City of sails, culture and sights
With a population of around 1.5 million, New Zealand’s largest city is a gateway to the rest of the country, welcoming about 70% of all visitors. With its multicultural mix, it’s a vibrant, inherently cultural city, home to museums, galleries, festivals and numerous other events reflecting and celebrating its diversity.
The only city in the world built on an active volcanic field, Auckland is dotted with 50 volcanoes, which make for exciting yet safe vantage points from which to view the city and its yacht-speckled harbour. With beaches on both the west and east coasts, it’s a tropical summer destination that also holds its own in winter. Beyond that, it’s a terrific jumping-off point for campervan expedition to take in the splendours of the north or the Coromandel Peninsula to the east.
Things to do
Restaurants, bars and clubs
Sample the food, wine and fun in nightlife precincts opens in new window Ponsonby, Wynyard Quarter, Britomart or the Viaduct, where countless new bars, restaurants and clubs have burst on to the scene. They're also great areas for an afternoon of shopping.
Hauraki Gulf and islands
Museums and galleries
While away the hours at Auckland Art Gallery opens in new window, the Museum of Transport & Technology opens in new window and Auckland Memorial Museum opens in new window to get a taste of indigenous, colonial and Pacific art, culture and history.
West Coast beaches
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of West Coast beaches opens in new window like Muriwai, Bethells, Whatipu, Anawhata, Karekare or Piha, which are about 40km from Auckland. Become part of a time-honoured Kiwi tradition: go for a swim or a surf and follow it with a meal of fish and chips on the beach.
Ascend the 328m Sky Tower opens in new window to enjoy an unrivalled view of Auckland. Have dinner or a drink at The Sugar Club, Sky Cafe or Orbit revolving restaurant, or if you're feeling adventurous, get your thrills on the SkyWalk or SkyJump.
Auckland Airport (AKL)
Distance to city centre 22km
Taxis are available from the domestic and international terminals. The trip into the city centre takes around 30 minutes and costs NZD $38-75.
Shuttle The SkyBus shuttle travels between the airport and Auckland city, departing every 20-30 minutes. The journey to the centre of town takes around 50 minutes. Tickets cost around NZD $17 and are available online, at Skybus stops or from the bus driver (card only).
Bus The 380 Airporter bus goes from the airport to Onehunga, from where you can catch a train into central Auckland. The trip takes around an hour and costs NZD $5-11.Back to top
When to go
Auckland’s subtropical climate is affected by the close proximity of its west and east coasts, which are less than 2km apart at the narrowest point. The result is warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters. Summer begins around Christmas and lasts until March, with winter typically at its peak around July and August. This means wind and rain, with occasional hailstorms.
A small city with big aspirations, Auckland boasts music festivals such as Laneway in January and Splore in February, Pacific culture festival Pasifika in March, the Writers Festival in May, a biennial arts festival in odd-numbered years and the must-see New Zealand International Film Festival, which takes place each July.
Ready to go? Find cheap flights to AucklandBack to top
Auckland’s Link bus service covers the whole city with regular departures and cheap fares. The red City Link buses serve the city centre every 7-10 minutes, the bright green Inner Link buses cover the inner-city suburbs and the orange Outer Link buses serve the universities, some inner-city and western suburbs, plus the Museum of Transport & Technology.
Trains cover Southern, Eastern, Western and Central Auckland.
Ferries operate from the Downtown Ferry Terminal. There are more than 10 routes, including Waiheke Island, Birkenhead, Bayswater, Stanley Bay, Devonport and Half Moon Bay.
With a pre-paid rechargable AT HOP card you’ll get a 25% discount on most public transport.Back to top
Discover more about Auckland
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Auckland, famous for its cuisine, music, art and culture, is a dream for anyone wanting to buy something hip with local designers and manufacturers aplenty.
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Local's guide on the top eats in Auckland
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If you’re after sandy stretches close to Auckland and scenery to suit your mood, local sun-chaser Alice Galletly suggests a few of her favourite Auckland beaches
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