If you are looking for variety in your next vacation, plan a visit to the largest city of New Zealand – Auckland!With abundant natural beauty and manmade attractions, the city will leave you no time to think what to do next. Each part of the city whether it be the north, east, west or south is packed with their own speciality and has more to offer than can be imagined. Where North Auckland is famous for its food and wine, the east boasts of its amazing coastline. The west of the city offers wilderness and the south is known for its Polynesian culture. The heart of Auckland is bustling with cityscapes and nightlife in its suburbs. Here is a quick guide on the basics of travelling and staying in Auckland as well as a glimpse at all the numerous activities and locations ready to be explored!
How to Reach
Auckland International Airport is your portal to NZ. Even Budget airlines operate daily flights from Melbourne to Auckland. It’s onto you to decide which way you prefer to reach and go about travelling the city. There is also the option of cruising out of the east coast or Melbourne into Hauraki gulfand see the bay of islands enroute to Viaduct Harbour.
Once you’ve landed, you are well connected by public transport to the hubs. It is extremely easy to hire your own car on the International license too.
Another method of travel that will let you admire the scenic beauty of the place is the railways. A major rail network runs from Auckland to Wellington going through the Northern Island. All coaches are designed in a way for tourists to make the most of the ride with large panoramic windows and a trail that takes you through interesting geographic formations. Britomart in the CBD is the hub for all public transport and the most important railway station of the city.
If you have flown to a different port,taking the road trip to reach Auckland is also a good idea. You want to take your own route and stop by wherever you feel like. Different vehicles are available for rent or purchase in the city. There are special car fares where one can buy and sell these vehicles conveniently. There are expressways and road links from all parts of New Zealand to reach Auckland by road.
Where to stay
No matter what your budget is like, in Auckland you will find the perfect place to stay. Starting from the least expensive, there are a number of hostels ideal for the young backpackers who are on a low budget. You can enjoy the cosy ambience of Bread and Breakfast places available for stay in the city as well. You will get to see local hospitality and have a comfortable yet inexpensive stay at these places. If the countryside is where you picture yourself staying on the trip, you can go for the option of a Farm stay in one of the many Auckland farms. For the adventure lovers, there is the option of going for a holiday park staywhere you are free to set up your own tent house or park a motor home. If you desire a luxurious and picturesque stay, try the boutiques and lodges. There are serviced apartments, hotels and motels in abundance in the city as well. You can also opt for a Homestay in a local kiwi family for a welcoming experience.
Where to go
Here is a list of things to do and see in this multicultural city to help you figure out the A to Z of travelling in Auckland:
- Awhitu Peninsula – Not many people would know of this hidden natural treasure known as Awhitu Peninsula rich with beautiful beaches, vegetation as well as rocks and cliffs. This region of varying geography situated in the southwest of Auckland offers scenic views and a peaceful time out with family and friends.
- Britomart Precinct – A relatively new shopping district of Auckland in one of the most historic part of the city in Downtown Auckland, Britomart Precinct is abuzz with stores, boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
- Clevedon – Home to the early settlers, this peaceful countryside will give you the taste of rural New Zealand. You can try local delicacies, visit farms and vineyards for a glimpse of the country’s rich history and culture situated in the eastern region of the city.
- Devonport – A picturesque seaside village, Devonport is minutes away from Downtown Auckland and can be reached by a ferry ride. Apart from cafes, stores, parks and galleries you can also look at New Zealand’s military history from this place.
- Ecozip Adventures at Waiheke Islands – For adventure lovers, there’s no dearth of things to try in Auckland, such as the Ecozip Adventures located at the Waiheke Islands. Major attraction includes flying fox ziplines which will take you down the beautiful island for a breath-taking view below.
- Flametree Art Garden and Gallery – This unique art gallery houses some of the best New Zealand contemporary art. Displayed in the outdoors in a well-designed natural area, the gallery is open all days in spring and summer.
- Goat Island and Leigh – If you want to try deep sea diving or scuba diving, Goat Island is a good choice. The clear waters and abundant sea life of the region is an interesting place for tourists to check out.
- High Street and Vulcan Lane – For the fashion buffs is High Street, packed with luxury and designer brand stores and beautiful cafes. It is one of the main shopping locations of the city. For the booze and clubbing the night away, hit Vulcan Lane which has many pubs and lounges of repute.
- Jet Boating – Don’t miss to indulge in one of the many water sports available at the beaches of Auckland. Jet boating is one such adventure sport sure to thrill you enough and is suitable for people of all ages.
- Kingsland – Kingsland houses the Eden Park which is New Zealand’s largest stadium. The suburb is always oozing with joy and spirit and also has newly constructed bars and cafes.
- Matakana – Matakana is famous for its authentic food which is grown locally and served to its guests as pure and organic as possible. The place is a must visit for food lovers to discover the unique and fresh taste of the land. It is an hour away from Downtown Auckland by road.
- Mount Eden – Named after an extinct volcano, this is the highest natural point of the city and offers a spectacular view from its top. It is a must visit to look at the beautiful city from this height. It is situated in the southwest suburbs of downtown Auckland. One is always tempted to roll down the green grass into heart of the extinct volcano, but the local Maori see that as a sign of disrespect.
- Omaha – One of the most preferred holiday spots for travellers as well as locals, especially those who own a holiday home in the area. With tranquil beaches and resorts the place is known for being the holiday destination for ex Kiwi Prime Minister and other noted celebrities.
- Parnell – One of the oldest and most charming suburbs of the city, this area is a mix of old Victorian buildings, galleries and stores that offer some of the best jewels, antiques, home décor and much more. It is a little bit like Melbourne’s cafe culture.
- Harbour Bridge – A mini version of the Sdyney Harbour Bridge, minus the train tracks joins Auckland CBD to the North. You can indulge in a guided tour to take in the surrounds up high looking down at the motorway, or just jump off it. A J Hackett has tamed this location for bungy and that is one hell of an experience, if you’re upto it.
- Queen Street – In the heart of central city is Queens Street, a stretch of entertainment, food and shopping options bustling with people. You can also visit the Sky Tower which is not very far from Queens Street and is a major aspect of the cityscape. The Atrium is also a sight not to be missed.
- Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands – A favourite among hikers and day trippers, the Rangitoto Islands is frequented by locals as well as tourists from abroad. The hiking destination of Auckland which is part of the Hauraki Gulf and Islands also offers lava caves and other natural wonders on the route.
- Spookers – For a completely different experience meant only for the brave heart is the Spookers Haunted Attractions Theme Park which is one of the world’s rarest, scariest and spookiest park. You get to explore multiple areas which have been custom built for horror and mad mayhem. Actors are dressed and in full character of your ghosts will definitely get a scare out of the bravest of the brave as you find your way through to the exit.
- Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum – To explore the rich maritime heritage of the country; visit the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum. Situated at the Viaduct Harbour the Museum is open all through the year.
- Whangaparaoa Peninsula – The Peninsula is perfect for nature lovers and its long and calm coastline will mesmerize you. It also offers parks and a state-of-the art golf course for recreation.
- Zoo – The famous Auckland Zoo is situated close to central part of the city. Spread across a massive 17 acres, the zoo has exotic animals from all over the world.
With so many options to choose from, the city will make sure you cherish each minute spent here with your loved ones. Choice bro!