BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Auckland Region > Auckland


Auckland is by far New Zealand’s biggest city, with 1.3 million residents out of a country that has a population of only 4.2 million. As such, it has an outsized cultural and economic influence on New Zealand and can inspire love or hate in Kiwis, but never indifference. To much of the rest of the country Auckland folk are derided as “JAFAs” – Just Another F-ing Aucklander. But Aucklanders are probably too busy enjoying their cosmopolitan, brash, and yes, sometimes a little bit crass city to care.

Auckland is situated between the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours and is built up on a landscape of extinct volcanic cones. The suburbs of Auckland sprawl for miles and miles, with many people commuting to work from secluded bays and island communities. The centre city is not particularly charming, a kind of anonymous big-city environment of tall buildings and crowded business-hour streets. Yet there’s also great nightlife to be found, excellent restaurants, and a lively cultural and artistic scene in town.

The city also has an interesting multicultural mix with a blend of Asian, European and Polynesian culture and it has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world.
Many of Auckland’s more interesting neighbourhoods are to be found in its inner suburban ring. Parnell is a short walk from the city centre and has a quaint old shopping area along with stylish restaurants and cafés. Walk a little further away from the centre and you come to Newmarket, a bustling neighbourhood which is a great place for no-nonsense shopping.
On the opposite side of the city is Ponsonby – the coolest neighbourhood in Auckland, with loads of cafés and bars lining the streets; nearby Karangahape Road (known widely as K Road), on the north end of Queen Street, is the hip centre of nightlife and alternative culture.

A big part of the city’s appeal is its great harbourside location. Auckland is called the “City of Sails”, with one in ten Aucklanders said to own a boat, and it’s easy to believe if you get out on the water on a sunny weekend afternoon. Sailing excursions can be booked, or you can just get out and take a ferry to Auckland’s many nearby islands.

Almost everyone visiting New Zealand comes and goes through Auckland at some point. Many backpackers just stay in the downtown area and hit the bars and clubs of the Fort Street/Queen Street area - decent enough fun, but there’s so much more to see and do in Auckland. It’s the kind of place that rewards a bit of exploration.

Auckland - © Achim Thomae - Fotolia.comAuckland - © Achim Thomae - Fotolia.com

Practical information

Auckland i-SITE Visitor Centre – SKYCITY Atrium

Sky City, Corner Federal & Victoria Streets, Auckland
Tel (09) 363 7182 or 0800 AUCKLAND
Website www.aucklandnz.com
Open 8am-8pm daily

Auckland i-SITE Visitor Centre – Princes Wharf

137 Quay Street, Princes Wharf, Auckland
Tel (09) 307 0612 or 0800 AUCKLAND
Website www.aucklandnz.com
Open Jan-Mar Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm; Apr-Sep 9am-5pm daily; Oct-Dec 8.30am-6pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm

Devonport i-SITE Visitor Centre

3 Victoria Road, Devonport
Tel (09) 446 0677
Website www.tourismnorthshore.org.nz
Open 8.30am-5pm daily


Level 7, Price Waterhouse-Coopers Tower, 188 Quay Street, Auckland
Tel (09) 921 8800
Website www.australia.org.nz
Open Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm


7 Citigroup Centre, 23 Customs Street East, Auckland
Tel (09) 977 2252
Website www.ireland.co.nz

United Kingdom

17th floor, 151 Queen Street, Auckland
Tel (09) 303 2973
Website www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk
Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

United States

3rd Floor, Citibank Centre, 23 Customs Street East, Auckland
Tel (09) 303 2724
Website http://newzealand.usembassy.gov/auckland/
Open Mon-Fri 8am-noon & 2pm-4pm


Most hostels have internet access, but you can also get online at these internet cafés:

Discount Dialing

7 Fort Street, Auckland
Tel (09) 355 7300
Open 8am-11.30pm daily

Global Gossip

Base Auckland Central Backpackers, Level 3, 229 Queen Street, Auckland
Tel (09) 358 4877

Website www.globalgossip.com


Esquires Coffee has free Wi-Fi access at many of their central Auckland stores including: the Citibank Building, 23 Customs Street East; Foodtown, 76 Quay Street; 188 Quay Street; 155 Queen Street; 57B Hobson Street; 33 Lorne Street; 291 Queen Street and Pier 1 in the Ferry Terminal. Magnation (100 Queen Street, Auckland) also have free Wi-Fi.

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