I arrived in the night at the airport in Auckland and got with the bus to the hostel. The Sky bus goes every half an hour from the airport to the city. There are Sky bus stations in the city to get to the airport as well. Bus will be 24 $. The most Sky bus stations are in Queen Street.
Queen Street – that’s where everything is
There are heaps of food shops like Sushi or Asian food, Mc Donald’s, Burger King, Pizza, Pasta shops. I recommend Domino’s, pizza for minimum five $ and it is really good. There isn’t just one shop of everything in Queen Street, there are like five Domino shops,…
The theatre and the cinema are next to each other and the cinema is huge, but absolutely worth a visit
The main library. In every library you get free Wi-Fi and if you need to print something you can do it for 0,40 $
The Art gallery is close to the library, it is for free and worth a visit. If you wanna learn something about Maori art, this is the place to be
The main train station and the ferry station
All the banks and all the phone stores
And all the night life is happening in Queen Street. Even the people from south Auckland come all the way to Queen Street. You will find Pubs like these Country Pubs, or Bars. Good fun if you like to dance.
Casino is in the building of the Sky tower, I never went, but friends told me it’s worth to have a look. There is also a restaurant which is expensive but if you don’t mind spending your money you will get really good food.
The Sky tower got a restaurant on top, the restaurant turns around so you can get a look around Auckland.
For the first time I stayed in the YHA national hostel, 5 Turner Street, next to Queen Street. I do recommend it, friendly people, looked after it very well. If you got nothing for breakfast you can buy stuff at the reception. Free Wi-Fi available. It is actually a perfect hostel for someone who never done a trip like this before. You can book adventure trips, buses or other YHA hostels in New Zealand.
There is also Nomads fat camel hostel in 38 Fort Street, also next to Queen Street and close to the harbour, Train and bus stations. A little bit dirty, funny hostel though. A bar is connected to the hostel. You get free food every evening, it isn’t much but for a little upgrade you get a full meal. The cheapest room is for 24 $ but it is a six bed dorm room without a window. You do have to pay for Wi-Fi
Sim card, Bank account
I went together with new friends to the city to get a sim card and to open a bank account.
For my bank account, I chose ANZ, I didn’t pay monthly costs, transfer money from overseas, online banking and a debit card that you could do online shopping with (for paying the bus or stuff like that). If you go into the bank and you need to do something at the desk it will cost you, every time, three $
For my phone I chose 2degrees, I paid 20 $ a month for 1 GB of internet, unlimited SMS and calls.
For an alternative you can choose sparks or Vodafone. Sparks got that problem that not every phone can receive that signal. Before you actually buy a sim card visit a store and try it on your phone. Sparks got everywhere in New Zealand spots fro free Wi-Fi, at bus stations, in towns, on camping places,… very useful.
Trains, Buses, Ferry’s
Auckland got a population of 1,2 Million people, you need good transfer possibilities.
For short distances ( 10 minutes drive) I recommend the bus. Bus drivers don’t take it important with the timetable, if you wait for a bus more than 10 minutes it’s totally normal. Or if the bus even doesn’t turn up it’s totally normal.
For bigger distances ( more than 10 minutes) I recommend the train. For the train, Auckland is seperatet in three zones. From the main train station in zone one is it the cheapest, to zone two it get more expensive and to zone three of course more expensive as zone two. For a longer period in Auckland it is worth it to buy a monthly card, otherwise just buy a daily ticket. the train also will be stick to his timetable.
Ferry’s are down at the harbour of course. To get to one of the islands it is about 34 $ two ways. Every ferry got it’s own timetable, just check it out on the website:
I’ve done a trip with Ego Zip to Waihiki island. Of course you have to take the ferry which will take 30 minutes. Waihiki Island got 19 beautiful beaches and a lot of hiking walks. I never stayed in the hostel but I know it’s always busy, so make sure you have a booking.
The trip with Ego Zip was beautiful. Flying is it what they do. Well, kind of. They get you on a rope and you swing over the forest, over the wine field to the next side. It’s really fun. Arrived down at the bottom you have to walk up again, but it sounds worse than it is. It is a really nice walk through the forest and they explain what they were doing there, how the nature change.
Beaches in Auckland
At the Train station in Queen Street is a bus station, from there you take a bus to the beach, it’s only a ten minutes drive and you probably pay two $. Mission beach is the main beach, a lot of events are happening there like a football competition or a volleyball competition. It got some food shops around as well. Around that corner are some other beaches, smaller beaches like Okahu bay. There are no events, but there is a fire place for a barbecue
One evening I went together with some friends to Mt. Eden (Volcano). From the YHA hostel is it only a 45 minutes walk away. Popular place, but it got a really nice few over Auckland. During the day you can get there by bus as well.
Other mountains in Auckland
- Mt. Wellington
- Mt. Albert
Parks in Auckland
Auckland got a lot of parks in the city, it’s like going to another world, these parks are so beautiful and looked after it very well and after every corner there is another park. Albert park got a vegetable garden in it, the Students from the University are looking after it. Victoria Park got a big play ground for kids. The parks in south Auckland got used for school sport.
I hope you have a lot of fun in Auckland it is an amazing city!