The Complete Guide to Auckland©
The Complete Guide to Auckland

The Complete Travel Guide to Auckland šŸ™ļø [2024]

Article Single Pages©
Article Single Pages©
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How to Plan the Best Trip to Auckland, New Zealand

For many travellers visiting New Zealand, it all starts in Auckland. New Zealand’s largest city covers a vast area well beyond its famous city skyline defined with the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building, the Sky Tower. The region encompasses around 26 regional parks with lush forest, rolling farmland and sandy beaches. Just off the coast is the Hauraki Gulf, famous for its volcanic islands each with its own unique features. So whether you’re an urbanite or a country bumkin, there are experiences and accommodations to suit a huge range of travellers in Auckland.

We’ll go through our top travel tips, activities and hotels for several travel styles in this complete travel guide to Auckland.

Common Questions About Auckland

We’re not messing around with this travel guide to Auckland; here are the most common questions travellers have about visiting.

What is Auckland Well Known For?

Auckland is known for being the most populated city and region in New Zealand with around 1.7 million people, notably more than the entire South Island. The city is also known as “The City of Sails” due to its access to both the Hauraki Gulf and Tasman Sea and its abundance of sailing yachts and marinas.

Where is Auckland Located?

Auckland is the second northernmost region of the North Island, New Zealand.

What is the Weather Usually Like in Auckland?

Auckland has a mild climate with its fair share of sunny and rainy spells. The daily average temperature is 15.2Ā°C/59.36Ā°F, while the yearly average rainfall is 1,284mm/50.6″. Find out more in What is the Weather Like in Auckland?

When is the Best Time to Visit Auckland?

There’s never a bad time to visit, but if you’re looking for desirable weather or specific festivals/events, check out The Best Time to Visit Auckland.

How Do You Get to Auckland?

Auckland is home to New Zealand’s largest international airport. Find out more about connecting flights to Auckland in A Beginner’s Guide to Getting to New Zealand. The city has a vast public transport network as well as vehicle rentals. Find out more in Public Transport in Auckland and The Best Car Rental Companies in Auckland. Auckland is on New Zealand’s main highway, State Highway 1, and also has train connections with Hamilton and Wellington.

Is Auckland a Beautiful City?

Auckland’s beauty is in its natural features, such as turquoise harbour waters, volcanoes and islands. Its architecture is relatively modern with the occasional example of innovation. As a relatively new city, it lacks historical charm.

The Complete Travel Guide to Auckland© Unsplash

What to Do in Auckland

Everything about Auckland is huge, from its iconic Sky Tower piercing the sky to the sprawling landmass making it the largest city in the country. Add to that the list the fact that there’s so much to do in Auckland and you can start to feel a little overwhelmed.

The Top Experiences in Auckland

If your Auckland visit means staying in the city centre, then follow our One Day in Auckland: City Walking Tour Itinerary. That way, you can see highlights such as the Sky Tower, Auckland Domain, Mt Eden, the Auckland Museum and Auckland Art Gallery all in one day.

But some of the top experiences in the city centre and region include:

Find out more about these experiences and others in the 20 Best Things to Do in Auckland. Or do something a little different by doing the 10 Alternative Things to Do in Auckland.

If you have more time in Auckland to explore the exciting region surrounding the city, then let us guide you to our Auckland activity articles:

Rainy Day Activities

It’s no secret that it rains in Auckland. If you find your trip coinciding with too much liquid pouring from the sky, then try these wet weather activities:

  • Learn about New Zealand’s connection with the ocean at the New Zealand Maritime Museum
  • Hit the indoor ski slope, Snow Planet
  • Have an ice cream masterpiece at Giapo

… And much more that we mention in the 20 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Auckland.

Things to Do at Night

At dusk, the Auckland night scene is just getting started:

…, As well as all of the 10 Things to Do in Auckland at Night.

The Complete Travel Guide to Auckland©

Where to Stay in Auckland

Aside from our top recommendations listed beside this complete travel guide to Auckland (or below, if you’re on mobile), we’ve compiled the best accommodations based on price, suitability for families or couples, as well as more premium offerings. What’s more, each article is written by real people rather than robots!

The Complete Travel Guide to Auckland [2023]© President Hotel Auckland

Stay at the President Hotel Auckland

For one of the best-value stays in the city, set your sights on the President Hotel Auckland. The three-star hotel offers affordable yet appealing rooms, suites and units, some complete with kitchen facilities – all in the heart of Auckland Central. Enjoy complimentary WiFi and even a cooked breakfast if booked directly! Check out deals on the President Hotel Auckland at

The Complete Guide to Auckland© ATEED

Where to Eat in Auckland

Auckland represents a huge array of cultures and, therefore cuisines. The food scene is so vast that it’s almost dizzying, so take a look at The Food Guide to Auckland: Places to Eat & Food Tours to check out some of the highlights. To incorporate foodie experiences into your trip, discover more about the Auckland wine-making region, indulge in fine dining experiences, check out creative markets and much more.

The Best Restaurants in Auckland

  1. One Tree Grill (9 Pah Road, Epsom)
  2. Kazuya (193 Symonds Street, Eden Terrace)
  3. Harbourside (Ferry Building Level 1/99 Quay Street, Auckland CBD)
  4. Cotto (375 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD)
  5. Teed St Larder (7 Teed Street, Newmarket).

Learn more about these eateries and more in The Food Guide to Auckland.

Things to Do for Foodies

Find out more about each activity and more in our 10 Best Foodie Experiences in Auckland.

The Complete Travel Guide to Auckland© Unsplash

Auckland for Budget Travellers

New Zealand’s largest city might not have a reputation for being a budget-friendly city, but with plenty of cheap accommodations and inexpensive activities for those in the know, you can still have an amazing experience in Auckland without breaking the bank.

The city has a range of natural features and parks to discover for free between the huge Auckland Domain and the volcanic cones peppering the city. In fact, there’s so much to discover across the region that we have multiple guides for budget travellers. Check out Auckland City Centre ā€“ Guide for Backpackers and Auckland ā€“ Guide for Backpackers. Additionally, check out The Guide to Auckland on a Budget.

Things to Do on a Budget

  • See Auckland from the top of the Sky Tower (more info and book tickets on Viator and Klook)
  • Watch a free movie at Silo Park (in summer)
  • Climb Mt Eden for amazing views
  • Take a cheap ferry to Devonport
  • Walk in the forestā€¦ in Auckland Domain.

Find out more about each activity and much more in 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Auckland.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Auckland is a city of motels, cheap hotels and backpacker hostels. Check out some of our top recommendations in 20 Best Budget Accommodations and 30 Best Backpacker Hostels.

The Complete Guide to Auckland© ATEED

Auckland for Luxury Travellers

Fine dining, luxury brand shopping, winery-hopping, golf course sampling and scenic flights… It’s all part of the luxury experience in Auckland. Whether you’re in Auckland to celebrate a special occasion or simply prefer to travel in style, you’ll find everything you need to organise a luxurious getaway to Auckland in The Luxury Guide to Auckland.

Luxury Experiences

Find out more about each experience in our 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Auckland.

Luxury Accommodation

Make the most of your stay in Auckland, as it is the only city in New Zealand offering a variety of five-star hotels. Find out more in our 20 Best Luxury Hotels in Auckland.

The Complete Guide to Auckland© ATEED

Auckland for Families

Taking the little ones to the big city can always be a daunting experience, but with fantastic museums, family attractions and numerous day trips, your family is sure to have a blast. Whatever the weather, there’s always something to do in Auckland. Get inspired by The Family Guide to Auckland.

Things to Do with Kids

Find out more about each experience in our 20 Things to Do in Auckland with Kids.

Family-Friendly Accommodation

Family rooms are easy enough to come by in Auckland, with options to suit a range of styles and budgets. Check out our top picks in our 10 Best Family Accommodations in Auckland.

The Complete Guide to Auckland© ATEED

Auckland for Couples

Auckland often represents the start or the end of a honeymoon in New Zealand, so make the most of your time here with some of the city’s most romantic activities. Spend the day exploring one of the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, treat yourself to a romantic cruise seeing marine mammals, or enjoy a quiet dinner with panoramic views atop the Sky Tower. Get more inspiration for your romantic getaway with The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Auckland.

Romantic Things to Do

Sounds like you? Check out the complete list in our 10 Most Romantic Things to Do in Auckland.

Where to Stay for a Honeymoon or Romantic Getaway

From luxurious hotels to boutique hotels to attractive budget hotels, Auckland provides plenty of romantic accommodations for couples. Check out some of our top picks in the 20 Best Romantic Hotels in Auckland.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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