Auckland Feast your senses on a dazzling array of activities, eateries and stunning landscapes in New Zealand’s cosmopolitan and culturally diverse city of sails.
It’s the gateway to New Zealand Take some time to acquaint yourself with this beguiling city. Fast-paced by New Zealand standards, the nation’s biggest centre covers 500 square kilometres – making it larger, geographically speaking, than London, and similar in size to Los Angeles. But, centred on an isthmus between two harbours, draped over 48 volcanic cones and bordered by rainforest in the west, this city is quite unlike any other. Combined with Auckland’s multi-cultural exuberance, the result is a colourful and modern Pacific city. . Auckland straddles the Auckland Volcanic Field, which has produced approximately 50 volcanoes. These take the form of cones, lakes, lagoons, islands and depressions, and several have produced extensive lava flows. Most of the cones have been partly or completely quarried away. The individual volcanoes are all considered extinct, although the volcanic field itself is merely dormant.
Unlike the explosive subduction-driven volcanism in the central North Island, such as at Mount Ruapehu and Lake Taupo, Auckland's volcanoes are fueled entirely by basaltic magma The most recent and by far the largest volcano, Rangitoto Island , was formed within the last 1000 years, and its eruptions destroyed the Māori settlements on neighbouring Motutapu Island some 700 years ago. Rangitoto's size, its symmetry, its position guarding the entrance to Waitemata Harbour and its visibility from many parts of the Auckland region make it Auckland's most iconic natural feature. Few birds and insects inhabit the island because of the rich acidic soil and the type of flora growing out of the rocky soil.
Auckland lies on and around an isthmus, less than two kilometres wide at its narrowest point, between Mangare Inlet and the Tamaki Inlet. There are two harbours in the Auckland urban area surrounding this isthmus: Waitemata Harbour to the north, which opens east to the Hauraki Gulf , and Manukau Harbour to the south, which opens west to the Tasman Sea. Bridges span parts of both harbours, notably the Auckland Harbour Bridge crossing the Waitemata Harbour west of the Auckland Central Business District (CBD). The Mangare Bridge and the Upper Harbour Bridge span the upper reaches of the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours, respectively. In earlier times, portage paths crossed the narrowest sections of the isthmus. Several islands of the Hauraki Gulf are administered as part of Auckland City, though they are not officially part of the Auckland metropolitan area. Parts of Waiheke Island effectively function as Auckland suburbs, while various smaller islands near Auckland are mostly zoned 'recreational open space' or are nature sanctuaries.
Corner Quay & Hobson Streets Viaduct Harbour. Voyager tells the remarkable stories of New Zealand's rich maritime heritage. From our nation's spirit of exploration have emerged many of the world's greatest maritime pioneers. Eight distinct museum experiences guide you through New Zealand's maritime history, including the stunning new exhibition Blue Water Black Magic - A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake (opens December 2009). http://www.maritimemuseum.co.nz/
Sky City Casino
Experience the heart of Auckland's vibrant entertainment scene at SKYCITY. Choose from three exciting casinos, two world-class hotels, 18 fantastic restaurants and bars, a theatre and free live entertainment. Accessible restaurants including top of tower http://www.skycityauckland.co.nz/
Auckland Zoological Park
Motions Road Western Springs. Auckland Zoo has New Zealand's largest collection of animals and is recognised as one of the most progressive zoos in the world. A winner of national and international environmental-related awards. It is home to 119 different species and over 700 animals. http://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/
Museum of Transport and Technology
MOTAT opened in 1964 and since then has been explored and enjoyed by millions of local, national and international visitors. MOTAT is an interactive museum with a focus on creating a fun, visually stimulating environment for its visitors. On Great North Road http://www.motat.org.nz/
Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World
23 Tamaki Drive Submerge into the subterranean world where King and Gentoo penguins parade in a wonderland of ice and snow, while sharks, giant eels, stingrays and scores of shimmering fish swim the ocean-like depths of Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World. Open 9am daily. http://www.kellytarltons.co.nz/
Auckland Domain Parnel. Set in the Auckland Domain and housed in a magnificent neo-classical building with city views. Maori taonga (treasures) and South Pacific artifacts are the most important in New Zealand. Award-winning discovery centers, hands-on displays and interactive activities. http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/ [use back entrance]
Downtown Ferry Terminal, 99 Quay Street Fullers has been the leading ferry operator in Auckland for over 20 years, and offers a range of ferry trips and tours around Auckland Harbour and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. http://www.fullers.co.nz/
317 Parnell Road with some access. Sprinkled with the magic of yesteryear, Parnell Village boasts some of Auckland's finest specialty shops and restaurants. Beautiful brick paved paths lead you through gracious old buildings, designer boutiques, galleries, fine jewellery and craft shops. Take time to relax in one of the world class deli-style cafes, restaurants or bustling bars. Whatever the choice, Parnell extends a warm and genuine welcome to you.http://www.parnell.net.nz/
1 Pakenham Street East, Auckland Viaduct Phone: (09) 365-2585 Chow combines the flavours of Asia Market fresh ingredients Free range chicken & eggs MSG is never added Eat in or Takeaway Braille menus in every Chow Restuarant Access to main entry:The main entrance (on Pakenham Street), has level access through its double doors, but then there are three steps to get up to the main dining level. The accessible entrance is on Market Place. It is up on a landing, but there is ramp access at the far end of the landing. The door entrance is accessible, including the width and heaviness of the double doors
The Occidental Belgian Beer Café:
6-8 Vulcan Lane, Auckland City Phone: (09) 300-6226 We proudly serve authentic Belgian cuisine complimented by an extensive selection of fine Belgian beers & some of the best wines from NZ & Australia. We recommend you try our signature steaming mussel pots, or our famous mussel platters Access to main entry: There is a lip at the main entrance doors. The doors have a good width and are held back.The Brooklyn Bar and Lounge 332 Queen Street, through to 57 Lorne Street Phone: (09)303-2332 Brooklyn bar and lounge offers simple, fresh and affordable food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Modern and relaxed setting with outdoor seating and a lounge bar suited to functions for casual or corporate get togethers. Our platters menu and free venue hire policy (see our functions page) make us an easy and popular choice. A stroll to cinemas and the edge and next door to the st James, we are an excellent pre- or after show venue for a bite to eat or a place to meet and drink. Access to main entry: There is level entry into the venue (including both front and rear entrances). The entrance doors are double doors, which have 700mm width each, or 1400mm width when both are open. They are heavy to pull/push.White Princes Wharf, 147 Quay Street, Auckland Phone: (09) 978-2020 White relaunched in June 2008 with a new Executive Chef, a new menu and a new food philosophy. White celebrates NZ-grown produce. HOMEGROWN is a joint venture with the best farmers, growers, providores and suppliers throughout the country. Together, we’re championing and showcasing the best of NZ. Access to main entry: There is level entry into the hotel, by ramp access. Once in the hotel lobby, there is lift access up to the restaurant (on Level One).
39-41 Elliott Street, Auckland Cuisine type: Food gallery – European restaurants, cafes, and food retail stores (meat, cheese, vegetables, and wines) Liquor license: Yes Opening Hours: 7am – 8pm, 6 days. Access to main entry: Elliott Street has paving stones and is mostly smooth and non-hazardous. There is a slight slope of the street, coming from the Victoria Street end. There are two main entries, located nearly side by side. One has a small lip, and this leads onto tiled flooring. The other entrance has level access, and leads onto cobblestone flooring. There are no main entrance doors into the gallery (open access), as each shop inside the Stables has their own entrance doors. Al Dente - The Viaduct 104 Customs St West, Viaduct Harbour Phone: (09) 362-0808 Discover the intimate dining experience offered by Al Dente. Nestled in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour, and in High Street in the CBD, Al Dente has a wide selection of italian and european dishes to satisfy most appetites. And our wine list stocks a range of whites, reds, and italian wines, champagne. Our bar also serves cocktails, spirits, beers and non-alcoholic drinks. Access to main entry: There is a ramp up to the main entrance door. The main entrance door has a 100mm step into it. There is an alternative level entry around the front of the restaurant, but the doors are always locked. However they can be unlocked for those who need to use this entrance.
Tatics Bar and Brasserie
96-200 Quay Street - Level one, Copthorne Harbourside Hotel Phone: (09) 377-0349 Tactics Bar and Brasserie is one of the Copthorne Harbour City's onsite Restaurants Enjoy a delicious brasserie style meal accompanied by an outstanding selection of New Zealand and international beverages. The view is spectacular by day and pure magic by night with the city lights and harbour views. The Tactics Brasserie is an ideal place to meet, drink and eat - offering a superb Pacific Rim menu located in Auckland’s vibrant Viaduct. Access to main entry (of the Copthorne Harbourside Hotel where Tactics is located): The step to get up to the entrance level is approximately 120mm high. There is no kerb cut or ramp provided. The only alternative for level access is through the staff entrance, which is located further along. There is quite a steep concrete ramp up to the staff door and most people in wheelchairs would require assistance. The main entrance doors are revolving, with two alternative hinged doors located on either side (widths of 840mm). The main entry doors have no visibility markings, and are all very dark tinted glass. Door visibility is poor, with no colour contrasts provided at all. From the reception counter, there are three stairs up to the lobby and the lifts. There is no level access way to get to the lifts (other than going through the staff entrance). Access to entry of the bar and brasserie, on level one. Once up on level one, there is level entry into the bar and brasserie. The doors are held open by stoppers and both have good clear opening widths.
The French Café
210 Symonds Street, Auckland Phone: (09) 377-1911The French Café offers contemporary European cuisine in a sophisticated and intimate environment.The restaurant has a relaxed bar for pre and post dinner drinks, conservatory room overlooking the courtyard and courtyard dining when weather permits. Distinct dining areas are available for group bookings offering privacy, comfort and alfresco dining Simon Wright is the Chef/Owner of the restaurant. He has trained in Europe´s top Hotels and Michelin Star Restaurants. Simon changes the menu monthly in order to utilize the best ingredients available. Access to main entry: The restaurant has level entry through one glass swing door.
13 St Mary’s Road, Ponsonby, Auckland Phone: (09) 360-0021 Executive chef, Makoto Tokuyama produces a ‘new style’ Japanese cuisine. Having finished his training at the world renowned “Ubon by Nobu’ in London, Makoto is in his element here working with the plentiful, high quality ingredients available locally. Sauces and dressings are an integral aspect of the menu. The citrus & vinegar based reductions may take weeks to infuse before serving. Soto’s signature dish is the Prawn, Scallop & Oyster Filo Tempura. The seafood combination is wrapped in shredded filo before frying, served with tartar & wasabi caviar & a Japanese Worcestershire styled sauce. Access to main entry: Level entry into the restaurant. The main entrance door is a push/pull wooden swing door, with an opening width of 830mm. It is light to open. It is held open during summer and closed during winter.
Jaan Turkish Café
505 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland Phone: (09) 846-6652 This restaurant has gone out of its way to cater for disabled patrons – fantastic to see. Access to main entry: The restaurant is housed in a two storey villa. There are six stairs up to the entrance, but there is also a disabled platform lift situated next to the stairs. Once on the deck, there is level entry through into the restaurant (with a threshold ramp at the main entry doors). The main entrance door is held back. It has an opening width of 880mm.
O’Carroll’s Irish Pub and Eatery
10 Vulcan Lane, Auckland City Phone: (09) 300-7117 Nestled comfortably in Auckland's Vulcan Lane, O'Carrolls is filled with original Irish memorabilia from antique musical instruments to old-fashioned wooden tennis rackets. The staff provide a friendly and relaxed environment and have all been trained by Guiness specialists to pour you that perfect pint. In fact, it is rumoured around Auckland that O'Carrolls provides the highest quality stout beer inside New Zealand. In following Irish tradition, Access to main entry: There is level access into the bar. The entrance doors have an opening width of 800mm and are held back.
Ascension Wine Estate
480 Matakana Road Matakana Coast Wine Country Half way between Warkworth & Matakana township. 39 minutes north of Auckland CBD's Fanshawe St on-ramp. The Oak Grill Bistro 2009 Hospitality Association of NZ 'Awards for Excellence' 'Best Restaurant' - National Finalist 'Excellence in Customer Service' - National Finalist
Shopping centers with good access
286 Mt Wellington Highway Mt Wellington With more than 200 stores, more than 4,000 car parks and a full bus and rail service, Sylvia Park is a leading edge shopping centre - providing a mix of retail and entertainment. From fashion, gifts & home ware - to movies, books and dining http://www.sylviapark.org/
11-19 Customs Street West Downtown Auckland over 70 stores to choose from: health & beauty products, pharmacy, newsagent, manicures, books, authentic New Zealand products, cafes, hair stylists, wine, clothing & fashion, full international food court, , http://westfield.co.nz/downtown/
Dress-Smart Factory Outlet Centre
151 Arthur Street Onehunga Up to 70% off normal retail prices! Over 100 outlet stores at Dress-Smart, Onehunga, you will enjoy savings on popular brand names. Open 7 days, 10am 5pm http://www.dress-smart.co.nz/
34 – 40 Queen Street The heritage building known as Queens Arcade was originally built in three parts, from the early 1900’s to 1929. The “south arcade” to Queen Street began as two separate buildings with a brick separating wall. The building at 34 – 40 Queen Street was designed by architects Blomfield & Hunt and built by Fletcher Construction Ltd in 1929. The 5 level office building on Customs St was also built by Fletchers for the present owners Davis Properties Limited. The three buildings were amalgamated into one in November 1929. http://www.queensarcade.co.nz/index.html
Hamilton is about 80 minutes south on Highway 1
As you cruise down the southern motorway, suburban scenery gradually gives way to the farmland of South Auckland, an area favoured by bloodstock breeders. You’ll enjoy motorway speeds all the way to Bombay, a major market gardening area. The Waikato River will accompany you for much of your journey through the green countryside. Places of interest along the way include the wine growing area of Te Kauwhata and the coal mining town of Huntly. Huntly East is New Zealand's most productive underground coal mine. Originally an opencast mine, innovative developments over the last 5 years have overcome the unique challenges to mining posed by NZ conditions. Huntly East is now one of the most advanced underground coal mines in the world. It supplies coal to NZ Steel's mill at Glenbrook (NZ's biggest industrial site), the Huntly thermal power station (NZ's biggest electricity producer) and to industries in Auckland
The Huntly power station was commissioned in 1982 to run on gas and coal. As Māui gas supplies began to run out in the early 2000s, coal increasingly became the major fuel. When running entirely on coal, the station can use over 3 million tonnes a year, some of which is imported. The 1000MW station is about 12.5% of New Zealand's installed generation capacity and plays a critical role in the country's electricity supply
The city of Hamilton is carved in two by the mighty Waikato River. Attractions include gardens, riverboat cruising and a giant free flight aviary. Excellent restaurants and cafes can be found at the southern end of the city’s main street.