G’day Travelers! Following on from my top things to do in Auckland post, I thought I would put together my tips for first timers heading to Auckland, New Zealand. It’s just a couple of quick tips of things to know before you go to Auckland for the first time, to make your trip a bit easier.
Where is Auckland?
While not the capital city of New Zealand (that’s Wellington), Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. Located in the northern peninsular of the North Island. It’s also the main entry point for international travellers arriving in New Zealand.
Where To Stay?
You’re not going to have a problem trying to find somewhere to stay in Auckland, there are plenty of hotels all throughout the city. However there are a couple of areas I would suggest looking into. Queens Street is the main hub of activity in the city, so finding hotels along here is a pretty safe bet.
I found there was a good mix of backpacker accommodation and 5 Star hotels around Albert Park as well which was a nicer part of the city to stay. Some of which offered views out over the harbour.
Arriving At The Airport
Arriving at Auckland International Airport is a pretty straight forward experience. I’m not sure what the Visa process is like for other nationalities, but for Australian’s with a Smart Passports the process for entering the country is really easy. It’s just a matter of using the smart gates to clear immigration and then there’s a small queue to clear customs procedures which were no more complicated than Australia’s.
Getting To and From Auckland?
Auckland Airport SkyBus (formerly know as the Airbus Express) bus services is the easiest way to get into the city from the airport. For $28NZD you can get a return ticket that will drop you into the heart of the city, which I found massively convenient. The SkyBus also offers free WiFi which was handy to locate my hotel and catch up on a few things after my flight. To find out more about the Auckland Skybus, head on over to their website – http://www.skybus.co.nz/
Auckland Airport also offers Taxi’s some Public Busses and Shuttle Bus services to other areas. To find out more about those check out the latest information on the Auckland Airport website – https://www.aucklandairport.co.nz/ToAndFromTheAirport/PublicTransport/Buses.aspx
Getting Around Auckland?
For the most part I found that Auckland was an easy enough city to just walk around in. The downtown area and waterfront is pretty flat and there are plenty of walkways to make exploring that part of the city on foot very easy.
However getting beyond the main part of the city will definitely require some sort of transport. A lot of the attractions of Auckland are just outside the main CBD so transport is definitely a requirement. There are busses and ferries that will get you to most places without issues. For more information about Auckland’s public transport visit their website – https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/
Alternatively renting a car is also a good option. The roads in and around Auckland are very easy to navigate and getting in and out of the city on the motorways was extremely straight forward. The only major issue with driving in Auckland is parking. There isn’t any free parking in the city so it can get quite expensive.
Where To Find Food/What To Do In The Evenings?
The waterfront is the place to be in the evenings. From Queen Street Wharf through to Silo Park, offers a huge variety of restaurants to cater for different tastes and budgets. Most offer also offer some sort of stunning view out over the harbour of Auckland’s iconic skyline.
If you’re looking for something a little more casual, then a walk up Queen Street should help you find what you are looking for. The lane ways off Queen Street are full off little bars, pizza places and other little food stalls. Backpackers will be able to find some cheap eats in the international food courts in the area.
If you’re looking to splash out, then Auckland’s Skycity is the place to go. The Skytower’s revolving restaurant offers stunning views out over the city. Then you can kick on with the evening with a show at the theatre or try you luck in the casino.
If you’d like to see some suggestions of things to do while in Auckland, check out my top 5 things to do in Auckland post.
Have you been to the Auckland before? Got some tips first timers might be able to take advantage of? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
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