Auckland overview

Auckland at a glance

  • The Sky Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, at 328 metres.
  • One in three Aucklanders owns a boat, leading to the city’s affectionate nickname, the City of Sails.
  • New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland is home to one third of the population.
  • Auckland is the largest Polynesian community in the world, and one of the most culturally diverse.
  • The Auckland region is dotted with 48 volcanic cones, which you’ll see scattered across the landscape.
  • Rangitoto Island, which you pass as you come into port, is Auckland’s largest and youngest volcano – about 600 years old. This means some early Māori in New Zealand may have viewed its birth.
  • Auckland houses approximately 30 per cent of the world’s total population of yellow-eyed penguins, which are also bred here.
  • There are 23 beautiful regional parks in the Auckland region, many of them just a short drive from the city centre.

Emergency contact information 

  • Emergency phone number 111 (Fire, Police and Ambulance). You can call this number from mobile phones and all public phone booths for free.

Wi-Fi

  • There are several Wi-Fi hotspots in central Auckland, and many cafés offer free Wi-Fi for customers.

Auckland at a glance

  • The Sky Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, at 328 metres.
  • One in three Aucklanders owns a boat, leading to the city’s affectionate nickname, the City of Sails.
  • New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland is home to one third of the population.
  • Auckland is the largest Polynesian community in the world, and one of the most culturally diverse.
  • The Auckland region is dotted with 48 volcanic cones, which you’ll see scattered across the landscape.
  • Rangitoto Island, which you pass as you come into port, is Auckland’s largest and youngest volcano – about 600 years old. This means some early Māori in New Zealand may have viewed its birth.
  • Auckland houses approximately 30 per cent of the world’s total population of yellow-eyed penguins, which are also bred here.
  • There are 23 beautiful regional parks in the Auckland region, many of them just a short drive from the city centre.

Climate and weather

  • Enjoy Auckland in any season – the region has a warm coastal climate without extremes of temperature.
  • The mean daily temperature during January and February is 23 degrees Celsius (74 degrees Fahrenheit), and during July and August, the mean daily maximum is 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • The seasons are the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. Auckland’s summer is from December to February, autumn or fall is from March to May, winter is from June to August and spring is from September to November.
  • Auckland is the first country to see the sun rise each day, and enjoys more than 2000 hours of sunshine a year.
  • In high summer, the sunshine in New Zealand is very strong and you’ll burn more easily – bring sunscreen and a hat to keep safe in the sun.

New Zeaand uses the metric system rather than imperial; miles are kilometres; Fahrenheit is Celsius. One kilometre equals approximately 0.62 miles.

Supermarkets

There are three supermarkets located in close proximity to the cruise terminal.

  • 125 Queen St Metro
  • 76 Quay Street
  • 19 Victoria Street

Car hire and New Zealand road rules

  • Drive on the left in New Zealand. There are road signs and road markings to help you travel safely.
  • If you’re from a country where you drive on the right, remember things such as your steering wheel will be reversed. An easy way to remember the change is that the driver should be the closest to the centre line.
  • Give way to the right
  • There’s a variety of road signs to look out for – find out about important and common New Zealand road signs here.( link for sign meanings http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/about-signs/main-types.html)
  • Always check rail crossings for oncoming trains.

Purchases

  • Most overseas debit and credit cards are compatible with EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale).
  • The easiest way to pay with an overseas card is to select ‘credit’ and then usually you’ll need to sign for purchases.
  • It’s a good idea to carry cash as many smaller businesses such as convenience stores don’t accept credit cards.
  • Tipping is not mandatory or expected when paying for a meal, however you may wish to reward special service.

Mobile phone information

  • There are four mobile phone companies in New Zealand – Vodafone, Spark, 2degrees and Skinny.

Time zones 

  • Adelaide 2 ½ hours behind
  • Brisbane 3 hours behind
  • Melbourne 2 hours behind
  • Sydney 2 hours behind
  • Perth 5 hours behind
  • Miami and  New York 17 hours behind
  • London 12 hours behind
  • Ottawa 17 hours behind
  • Tokyo 4 hours behind