As the major New Zealand gateway Auckland receives some 70% of our 2 million international visitors each year.
Auckland International Airport is 20km from the city centre. Domestic airlines operate from here to all main cities and towns through two domestic terminals (Air New Zealand and Qantas) which are connected to the international terminal by a shuttle bus on a 20 minute schedule. The Airport Visitor Centre offers a free hotel booking service and there is a bank of hotel/motel courtesy phones for arriving visitors. The Air Bus departs frequently on the 50 minute run into Downtown Auckland at a cost of $14 one way. Taxis and minibuses cost around $40.
Auckland’s vehicular traffic flows have become very congested in recent years but many of the major sights and attractions are within walking distance of the CBD. Local bus services are very economical and taxis are plentiful, although it pays to ring for service or go to a designated taxi rank. The harbour ferries can whisk you over to the Devonport cafes and the beautiful Hauraki Gulf islands, which offer superb city and maritime views.
Train services operate from Britomart Station at the foot of Queen Street. Local tourist attractions are not on railway routes, but long distance services run to Rotorua, Tauranga and Wellington. The Overlander runs daily to the capital city and the Northerner provides an overnight service on weekends.
Inter City is the principal bus company in New Zealand connecting Auckland with all main cities and towns in collaboration with Newman’s Services, with regular departures from the Sky City Coach Terminal in Hobson Street. Northliner Express buses depart from the Downtown Airline Terminal for Northland centres including the Bay of Islands. Backpacker buses such as the Kiwi Experience and Magic Traveller’s Network provide a door-to-door service to and from Auckland hostels.
Car rental deals can be negotiated for long term hire with all major companies. Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty and others offer full insurance and good unlimited kilometre rates from around $30 per day. For holiday visits of two months or more consider buying a car, either through dealers on a buy-back scheme or through car fairs or newspaper adverts.