Auckland, New Zealand, or Tamaki Makaurau in its native tongue of Mori, is home to some of the world's most beautiful natural landscapes and some of New Zealand's most prized cultural and historical treasures. From pristine beaches and active volcanoes to the world's only display of Spiny Sea Dragons and the world's largest collection of Mori taonga (or treasures), Aukland truly is one of a kind.
How To Get In and Out of Auckland
Situated in the northern region of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Mui, Auckland is New Zealand's largest urban area, and as such, it has several main ports of entry that you may find yourself coming in through. If you travel by plane, then the chances are that you'll be entering through Auckland International Airport. If you arrive, like many of New Zealand's visitors, by ferry or boat, then you'll most likely be arriving through Ports of Auckland Limited, the maritime hub in the area.
Auckland International Airport Half airport and half mall, the Aukland International Airport is located in Auckland's southern region. Once you step off the plane and into the arrivals area, look for the Tourism Auckland i-Site information centre, where you can get information on bus, train, and ferry tickets, as well as rental vehicles, accommodations, and more. Regardless of which mode of travel you chose, the airport is only a short distance from the city's center via State Highway 16.
Rotorua Airport Further south is the regional airport of Rotorua, exactly where you'll find yourself if you arrive in Auckland from a domestic flight from elsewhere in New Zealand. From here, it's about a 3-hour drive by car, or a 5-6 hour train ride, along State Highway 1 to get to the city of Auckland.
Britomart Transport Centre Located smack dab in the middle of Auckland, the Britomart Transport Centre truly is the heart of the city. And if you're arriving in Auckland by train, then it's also where you'll get your first introduction to everything it has to offer. The Britomart is only a ten-minute walk from the iconic Sky Tower and is located by the sea, right next to the POAL.
Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) If you decided to travel to Auckland by cruise ship or boat, then you'll be coming into the city via POAL, or Ports of Auckland Limited. The POAL is also home to the Auckland Heritage and SeePort festivals, as well as multiple port tours that you can take part in to see the city from the sea. And if you're looking to head into the city, just take a walk off the docks and into the mainland.
How To Get Around Auckland
Auckland is perhaps one of the most accessible destinations you could choose to visit, as it's accessible (and explorable!) by land, air, and sea.
You can rent your own car or hop in a rideshare if you're looking to get around a little less publicly. But if you're looking to meet the locals and truly see all that Auckland has to offer, you may be better off on foot or bike so that you can take in the sights unobstructed. There are also loads of public buses and trains that you can take advantage of to save a bit of cash while you're getting around town.
If you're looking for an aerial view of Auckland, try a helicopter for a tour by air. Additionally, if you plan to visit any of New Zealand's smaller islands, you can also catch a flight locally on a puddle jumper.
New Zealanders have a deep connection with the sea, and as such, have a variety of modes of travel through it. Put on your vacation hat and hop aboard a cruise to see the sights in full comfort and luxury. If you're looking for a shorter ride, you can always get a ticket for the regular ferries that travel between the islands or get yourself a ride in a water taxi.
What To Do In Auckland
There's no shortage of exciting things to do in Auckland. Whether you're into nature, arts, history, or food, there's a little bit of everything for everyone. Check out just a few of our favorite spots and activities below:
Take the 2-hour Mori Home Fires of Tamaki Guided Walking Tour of Auckland's rural side and brush up on your Kiwi history.
Visit the world's largest penguin colony exhibit and see the largest stingray species on the planet at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium.
Stargaze at the Great Barrier Island's Dark Sky Sanctuary, one of only ten Dark Sky Sanctuaries worldwide.
SkyWalk or SkyJump at New Zealand's tallest building, the iconic Sky Tower.
Explore the entire country on foot or by bicycle on the Coast to Coast Walkway that extends 16km through the many diverse landscapes of New Zealand.
How To (Kinda) Predict Auckland's Weather
Summer in Auckland lasts from December to February, and Spring lasts from September to November, while winter and fall last from June to August and March to May, respectively. However, because Auckland doesn't experience temperature extremes and enjoys a comfortable coastal climate, you can expect some semblance of predictability in the weather forecast.
Fun Fact about Auckland
According to Mori legend, a bold and clever demigod named Mui hauled the North Island from the sea with a magic fishing hook he'd fashioned from an ancestors' jawbone.