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Auckland (New Zealand)

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      26.12.2009 23:29
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      A great city on the other side of the world

      INTRODUCTION

      Following on from my general review of New Zealand, I thought I'd go into a bit more detail regarding our first port of call. Auckland. As we spent 5 days there, we managed to get to know the city and little bit and share our experiences.

      TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

      The Hauraki Gulf Islands are easily reached by boat from the main harbour in the centre of the city. Great Barrier Island is the largest and has beaches, hot springs, a sanctuary and lots of walking paths, but it's a 4 ½ hour ferry journey, or a 30 minute flight. We didn't go there though; our first excursion was a 20 minute boat ride to Rangitoto, which erupted from the sea about 600 years ago, and offers an interesting view of volcanic activity. We walked to the summit around a slightly tricky but mostly accessible path. There are several paths up and around, including one circling the crater rim, which is quite impressive. My own recommendation would be to get the earlier ferry out in the morning to ensure that you don't get scorched by the midday sun. Normally this is about 9am but there is also an "early bird" ferry at 7.30 pm at weekends which I personally think is a great option as you also avoid the throng too, and can get back into the city without using too much of the day up here. Also of note here are the old houses or Baches, built in the 1920s but now vacated due to government policy of making the island inhabitant free. The owners were allowed to stay and gradually after they passed on, the island became a sanctuary. Originally they were all to be demolished, but some remain and are restored for visitors to look at from outside. On the island some interesting plaques describe island life, and how islanders boasted they if they wanted a certain fish to eat, they'd just go out and catch it. The community sounded quite close knit and enjoyable.

      Next on the island itinerary was Waiheke Island, an island which 30 years ago was populated by alternative types looking to drop out of city life; they couldn't give land away. Now though, thanks to the many wineries, real estate is very expensive and exclusive, and there is a mix of those old, bohemian types and the new businesses. Here you can stay at various hotels or even local houses rented out by enterprising islanders avoiding the tourists. It's also possible to take a daytrip, with the ferry taking 35 minutes. There are 26 wineries you can visit; some by appointment, some just by dropping by, some of which have fancy restaurants and gift shops where they will be more than happy to peddle their variously priced wines direct. We took the quick option, which was a daytrip incorporating an organised tour around 3 wineries and an olive grove. This is quite well organised; the ferry trip is included and you are met off the boat by the tour guide who will direct you to their bus. Our guide was very amusing and chatty, telling us about the island as we drove around. The 3 wineries varied in interest; one we found to be informative but lacking real interest, and selling hugely expensive wines, though our included lunch was in their restaurant and was pretty OK. Another was more interesting, also having a micro brewery where we bought a bottle of dark ale to taste later one. The final one though was the best, with the winery guide seeming to have real passion and interest in engaging with his visitors to bring this across. All 3 guided us to their gift shops, and the final one was honest in saying that these trips with the resultant wine purchases helped fund the winery. I can certainly recommend the Fullers wine tour as a good way to see this pretty island.

      Visiting Auckland Museum takes you to Auckland Domain area, where you can also visit the Wintergarden, which has a tropical house, fernery and café. There are also playing fields and lots of grass where you can just hang out and enjoy the scenery. The museum itself is an impressive building, housing exhibits such as World War Two planes, the British Spitfire and Japanese Zero fighters, as well as an explanation of their individual histories. There are also Maori artefacts such as a large ornate meeting house, and information about the Pacific Islands and their cultures.

      Sky Tower offers a great view of the city. You can choose to go to one or both of the observation decks, and visit the café on the lower one if you don't mind the height. The lower Observatory is 194m up; the Sky Deck 220m. For the more adventurous, bungy jumps or a walk around the tower 192m up are possible; good luck with those. On the Observation deck there's even a countdown clock so that you're not shocked when you see someone fly down. There is also a casino in the tower, which I had a quick look round. I can't imagine why people would come here to gamble, though.

      DISTRICTS

      The best place to orientate yourself from is the main shopping road, Queen Street, which has every chain you'd expect in a big city. There are also many side roads worth exploring. One I can recommend is Vulcan Lane, home to Occidental Belgian Beer Café. Admittedly it seems an odd thing to go to somewhere which you'd easily get to via Eurostar in a couple of hours, but I have to say there's a lot to be said for sipping a glass of Duvel in the Auckland sunshine (when it appears). The café really does look like somewhere you'd find in Belgium, complete with many imported, authentic beers such as Leffe.

      Karangahape Road (known as K Road) has real character; walking away from the city you pass many restaurants, cafes and fast food eateries, which at one point make way for seedier shops and characters, although it's never intimidating at all. It's a very interesting place to stroll down, have a coffee or perhaps in the evening a few drinks and a nightclub.

      Ponsonby is a trendy area, although I didn't find it too pretentious. A little uphill from the city centre, we had a walk down the main road, Ponsonby Road. Landreth & Co (272 Ponsonby Road) offered us a pleasant stop for a coffee break, with its colonial type fittings and trendy music. There were a lot of bars and restaurants, and the lunch time that we spent walking there had a lot of suited types enjoying a leisurely lunch.

      One area we didnt visit but I have heard is worth looking at is Parnell & Newmarket, one of Auckland's oldest areas. Head to Parnell for a slice of the high life with expensive eateries, and Newmarket for a good selection of boutiques.

      DINING

      Being a very cosmopolitan city, there is a great variety of food to try. As New Zealand is deceptively close to Asia, many immigrants and students find their way from China to Korea. I have not experienced Korean food much before, not encountering it in any great amount, so the various options here were a welcome change for me. I developed a taste for Korean Barbeque dishes, with meat or fish barbequed in some kind of sweet and savoury, sticky dark sauce, served to you on a hot plate with side dishes of rice, vegetable and kimchi (a spicy Korean way of pickling vegetables like cabbage). Japanese cuisine offers fresh sushi with the quality expected from the many native tourists & residents. The usual noodle and rice dishes are also on offer such as udon & katsu, as well as a couple of teppenyaki restaurants, which I saw were hugely popular with visiting Japanese tourists, where the food is cooked at your table. Chinese food offers the usual experience as in the UK, although it's worth noting that there wasn't a specific Chinatown; restaurants were dotted around town. To try these cuisines and more, such as Vietnamese, Malaysian, Turkish and Indian, there are various food halls around town; the concept is something like the food courts you'd get here in shopping centres, only these places are just about the food. Food Alley (9 Albert Street) is a highly recommended option; in fact so impressed were we by it's choice, taste and value for money huge portions that we went here 4 times and never even tried any others. A tasty Korean BBQ squid dish, chicken katsu and duck with rice & vegetables kept me more than happy. I just wish I had a chance to try all of the other stalls, of which there were 20 or so. We had a look around Ponsonby Village Food Court (106 Ponsonby Road) which is reputedly the best in sound, but sadly this was after we'd had our fill elsewhere, although the stalls did look quite promising.

      At the end of Queen Street, past the main shopping area, is a strip of Japanese, Korean and Chinese restaurants, and Restaurant Seoul (470 Queen Street) offers decently priced authentic Korean cuisine. The BBQ chicken dish I had was as good as anything I tasted in the city. The teriyaki eel that Ms Larsbaby tried was melt in the mouth tasty.

      Auckland offers various crossover dishes, and we tried a seafood platter at Neptune Café & Bar (Unit 1 Shed 23 Princes Wharf) which, although gave us an excellent selection of local specialities such as sizeable green lipped mussels, scallops and shrimps, really didn't need the cheese mixed in with it. The local coffee chain, Esquires, had a branch located close to the harbour and we spent several times sipping lattes and watching the world go by. I found their food selection interesting, with sandwiches and pastries accompanied by pies. Great idea! I did enjoy my breakfast of latte with pie one morning. There was a great variety of places to have a coffee; it seems that they take their coffee very seriously as it was always excellent.

      However, such fans are myself & Ms Larsbaby of Asian food, this along with Auckland Fish Market (corner of Jellicoe & Daldy Streets) was our only foray here into anything vaguely resembling "native" kiwi main meals. The fish market was slightly out of town in an area by the sea, naturally, but well worth seeking out. A few fish shops offered a glimpse into the many kinds of excellent seafood available, such as red snapper, green lipped mussels, bream and gurnard. A couple of eateries offered the chance to try some of this succulent seafood, and we tried a seafood platter from one of them. The deep fried scallops, mussels, prawns and oysters were a real fresh treat, alongside a small salmon kebab stick. We couldn't resist having a seafood chowder as well which was pleasingly rich and chunky.

      CONCLUSION

      Auckland offers all the facilities, sights and sounds you'd expect in any major European or North American city; perhaps more in terms of nearby nature. It reminds me of Vancouver a lot if that's a helpful comparison. Perhaps you won't go all the way to the other side of the world just to see another city. If you do though, you won't be disappointed.

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        29.08.2009 22:59
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        Amazing city with so much to see and do and real must!

        After living in NZ for six and a half years I feel qualified to give an accurate review of this city.

        I arrived in Auckland in 2002 where I stayed for 10 months before moving further south and fell completely in love with it. The weather is unreliable but beats the UK hands down. It is humid, but when the sun is out the sky is bluer than I have seen anywhere else in the world (maybe due to the hole in the ozone) lol. .... incidentally burn times can be as little as five minutes in the middle of summer, even when cloud is around!

        The city is surrounded by sea, which gives it a clean, peaceful feel, yet if you want fun and noise just head into any number of the busy city streets.

        The shops vary, I remember when first arriving finding the clothes shops limited, but you soon get used to it. When I travelled back north to Auckland in 2005 to settle I found the shops amazing compared to else where in NZ. For clothes visit; High street in the city, or Nuffield street in Newmarket.

        The food and cafe culture is second to none, they take this very seriously and I really miss my coffee and brunch of a weekend while gazing out over the crystal blue sea, the UK just doesn't get it and would never be-able to recreate it. Try Mecca in the viaduct or mission Bay, The Takapuna beach cafe in Takapuna or the Rose Hip in Parnell.

        The beaches are clean; black sand on the west coast of Auckland (where the Piano was set) - great for surfing and white on the east coast - better for families.

        When arriving in Auckland I was amazed how friendly the kiwi's were, but when I travelled further south noted they are get friendly the further south you go (almost eerily friendly).

        Auckland drivers can't drive and have some funny road rules, however are in the process of changing them, but watch out!

        Heaps of tourist atractions inc;
        Sky-tower
        Boat cruisers to other islands and to spot dolphins
        Vineyards
        Fine dining
        Great museum in the Domain
        Shopping
        Cultural shows
        Kelly Taltons - sea life centre
        Auckland Zoo
        Kayaking

        You really need a couple of days to do it justice, my advice don't judge it on the first day you arrive as you are jet lagged and grumpy/spaced and likewise don't wait until you are exhausted from traveling and in traveling home mode! Give it a try I promise you wont regret it!

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          08.06.2009 11:33
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          amazing place in NZ with plenty for all to enjoy

          I travelled to Auckland several times during 2006 and 2007. I found the city very appealing and very safe!

          There are so many sights to see around Auckland and having spent several weeks there, still have not yet seen them all! There is everything from museums, walks, bungee jumping and boat tours!

          The Sky tower is a must do, the best time to go is an hour before it gets dark, as you get to see the sights in the day light and then again at night time. its a beautiful view and worth the money!

          A great walk is up to Mount Eden, this can get pretty busy with all the backpacking buses and other tour buses visiting but it gives you a great view over the city and you can see the sea!

          If you get the chance, take the ferry across to Rangitoto island, it is an old volcano where you can walk right to the top and see the entire crater as well as another fantastic photo opportunity of Auckalnd city.

          A great bar to visit if "minus 5" where everything is made of ice, including some amazing sculptures, chairs, the actual bar as well as the glasses with the drinks in! As you'd expect this is very very cold so wear something warm! you are provided with a big woolly coat. It is a little pricey to get in, but it's a unique experience.

          Auckland makes a great base for visiting surrounding towns and sights. I would definitely recommend spending a day or two up north in the Paihia area, which is breathtakingly beautiful! Kiwi experience do this trip and I'm sure many other companies will also do a very similar tour too.

          For a quiet coffee head down the bay, where you can quietly watch the boats heading up and down which is very relaxing!

          Bungee jumping off of Auckland bridge is great fun for adrenalin junkies, although if your around NZ for a while, it's cheaper to jump/fall else where :P

          Auckland is a great town in NZ, although it does seem to lack some true Maori culture. it is one of the most popular cities in NZ with easy connecting flights from around the world, making it quite touristy with plenty of tourist shops and tours.

          There are a hug variety of places to stay from expensive hotels, guest houses and backpacking hostels depending on your personal preference. These are all easy to book at auckland Airport or in advance.

          A must visit city with plenty to do!

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            30.01.2009 13:47
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            Great atmosphere, recommended

            Having been lucky enough to be in a fairly successful school rugby team on the national level we were offered the chance to go on tour to New Zealand in the summer of 2005, and of course this was their winter. However temperatures were tolerable in Auckland which was then towards the end of July, and at best it was possible to get away with just a T-shirt as the days were majoritively clean and clear.

            So after the epic 26 hour flight we stepped off the plane and set foot in New Zealand. Strangely enough the very first thing we did after collecting our luggage was to go for a mandatory swim at an indoor water park there. Wehther this was a cruel ply by the coaches or just a way to freshen us up so as to minimise jetlag, I will never know! However the park was a good visit and I would recommend doing so if you land in the morning like we did. Our hotel was a great place to stay, however I just cannot remember the name of it after 3 year,, sorry about that. But it was in the heart of the city, and in typical of New Zealand manner there was a man made bungy jump literally across from the street from us, showing that even in the most urban of areas in NZ they will create an adventure.

            Auckland is a vibrant city and boasts a great atmosphere, of which is very different to that in England, particularly us who came from a much smaller city in England. Furthermore due to its location it had many different ethnicities there and a thriving chinese contingent.

            The main attraction for me had to be the sky tower, and if you find yourself in Auckland this is a must. For a reasonable fare you will find youself hurtling a good 300m off the ground in a glass floor elevator. Once at the top you will be greeted with another glass floor towards the edge of the floor, but dont worry its not all glass! The panoramic view from up there is breathtaking, as you can see right across Auckland and for miles on. For a few extra bob you can also be lowered down from the top outside, although it would probably be scary it was not exactly at the quickest speed.

            Another tip is to take the harbour tour as you gain an insight into the history of the city and how it came about to be so important. With interesting facts such as the train station having once been the tallest builing in the southern hemisphere, which is not only dwarfed by the sky tower but by pretty much most of the other buildings in the downtown area.

            The downside to the place would have to be that its apparently a bit of a trek to get there due to it being ever so slightly a tad for away. Furthermore if you are not a fan of the hustle and bustle of big cities you may not like it but I say stick with it and give it ago as you might as well visit it whilst you're down there. Furthermore the rest of the islands are spectacular and you will, without doubt, have plenty of lush scenery to marvel at.

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              11.09.2008 18:25
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              Things to do in Auckland

              I have been to Auckland twice now, once in 2005 and again in 2007, I would definately recommend it to anyone who is thinking of going to Auckland or to New Zealand as whole. If you decide to vistit Auckland then there are a couple of things one must do. Visit Mount Eden, a dormant volcano, once at the top it has amazing views over Auckland. If you enjoy good views another must do is to go up the Sky Tower, in the middle of Auckland and it's cheap. Once at the top of the Sky Tower there is a glass floor and massive glass windows around the circular room. You therefore have a 360 degrees of Auckland, views of the beautiful harbour, the volcanos, and other city buildings. If you are a dare-devil type why not take the 192m jump from the top with a 16seconds free fall. After all that excitement take a walk down to the harbour and have dinner in one of the many restaurants looking out over the world famous harbour.

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                02.03.2003 11:43

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                • "Boring to live in"

                Auckland - Advantages: Clean, green, Friendly ppl, Cheap - Disadvantages: Unpredicatble weather, Poor public transport, Boring to live in

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                03.08.2002 15:48
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                Auckland is New Zealand's largest city, situated at the top of the North Island with a population of around 1.5 million. This represents about 33% of the population of the whole country! Auckland is also supposedly the second largest urban sprawl in the world, after Los Angeles, which might give you an impression of the size. The main city and suburbs cover an area of 60 square kilometres, with many of the suburbs having their own unique character. In fact these suburbs are quite important, as, apart from the CBD, there is no real central area of Auckland like you would find in a typical English town or city. Each suburb has it's own characteristics and nightlife and are more like small towns within the city. There is a huge diversity in what goes on around the city, due to the number of travellers and long-staying foreigners in Auckland. Luckily, (if you're useless with languages like myself) you'll be pleased to find that English is the main written and spoken language in the city, with Maori, Polynesian and Asian languages also being spoken by the ethnic communities. In fact, one of the strangest things I found when travelling around Auckland the first few times (certainly within the central areas) is that the majority of people you will see will be Asians rather than Caucasian or Maori / Islanders. This is due to the relative cheapness of NZ compared to the Asian countries and parents then send their young people to NZ where it is cheaper than their own homes. The climate is temperate, with warm summers (averaging over 24 degrees) and cooler winters (averaging 16 degrees). The summer months are between December and March. In the time I've been here (the month of July) I've found that the days are warm enough to wear a T-shirt or a light jumper whilst the same can be worn at night with a jacket. The sun is quite strong, and a short, 20-min stroll during the afternoon can be enough to give you a touch of the sun,
                despite it being the middle of winter. Wearing sun protection on any sunny day is advisable. The city is built on a narrow isthmus between two harbours: to the East, the Waitemata and to the West, the Manukau. The Waitemata is the main deep water shipping access, with extensive wharf facilities and the largest container port in the country and is right in the heart of the city. Water sports are a pastime enjoyed by a large number of Aucklanders and the city enjoys the reputation as being known as the 'City of Sails' due the number of yachts which sail in the harbours and the adjoining Hauraki Gulf. Each weekend, if the weather is agreeable, you won't believe the amount of water-based craft out and about, and the sea will be packed with boats, jet skis, windsurfers and other exotic water craft. If you go down to the Viaduct (where, handily there's a tourism information shop), you can see some of the huge yachts that take part in the Americas Cup race. PLus it's some to some excellent pubs - The Loaded Hog is great during the day (especially their wheat beer), and O'Hagans Irish Bar also come recommended. Auckland is also regarded as the 'gateway' to the rest of New Zealand for tourism, with the country's largest airport serving most of the international air traffic along with domestic flights to the other main towns and cities. From November 1st 2002, Air New Zealand have slashed the prices of their internal flights due to pressure from the consumer groups which should enable easier and quicker travel within NZ. The main tourist attractions within the city include the Auckland Museum which is home to one of the best Maori and Polynesian collections in the world, the Maritime Museum on the waterfront, Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World Aquarium, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, the Museum of Transport and Technology, the Auckland Zoo, Cornwall Park and the many ferry and scenic harbour cruises which op
                erate to the North Shore and islands of the Hauraki Gulf. There are also a number of historic places and houses open for viewing. Fine views of the city can be obtained from the Sky Tower, Mt Eden and One Tree Hill (which was made famous by U2 on their Joshua Tree album). These are excellent places to catch the sunset on a beautiful sunny day as you can get the full view of the sun sinking over the city. The Sky Tower is one of the tallest buildings in the Southern hemisphere which can be seen from most places around the city. It contains a casino, bars, restaurants and (if you want) a free fall for your enjoyment. The city of Auckland is the retail and commercial centre of New Zealand, with a number of head offices and businesses servicing commerce, manufacturing and tourism. Because it is the focal business centre for the region a large number of people commute daily into the city by bus, ferry, rail and private car. This has led to the air pollution in Auckland being quite severe, and respiratory diseases are common due to this pollution, and the fact that very few houses have central heating despite night-time temperatures being quite cold, and the fact a lot of houses can get very damp. Strangely, despite their attitude towards domestic central heating, you'll find pubs and cafés to be very comfortable and dry, many having powerful gas powered heaters. At the same time, the public transport system leaves a lot to be desired. Buses are excellent during the day, arriving at their intended stops practically to the second, but at nights, they can be very unreliable at night after the rush hour has died down. Hotel and motel accommodation ranges from top class to budget and hostels (if you are asking for information regarding hostels, you'll find they're called "backpackers" in NZ) in price range of $45 - $250 per night. Although you can find the higher class places throughout Auckland, the backpackers tend to be
                located close to the centre of the city. Links to information regarding these are given below, and I found the PureNZ web site to be quite comprehensive for all areas of NZ. The main shopping areas are downtown Queen Street, High Street, Parnell, Newmarket and the St Luke's mall. There are also a large number of shopping malls throughout the region so you're probably not too far from one, no matter where you're staying. What surprised me about the shopping over here was that, despite being a very large city, there were none of the big name international chains I was expecting to see like Gap, HMV, Tower Records, Next etc. However, apart from the usual fast food chains (McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Subway etc.) the shops are strangely unfamiliar. However, you can still buy some labels you'll recognise Levi's are a big thing, and surfer and outdoor gear is huge, so you'll be able to pick up your Quiksilver, Oakley O'Neill's etc. Auckland is also a very green city. There are large amounts of parks / playing fields for playing sport, but there are also large open areas of grass called Domains throughout Auckland. There are also plenty of trees and shrubs growing around the city, which are looked after by Auckland council. Depending on the exchange rate (a good rough guide is approximately NZ$3 to £1, although see below for a currency conversion website), you'll find that shopping is slightly cheaper than the U.K, although there aren't too much in the way of bargains unless you're really prepared to hunt. Eating out and drinking is cheaper than the UK, with a bottle of beer or a spirit and mixer coming in around NZ$6 depending on where you drink. One word of warning to those of you with fragile stomachs: NZ beer is notoriously fizzy, and some people (i.e. me) have had to hunt out the flatter beers and ales because the bog standard of Steinlager (or any other locally brewed lager) can cause p
                roblems if you're not used to (or don't like) excessively fizzy beer. A good meal in one of the many cafes around the city will set you back somewhere between NZ$15 and NZ$25, and you'll find seafood on the menu a lot more than you would in the UK. (I think this is a good thing!) For those of you who like the odd tipple, you'll marvel at the sheer number of pubs in the city. Their opening hours mean that pubs generally open from 10:30 am and can remain open until 3 am, although most will close at any time after 9 pm if they consider business to be too slow. As I've already said, the Aucklanders can be very friendly people and you can strike up many conversations quite easily. They are also big into fitness and mental strength so it's not uncommon to see people cycling or roller-blading into work! During the evening, especially in the suburbs, there will be many people out cycling, jogging, power walking and roller-blading. A quick glance into a book shop (I highly recommend Borders in Queen Street) will show you a plethora of self help books which are given very prominent placing and regularly gain positions in the best seller lists. I really like this city. It took me a while to settle in, and I found it strange for a long time about the city have many little centres of activity rather than one in the middle. The people are friendly, and there's a real diversity wherever you go with lots to do which means it's difficult to get bored. ** Information Sites http://www.purenz.com http://www.aucklandnz.com http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/ http://www.hotcity.co.nz http://www.gotoauckland.com/ http://www.auckland-airport.co.nz ** Maps http://www.nzmaps.co.nz ** Currency Conversion http://www.xe.com/ucc ** Time Zones http://www.worldtimezone.com ** Phone Numbers http://www.whitepages.co.nz http://www.yellowpages.co.nz

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                  04.09.2000 02:29
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                  I grew up in a place called Invercargill, right down the bottom! It wasn't until I was slightly older that I shifted to live in Auckland. I loved every minute of it! The climate in Auckland is great, it is knowledge that the further up New Zealand that you get is warmer. Auckland does a sub-tropical climate exactly the opposite to the United Kingdom. That's why you'll find tourists wearing shorts at Heathrow when it's -2, and everyone wearing layers of jumpers as they step off the plane at Auckland airport, (you sure can pick a tourist!) Auckland's Queen Street is the best place for partying, Cactus Jacks is a little bit like Jumping Jaks here in Britain. Then down by the wharf, you have an array of fine restaurants and pubs, you can also find the markets down there as well. (Chinese Market and the ordinary one). There is a place in Auckland called Avondale, which is where you find the star of Arachnophobia. Believe me, they grow to the size of plate! Then there's the Weta, harmless but it sticks to you, ugh! No poisonous animals in New Zealand folks! The money side of things when you venture out to New Zealand is brilliant for the Brits. You'll be rich! £1.00 = $3.00 approx. However like the British government, they like to put the cost of cigarettes up every year so they're a whopping $8-10!! About the same I'm afraid! But, just to save the day a carton of cigarettes at the duty free shop will set you back $10.00! In fact, you can even buy a nice four bedroom detached property with a good sized back yard for £15,000 upwards. Just to give you an idea. Auckland is the most populated region of New Zealand with approximately 1 million people, a bit like a London suburb! I've talked about the money, the shopping, the animals and the population, so what else would you like to know? Yes... the roads are fine, easy peasy! Auckland harbour brid
                  ge is wonderful place to get a glimpse of the wonderful yachts. Across on the 'North Shore', you will find a lovely little harbour, (Davenport going on memory) and again, you can have tremendous views looking at the Auckland 'frontal'. Auckland is a wonderful place and I fell in love with it, it's spread out so there is still loads of room, there is stunning scenery everywhere, and it's a great place to party! (PS: If you do go, make sure you take some bread down to the wharf and feed the fish! They jump at you like nobody's business! This has to be at night though... And don't forget to take a trip up One Tree Hill, the famous song U2 dedicated to their Maori band member)

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                    24.07.2000 21:26
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                    New Zealand is one of the nicest places i have been, the people are friendly and it is clean. The highlight of a visit to NZ is its capital Auckland. There are many interresting things to do while there and these are a few are my favourites. A must is Mount Eden which is the highest of Auckland's volcanic peaks, from here you can see wonderful views of the city. Another must is Keely Tarltons underwater world where you feel you are at the bottom of the sea it is the best aquarium i have been to.While there we stayed in budget accomodation apartments which were clean and spacious. There are an abundance of rstuarants nad nightlife having everything to suit peoples pockets and likes. They have an abundance of shops and traditional souveniers are sheepskin rugs and maori carvings. Auckland is a must and so is New Zealand.

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                    The Auckland metropolitan area or Greater Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest urban area of the country. With over 1.2 million people it has over a quarter of the country's population, and demographic trends indicate that it will continue growing faster than the rest of the country. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two separate major bodies of water.