This “City of Sails” is much more than water sports. Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and offers attractions for everyone, from adventure sports to wine tasting. Read on for the must-dos (and must-not-dos) of Auckland – the cultural capital of New Zealand.
Popularly known as the largest Polynesian city in the world, Auckland prides itself on a city that blends European and Asian influences. The stunning natural elements, warm climate and passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping in Auckland provide a wonderful starting point for any vacation. Here are a few of Cover-More’s suggestions for the must-see-attractions and must-do-activities in Auckland.
Nothing says New Zealand like adventure sports. Climb the Harbour Bridge and jump from its peak for the heart-pounding experience of a lifetime. Bridge jumps can run $135 for adults and $108 for children (kids 10 and over may jump), or $18 to spectate.
Art enthusiasts and newbies alike will love this two-building free museum. Open 10 am to 5 pm daily (except Christmas), this gallery contains around 15,000 pieces of art spanning the 12th century to modern day. Artefacts illustrate the Asian influence in Auckland.
This regional park is located about an hour from Auckland, but the stunning views and endless activities are worth the drive. Activity options in Waitakere include fishing, hiking, swimming, surfing and bird watching. The park is free to enter and parking is available 24 hours a day.
This French-style farmers market shows the European influence on the island. Open every Saturday from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm and every Sunday from 9 am to 1.30 pm, La Cigale offers shopping vendors, pastry tastings and live music. The weekly gathering is often crowded with Aucklanders in the afternoon.
Auckland’s most visible building, the Sky Tower, stands 328 metres tall and is the highest man-made structure in New Zealand. Ride all the way up in glass-fronted lifts and relax atop the 360-degree revolving restaurant called Sky Lounge. Tower entry is $25 for adults, $10 for children 6-14 years and free for children under five years. Last entry to the building is at 9.30 pm daily.
Auckland is the sunniest city in a country that perpetually rains. Much like Australia, the warmest time to visit falls between January and March, while the coolest month is July – though temperatures in New Zealand are typically a bit cooler than Australia. Average yearly highs are approximately 23 Celsius and average lows are near 15 Celsius. The country occasionally is subject to earthquakes and volcanic activity.
Travelling to New Zealand from Australia is relatively easy, as most visa work can be done upon arrival. However, the island’s government does provide specific warnings for Australians wishing to visit:
Most Australians do not need to do visa work prior to arriving in New Zealand, but if you have prior convictions you must contact the New Zealand government before leaving Australia and notify them of your visit.
If you plan to road trip while in New Zealand, your Australian license works for 12 months. Do be advised, though, that roads are often narrower than in Australia, and in certain areas snow and ice can be dangerous for drivers unfamiliar with those conditions.
Remember that alcohol and water sports should not ever mix, but be especially advised in New Zealand, as surrounding waters are often very cold.
Finally, if you plan to hike or partake in mountain adventure sports, bring multiple layers, as temperatures vary drastically from mountains to valleys.
Consider a travel insurance policy from Cover-More Australia for protection abroad and during all of your overseas holiday adventures, especially during your stay in Auckland, New Zealand!
Image courtesy of Flickr user Allan O. Centseize.