Destination Guide

Auckland, New Zealand

With a volcano standing on sentry duty outside one of its two magnificent shining harbours, and surrounded by volcanic cones (extinct, fear not!), "The City of Sails" is a spectacular and unique location.

Once the capital of New Zealand, scenic, sunny Auckland was settled by the Maori around 1250-1300. Europeans came around 500 years later. The largest city in Polynesia, Auckland's pull has generated a rich cultural mix you can experience in its festivals and cultural life.

Home to first-class wine and food, bars and cafes, and a fashion scene supportive of both new and established fashion designers, Auckland is also the gateway to many nearby outdoor adventures. From its cosmopolitan core to the wonder and awe of rainforests and thermal areas, its beautiful beaches, or the thrill of bungy jumping, this is a city that has it all.

Getting in and around Auckland

Auckland Airport

Auckland Airport services both international and domestic routes, and is located about 30 kilometres from the city. You'll find here all the facilities you expect: post office, ATMs, internet booths, food and shopping.

Free shuttle buses connect the airport to major hotels. If you want to be able to travel independently, car rental is available at the international terminal and can be arranged in advance.

Auckland Transport

Transport choices are plentiful within Auckland and you probably won't experience much need for a hire car unless doing a lot of cross-city travel or taking independent day trips. Ferries ply the beautiful waterways to the north shore and the Hauraki Gulf islands. There are good commuter trains, and bus services are frequent.

Auckland Car Hire

If planning on doing a lot of cross-city travel or taking independent day trips, you'll probably find renting a vehicle to be more cost-effective than public transit. If you hire a car to get around town, take care around rush hour: Auckland is a very car-dependent city and its roads are known to suffer from a great deal of congestion in peak times.

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Auckland accommodation

Auckland tourism is good for the local economy and the traveller is faced with a wide choice of accommodation, with everything from super luxury to the basic needs of the backpacker.


  • Cordis is the place for pampering, doing business and fine dining, all in a convenient location.
  • The Hilton Auckland at Princes Wharf offers all you'd expect from this brand - contemporary decor, great dining and a range of services.
  • The Langham Hotel Auckland is the place for pampering, doing business and fine dining. Convenient location. The Hilton Auckland at Princes Wharf offers all you'd expect from this brand—contemporary decor, great dining and a range of services.


  • Mercure Auckland Queen Street is a comfortable mid-range hotel near the harbour and railway station.
  • President Hotel Auckland has a large range of services including internet, gym, child-minding and a 24-hour convenience store.
  • Best Western President Hotel Auckland has a large range of services including internet, gym, child-minding and 24-hour convenience store. The Mercure Hotel Auckland is a comfortable mid-range hotel near the harbour and railway station.


  • ibis Budget Auckland Airport offers value, convenience and modern rooms.
  • Hotel Formule 1 offers well-designed rooms in a 100% non-smoking environment that's right downtown.


  • Verandahs Parkside Lodge is an affordable backpackers with an unbeatable location between the city and Western Park.
  • Choice Backpackers offers free unlimited WiFi with a shared laundry and kitchen facilities right in the heart of the city.
  • Nomad’s Fat Camel Hostel has been voted No 1 Backpackers Hostel in NZ. It's a winner offering free evening meals every night. Base Backpackers Auckland reviews well. At 16-20 Fort Street, it's close to the viaduct and Queen Street. ^ Back to top

    Things to do in Auckland

  • Auckland Scenic Day Tour, a scenic bus tour of Auckland's leading attractions, lives up to its name. This 8-hour excursion introduces you to sights and ends with a wine tasting.
  • The Auckland Explorer Bus's Hop-on Hop-off Tour is a fun way to get oriented and to see Auckland's top attractions. The circuit (which includes audio commentary) takes an hour to complete in total, but you can hop off and hop on again at any stop over the course of a day. Two-day passes are also available.
  • Head up the Sky Tower. Enjoy unparalleled views of Auckland from the top, or if you're feeling brave, walk the circumference on a 1.2 metre external ledge, with not even balcony rails to obstruct the panoramic views.
  • Auckland Harbour Sailing Dinner Cruise is a 2.5 hour trip and is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. A Coffee Cruise is also offered earlier in the day.
  • Westhaven Marina is the the largest marina in the southern hemisphere. Shopping malls and cafes are only a stroll away.
  • Explore Parnell Village and check out the historic buildings of New Zealand's oldest suburb, known for its trendy cafes, galleries and interesting shops.
  • Auckland Zoo. Here you can learn about the key role this zoo (recognised as one of the most progressive in the world) plays in conserving New Zealand's unique fauna.
  • Auckland Museum in Auckland's most popular park, the Auckland Domain, is a beautiful and historic setting that offers a mind-boggling range of experiences, including the most comprehensive collection of Maori and Pacific artifacts in New Zealand.
  • Auckland Bridge Bungy Jump. Touch the Waitamata Harbour water at the bottom of the bungy jump, a thrill whether you're 9 or 90. The operators - the original bungy jump pioneers - have a wealth of experience in providing an unforgettable adrenaline rush while keeping you safe. The same company is behind the Auckland Bridge Climb, offering exclusive harbour views from the opposite extreme.
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    Day trips in and around Auckland

  • Coast and Rainforest Walk Eco-Tour. Departing from Auckland daily, the 7-hour trip visits New Zealand's largest regional park, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, where you can see giant tree ferns and marvel at 1,000-year-old Kauri pines.
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves, two hours south of Auckland, is an unforgettable experience. On the way, one of the interesting places to see is the Rangiriri Maori Wars battle site.
  • Hole in the Rock Cruise. There are many luxury catamaran trips which include visits to the Waitangi Treaty House and beautiful Paihia. Don't let your camera jam as your boat manoeuvres through the spectacular rock formation.
  • Great Barrier Island. Planes leave from Auckland's domestic airport crossing the Hauraki Gulf to this island where you'll marvel at the magnificent beaches. Enjoy a homestead lunch and take the stunning walk to the top of Windy Canyon.
  • Wild and Free Harley Tours. Travel along New Zealand's majestic coastlines and visit the famous Whakarewarewa Village with its geysers and boiling mud pools.
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