Auckland, New Zealand

Beneath the shimmering surface, however, there’s something more: a young culture building an international reputation for design, the arts and the high life. The rest of the population of the country might regard Aucklanders as arrogant, but there’s no denying they've reason to be proud. From hot shopping to cool beaches, Maori culture, vineyard hopping, surfing and boating, the 'City of Sails' has the chutzpah of a capital city – even though its smaller rival Wellington actually wears that crown. Don't miss the surrounding Hauraki Gulf either, dotted with idyllic islands such as laid-back weekend haunt Waiheke.

Areas in Auckland

When to go

The warmer months (November to April) are perfect for enjoying life outdoors, though you should avoid the weeks after Christmas when NZ kids are on school holiday. June to August is the winter high season for ski bunnies on the South Island, so factor in a few days in Auckland to get an urban fix.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Auckland Airport ( is located 21 kilometres south of the city.
  • Boats

    Ferries ( connect with the North Shore, Hauraki Gulf islands and Half Moon Bay near Howick. The trip to Waiheke Island’s Matiatia Wharf takes 35 minutes, or catch a SeaLink car ferry (, a 45-minute ride to Kennedy Point.
  • Trains

    Only one train, the Overlander, operates out of Auckland, running daily to Wellington via Hamilton and Palmerston North (
  • Automobiles

    If you’re just visiting as a stopover, you won’t need a car, but if you intend to do some exploring, wheels are a must. Beach Road’s car hire firms include Avis ( If you fancy something more boy-racer, try NZ Motorcycle Rentals (
  • Taxis

    Hail one or head to a rank. If you’re travelling from your hotel or a restaurant, ask the concierge or maitre d’ to call one for you (particularly if it’s cold!). They’re not the cheapest way to get around the city but definitely one of the easiest. Auckland Co-Op Taxis (+64 9-300 3000; is a good bet.