Auckland Destination Guide
Built on an isthmus between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Auckland rightly claims for itself the nickname 'City of Sails'. Life in Auckland revolves around water – living by it, sailing on it, swimming or kayaking. The beautiful islands of the Hauraki Gulf are part of the city’s playground as well.
Home to one-third of New Zealand’s population, Auckland is not only the most populous city, it is the most cosmopolitan, thanks to the largest Polynesian community in the world, a sizeable Asian population and waves of European immigrants. This diversity of peoples has added a richness to the culture, particularly when it comes to food and wine. Auckland is also a mecca for adventure seekers. How could it be otherwise when the city is built on 48 volcano cones and within an hour of downtown you can be immersed in pristine wilderness? Tamaki-Makaurau, the Maori name for Auckland, means 'the maiden with a hundred suitors'. A fitting description for a city of tempting surprises.
- Country: New Zealand
- Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
- Offical Language: English, Maori
- Visas: Australians travelling to New Zealand as tourists do not require a visa
- Tipping: Voluntary, tips of around 10 per cent are optional for good service
- Electricity: New Zealand outlets run on an average 230 volts and use Type I plugs
Temperature (max C)
J 23, F 23, M 22, A 20, M 17, J 15, J 14, A 15, S 16, O 17, N 19, D 21
Rainfall (max mm)
J 73, F 66, M 87, A 99, M 113, J 126, J 145, A 118, S 105, O 100, N 86, D 93
Visit these unique annual events...
- Pasifika – the world’s largest Pacific Island festival
- Auckland Lantern Festival
- The Takapuna Beach Cup paddling festival
This New Zealand city is a natural playground with hidden bays, islands, beaches and wineries on the fringes of its historic heart.
Take the whole family to...
- A rugby game at Eden Park
- The world-class Auckland Zoo
- Sky Tower – 328-metres high!
Auckland’s rich reputation for the culinary arts is well deserved. Coffee aficionados will be delighted to know that cafe culture is thriving along the CBD’s thoroughfares. The locals’ favourite brew is Allpress. At night, the historic Fort Lane precinct lights up with clubs, bars and restaurants serving up cocktails, dinner, supper, music and nightcaps.
Book in your fine dining at...
- The French Cafe, Newton
- Clooney, Freemans Bay
- Logan Brown, Te Aro
Whatever your needs, you will be well accommodated in Auckland. The choices run from budget options, including comfortable hostels for backpackers, to the world’s luxury hotel brands offering the full complement of facilities.
Pack a picnic and visit...
- Mount Victoria (Takarunga)
- Mount Eden (Maungawhau)
- One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie)
The CBD is a good a place to start a shopping expedition, especially if you are looking to stock up on outdoors or adventure clothing, the sector that New Zealand practically invented. You’ll track down the big names along Queen Street and in the quirky lanes off it.
Go to market at...
- The City Farmers Market
- Onehunga Night Market
- La Cigale French Farmer’s Market
Auckland like a Local
Auckland is one of those rare big cities that has beaches you’d travel days to get to. One of the locals’ favourites is Mission Bay, 15 minutes’ drive from the CBD, where you’ll find a sheltered white sandy beach, plus shops and cafes. Orewa Beach is a beauty too, and just 20 minutes north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Karioitahi is an hour away but is a spectacular black sand and surf beach.
1. Summer-time fun: During the summer, Silo Park in the Wynyard Quarter is a hub of activity. There are great markets on Friday nights and during the day on Saturday and Sunday, plus a weekly film night with movies projected onto the giant silos. Throw food stalls, live DJs and sessions featuring local and international musicians into the mix too.
2. Get away from it all: The historic seaside village of Devonport on the North Shore is a 12-minute ferry ride away from Auckland’s CBD. With heritage buildings, cafes, book shops, galleries, artist studios and five white sand beaches, it is a delightful and relaxing day out.
Get out with a half-day trip to...
- Volcanic Rangitoto Island
- The Waitakere Ranges
- Surf-central Piha Beach
Did you know...? The Civic Theatre, home to Auckland’s big shows, was built in 1929 for the first talkies. It is one of a kind with gargoyles, Buddhas, turrets, minarets, a dome resembling the sky twinkling with stars and clouds, and 2000 red velvet seats. Worth a tour.