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This bustling waterfront city is packed with cultural highlights, yet it offers numerous ways to feel at one with nature...
Located in the north of the North Island, Auckland is often a starting or ending point for touring holidays in New Zealand, which are popular with travellers of all ages who are keen to see the magnificent natural treasures of this diverse Pacific Ocean nation.
Hotels in Auckland cater for a huge variety of visitors...
Backpackers, business travellers, families, couples: there are Auckland hotels to suit all tastes and budgets.
The big-name international hotel chains are all represented in Auckland. Look for hotels from Clarion, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Ibis, Mercure, Sofitel and Copthorne. Many offer luxury accommodation towards the harbour and the popular waterfront area, and around the green spaces that dot the inner city. These are great locations in which to base your Auckland adventures, as the food and nightlife scenes thrive, especially along the waterfront.
Budget hotels, many being locally run and managed, can also be found in the very centre of the city, and there is a decent range of good-value accommodation further out of town in the urban sprawl that is Greater Auckland. Public transport is frequent, fast and reasonably priced, so being out of the city in the quieter suburbs is not necessarily a sightseeing disadvantage. Car hire is available if you prefer to be flexible.
Stay in North Shore for a more laid-back taste of beach life and glorious views of the Hauraki Gulf. Hop on a ferry or cross Auckland Harbour Bridge to reach downtown. The Eastern Bays, which include Mission Bay and St Heliers, also offer a more relaxed alternative base to central Auckland.
The attractions of Auckland allow visitors to explore the best bits of New Zealand all in one place...
From adventure sports and wildlife encounters to city pursuits, such as shopping - not to mention world-class cuisine - Auckland packs a complete punch in the tourism ring.
Top five attractions
Many of New Zealand's heights are the work of nature; see what man can do at the 328-metre Sky Tower. Simply savour the breath-taking views from the top or have your breath taken away - New Zealand style - with a SkyWalk or a SkyJump!
Auckland Harbour Bridge
This is New Zealand, why walk when you can bungee (or bungy)? Travellers less inclined to throw themselves from heights can don a special jumpsuit and harness and “climb” (a taxing walk) across the top.
One of the main thoroughfares through Auckland, Queen Street is a mecca for shoppers, diners and those wishing to take snaps of some of Auckland's most significant buildings.
Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World
If your stay in New Zealand doesn't allow time to explore the country's coastal wilderness, a trip to this aquarium will sate the curiosities of nature lovers. Penguins and sharks are the highlights.
White sands, emerald waters, and plenty of fun can be enjoyed at the beach-side resort of Mission Bay. A range of water sports are on offer for the adventurous.
Explore the culture of New Zealand when you attend the biggest annual events in Auckland...
Auckland International Cultural Festival; March: This diverse and multicultural city celebrates its residents with music and performances; you can eat your way around the planet.
Pasifika Festival; March: Western Springs Park is the place to be to rejoice in all things Polynesian. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any other global city.
New Zealand International Comedy Festival; May: Antipodeans are famed for their wit; laugh along with the cream of the comedy crop at this popular event.