The combination of extreme natural beauty and a vibrant energetic city makes Auckland a great destination for all travellers. It’s the city of sails . . . and volcanoes and beaches and a thriving dining and arts scene. ‘Geographically blessed’ Auckland has everything you need laid on. The beautiful Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, with the spectacular Hauraki Gulf Islands dotted about, provide a dazzling backdrop for happening Auckland city.
Auckland is known for its stunning natural beauty – golden sand swimming beaches, wild west coast black sand beaches, volcanoes for climbing up and taking in the views, and sea everywhere. But as well as being beautiful, it has also found a home as the base for culture and food – from art galleries and museums to great markets, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Auckland’s restaurant, cafe and bar scene has really taken off and now has a food scene to rival any international city. From fine-dining to cheap eats, Auckland has it all.
For sea views while you dine, head to the Viaduct Harbour area in downtown Auckland or go over the crossing bridge to the Wynyard Quarter restaurant area and Silo Park. Britomart in downtown Auckland is a hub for excellent restaurants, bars and cafes or head up to the Ponsonby Road strip for both fine and casual dining.
For great ethnic food you’re in luck nearly everywhere in Auckland – but Dominion Road and Balmoral are a good place to start – cheap and cheerful dumpling and noodle shops line the area and everyone will be happy. For markets, head south to Otara on the weekends for a feel of the Pacific, or west to the Avondale Markets for the best fresh produce, or stay in the city for the French markets in Parnell.
In Auckland there’s always a film festival on, an exhibition to go to, or a great piece of theatre to see at one of the many venues big and small in the central city. Music events range from a small live band in a cocktail bar, a huge international guest at the Spark Arena or a grungy rock band up on Karangahape Rd.
There’s plenty for kids too – the Auckland Museum and the Auckland Art Gallery both have plenty to entertain kids and adults alike – check out what’s on before you go. The Museum is set in the beautiful Auckland Domain with views of the harbour, so leave time for a stroll, and you must pay a visit to the Winter Gardens while there.
Auckland Zoo is a favourite – visit over 135 species both native and non-native. It’s situated next to the lovely Western Springs Park with its playground, beautiful lake scene and friendly avian life! MOTAT is a great spot to visit for transport and technology fans, and Kelly Tarltons Sealife Aquarium is another popular tourist spot.
The best shopping is to be found in Auckland Central – Queen Street or High Street – or head to Newmarket or Sylvia Park on the train to really get that wallet working overtime.
Head up one of Auckland’s famous volcanoes for some exercise and views – catch the ferry from downtown Auckland to iconic Rangitoto and walk to the summit for some of the best views of the harbour and Auckland city. It’s about an hour’s walk to the summit, and don’t miss the diversion to the lava caves – take a torch and have fun exploring these naturally formed tunnels. Mount Eden and North Head in Devonport are two other fantastic volcanic cones worth visiting – both have short climbs and fantastic views of the city and harbour – check out the impressive crater at Mount Eden and explore the ex-military tunnels on North Head. One Tree Hill and Cornwall Park is another beautiful Auckland spot – climb to the summit then have high tea and a stroll around the gracious park grounds.
From the wild black sand beaches on Auckland’s west coast to the golden sandy beaches of the North Shore and islands of the Gulf, Auckland is a spectacular spot for swimming and water-based activities all year round. Take a hike in the wild Waitakeres before taking in the beauty of Piha, Karekare, Te Henga or Muriwai Beach on the west coast. Visit Cheltenham or Narrowneck in Devonport, or Mission Bay nearer the city centre for lovely summer swimming spots. Take a boat or ferry out on the harbour and see Auckland’s beautiful Hauraki Gulf. Head to the famous Waiheke Island for a long lunch at a renowned vineyard, and a walk or swim at some beautiful beachfront. If you are into extreme activities, Auckland has plenty of opportunities to get the adrenaline pumping – from jet-boats on the harbour to leaping off bridges and buildings!
Auckland Airport is approximately 30 mins drive from the Auckland CBD. Taxis are available out the front of the international terminal as well as a free passenger pickup area (note: no waiting allowed).
The Auckland Sky Bus also has services from the airport to the Auckland CBD for $18 one-way and $24 one-way to the North Shore.
Total flight time from Apia, Samoa to Auckland, New Zealand is 4 hours and 15 mins.
Total flight time from Auckland, New Zealand to Apia, Samoa is 3 hours and 55 mins.
Total flight time from Apia, Samoa to Sydney, Australia is 6 hours and 35 mins.
Total flight time from Sydney, Australia to Apia, Samoa is 5 hours and 35 mins.