Welcome to the Maori City of Sails! Yes, this is the worldwide honor given to this New Zealand town for the highest number of yachts embracing the Hauraki Gulf as well as the Waitemata Harbor. It is also the city of volcanoes as it stretches on the Volcanic Field of 48 extinct volcanoes. Some more credits in its name include the largest Polynesian city and one of the top 5 cities with international quality of life. With these facts, I think anybody will be enthused to take a tour of the Auckland attractions.
However, for that it is also important to know the climate. December to February witnesses the warmest time, while September to November is the spring time. March to May is autumn, whereas June to August marks the winter time when temperatures might fall to 5 degree Celsius from anywhere between 15 and 30+ degrees Celsius. Each season introduces its own natural features; so plan your trip accordingly although summer is most preferred.
You can get around the city via many ways such as ferry, taxi, train, shuttle, and bus. I would recommend hiring a car if you are planning to explore the surrounding beauty, but know that the traffic congestion problems can frustrate you even here. So, it is prudent enough to access the MAXX Web site whose SMS service will tell you about the quickest way to reach a spot as well as about the time of the ferries, buses, and trains.
One of the main Auckland attractions is the downtown ferry that takes one and all to Rangitoto volcanic island close to the Waitemata Harbor’s entrance. Here, the main highlights are swimming, picnicking, and ascending until the peak to enjoy the great vistas of the city as well as the harbor. As this is the city of yachts, do experience the sail on the Pride of Auckland on the harbor. Just choose from among the coffee cruise, 90-minute lunch, and 2.5 hour dinner cruise. Alternatively, cruising on the America’s Cup yacht is really the typical sail experience that one can enjoy.
As this city thrives in a volcanic land, there are several volcanic cones to which you can either stroll or drive. For some great 360 degree vistas and to spot cows as well as sheep, consider reaching to the Mount Eden with its famous Blue Bird Cafe or One Tree Hill. I would recommend the latter one as it is also the home of the StarDome Observatory on its slopes, working farm, a playground for kids, and Maori archaeological sites. Along with this highlight, kids will also love one of the most demanding Auckland attractions – Auckland Zoo with over 500 animals as well as habitats like the African Savannah and Rainforest. Entry fee is $ 12 per adult and $8 per kid between 4 and 15.
Thrill for the entire family together is the Sky Tower as the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest free-standing edifice at 328 m facilitating the vistas as far as up to 80 km. And yes, if you can spend, do dine in its revolving restaurant called Orbit. Do take a tour of the Kelly Tarlton’s on the picturesque Tamaki Drive, where you explore the Underwater World as well as the Antarctic Encounter via a transparent tunnel and feed rays and sharks.
Nobody should miss a visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum that is fundamentally not a war museum. Rather, this is the home of the Maori arts as well as crafts and is nestled in a big park on a dormant volcano. This one is among the best ones in the country.
For eating, the SKYCITY complex at the Federal and Victoria St. offers a lot of eateries for all budgets. Good cheap halls with Asian foods are located in downtown close to the Queens’ Arcade and at the bottom of Albert St. For the most affordable eats, explore the Ponsonby International food court that exists in an upscale neighborhood. For a budget accommodation, try Airport Skyway Lodge from $31 and The Brown Kiwi from $25.