Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and nicknamed the “City of Sails”, it gets this name because the harbour is often dotted with hundreds of yachts. They say about one in three Auckland households owns a boat, unfortunately I don’t.
I’ve lived in Auckland for the last 10 years and I love the place, there’s literally hundreds of things to do and see in Auckland, do your research and see what activities/attractions you’d like to visit. This city review will give you a few pointers of what’s good when visiting Auckland.
Things to see and do:
Queen street is Auckland’s main street but I would suggest trying to get out to the surrounding suburbs, Parnell, Newmarket, K'rd, and Ponsonby as there are nicer cafes, bars, and shopping.
Visiting the waterfront/viaduct area of Auckland is a must. Loads of bars and restaurants to choose from, Wynard Quarter was put up for the Rugby World Cup and worth checking out. Click on the following link for more info. http://www.viaduct.co.nz/
Auckland Sky tower sits 328 metres high and offers amazing 360 degree views. The tower has a revolving restaurant and a number of adventure activities from the Sky walk (walk around the tower suspended 192 metres up) to the Sky jump (base-jump by wire off the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand) Click on the following link for more info. www.skycityauckland.co.nz
Auckland harbour bridge climb, walk over and under Auckland’s historic bridge. You can also bungy off the bridge. Click on the following link for more info. www.aucklandbridgeclimb.co.nz
There are a number of museum/galleries if you are in to that. The Auckland art gallery has been revamped and reopened - definitely worth checking out. Click on the following link for more info. http://www.aucklandartgallery.com/
Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic & Underwater world is worth visiting, swim with sharks and stingrays. Click on the following link for more info. www.kellytarltons.co.nz
Every Saturday and Sunday there’s a French market in Parnell, great cuisines and atmosphere. One of my favourites. Click on the following link for more info. http://www.lacigale.co.nz/wawcs0111832/market.html
Any visit to Auckland is not complete without visiting Devonport and Waiheke Island. Devonport is just on the other side of the harbour, you can catch the Fullers passenger ferry from downtown Auckland and it takes roughly 15 minutes. Devonport is a nice little village to spend the afternoon wondering around with shops/cafes. Waiheke Island is a little further away, again you can catch the Fullers passenger ferry and it takes roughly 30 minutes. Waiheke has a number of great beaches, wineries, cafes and restaurants. You can hire a scooter and ride around the island which is quite fun if the weather is nice.
The Airport is located in Manukau city, around 40 minutes drive from downtown Auckland. A number of hire car companies operate or you can catch the city airbus which leaves roughly every 30 minutes and does pick-ups and drop-offs on route to and from the city. Tickets cost about NZ$16 one way, they are the bright blue buses.
If you find yourself touring North of New Zealand, the city of Rotorua is highly recommended. It is a well connected city to the rest of New Zealand, only a 3 hour drive from Auckland and 5-6 hour drive from New Zealand's capital city of Wellington.
You have a lot of choice when choosing accommodation, just do your research and check out prices/location etc. I’ve stayed at the Crown Plaza in the city centre, right next to the sky tower and I can recommend this hotel, prices range from $180.00 to $400 per night (prices vary during busier times). Crown Plaza Auckland.
Points to highlight:
I’ve only just scratched the surface re: things to do and see. If you have a car and more time I’d suggest checking out the local(ish) black sand beaches, Piha, Karekare, Bathells, or Muriwai. It’s well worth the drive, although very dangerous so I wouldn't advise swimming! Check out http://www.aucklandnz.com for more information on Auckland.
Would you recommend this destination: Yes
Overall rating: 4/5