Being one of the more recognisable and popular destinations in New Zealand, Auckland is the largest city in the country with the highest number of residents.

Frankly speaking, it’s one of the best places to start off if this is your first time to the country. New Zealand’s national airport is also located in Auckland so that won’t be an issue!

With a robust and sprawling atmosphere across the city, you’ll encounter plenty of exciting activities, delicious food, and nightlife that could rival every other major city in Auckland.

In this post, we’ll be covering the information that you need know as a tourist in the city.

About Auckland

auckland city view

Considered as one of the most livable cities in the world, Auckland has grown into a booming tourist destination in the past 20 years or so. Also named as Tamaki (its Maori name), the harbour city is also a spectacle for luxury sails and ferries commuting to the waterside of the city.

Auckland also boasts a diverse background that is multicultural which can be seen in the city’s array of dining options. Some of the dining options for you to choose in the city includes an excellent list of Mediterranean restaurants to local New Zealand cuisine.

The influx of students from Asia into the country has also seen Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and even Thai restaurants paving its way into the city. Indian dining places are also common in New Zealand; in a nutshell, you’ll love the city if you are a foodie – there’s too many of them!

Location-wise, Auckland is located in the North Island. The city is tucked between two ends and is surrounded by a massive patch of terrain and farmland. Auckland is also famous for its beaches which are often used as movie sets for Hollywood surfing scenes.

While the city is packed with entertainment, there’s much more to Auckland than just being a metropolitan city. The islands surrounding the city as well as prestigious locations such as the Waitakere Ranges makes it an all-in-one destination for tourists.

Basic information about Auckland

auckland night view

What is the best time to travel to Auckland?

Depending on your goals and expectations, you can choose to visit Auckland during these times:

December to February

Summer in New Zealand begins in December and roughly ends in February. The dates between these two months also coincide with Auckland’s peak travel season. Due to the peak season, you should expect to pay more for your hotel and airline costs.

By the end of January, school holidays in New Zealand end; this may spark promotions and discounts when travelling to the city during this period. Going to Auckland in the summer would also mean that you’ll be able to enjoy outdoor activities without the fear of bad weather.

January and February are considered to be the hottest months, with an average temperature of 21 Celsius.

March to August

These few months are when autumn starts in Auckland. You should expect a dip in the temperature of the city as well as lower prices for hotels and airline tickets.

If you can bear cold weather and are looking for a less-crowded trip, travelling to Auckland in May is a good time to be travelling in the city. July and August are also considered as the wettest months in Auckland so be prepared to bring along some raincoats with you.

July and August are coldest months in Auckland, with an average temperature of 13 Celsius.

September to November

Though temperatures in these few months will still be relatively low, travelling within this period allows you to escape from the peak travel season in December.

Airline rates and hotel prices will be slightly cheaper and you’ll be able to enjoy Auckland without the crowds in summer.

Moving around Auckland

Th most common and easiest way to travel around Auckland is by walking thanks to its extensive pathways. You may also hop on the city’s Inner Link bus which travels along the hotspots in Auckland such as Victoria Park.

Another good way to move around Auckland is to go for a self-drive tour, especially if you want to visit the rainforests and other secluded areas of Auckland.

Another great way to explore Auckland if you don’t like the idea of driving around the city is by taking a ride on one of the city’s ferries. The ferries can transport you to the beautiful seaside suburbs and islands surrounding the city.

Average costs in the city

For food, you should expect to spend about $10 to $20 on average per meal. Popular Asian restaurants (Korean, Japanese, etc) are usually in this price range with the higher end ones costing more.

Dining at a nice and more high-end restaurant in Auckland will cost you about $40-$50. The cost is justified as it usually comes with premium service by the waiters as well as delivering world-class food to your table.

As for transportation costs, if you are travelling with a private tour or a self-drive tour, the costs are usually bundled with the price of the tour. Otherwise, you should expect to spend around $20-$30 per day if you are moving around the city a lot.

Once again, if you’re travelling with a private your, you wouldn’t have to worry about your budget too much as your daily spending is covered by the cost of the package itself.

Things to do in Auckland

auckland hauraki gulf

Try bungee jumping

AJ Hackett, the pioneer behind the bungee jumping craze, has his own bungee jumping attraction over at AJ Hackett Bungy. Here’s the exciting part; you’ll literally jump off the bridge into the harbor. Sounds exciting yet?

If you are looking for something more extreme, you can head over to Queenstown after your Auckland visit for the 143-meter Nevis jump.

Move around the Hauraki Gulf

The Hauraki Gulf is a stretch of terrain that is famous for its beautiful islands. Some islands are only minutes away from the heart of Auckland which makes it an excellent choice for day trips.

With over 50 islands in the gulf alone, you have plenty of choices to make while travelling around the area. The islands are grouped into two categories; recreational islands as well as conservational islands.

The recreational islands are accessible by the public and are usually accessed by yachts. The conservation islands, on the other hand, are often restricted or limited to the public.

Acting as a home to species of rare plants and animals, you would need a special permit to access the conservation islands.

The gulf is also great for spotting majestic marine creatures – dolphins and whales are common sightings in the area which makes it a great option for travelers who enjoy wonderful sights.

Spend a night at the Sky Tower

The Sky Tower is the city’s central hub with access to exclusive dining spots, attractions, and unparalleled views of the city.

At 328 metres tall, you’ll have access to a bird’s eye view of the city which makes for a wonderful photo shoot opportunity. Dining spots such as The Sugar Club also offers you a wonderful experience in having a taste of New Zealand’s culinary background.

The Sky Tower is also home to an entertainment complex that boasts a world–class casino. The casino runs all day long every day; be careful not to go overboard while gambling, though!

Go on a trip to Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is home to New Zealand’s scenic beaches as well as containing plenty of outdoor activities. The island is also famous for its extensive collection of top-grade wineries.

About 40 minutes away from downtown Auckland, Waiheke Island is the perfect choice for tourists looking to relax and bask in the sun. You can explore the island by bike or a rental car to get a feel for the island. You can also walk if you are a fan of leisurely strolls!

General tips for tourists in Auckland

auckland port view

Keep a bottle of sunscreen near you

New Zealand’s UV rating may cause you to have a sunburn particularly if you are not from a place where exposure to sunlight is limited. Factor-30 sunscreen is the best option for tourists; avoid traveling during the afternoon or when the sun is up if you are sensitive to sunlight.

Should you tip?

Unlike other countries, tipping is not the norm in Auckland or New Zealand. You may leave a tip if you are satisfied with your service, however, it’s not something that’s expected.

What should you pack?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, Auckland can get cold and wet when it’s not summer. Remember to pack a warm layer of clothing and raincoats just in case.

You are also advised to bring comfortable footwear as you’ll be walking a lot around the city. Some tourist spots are only accessible by foot so you’ll need to make sure that your footwear doesn’t hurt you when wearing it for a long time.

About the Road Trip

We have a reputation for preparation and detail that goes above and beyond – making excellent recommendations for your itinerary as well as including the best stops to enjoy the scenery and take memorable photos on your next time.

We offer a wide choice of private tour packages and you can select one based on your needs and travel expectations.

From an 8-day North Island private tour that covers the very best of the North Island, to a 14-day adventure in New Zealand’s South Island, we’ve got your travelling needs covered

We’ll be happy to discuss your interests and the length of your stay, before putting together an itinerary that is tailored exclusively for you.

What’s next?

Over here at The Road Trip, we have several tour packages on offer for visitors.

We are one of the leading tour provider in New Zealand with a host of awards under our name. You can check out our client testimonials over here.

To get in touch with us, send us an e-mail by heading over to this page or call us at 0800 4 ROADTRIP if you are in New Zealand or +64 2191 0433 if you are outside of New Zealand.