The largest city in New Zealand, Auckland is a vibrant and cosmopolitan place that still manages to retain its own identity. Home to over one million people, the city and surrounding metropolitan area has plenty on offer by way of impressive sights, sounds and tastes, especially on the coast where you can hit the beach or watch the waves go by in the Hauraki Gulf.
Away from the city centre, there are fine examples of Georgian, Edwardian, Victorian and even Art Deco architecture, as well as more modern buildings that blend into Auckland’s fabric. Auckland has a great nightlife, several amazing cultural venues and volcanic cones where you can get great views of the city from up on high.
The city is massive and sprawling and as such requires a car that will be economic on fuel.
The best place to go for a quiet cup of coffee is the harbour side suburb of Devonport, which is easily accessible by a short ferry ride. Here, you’re a world away from the hustle and bustle of central Auckland, while you can walk up to the top of Mount Victoria from here.
Eden Park, the largest sports venue in New Zealand, is a great place to catch world-class cricket, rugby union and rugby league games featuring the national team. It’s easily accessible from Kingsland station.
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of the best places to learn more about the nation’s history, particularly its participation in conflicts such as World War Two. It’s also a good place to learn about Maori and Polynesian culture.
Close to the museum are the Winter Gardens, where you can see an array of plants native to New Zealand which you might not find anywhere else in the world. Admission to the Gardens is free of charge.
In Auckland, traffic congestion can be pretty bad during mornings when rush hour is at its worst. Waiting until a little later on to start your journey is advisable.
Some motorways have traffic lights that operate every three seconds to allow cars to merge during times of heavy traffic.
There are several i-SITE visitor centres in and around Auckland. In the city centre, you can find them on 137 Quay Street or the Atrium at SkyCity on Victoria and Federal Streets.
Auckland International Airport is the busiest in New Zealand with over 14 million passengers going through the gates each year. There‚Äôs one terminal building for international flights and another for domestic flights. Both are a few miles away from the centre of Auckland.
Car hire is readily available at Auckland International Airport. As for getting there, it can take a while if going to and from there on weekday mornings and national holidays, but road connections are good to State Highways 20A and 20B. Flights are available to and from London Heathrow.