Destination Handbook : Auckland

Overview:

When the Lord crafted a landscape such that it laid amid two gigantic water reserves and rested across a series of volcanoes, He knew He was creating a marvel of all times. This landscape that was later transformed into a vibrant city is today known as Auckland.

Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand is nestled between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean with the Hunua ranges towards the South of the city. Geographically, the city of Auckland in a charming combination of flowing aqueous and jagged cones, for it displays a truly jaw- dropping sight of around 50 volcanoes and sparkling waterfronts. Having a higher number of yachts than inhabitants, the city is often dubbed as 'the city of sails'.

The most populous city of New Zealand swarms with life all year round, with its bold and vivacious downtowns to its blushing city sides, the city is an undisputed treat for both eyes and mind.

Set the natural and visual splendors of Auckland aside for a while and the city's expertise at beautifully blending its cultural diversities and stylishly reflecting them through its chic bars, cafes, continental cuisines and merry festivals often leave visitors all allured. Scoop out five minutes to see what this city has to offer to you should you book cheap flights to Auckland.

Geography

Auckland bestrides the Auckland Volcanic Field with around 50 volcanic peaks; the largest one being the Rangitoto Island. Unlike the aggressive volcanic eruptions in the Central Northern Islands, Auckland's depressions are filled with the low-key Basaltic magma, making the city a safe place to reside in. Simultaneously, the city faces the waterfronts of at the Mangere Inlet and the Tamaki River and has two harbors surrounding its urban areas near isthmus. Studded with thick rainforests and mountains popping out across, Auckland indeed presents a sparkling view of nature.

Climate

The city of Auckland usually experiences a warm and humid climate and can be categorized as having an Oceanic Climate with shinny warm days amalgamated with cool sea breeze blowing at night.

Winters in Auckland are damp and temperate while summers are warm, humid and sunny.

Interesting Facts about Auckland

  1. Auckland was initially known as 'Tamaki Makau Rau', which meant 'a maiden with 100' lovers
  2. Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population all over the world
  3. Rangitoto Island is the largest Island in Auckland
  4. Auckland is amongst the top 5 cities having the best quality of life
  5. Auckland is home to the tallest free standing structure in the entire Southern Hemisphere; the Sky Tower building.
  6. Auckland breeds and houses almost 30% of the world's yellow-eyed penguin population
  7. One of New Zealand's most endangered species, the Sea Lions, have Auckland as their breeding ground.
  8. Geologically, Auckland city is built on a flat alluvial plane.

Getting in/ traveling to Auckland

Traveling to Auckland is possible from all land, sea and air routes. A number of sea cruises set off for Auckland round the year. However, if you're planning to purchase cheap air tickets to Auckland, your options are numerous. Many renowned airlines fly to Auckland via direct and indirect flights. But if you're fly from a distant area, let's say anywhere from UK, we advise you to take a connecting flight with a nice stop over to avoid getting exhausted. A number of famous airlines offer tempting cheap airfares for Auckland and New Zealand. While many airlines offer direct and indirect flights to Auckland, currently there are no nonstop flights to this city.

 Major Airport(s) in Auckland:

Auckland has 5 airports on the mainland and two more on the offshore Islands. However, the only major airport of the city is the Auckland Airport which gives access to most international and domestic destinations.

Major Airlines flying to Auckland:

  1. Air New Zealand ( National flagship carrier)
  2. Qantas
  3. British Airways
  4. Virgin Atlantic
  5. Lufthansa
  6. Emirates
  7. Finn airs
  8. Royal Brunei

Traveling in and around Auckland

Auckland is well connected through an efficient bus system that provides access to almost all major landmarks and area in the city. The bus service has networks all around the city. For most locals and even visitors, the best and the most economical option is to explore the city through the Auckland Discovery Day Pass which provides unlimited travel on almost all buses, trains and inner harbour ferries.

Apart from the public transportation, private taxis are also easily available in Auckland and are quite safe for short to medium distance traveling. One of the most well reputed taxi services in Auckland is the Auckland Co-op services. However, in case you want to cruise along the husky wide road of Auckland, private vehicles would suite you best. Driving on Auckland's strongly and nicely built high ways can gain visitors immense pleasure, especially those who have a passion for cruising smooth. On the contrary, driving into the downtown area can at times prove to be a hassle due to traffic congestion especially in the morning and evening which are the rush hours.

Auckland at night

Just when you're in the middle of a truly exotic night time experience while sitting in a bar or dancing on the floor and you see the lights fading around you or the music turning down on you, Auckland's never-dyeing late night bars and clubs take the fore front. Not only does this city offer a glimmering and glistering mid night madness but it also ensures that the party must go on till dawn takes over for a new beginning. Loaded with numerous night time entertainment including bars, pubs, clubs, late night cinemas and a lot more, the city at night literally sparkles like a meteor.

Most nightlife venues are clustered around the waterfronts of the city, making it glow even louder with an enchanting reflection of twinkling buildings. The highlighted areas having the largest abundance of night life activities are the America's Cup Village and the Prince Warf development area. 

Auckland attractions

Although most widely renowned for its breath taking scenic beauty and exotic locations, there are number of architectural and cultural wonders that are well capable of steeling hearts. Not only does Auckland stand out with its pearl white beaches and twinkling fresh oceans, a number of manmade attractions have added tons to this already beautiful city. On your trip to Auckland you the following must be on your must-visit list:

  1. Bush walks at Awhitu are a perfect start of the day where you can complemet the early morning breeze with Auckland's most famous wine yards and its finest sceneries.
  2. For an out of the world experience, visit the Waiheke Island. The place is known far and wide for its lush green surroundings, dancing beaches, fairytale farmlands, smiling Olive Gardens and seductive wine yards.
  3. Take a step back into history to discover the historical and cultural Maori life style at the Motutapu Island
  4. The valley in Clevedon Auckland is the perfect option if you're planning a hiking or trekking trip. Enjoy hiking on pathways carefully crafted though lush greeneries. And yes! On your way back, don't miss out on the local wines at the wine yards; they taste just heavenly!
  5. Get up close with the magnificent wildlife in Auckland at the Hunua Ranges Regional Park.
  6.  Waitakere Ranges are especially designed for those who're looking for serene and private walking tracks surrounded with the native flora and fauna of the region.
  7.  Get amazed by Auckland's eye opening and heart throbbing landscape. Visit  the Volcanic cones, dark saves and amazing scenery at Mangere
  8.  Explore the black and white waters of the Waitakere beaches.
  9. A long drive to Kapera River can give you a two-fold excitement; cruise along Auckland's most enchanting sceneries and enjoy kayaking upon reaching the River.
  10. Allow yourself the pleasure of harbor cruising at Helensville or polish your fishing skills at the river. Other options could be golfing, horse riding or skydiving.
  11.  Sneak a peek in the Auckland history; visit a Maori settlement at Mangere.
  12. Longing for a day out with family? Put your entire work load on a side and cruise off to Manukau. Take up a sight adrenal challenge at the theme park adventures, let you kids meet their most adorable animal friends at the animal park and steal some shots at Butterfly Creek.

Things to do on a trip to Auckland

There is simply so much that you can do both in and around Auckland. Whether you're a nature lover or an adventure seeker, a honeymoon couple or a big shot looking for a sophisticated venue for a hi-fi meeting, a curious explorer or an academic historian, a religious practitioner or a party animal; whatever you may be, you would have something or the other in Auckland that would touch right across your heart. For most visitors who travel to Auckland, the following activities remain a consistent priority.

  1. Kayaking at the river Kapera
  2. Hiking evenings at the Mangere Mountain
  3. skydiving at the Helensville
  4. Activities such as horse riding, trekking, bush walking or camping at the Waitakere Ranges
  5. golfing at Helensville
  6. Swimming at Waiheke Island
  7. Hauraki Gulf islands is most popular for lazing around the beach
  8. Get a skyline view of the city through jet flying trips
  9. Bungee jumping at the harbor still remains a hot favorite.

Shopping and delicious cuisines of Auckland

Auckland whole heartedly offers the most comprehensive variety of different regional and continental cuisines Not only are visitors blessed with whatever sort of food they wish to eat, the dining facilities in Auckland match the most classy and contemporary standards. Most dine out services in Auckland would be found in the form or cafes, bars, pastry shops and night clubs that offer a full restaurant stature and standards. Generally Auckland's restaurants can be Categorized in the following groups; business or corporate suited, the more trendy and fashionable, Gastronomic, the budget watchers, and the more royally standards.

As for the shopaholics, luck favors you the most once you're in Auckland because this place is reputed for having an amazing rage of affordable shopping opportunities. With a rich home harvested fashion industry and a blossoming retail industry for all international brands, Auckland is indeed the favorite spot for most Kiwis. The most eminent areas for shopping are known to be the High Street and Fingers, 2 Kitchener Street where as the most cherished local brands include the karen Walke, Marla Brajkovic, Workshop and World.

Festivals in Auckland

This year Auckland city is going to hold a number of local and international events. However, the most prominent of them are the Auckland International Film Festival scheduled on the 1st of July 2011 and the Auckland Marathon on the 30th of October.

Apart from these upcoming events, a few other festivals are held every year and if attended, can add a greater spice and joy to your trip to Auckland. These festivals include the    * Auckland lantern festival

  1. Live at the islands Festivals.
  2. Urupukapuka island Festivals.
  3. Movies in parks Festivals.
  4. Auckland anniversary weekend
  5. Music in parks Festivals.
  6. Super city holiday experience
  7. New Zealand festival of motor racing
  8. Headland sculpture on the gulf
  9. Auckland seafood festival

Travel tips for Auckland

Once you're equipped with the appropriate information that you must have before taking cheap flights to Auckland, here are a few tip that would hopefully come in handy for a wonderful and safe trip:

  1. July is the wettest month in Auckland so avoid planning a trip at this time of the year
  2. Keep your passport in reach once you land in New Zealand since you might be asked to verify your identity by security personal
  3. In case it's your first trip its always better to get a city map before you set off for exploring the city
  4. In Auckland you cannot ignore or take lightly the custom laws
  5. Although most beaches in Auckland are safe, beware of rips
  6. Banks operate from 9:00 to 16:30 from Monday to Friday

Is it safe to travel to Auckland?

According to the latest FCO advice it is safe to travel to Auckland. However, to be on the safe side it's better to contact the city consulate for an update on the latest situation in and around Auckland.

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