in the middle
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Auckland is the most populated city in New Zealand and a flight to Auckland is a great starting point for any adventure to this beautiful country. The landscape here is dramatic as it has been moulded by volcanic activity, whilst the people are warm and friendly. There is a large expat population both from the UK as well as from the Polynesian islands so expect a cultural mix that only adds to the appeal of taking Auckland flights.
The city has an unconventional layout, with two harbours operating on two different coasts, and lots of waterways breaking up the cityscape. This means that although the Central Business District is still the heart of the action, it could be worth looking into an Auckland hotels in the suburbs where you will find more independent shops and restaurants - it depends on what you want to do on your holiday after your flight to Auckland lands.
Think about day trips as well as well as how you will spend the evenings - Auckland has a wide range of things to do in the surrounding area, from surfing to nature walks to mountain hiking, so being in an easy location to head out to do these things will greatly improve your holiday.
It takes upwards of around 24 hours for a flight to Auckland from the UK to arrive, and this will have to include at least one stopover along the way. The most usual stopovers are in Los Angeles Airport in California or Singapore or Bangkok if you're travelling in the other direction. Whichever route you choose, look for a stop of around two hours so that you can get going again with the minimum of waiting time.
If you're looking to eke out your budget with a cheap flight to Auckland it can sometimes be worth looking at longer stopovers - which can include overnight - but consider how much impact this will have on your enjoyment of your time in Auckland.
Flights to Auckland take at least 28 hours from the UK and involve a minimum of one stopover along the way. Prices definitely reflect this length and tend to stay quite high. Get the best deals by travelling in the off-peak season, booking nice and early and shopping around for the best price. Flights from the major airports, particularly those in London tend to be cheapest.
Auckland Airport Website
All flights to Auckland arrive into Auckland Airport, which is a 45 minute drive from the city centre, so even after your Auckland flight has landed there is a little more travelling to do. You can cover this distance by:
Taxis and shuttle cars: These can be pre-booked or arranged at the airport when you arrive on your flight into Auckland, and although you'll pay a fairly hefty price, you can be sure they will take you right to your hotel. Fares are based on a per person rate which goes down the more there are sharing - so if it's just you, use your flight to Auckland to find a couple of people to share with!
Buses: There are several routes that include the airport, with the Airport Express running between Auckland Airport and Auckland Centre. This runs every ten minutes throughout the day so there will always be one coming along soon.
Car hire: Hiring a car is a great way of getting around New Zealand and making the most of your holiday, be aware that you may be quite sleepy when you arrive and plan accordingly!
The bus is the most popular mode of public transport in Auckland for tourists and locals alike, with most of the major attractions served. However with three separate companies operating routes it's hard to get much of a saving for multiple trips. The free Central Business District bus is great value though! Auckland's train line doesn't really reach the suburbs but can be a handy option where it does reach - particularly when the roads are congested. Taxis can be costly, especially when travelling longer distances, and hiring a car, whilst useful, may leave you sitting in traffic on a regular basis. Ferries across the bays provide a great way to beat the tailbacks and get out and about.
Domestic flights are a great way of spending more time sightseeing and less time travelling, particularly if you want to experience both North and South Island on the same holiday to New Zealand. Train travel is a lovely way of seeing the countryside and the train to Wellington passes through bushland, coastline, volcanic landscapes and lush parkland on its 12 hour trip. Long distance coach travel is similarly scenic, if a little slower, but more destinations across the island are offered. Hiring a car is the best way to explore the harder to reach areas such as coastal regions and national parks.
As with all southern hemisphere destinations, Auckland's winter corresponds to summer in the UK and vice versa. Temperatures there average about 15°C during the winter, and hover around 22°C in the summer, so the weather is mild all year round. Rain can occur throughout the year, with quite heavy rain possible any time, so remember to pack an umbrella or waterproof jacket.
December to March is the peak time for tourism in Auckland, with prices at their highest during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. However, the shoulder seasons, October and November, or April and May, still have pretty high temperatures but the advantage of cheaper flights and accommodation, plus fewer other tourists at the sights. To really get the best deals, the low season is perfect as the weather is still pretty good, although you may want to take some warmer clothes.
Auckland has a vibrant and fun events calendar, with environmental, cultural and kids events happening all the time, so check out the events link below to see what's coming up during your trip. Big annual events include the Waiheke International Jazz Festival in April, International Comedy Festival in May, the Auckland Marathon in October and the Auckland Heritage Festival in September. Sports are big in New Zealand too so why not catch some international rugby or see some cricket.
Currency is New Zealand Dollar: NZ$. ATMs and banks generally offer the best exchange rates, with hotel exchanges being the worst. Make your money go further by looking for free and fun outdoor events to join in with.
The predominant language in Auckland is English, with many people also speaking Maori.
+64 for New Zealand followed by 9 for Auckland and the surrounding area
UK passport holders are allowed to stay for up to six months in New Zealand without applying for a visa, but you have to make sure that your passport is valid for at least one month longer than your stay.
In the suburbs and centre of Auckland you will find plenty of things influenced by the city's multicultural population. Asians, Polynesians and many an expat have lent their cultures to restaurants, bars and clubs, so make some time to explore this vibrant scene.
Some of the other main sights are the Sky Tower, which is the Southern Hemisphere's tallest building, the Auckland War Memorial Museum which has long since given up focussing on war and now has a vast collection of fantastic size and breadth, and The StarDome Observatory which gives is Brits a chance to see the Southern Cross and other constellations in the Southern Hemisphere.
Further away from the bright city lights, you'll find all manner of natural attractions, which are often then main reason people want to book themselves on a flight to Auckland. Visit Waitakere Ranges, take a hike up one of the extinct volcanoes such as One Tree Hill or Mount Eden and take a day at the beach.