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Auckland, New Zealand

We will be ending a cruise in Auckland in February and will spend a couple of days there before returning to Seattle. Would appreciate any recommendations on convenient hotels and also suggestions on what to see in just two days.

Posted by
1806 posts

What's your nightly budget in NZD for the hotel? Can you give more information as to what you enjoy doing on trips? Museums? Shopping? Outdoor recreation? Foodie/Wine tasting? Hard to give you relevant suggestions without knowing a little more.

Posted by
14 posts

We're hoping to find a hotel room for less than $200 U.S. that serves breakfast. We enjoy walking so would prefer a hotel that is centrally located, so we can get a feel of Auckland and walk to some nice restaurants. We would like to do some wine tasting, and do a little shopping for a piece of art before we leave for home. Has anyone been to Waiheke Island? And, if so, would you recommend a tour? Also, a museum would interest us, as well.

Posted by
95 posts

The area around the Viaduct Harbour is probably best located for what you are looking for. Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct harbour are pedestrian areas with a variety of cafes, restaurants and casual bars. You can't go hungry around here. It's also right next to where the cruise ships berth - so very convenient. The main transport hub for Auckland (called Britomart) is right alongside, and the main ferry hub is also right here. Nearby hotels are Sebel or Stamford Plaza - or search on using Viaduct harbour to narrow down your options.

Queen St is the main commercial street, which also very close. You'll find your main chain stores along here, and then more boutique stores in behind in the lanes e.g. High Street. The Auckland art gallery is a little further up (up hill but not far). Auckland Museum is also walkable (but a longer walk, depending on your desired activity levels). A nice loop could be to get the link bus from Britomart up Parnell Rise (that's a hill) and then walk back down hill to the Auckland muesum, visit the Wintergarden and then on through the shops of Parnell.

Waiheke Island is a great day trip from Auckland - link below to some options with Fullers. Fullers are the company that also run the ferries to Waiheke. Of course you may be sick to death of boats by then...but if not Devonport is another easy trip by boat from Downtown Ferry terminal.

With only a couple of days I definitely wouldn't head any further afield that would require a car or travel out of the city.

Posted by
18 posts

We visited NZ a few years ago (we are from Seattle too!). Enjoyed every aspect of our travel through North and South Island. Beautiful country, wonderful and friendly people. Having said that, for 2 short days in Auckland you probably will have enough to keep you busy in the city. But I would highly recommend a day trip to Rotorua. You can experience Maori culture independently or via prepackaged tours - some of which you can experience in the Auckland museum. But the country side is beautiful, great thermal activity with hot springs and geyers - the views are fantastic. Great and easy to start up a conversation with locals you meet at the shops or even the visitor center. A visit to Te Puia - Maori Arts and Crafts Institue is a must do. And don't miss the Rotorua museum - wonderful location, great building on the outside and inside and our kids and us enjoyed visiting it. We rented a car and it was about a couple of hours drive and did all of this on our own.

Posted by
2 posts

I've traveled to NZ four times, and the last spent a few days in Auckland before returning to the states. Auckland was where I'd started my first trip (as a much un-seasoned traveler) to NZ 10 years before my last trip so there were a lot of places I wanted to revisit. The last trip I stayed at the Best Western President Hotel (I had points) which is very centrally located - just a block from the Sky Tower and an easy walk over to the waterfront where you catch the ferries. There are several nice, casual restaurants along the harbor with nice views and outdoor seating. I traveled solo, never felt unsafe walking around the city. Nor, any part of NZ.

I agree with the previous replies, definitely take a day trip over to Waiheke Island. I took one of the earlier ferries over and a guided bus tour that will let you off anywhere on the island (your ticket also allows you to ride the public buses back to the harbor to catch the ferries back. I took the tour, then jumped off a few wineries, had lunch and explored the town before heading back to Auckland. When I make it back, I'll definitely go back out to Waiheke. I'm quite certain my tour was booked on Fuller; it was recommended by the tourist center.

Devonport is also a fantastic way to spend a morning/afternoon- much shorter ferry ride than Waiheke. If you want a full day trip, I did one to the Bay of Islands (it was the only part of NZ I hadn't yet visited). Lovely tour, though it rained a good bit. It might be an area I'd rather explore on my own the next time since NZ is so easy to navigate by car.

Hope that helps!