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A vibrant city, with a passion for food, wine and shopping, close to beautiful beaches, islands and hiking trails, and hosting year-round festivals and events, Auckland caters to a range of interests of all travellers. The best time to visit Auckland is from May – September when average temperatures are around 15 – 18 degrees Celsius, there are several deals on accommodation and travel and crowds are fewer. The peak tourist season is November – March, where accommodation and travel tends to be more expensive, temperature is between 22 – 24 degrees Celsius and there are fewer rain showers.
There are several airlines that operate direct international flights from Australian cities to Auckland, New Zealand. You can choose from between Qantas Airways, Emirates, China Airlines, Virgin Australia Airlines, LATAM Airlines Group, Nauru Airlines, Air New Zealand, AirAsia X, Jetstar Airways and Philippine Airlines. Other airlines with layover options includes Singapore Airlines, Air Vanuatu, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Aircalin, Fiji Airways and China Southern Airlines.
Auckland Airport is conveniently located between Auckland city and Manukau city and there are several transport options to get to Auckland city centre from the airport.
Auckland’s airport transfer service, SkyBus, operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year between the airport and Auckland city via two different routes providing several convenient stops based on your destination. The ride takes approximately 45 – 60 minutes and a one-way adult ticket is $18 NZD while a one-way child ticket (5 – 15 years) is $6 NZD.
You can pre-book a taxi or simply go to the designated taxi ranks outside the arrivals area at the airport. Several licensed taxi companies operate here and offer a fixed fare to Auckland CBD but these fares range from $38.00 NZD – $75.00 NZD depending on which taxi company you oft for. Auckland airport charges $5.00 NZD per pick up and $2.00 NZD per drop off which is usually included in the fixed fare rate stated by the taxi company.
If you are travelling in a group, you will find it economical to opt for the shuttle service, as the fare from airport to the city centre is $35.00 NZD for the first person and $8.00 NZD per additional person (travelling in the same group). The ride takes approximately 1 hour.
Rental car companies licensed by the Auckland Airport are conveniently located next to the arrivals area on the ground floor. You can also look pre-book online and look up some great deals on car rentals with momondo.
Auckland Transport operated Metro buses which run from approximately 6.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. are the best way to get around the city. The buses have 3 routes – CityLink (red buses) within the CBD, the InnerLink (green buses) which is a circular route throughout central Auckland, and OuterLink (orange buses) that serve Auckland’s inner suburbs. For the CityLink buses the maximum fare is $1 NZD per adult, while fares for the other 2 routes range from $3 NZD – $10 NZD depending on the number of zones you travel.
Auckland’s train network has 4 lines that take you to South, East and West Auckland. Trains run every 10 minutes at rush hour, every 20 minutes at non-peak hours and every 30 minutes in the evenings and on weekends. Trains are a convenient option to commute to the major shopping destinations of Newmarket, Sylvia Park, New Lynn and Dress-Smart at Onehunga. Some of the other Auckland attractions such as Rainbows End Adventure Park and Auckland War Memorial Museum are also located close to train stations. Train fares are same as the buses fares and are priced basis the number of zones travelled.
To visit neighbourhoods like Devenport and Waiheke Island, you can use the city’s ferry system. Tickets can be purchased at the CBD’s Downtown Ferry Terminal. One-way adult fare starts at $6.50 NZD while a round-trip starts at $12.00 NZD.
There are a handful of taxi operators in Auckland charging varying rates. Typical rates start at $3.00 NZD, plus $3.00 NZD for every additional kilometres and $50.00 NZD for 1 hour waiting.
Driving your own vehicle is a good way to get around Auckland, especially if you plan to explore the neighbouring areas outside the city limits. Try to stay off the roads during the rush hours from 7.00 a.m. to 9.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. and remember that the Kiwis drive on the left side of the road.
Whether you are an adventure junkie, foodie, culture enthusiast or a sports lover, the cosmopolitan city of Auckland has something for everyone.
Get the AT HOP Card
Save considerably on your travel cost by picking up an AT HOP card, a reusable smart card for travel on trains, ferries and buses. The card costs $10 NZD and saves you up to 20% on a single ride.
Take advantage of the ‘free’ activities
In the summer months, watch a film outside at Silo Park for free. Bring a deck chair and a picnic and enjoy a cult classic. Watch a cricket match between amateur teams for free, at the Victoria Park on most weekends. Enjoy a leisurely walk at Cornwall Park which features jogging and bike paths, a tennis club, a farm and remnants of a pre-European Mauri fort. Don’t leave without taking in the views at the park’s lookout point called One Tree Hill. Try the Auckland Free Walking Tour to learn about the city’s history, architecture and people.
Dress in layers
Auckland can experience 4 seasons in a single day and it can rain at any time in Auckland. Dress in layers and always keep a light rain jacket or an umbrella handy.