New Zealand

Welcome to Auckland

 

Situated in New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is a stretch of land surrounded by water and bathed in light. From the Tasman Sea to the Hauraki Gulf, the port city is always in sync with the big blue sea, a symbol of its openness to the rest of the world. Perched on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the city was originally a volcanic field. Lush green hills still remain from the area’s tumultuous geological past, now beautiful parks that breathe fresh air through the city’s urban centre. It is well worth looking down at Auckland from the top of One Tree Hill to really appreciate its scope. A sacred site for Maoris, “Maungakiekie” is 180 metres tall and also holds a special place in the hearts of the children of western pioneers, as it is home to the tomb of Sir John Logan Campbell, Auckland’s first resident.

To get to grips with these parallel, intertwined histories that now form a single shared identity, you need to go to another park, this one in the historic heart of Auckland. To Parnell, in the lush green setting of the Auckland Domain, where you can marvel at the Neo-Classical architecture of the Auckland Museum. As at One Tree Hill, the view over the city showcases the diversity of the city in all its glory. In the background are the glass and steel skyscrapers of the most populated city centre in New Zealand. The tallest of them towers up into a sky that is always blue: Sky Tower, the highest in the Southern Hemisphere, seems to defy gravity and modernity.

But before that, Parnell, the oldest residential neighbourhood in Auckland, is ready to reveal the secrets of the city’s beginnings. Gothic buildings and wooden verandas, chapels, houses made of volcanic stone, Victorian churches, art galleries and elegant cafes spread out along the architectural promenade, imbued with two centuries of history dating back to the city’s earliest days. They are inextricably linked to the ocean spray and the call of new lands. In the port, the New Zealand Maritime Museum tells the story of the representatives of Old Europe who first set foot on dry land here. The nearby St Patrick's Cathedral offers a delightful contrast to the contemporary lines of Auckland’s city centre.
This clever mix of modern touches, memories of the past, authenticity and Maori chants sums up the Kiwi lifestyle. So you don’t have to choose which aspect of Auckland to explore, you can wander through Sylvia Park, a huge shopping centre, or browse the tempting stalls of the city’s iconic markets, the Auckland Night Market or Otara Market to soak up the eclectic atmospheres.
The huge number of great restaurants, combining traditional European food, fusion dishes and Maori influences, are bound to win over the most demanding foodies. Plus there is a packed calendar of sporting and cultural events, including the Auckland Lantern Festival, the Auckland Arts Festival, the New Zealand International Film Festival and the Auckland Marathon, epitomising the city’s vibrancy.
Auckland actually extends beyond its port, from where you should just be able to make out Rangitoto on the horizon, a nature reserve that looks like an idyllic Garden of Eden. The nearby islands offer an exquisite getaway. The most popular with in-the-know Kiwis is Waiheke Island, a haven of peace with beaches, vineyards, luxury restaurants and the contemporary sculptures of Connells Bay Sculpture Park. Heaven on earth.
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When to go

Due to it oceanic climate with warm summers and mild winters, Auckland ​is a great city to visit all year around, even if the weather can be very changeable.
Auckland can also be rainy mainly during the winter, and don’t be surprised to see some tropical cyclones during the summer. Since it is located in the southern hemisphere, the coldest months are between June and August with an average temperature of 10°C, and the hottest and driest months are December to March with temperatures superior to 20°C..
The best time to visit Auckland is from December to March, when the temperatures are warm with a​n average​ minimum temperature of 20° Celsius.

Auckland

  • Jan

    Auckland Anniversary Weekend, late January/early February

  • Fev

    Auckland Lantern Festival, showcasing Chinese Culture, mid-February

  • Mar

    Auckland Arts Festival, 2 weeks events and performances in the city, early March

  • Apr

    NZ International Comedy Festival, 3 weeks performances, 22 April to 15 May

  • May

    Auckland Writers Festival, 10 – 15 May 2016

  • Jun

    Attend a rugby, cricket or basketball game

  • Jul

    Auckland International Film Festival, July - August

  • Aug

    Auckland Restaurant Month, all August

  • Sep

    New Zealand Fashion Week, late August/early September

  • Oct

    Auckland Marathon and Semi Marathon, 30 October 2016

  • Nov

    Taste of Auckland, Food Festival, early November

  • Dec

    Heineken Open Auckland, tennis open, late December/early January

Transportation is easy to organise in Auckland and includes ​a wide range of ​methods of transportation, such as: local cabs, private car services, rental car, bus, train and ferry which are coordinated by Auckland Transport​.
Buses serve most of the city including NiteRider services at night. We recommend the Link bus which proposed three routes covering the major tourist attractions from 7am to 11pm. Single-ride fare in the inner city are NZ$1 for adults. The city train network is composed of 4 lines which cover most of Auckland and its suburbs. The four lines are: Southern, Eastern, Onehunga and Western lines. Ferries are very popular with locals and tourists and connect to the north shore area and to the Hauraki Gulf Islands.
Purchase a Discovery Pass (NZ$16) for a day’s worth of transport on most trains, buses and North Shore feries.
​Keep in mind that when driving in Auckland​, you must drive on the ​left ​side of the road.

In Auckland, taxis can ​be ​hail​ed on the street, f​ound​ at taxi ranks or boo​​k​ed in advance through one of the numerous Auckland taxi companies.​
​The initial charge is ​NZ$ 2,​50 and add NZ$ 2,​60 for each kilometer. Some additional charges may apply.​ Credit cards are usually accepted, with a​n additional charge fee.

Auckland Airport handles more than 15 million passengers per year, which represents over 70 per cent of visitors who enter or leave New Zealand.
Auckland Airport is located 20 kilometers from the city center. By taxi, expect ​a ​30-40 minutes​ journey​ and a fare of NZ$70 to NZ90 (depending upon traffic and the time of day).
Metered taxis are available and private transfers can be arranged at the airport​​.​
Airbus Express runs every 10–15 minutes from 7am to 11pm. You can buy the ticket (NZ$20) from the driver or online. The trip usually takes less than one hour.

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