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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > New Zealand > Auckland

Auckland Weather

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Local time Auckland

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Travel to Auckland

Flying to Auckland

Flights to Auckland from the UK are available with a number of different airlines, including Qantas, Emirates, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airlines, all involving a stopover. If you're travelling from the USA, Air New Zealand operates a non-stop flight from Los Angeles. The peak summer season is between December and March, so if you’re after cheap flights to Auckland, it’s best to fly outside this period. Departure dates between mid-April and mid-June tend to be cheaper.

Flight times

From London - 24 hours (including stopover); New York - 22 hours; Los Angeles - 13 hours; Toronto - 21 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 3 hours.

Travel by road

Driving in New Zealand is easy and inexpensive. Although Auckland is one of the busiest areas, in terms of traffic, it is still relatively quiet by European standards.

A valid national driving licence is all that is required for driving in New Zealand for up to 12 months. If your licence isn't in English, you must bring an accurate translation. The legal driving age is 16 years, although there are restrictions placed on drivers under 18. Insurance is not mandatory but is recommended. Traffic drives on the left. Speed limits are 100kph (62mph) on open roads, 50kph (31mph) in urban areas and 20kph (12mph) in the vicinity of schools and stopped school buses.

The AA (tel: +64 800 500 444; www.aa.co.nz) is the major motoring organisation.

Emergency breakdown services

AA (tel: 0800 500 222, in New Zealand).

Routes

SH1 north runs parallel to the east coast of North Island to Warkworth and then on to Bay of Islands, Northland Forest Park and Cape Reinga. SH1 south heads toward Hamilton and Wellington, which links with SH5 to Rotorua, SH29 to Taurangia, SH2 to Gisbourne, SH3 to New Plymouth (via the west coast and linking with Raglan or Waitomo), SH5 to Napier and SH4 to Wanganui.

Coaches

Auckland has good coach links with other major New Zealand towns and cities, as well as the more popular tourist areas.

The biggest coach service provider throughout New Zealand is InterCity (tel: +64 9 583 5780; www.intercitycoach.co.nz), in conjunction with its partner, Newmans. Apart from these two major bus companies, there are smaller operators and shuttle bus companies. Go Kiwi Shuttles (tel: 0800 446 549, in New Zealand or +64 7 866 0336; www.go-kiwi.co.nz) runs to the Coromandel Peninsula and Rotorua.

Popular with backpackers, Naded Bus offers cheap no-frills travel (tel: +64 9 979 1616; https://nakedbus.com) across the country.

Time to city

From Hamilton - 2 hours; Rotorua - 3 hours; Bay of Islands - 3 hours 30 minutes; New Plymouth - 5 hours; Napier - 5 hours 30 minutes; Wellington - 8 to 9 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

Britomart Station, the largest underground diesel train station in the world, is in the Britomart Transport Centre, a purpose-designed, combined railway and local bus station in the old post office building opposite Queen Elizabeth II Square, at the harbour end of Queen Street.

Operators

The Great Journeys of New Zealand, formerly known as the KiwiRail, (tel: +64 4 495 0775 or 0800 872 467; https://www.greatjourneysofnz.co.nz/) operates New Zealand's rail service. Trains are efficient and reasonably priced but rare, operating more as a tourist service than a business or commuter network.

The only service, apart from infrequent local suburban commuter trains, is the Northern Explorer service to New Zealand's capital, Wellington, on the southern tip of North Island, which runs from Auckland three days a week, making the return journey three days a week.

Journey times

From Wellington - 11 hours.

Travel by boat

There are only two ways to get to New Zealand by water - as part of a round-the-world cruise or by crewing on somebody's yacht, and picking up a berth in South America or Australia. Most cruise ships call at Auckland Harbour in February, stopping for a couple of days before continuing on their way.

Auckland Harbour is located in central Auckland, on the Waitemata Harbour (opposite Queen Elizabeth II Square), and is New Zealand's maritime hub, providing shipping links to 160 ports in 73 countries. Ports of Auckland (tel: +64 9 348 5000; www.poal.co.nz) owns and operates ports in the east and west coast of the North Island, including Auckland Harbour.

Cruise liners call at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf, which stand alongside each other off Quay Street. Facilities are numerous; since this was the focus of the America's Cup, the whole area is awash with smart restaurants, trendy pubs and other entertainment options.

Ferry operators

Operated by Fullers (tel: +64 9 367 9111; www.fullers.co.nz), daily foot-passenger ferries link the ferry terminal on Quay Street with some of the further suburbs, such as Devonport, Bayswater, Birkenhead and Stanley Bay. Tickets are available on board, at the terminals and in visitor centres.

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels

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The Langham

Oozing classic style, the Langham is one of Auckland's top hotels and offers all the creature comforts that go with the luxury tag, including a spa and fine dining options. Rooms are elegantly furnished and spacious, and service is meticulously attentive. Ideally situated in the city centre, the hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle bus to and from Custom Street, near the waterfront.

Princeton Apartments

Centrally located, within five minutes’ walk to Queen Street restaurants, shops, and the Sky Tower, Princeton Apartments offer simple and affordable rooms for travellers on a budget. Apartments can accommodate 1 to 4 people and include a shared kitchen and bathroom. 

ibis Budget Auckland Airport

Located just metres away from the airport, ibis Budget offers 198 rooms designed for both families and individual travellers. Rooms come with the bare necessities: beds, television and an en-suite bathroom; Wi-Fi is extra. The hotel is within walking distance to nearby shops, cafes and restaurants.

Peace & Plenty Inn

Without exaggeration this is one of the finest B&Bs in the entire country with sumptuous restored kauri-timber floors that feel like silk beneath bare feet leading to exquisite en-suite rooms filled with fresh flowers antique furniture and sherry or port decanters. There is a delightful verandah for breakfast (weather permitting) and the meal itself is an event of major proportions with large healthy and hearty portions.

Kiwi International Hotel

This modest but decent hotel is located in the middle of the city and is only a 25-minute drive from the airport. Rooms are functional and offer en suite facilities; some budget rooms with shared bathrooms are available. Amenities include a bar, a restaurant and laundry services, as well as 24-hour reception and off-street parking. It's a little shabby and age-worn in places, but is overall a good-value place with a friendly reputation, and in a handy location.

Jucy Snooze Hotel

This oddly-named but friendly budget hotel features bright, simple rooms with flat-screen TVs and en-suite bathrooms; there are also cheaper, more basic, hostel-style rooms. As well as an on-site coffee shop, the hotel offers a lounge and shared kitchen facilities. The hotel is a short walk from the waterfront, with its vibrant nightlife and restaurants.