Auckland travel guide

New Zealand’s most populous city will captivate you from the moment you arrive. Within the city itself you’ll find world-class restaurants and bars, museums, art galleries, hip shopping precincts and the largest collection of Maori treasures in the world, including an original, full-size marae (meeting house). Just a 40-minute ferry ride away is Waiheke Island, known for its beautiful vineyards, olive groves and beaches. With a stunning harbour, breathtaking natural surroundings and warm, welcoming locals, Auckland is definitely one of New Zealand’s highlights.   If you’re planning a visit, explore our Auckland travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time in this City of Sails. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have top suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay in Auckland, getting around and more.

Where to stay

When asking yourself where to stay in Auckland, you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed by options. From Parnell to Newmarket, there’s accommodation in Auckland to suit any taste and budget.  While Downtown might be the obvious choice if you’re keen to spend time in the CBD, some of the less central hubs are worth considering if you have specific attractions you’re hoping to visit.  To help you make your decision, here are some of our favourite places to pull up for the night while in Auckland.

Things to do

There’s an almost-endless list of fantastic things to do in Auckland – putting together your itinerary is all about mixing and matching to suit your interests. This diverse, modern city loves showing visitors things they’ve never seen before, but it will also educate you in the myriad ways New Zealand’s unique Maori culture is a part of daily life.

Getting Around

Given its smaller size compared to other world cities, and the amount of reliable Auckland transport available, getting around Auckland is one of the easiest parts of a holiday here.  The best part about having shorter travel times in Auckland is that it requires less planning on your part. Don’t stress if you left your hotel late – chances are your destination isn’t as far away as you think it is anyway.  Whether you decide to grab an AT HOP card, jump on a bike or opt to see the city on foot, there are plenty of ways to get where you’re going in Auckland.

Where to eat

In Auckland, food and drink is a point of pride for the locals. A reflection of New Zealand’s status as a multicultural haven, the local cuisine is a constantly changing amalgam of traditional Auckland food and British colonial favourites augmented by Mediterranean and Asian influences. What this inevitably means is that Auckland is home to some of the finest fusion cuisine in the world.  If you’re a foodie looking to sample some of the most delicious examples of Kiwi cuisine, let your Flight Centre Travel Expert know. We can arrange a food and drink tour that will delight your senses...


While there are plenty of big-name outlets to choose from, Auckland shopping is all about slowing your pace, exploring the urban jungle, and tracking down the little gems that hide in side streets and old heritage-listed buildings. From local fashion boutiques to humble family-owned supermarkets, there’s a huge variety of souvenirs just waiting to be found.  Soak up the sun while shopping in Parnell, Ponsonby, or any of the Auckland’s marvellous markets. Alternatively, duck inside for some retail therapy at Britomart, Newmarket, or one of the CBD’s sprawling shopping centres.

Best time to travel

Generally speaking, there’s no wrong time of year to visit Auckland. Regardless of when you visit, or the day-to-day weather in Auckland, you’ll find that there’s plenty on in the City of Sails to satisfy your wanderlust.  Hit the beach during the warmer seasons and get into the hills for some exquisite hiking adventures, or retire to the city’s many galleries on a rainy autumn afternoon. From the sunny summer months to the wetter winters, Auckland will keep you entertained, well-fed and full of energy year-round.


New Zealand is known for its incredible landscapes and seaside locales. Some of the perfect places to experience their majesty are within the many beautiful Auckland parks throughout the city and surrounds.  As a port city, Auckland is blessed on all sides with gorgeous beaches, some of which can only be accessed through equally splendid national parks. Piha Beach, located on the western side of the Auckland Centennial Park, is a perfect example of this.