours at the north of New Zealand, with the Pacific Ocean to its east and the Tasman Sea out west. Auckland has many wonderful sights and museum, making this city a wonderful place to spend a few days. There is also a very nice night life which can get pretty rowdy. Just remember not to judge a bar by its name, because something that might sound like a dive might be a very class place.
Auckland can be divided into four neighbourhoods:
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The Sky Tower is located downtown. This large observation and telecommunications tower is over 328 metres (1,076 feet) tall making it the tallest free standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere and offers great views of the city. For the more adventurous traveller there is even an option to Sky Jump off the tower at speeds up to 85 km/h. A Sky Jump is a cross between a bungy jump and a base jump. Also the Sky City Casino and Event Centre, a large casino and event centre, is located in the Sky Tower complex for a different kind of adventurous traveller. This casino was refurbished in 2006 and has over 1,600 gaming machines. There are also over 100 tables for games like blackjack and roulette.
Auckland has a warm but temperate climate with generally mild conditions throughout the year. Temperatures during the day average from around 15 °C from June to August to around 22-24 °C from December to March. Nights average between 7-8 °C and 14-16 °C respectively. The average annual precipitation is around 1,240 mm with June and July the wettest months and January and February the driest.
|Avg Max||23.3 °C||23.6 °C||22.5 °C||19.8 °C||17 °C||14.8 °C||14 °C||14.8 °C||16 °C||17.6 °C||19.6 °C||21.6 °C|
|Avg Min||15.8 °C||15.9 °C||14.9 °C||12.5 °C||9.9 °C||7.9 °C||6.9 °C||7.9 °C||9.4 °C||10.9 °C||12.6 °C||14.3 °C|
|Rainfall||74.3 mm||81.2 mm||86.4 mm||92.9 mm||100.4 mm||116.3 mm||125.6 mm||111.4 mm||92.9 mm||80.2 mm||83.6 mm||91.4 mm|
Auckland Airport (AKL) is the main airport for New Zealand and is where most travellers start and end their trip in the country. This large airport has direct flights to several countries around the world and is located in a western suburb about 21 kilometres south of the Auckland city centre. Remember the airport has very strict bio-security with the use of dogs and x-ray machines. To avoid any fines just declare any biological material. With over 13 million passengers a year it is the busiest airport in the country and has most international connections.
To/from the airport:
Tranz Scenic operates several trains a day (some night trains are available) betwee Auckland and Wellington. It departs from Auckland at 7:25am (daily December to April, Friday to Sunday May to November) and arrives in Wellington at 7:20pm (the return train from Wellington departs and arrives at the same time).
Auckland is accessed from the south via State Highway 1. From Hamilton and New Plymouth you'll follow State Highway 1 north of Hamilton through northern Waikato and across the Bombay Hills into the southern suburbs of the city. From Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty, you'll follow State Highway 2 west of Tauranga to meet State Highway 1 at Pokeno, on the Waikato side of the Bombay Hills. From most other points south (including Rotorua, Napier, Palmerston North and Wellington), you will travel north to Tirau in the southern Waikato where you can choose between two routes; via Hamilton along State Highway 1, or via Matamata along State Highways 27 and 2.
From Northland, you'll follow State Highway 1 to Wellsford. From there, you can continue to follow State Highway 1 to approach Auckland through the northern suburbs and over the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Alternatively, you can follow State Highway 16 to approach Auckland from the northwest via Helensville.
Approximate distances and non-stop travel times to Auckland:
Intercity and Newmans Coach Lines serve quite a few cities and towns throughout the country from Auckland. Nakedbus serves places as well including Whangarei and Wellington (12 hours), and buses to Gisborne and Napier. Dalroy Tours has buses to New Plymouth (5.5 hours). Main Coachline has buses to Dargaville (3 hours). Go Kiwi travels between cities on the North Island as well.
Auckland is a major cruise ship port of call with over 100 cruise ships a year. Auckland's main cruise terminal, Shed 10, refurbished in 2013, is located on Queens Wharf next to the central business district (CBD) and the Britomart Station.
The road network experiences severe congestion at rush hour. Geography constrains the network to a limited number of routes. Auckland has a comprehensive road network for a city its size, but lack of investment in public transport and geographic sprawl means it is largely dependent on private cars.
There are three main motorway systems running through Auckland. The Northern Motorway (from north of Orewa to the Central Motorway Junction (CMJ) a.k.a. Spaghetti Junction) – note that it has a toll for the last few kilometres beyond Silverdale. The Southern Motorway runs from the CMJ past the Bombay Hills where it splits into State Highway 2 (SH2), and merges to the Waikato Expressway. The Northwestern Motorway runs from Auckland Port through CMJ to near Kumeu. These motorways clog up during the morning rush in the CBD-bound direction, and in the opposite direction during the evening rush. The Harbour Bridge has a method of mitigating this traffic load – it changes the lane system from 4-4 to 5-3, favouring the side which has the heavier traffic load. So be careful when crossing the bridge – some lanes will be available for you at one time but not another.
Some of the options to rent cars include the following companies:
Use the Auckland Transport (AT) website to plan trips by public transport. AT also has a text messaging service that can be used to find the time of the next bus, ferry or train or to find the quickest way to get to your destination using public transport, as well as apps for iPhone and Android.
Buses are the most-used form of public transport. Buses to popular destinations usually run every 5-15 minutes. The bus companies that run to different parts of Auckland are:
Travel by urban train is a good option, but only if you are near a train line; there are few lines and not all suburbs are served.
The four main lines are the Southern, Onehunga, Eastern and Western lines. The Southern Line runs from Britomart station in the CBD, roughly parallel to the Southern Motorway, to Papakura, with some services continuing on to Pukekohe. The Onehunga Line follows the Southern Line as far as Penrose, before diverting southwest to Onehunga. The Eastern Line runs from Britomart through the east of central Auckland to Manukau Central, sharing with the Southern Line between Westfield and Puhinui. The Western Line runs from Britomart westward to Swanson station. There are no train services in North Harbour or in the suburbs east of the Tamaki River, although the Northern Express bus (see By bus above) from Britomart to Albany provides rapid transit service to the rail-less North Shore.
The Southern and Eastern lines have the most frequent and reliable services. Trains on these lines run every 10 minutes on-peak, 20 minutes off-peak and 30 minutes on evenings and weekends. Approximately 85-95% of these services run on time. Trains on the Western Line run every 15 minutes on-peak, and every 30 minutes off-peak and on weekends. The Onehunga Line runs every 30 minutes all day every day.
Ferry services operate from the CBD to other points on the mainland and to Hauraki Gulf islands.
Much of central Auckland can easily be explored on foot, even if you want to go a little further beyond the CBD.
Renting a bicycle is a good idea if you want to venture a little further into the suburbs or want to speed up compared to walking.
There are some good cheap food courts (food halls) offering a variety of usually Asian foods usually priced around $10. Try next to the Queens' Arcade at the bottom of Queen St (slightly hidden entrance), or the Metro award winning Food Alley (9-11 Albert St). Very good value and good quality predominantly non-Asian choices are available at Elliott Stables (39 Elliott Street, near Wellesley). Also on the same block is the Atrium on Elliott (21 Elliott Street), a good quality food court of predominantly Asian 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. A must visit.
Viaduct Harbour provides upmarket dining, starting at $30 for mains. While this area has some very nice bars and restaurants, be wary of restaurants lacking customers and usually very quiet. It may be a sign of below average food or poor service.
Other places include:
You can find neighbourhood pubs in many parts of the city, but the highest concentration of bars and clubs is in Auckland Central, particularly around the Viaduct area, K Road, Ponsonby and Parnell.
Accommodation can be found throughout the city, but the largest selection is in Central Auckland, particularly the central business district.
|Airport Bed & Breakfast||1 Westney Rd, Mangere Auckland 2022||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Airport Skyway Lodge||30 Kirkbride Road Mangere||Hostel||77|
|Jucy Hotel||62 Emily Place Downtown||Hotel||74|
|Bamber House||22 View Road Mt Eden||Hostel||82|
|Base Auckland||Corner of Queen St and Darby St Darby Street||Hostel||73|
|BK Hostel||3 Mercury Lane Cnr. Karangahape Road & Mercury Lane||HOSTEL||83|
|Borders Beyond||8 Nixon St Ponsonby Auckland||Hostel||79|
|Choice Plaza Hostel||10 Wellesley St East||Hostel||73|
|City Garden Lodge||25 St Georges Bay Road Parnell||Hostel||75|
|City Lodge||150 Vincent Street||Hostel||82|
|City Travellers Auckland||93-95 Anzac Ave Britomart||Hostel||-|
|Freemans lodge||65 Wellington street Freemans bay,Auckland||Hostel||71|
|Frienz.com Backpackers Accommodation Auckland||27-31 Victoria Street East Auckland||Hostel||74|
|All Seasons Auckland||20 Wyndham Street||Hotel||-|
|Kiwi International Hotel||411 Queen Street||Hotel||-|
|Lantana Lodge International Backpackers||60 St Georges Bay Road Parnell||HOSTEL||78|
|Nomads Fat Camel Hostel||38 Fort Street Downtown||Hostel||67|
|Nomads Auckland||16-20 Fort St Auckland||Hostel||71|
|Oaklands Lodge||5A Oakllands Road Mt Eden||Hostel||83|
|Pentlands Backpackers Hostel||22 Pentland Avenue Mt Eden||Hostel||-|
|Ponsonby Backpackers||2 franklin rd , ponsonby , auckland||Hostel||79|
|Surf 'N' Snow Backpackers||Level 1, 102 Albert Street||Hostel||67|
|Tetra Budget Apartments Auckland||85 Wakefield Street Auckland||Apartment||-|
|Yapinghouse||79 Owens Rd Epsom Auckland||HOSTEL||-|
|YHA Auckland City||Cnr City Road & Liverpool st 20||HOSTEL||80|
|YHA Auckland International||5 Turner Street PO Box 68-149||Hostel||77|
|St. Martins Waldorf Furnished Apartments||6-12 St. Martins Lane Auckland||Apartment||-|
|Waldorf Tetra||85 Wakefield Street||Apartment||-|
|K Road City Travellers||146 Karangahape road, Auckland City||Hostel||73|
|Marco Polo Backpackers Lodge||2D Hammond Avenue Orewa North||Hostel||-|
|Oakwood Manor||610 Massey Road Mangere Auckland Airport||Hotel||-|
|Auckland City Hotel||157 Hobson Street||Hotel||-|
|Ascot Epsom Motel||92 Great South Rd NewMarket||Hotel||-|
|The Cozy Kiwi||15-31 Wellesley Street||Hostel||-|
|Shooters Saloon Auckland||330 New North rd Kingsland||Hostel||-|
|Waldorf Bankside||8 Bankside Street||Apartment||-|
|Dukes Midway Lodge||4 Vagus Place (off Pah Road) Royal Oak PO Box 24047||Hotel||-|
|Uenuku lodge||217 Ponsonby road Ponsonby||Hostel||75|
|Waldorf Stadium||40 Beach Road||Apartment||-|
|Bella Vista Express Hotel||14 Airpark Drive P O Box 107 068, Airport Oaks||Hotel||-|
|Waldorf Celestion||19-23 Anzac Ave (19 Emily Place)||Apartment||-|
|YMCA Hostel||Corner Pitt street and Greys Avenue||HOSTEL||78|
|Silverfern Backpackers||234 Hobson Street||Hostel||78|
|Mount Richmond Hotel||676 Mt Wellington Highway Mt Wellington||Hotel||-|
|Sudima Auckland Airport||18 Airpark Drive Mangere||Hotel||-|
|Auckland Airport Inn||190 Kirkbride Road Mangere||Hotel||-|
|Columbia||15 Whitaker Place Auckland||APARTMENT||-|
|Econo Lodge City Central||37 Wellesley Street Auckland||HOTEL||-|
|Fat Cat Travellers Community||2A Sherrybrooke Place||HOSTEL||77|
|Ibis Budget Auckland Airport||2 Leonard Isitt Drive Auckland Airport||Hotel||-|
|Kiwi Heritage Homestay||52 West Coast Road Glen Eden||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|The Brown Kiwi Travellers Hostel||7 Prosford Street Ponsonby||HOSTEL||-|
|Verandahs Backpackers Lodge||4-6 Hopetoun Street||HOSTEL||-|
|Arena Hotel||131 Beach Road||Hotel||-|
|Newton Lodge||27 Cross Street, Newton PO BOX 68571, Newton||HOSTEL||-|
|University Hall Auckland||30 Whitaker Place Grafton||HOSTEL||-|
|Kiwi Airport Backpackers||144 McKenzie Road Mangere||HOSTEL||-|
|The Albion Hotel||19 Hobson Street||Hotel||-|
|Allenby Park Hotel||477 great south road Paptoetoe||HOTEL||-|
Internet cafés are widely available throughout New Zealand at rates of around NZ$2-4, though sometimes more in smaller places. Besides internet and e-mail services, most big internet cafés also offer some way for travellers to connect their digital camera and burn cds. Many public libraries have public Internet access, and most of them offer short free internet sessions. Wi-Fi access is getting more and more common in for example coffee places or fast food chains. It is becoming more common for Wi-Fi to be provided at hotels and motels, though sometimes at a fee. Wireless Hotspots are located in many cities and towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Many camping holiday parks also have such services available.
See also International Telephone Calls
Dial 111 for emergency police, fire or ambulance services. The worldwide emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used.
The country code is 64.
Most payphones in New Zealand require the use of phone cards for payment and it is getting harder to find payphones that accept coins. As phone cards are available at a lot of outlets, they are easy to purchase and very handy as a backup in case of emergencies. Many of them also accept creditcards. Local calls are free from residential phones and charges for calling outside that area can be found at the front of the regional phone books, amongst many other services.
Mobile telephone coverage is effectively national in near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that outside the urban areas, and especially away from the main highway system, coverage does have huge dead patches. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous terrain. Mobile telephone users can call 555 only to report Non-emergency traffic safety incidents, such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the Police. There are currently three major mobile carriers in New Zealand.
A prepaid sim-card connection pack with $10 credit from Telecom or Vodafone costs around $30, and prepaid sim-cards from 2degrees cost $10. Telecom has broader coverage in remote areas away from major cities compared to Vodafone and 2degrees.
Most areas have dedicated PostShops, however stamps can also be bought at grocery shops, supermarkets and book stores. There are two main formats for domestic mail, namely Standard Post and Fast Post. Fast Post is used next day delivery between major towns and cities (two days from rural areas), whereas Standard Post will take a few working days to deliver nationwide. Standard costs NZ$0.50 for letters/postcards (NZ$0.80 for larger envelopes), Fast Post costs NZ$0.80 (NZ$1.20 for larger envelopes). International mail takes about 3-6 days to Australia (NZ$1.50), and 6-12 days to Europe, Asia and the United States (NZ$2). Post boxes are white, red and black and can be found in many areas throughout towns and cities, including information about when their contents are collected. Most post offices and smaller post shops have opening hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 12:30pm on Saturday. You can buy stamps here, or at newsagents and general stores. For parcels, you can use the NZ Post or otherwise courier companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.
Ask MargitMalmmose a question about Auckland
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