A May 2001 trip
to Auckland by kiwigal
Quote: New Zealand is my country. I was born and raised a kiwi and count myself very lucky! In New Zealand I have always lived in Auckland so I will write about this city I love with the insight of a native!
There are many things to keep one occupied for days in Auckland. The usual things a large city has (casino, restaurants, theatres, museums, gallerys) but also opportunities to experience the more relaxed side of NZ life. Perhaps a cruise on a yacht in the harbour, stay at a bach (holiday home) on Waiheke Island, go hiking in the Waitakere Mountains, visit one of the many beaches close to Auckland.
Auckland is in a prime location to visit the Northern part of the North Island and also cities like Hamilton (Waitomo Caves) and Rotorua (Maori Interest and Geothermal area) to the south.
Plan to spend at least a week exploring Auckland. There are many interesting and informative websites with information on the city so research what you are interested in seeing before you go.
Auckland is a large and spreadout city and keeping in mind that public transport is not the best it is a good idea to bring along an International Drivers License and rent a car. (Remember that in New Zealand we drive on the left hand side like in Britain).
New Zealand electricity sockets a three pins with the top two shaped like a mountain. The voltage is 220V.
The postal system in New Zealand has been privatised so make sure that you post your letter in the box that goes with the correct postage stamp! Letters abroad cost around NZ(Australia) to NZ.80 (South America)
GETTING AROUND BY CAR/BUS
Most of New Zealand has pretty bad public transport. In Auckland a car is almost essential. Buses run from the suburbs into the city but not across town. For more information on the bus fares and routes please click this link: Stagecoach Auckland. There is currently no subway system and a very bad railway (good for inter-city travel).
GETTING AROUND BY FERRY
There is a ferry service between the North Island of NZ from Wellington to Picton in the South Island. The ferries are run by Inter Islander and The Lynx. In Auckland itself there are ferries to get to various destinations (mainly in the Hauraki Gulf). The company that arranges these are Fullers Cruises.
Hideaway has tent sites, powered sites and cabins, and is located on the Mangawhai Harbour estuary. It is a safe place for families with young children as there is no powerful tides or surf but there is also an Ocean Beach about 10km away that has fantastic surfing and fishing opportunities.
For more information on Mangawhai click on the links: Destination Northland - including information on Bay of Islands, Mangawhai, Whangarei and the Far North.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 12, 2001
Mangawhai Beach Hideaway Park
Moir Pt Road
Auckland, New Zealand
(09) 431 4251
Restaurant | "Ponsonby Road Eateries"
ONE RED DOG (151 Ponsonby Rd ph, 360 1068) which is an Italian style place and MASALA (168 Ponsonby Rd ph, 378 4500) which is an Indian restaurant. Not to mention TUATARA (198 Ponsonby Rd ph, 360-0098), which is a very trendy eatery and cool bar.
ATOMIC CAFE (121 Ponsonby Rd) and SIERRA COFFEE (1 Blake Rd) make their own blends. CAFE CEZANNE (296 Ponsonby Rd) attracts mainly students and budget breakfasters. Other favourites include EXPRESSO LOVE (265 Ponsonby Rd) and the classically themed SPQR (150 Ponsonby Road, ph 360 1710). BYZANTIUM (80 Ponsonby Rd, ph 376 3695) has delicious vegetarian fare - try the blueberry pancakes at the weekends.
For more information on what to see and do in Ponsonby click on the link: Ponsonby Road
HOW TO GET THERE?
From the center of town it is easiest to get to Ponsonby on the white $1 Link bus that runs in a circle through Ponsonby-City-Parnell.
Ponsonby is close enough to walk from the center of town although you would have to go up some pretty big hills to get there! A taxi would be cheap enough for a group of people.
288 Ponsonby Road
Auckland, New Zealand 1001
+64 (0)9 361 3685
Attraction | "Auckland Museum"
Inside, on the ground floor are the main attractions for most foreign visitors: the Maori and Polynesian exhibits. There are Maori shows three times daily (extra charge) but it would be better to see a show in Rotorua. On the other floors there are many different exhibits some of which change from time to time.
The domain is home to the Wintergarden greenhouse which houses tropical and temperate plants. There is a duck pond nearby that is popular with families. There are many outdoor concerts and events (such as Christmas in the Park, a carol singing event) that are held in the wide crater in the domain. The crater is also used for cricket, soccer and rugby games year round.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 12, 2001
Auckland Museum (Tamaki Paenga Hira)
Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand
Attraction | "Auckland Art Gallery"
It is a public art museum located within two buildings, the main building and the New Gallery, it exhibits work from its collections and also has some international and national touring exhibitions from time to time.
Open Hours are 10am - 5pm daily with free guided tours available
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
Corner Wellesley and Kitchener Streets
Auckland, New Zealand 1001
+64 (0)9 307 7700
The monkey area has been renovated and called the McDonalds Rainforest. It is designed in such a way that you walk through it like a rainforest and there are monkey bars and things for the children to play on.
The elephant area has also been redesigned and is much more like the elephants' natural habitat. There are lots of interesting things for the elephants to do so they don't get bored.
Telephone: 64 9 360 3800
Information Line: 64 9 360 3819.
Official Website: Auckland Zoo.
The Auckland Zoo is open every day (excluding Christmas Day) from 9.30am - 5.30pm (last admissions at 4.15pm.)
99 Motions Road
Auckland, New Zealand 1022
+64 (0)9 360 3800
Nagano, New Zealand