New Zealand’s largest city and most popular tourism destination, Auckland blends islands, ancient rainforest, Polynesian culture, sparkling harbours and a sophisticated city.
Auckland is widely known as the ‘City of Sails’. It’s been said that the city has the highest number of boats per capita in the world – which is no wonder considering the beautiful waterways surrounding it. No visit to Auckland would be complete without experiencing the water up close. From a thrilling high-speed ride on a racing yacht to a laid-back cruise across the harbour, there’s an experience to suit every visitor. Ensure your clients allow time for exploring some of the 50 islands scattered across the Hauraki Gulf. Just 30 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, a different world awaits on islands such as Rangitoto, Waiheke and Tiritiri Matangi.
Back on the mainland, explore golden beaches lined with native, red-flowering Pohutakawa trees on the North Shore, and rainforest and dramatically beautiful black-sand surf beaches in Waitakere. Visitors to Auckland will enjoy a vibrant lifestyle that blends Polynesian, Maori and European cultures. Visit the colourful markets in Otara and Avondale to experience the sights and flavours of Pacific culture or take a walking tour with a Maori guide. Auckland is also home to an excellent selection of museums, galleries and shops. The region boasts more than 1,000 restaurants – Pacific Rim cuisine, blending Asian and Pacific flavours, is a specialty. Whichever way you look at it, Auckland is a great place for satisfying the appetite.
Download the Auckland section from New Zealand Trade Manual 2012Auckland (from New Zealand Trade Manual 2012) (416)
Islands of the Hauraki Gulf A multitude of islands, each with its own distinct character. Sky Tower Auckland’s much-loved landmark. Harbour Bridge Spanning the sparkling harbour. Bush and Beach Explore wild black sand beaches and lush coastal rainforest.
Canyoning West Auckland (Auckland) Abseiling, swimming and sliding. www.canyonz.co.nz or www.awoladventures.co.nz SkyWalk 360 (Auckland) Walk around the perimeter of the Sky Tower, 192 metres above the ground. www.skywalk.co.nz Sky Jump (Auckland) Base-jump-by-wire from the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. www.skyjump.co.nz AJ Hackett Bungy (Auckland) Bungy off Auckland’s Harbour Bridge. www.bungy.co.nz Auckland Bridge Climb (Auckland) See Auckland’s icon up-close. www.bungy.co.nz Explore NZ – Sail NZ (Auckland) Sail on the Hauraki Gulf aboard an America’s Cup yacht. www.explorenz.co.nz 4Track Adventures (Waimuku) Explore Auckland’s rainforests and beaches by quad bike. www.4trackadventures.co.nz
Rest & Relax
Kaitoke Hot Springs (Great Barrier Island) Head to Great Barrier Island and soak in these natural hot springs. www.greatbarriernz.com Day spas Visit a luxurious day spa such as Spa de Serville, East Day Spa, Spa at the Hyatt or Bliss Reflexology. Pride of Auckland (Auckland) Enjoy a relaxing coffee, lunch or dinner cruise. www.explorenz.co.nz Wine tasting Explore Auckland’s wine-growing regions – Kumeu, Waiheke Island, Matakana or Clevedon.
Helilink Adventures (Auckland) Auckland’s only downtown helicopter company offers helicopter transfers to an island rendezvous with a luxury yacht. www.helilink.co.nz Gulf Harbour Country Club (Whangaparaoa) Championship golf course featuring spectacular ocean views. www.gulfharbourcountryclub.co.nz
Manaia (Auckland) Stirring Maori cultural performance at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. www.aucklandmuseum.com Tamaki Hikoi (Auckland) Maori guides from the local Ngati Whatua tribe share ancient stories on this walking tour. www.aucklandnz.com
Natural New Zealand
Goat Island Dive (Leigh) Renowned for its marine life, Goat Island is perfect for diving. www.goatislanddive.co.nz Kelly Tarlton’s Shark Survival (Auckland) Underwater encounter with sharks. www.kellytarltons.co.nz
On a budget
Auckland Domain (Auckland) Visit the renowned Auckland Museum and stroll through the Wintergardens.
The Iconic Experience
Climb one of the 48 volcanic cones dotted across the Auckland landscape for great views of the city and harbours.
Dining & Shopping
Harbourside Seafood Bar & Grill (Auckland) Specialises in fresh seafood, with crayfish from the tank. www.harboursiderestaurant.co.nz
Degree Gastro Bar (Auckland) Watch the Viaduct action while you cook your meat on a stone grill. www.degree.co.nz
Strawberry Alarm Clock (Parnell) Features a tiny dining area and a great little courtyard, phone +64 9 377 6959.
Bellota (Auckland) Peter Gordon-inspired rendition of an authentic Spanish Tapas bar. www.bellota.co.nz
The Bluestone Room (Auckland) Historic charm in a stunning heritage building. www.thebluestoneroom.co.nz
Big Picture Wine (Auckland) The essential wine trail off the courtyard at the Auckland Fish Market. www.thewineexperience.co.nz
Shop or Gallery
Otara Market (Otara) New Zealand’s largest Polynesian market is held every Saturday. www.aucklandnz.com
2 days in Auckland
Start Auckland I Finish Auckland
Day 1 Parnell – Karangahape Road
Day 2 Central City – Viaduct Harbour
Start by exploring Parnell, the Auckland Domain and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Continue to Newmarket for retail therapy and Mt Eden, where an extinct volcano offers 360 degree views. Finish at a restaurant on Ponsonby Road before hitting the clubs on Karangahape Road (K’ Road). On Day 2, explore the central city on foot. Head up the Sky Tower for panoramic views and relax in one of the many waterfront restaurants at Viaduct Harbour.
5 days in Auckland
Day 1 Devonport – Whangaparaoa Peninsula
Day 2 Orewa – Matakana
Day 3 Hauraki Gulf
Day 4 West Auckland
Day 5 Manukau – Waiuku
Drive over the Harbour Bridge to visit Devonport and Takapuna. Further north, the Whangaparaoa Peninsula has a wealth of beaches and bays. On Day 2, explore the beach at Orewa. Just over the hill is Waiwera and its geothermal pools. Travel further north to Matakana and Wellsford to explore pristine coastline and vineyards. On Day 3, explore the Hauraki Gulf or visit one of the many islands. On Day 4, travel to Auckland’s west coast. The rainforest of the Waitakere Ranges features walking trails and beaches. On Day 5, visit Manukau in South Auckland, home to more than 165 ethnic groups. Continue south through Karaka to Waiuku, gateway to the beautiful Awhitu Peninsula.
Grab a copy of the This is Auckland guide from an i-SITE Visitor Centre and pick out one of the suggested touring routes.
Auckland International Airport is serviced by 20 international carriers with direct flights from more than 31 cities. Auckland Domestic Airport offers several services per day between all other cities and regular flights between smaller towns. An Airbus services the 30- to 50-minute route between the airport and city.
Auckland is situated on SH 1 and has a comprehensive motorway system. It is one hour, 50 minutes from Hamilton and just over 9 hours from Wellington. Coach companies provide regular services to and from other regions. Local buses are frequent and easy to use. Contact MAXX (phone 0800 103 080) for information about public transport.
Tranz Scenic offers daily services to Wellington on The Overlander with several provincial stops along the way. There is also a metropolitan rail service.
Ferry services depart from the waterfront to Devonport, Waiheke Island and other destinations.