Most visitors arrive by air . Auckland International Airport (AKL) (20 km south of centre, T09-275 0789, http://www.auckland-airport.co.nz) is a relatively small, modern and friendly gateway to the nation. On the ground floor there is an Airport I-Site Information Centre, T09-256 8535, open from 0500 until the last flight, which provides transport details, baggage storage and can help book hotels. The hospitality ambassadors (smiley folk in bright blue jackets) or customer service officers (red jackets and splendid hats) can also offer assistance. Airport facilities include shops, food outlets, mailboxes, internet, crêche, free showers (towel hire from the Airways Florist shop on the ground floor) and telephones. Phone cards are sold at the information kiosk and most major outlets on the ground floor. There are also day rooms for hire that contain a bed, desk, TV, coffee, tea and shower facilities, from $30 for four hours (tickets at Airways Florist). Showers are free.
Air New Zealand flies regularly to most provincial centres including Wellington (10 daily, 1 hr, $100-240), and Christchurch (18 daily, 1 hr 20 mins, $80-190). Tickets are best secured in advance on the internet.
Domestic airline offices
Air New Zealand, corner of Customs and Queen St, City, T09-357 3000/T0800- 737000, http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz.
Great Barrier Airlines, Auckland International Airport (Domestic Terminal), T09-275 9120/T0800-900600.
Great Barrier Express, Auckland International Airport (Domestic Terminal), T0800-900600/T09-275 9120, http://www.greatbarrierairlines.co.nz.
Mountain Air, T0800-222123/T09-256 7025, http://www.mountainair.co.nz.
International airline offices
Aerolineas Argentinas, 15th floor ASB Centre, 135 Albert St, T09-379 3675.
American Airlines, 191 Queen St, City, T0800-887999.
Air Canada, Level 5, 120 Albert St, City, T09-969 7470.
Air Pacific, Sofrana House, 396 Queen St, T09-379 2404, http://www.airpacific.com.
Air Vanuatu, 2nd floor, West Plaza Building, corner Customs and Albert St, City, T03-733435, http://www.airvanuatu.com.
British Airways, T09-966 9777, http://www.ba.com.
Cathay Pacific, 11th floor, National Bank Tower, 205 Queen St, T09-379 0861.
Freedom Air, T0800-600500.
Garuda Indonesia, Westpac Trust Tower, 120 Albert St, T09-366 1862, http://www.garuda-indonesia.com.
Japan Airlines, Westpac Trust Tower, 120 Albert St, T09-379 9906.
Korean Airlines, 120 Albert St, City,
Lufthansa Airlines, T09-303 1529.
Malaysia Airlines, 120 Albert St, T09-373 2741.
Polynesian Airlines, Samoa House, 283 K’Rd, City, T09-262 4197.
Qantas Airlines, 191 Queen St, City, T0800-808767/T09-357 8900.
Singapore Airlines, West Plaza Building, corner of Albert and Fanshawe sts, City, T0800-750760, http://www.singaporeair.co.nz.
Adventure Cycles, 1 Laurie Av, Parnell, T09-309 5566, www.adventure- auckland.co.nz/advcychm. For bike hire. Great service with a free helmet provided, lock, tool kit and water bottle, plus maps and tips. Prices range from about $35 a day to $200 a month. Also offers a 50% buy-back for up to 6 months, which equates to the rental rate for 1 month when an inexpensive bike is purchased, and is a good deal.
MAXX, T09-366 6400, http://www.maxx.co.nz. Has a detailed telephone information service on all major local city transport carriers routes, prices and connections with ferry services.
Stagecoach, T09-366 6400, www.stage coach.co.nz. Publishes an Auckland Busabout Guide, available from the bus terminal and all major VICs, showing routes and departure points for the main city attractions. Fares are on a staged system 1-8 and range between $1.30-7.50. They offer a ‘Discovery Pass’ allowing unlimited travel on board bus/ferry/train for $14; 7-day $39.
‘City Circuit’ is an environmentally friendly electric red bus providing a free service around the immediate city centre every 10 mins, daily 0800-1800.
The Auckland City Loop ‘Link’ is a good way to get around the city centre. Each journey costs $1.50 and buses run every 10 mins on weekdays 0600-1900, every 15 mins evenings and weekends 0700- 1800. You will feel like a sardine at rush hour. The route (which goes both ways) runs from the city centre (Britomart)-Quay Park-Parnell-Newmarket-Hospital-University- AUT-Library-Myers Park-K’Rd-Ponsonby- Victoria Park-Casino/Sky City-Mid Queen St-Britomart. For further details and information, see the website: http://www.stagecoach.co.nz/citycircuit.
The Double Decker ‘Explorer’, T0800- 439756, http://www.explorerbus.co.nz, bus has all day sightseeing with commentary; $30 day pass, $15 for 1hr ride.
The 2 main players providing standard coach travel from Auckland to destinations throughout New Zealand day and night are: Intercity Coach Lines, T09-623 1503, http://www.intercitycoach.co.nz; and Newman’s, http://www.newmanscoach.co.nz. All coaches arrive/depart from the Sky City Coach Terminal, 102 Hobson St, City (round the corner from the Sky Tower), T09-638 5700, Mon-Fri 0700-2200, Sat-Sun 0700-2000. Northliner Express, T09-3075873, http://www.northliner.co.nz, offers a valued service to a number of North Island destinations, especially Northland. Concession fares apply. Buses arrive and depart from the Northliner Travel Centre, HSBC Building (opposite the Ferry Building), 172 Quay St.
If you own a car and have been drinking, there is a wonderful service in Auckland called Dial-a-Driver, T0800-800000/T09-828 6398. A sober employee drives you and your car to your chosen destination while another driver follows in a company car. The drivers are generally friendly and immensely stoic.
Take time to find a good deal through the main VICs. A new, fully insured car without mileage costs from around $75 a day.
For a cheap, no nonsense deal, try Scotties Ask about the ‘buy-back deals’ and drop-off arrangements with its sister operation in Christchurch.
A2B Rentals, 11 Stanley St, City, T0800-222929, http://www.a2brentals.co.nz .
Action Rent-a-Car, 30 Grayson Av, T09- 277 4422, http://www.action-rent-a-car.co.nz. Free pick-up, 24-hr service.
Affordable Rental Cars and Vans, 48 Carr Rd, Mt Roskill, T0800-454443/ T09-630 1567, http://www.car-rental.co.nz.
Alternative Rental Cars, 115 Beach Rd, City, T09-373 3822, http://www.hireacar.co.nz.
Apex Rental Cars, 39 Beach Rd, City/ 30 Rennie Drive, Airport, T09-257 0292/ T0800-500660, http://www.apexrentals.co.nz.
Avis, 17/19 Nelson St, City, T09-379 2650.
Big Save Car Rentals, 39-43 The Strand, Parnell, T0800-422771.
Budget Rent A Car, 163 Beach Rd, City, T09-976 2270, http://www.budget.co.nz.
Hertz, 154 Victoria St, T09-3676360.
Rent-a-Dent, 45 Union St, City, T09-309 0066.
Scotties, 27 New North Rd, Eden Terr, T09-303 3912.
Thrifty Car Rental, Airport, T09-366 0562/ T0800-737070, http://www.thrifty.co.nz.
Adventure Campervans, 2 Beach Rd, Otahuhu, T09-276 7100/T0800-123555, http://www.nzmotorhomes.co.nz.
Backpacker Campervan Rentals, 36 Richard Pearse Drive, Mangere (3 km from Auckland Airport) T09-275 0200/ T0800-422267, www.backpackercamper vans.com. Offices in Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Britz Motorhomes, 36 Richard Pearse Drive, Mangere, T09-255 0620/T0800-831900, http://www.britz.com. Offices in Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Kea Campers, 36 Hillside Rd, T0800-520052/ T09-4417833, http://www.keacampers.com. Offices throughout the country.
KiwiKombis, 96 Uxbridge Rd, Howick, T09-533 9335, http://www.kiwikombis.com. The iconic if slow old favourite.
Maui Motorhomes, 36 Richard Pearse Drive, Mangere, T09-255 0620/T0800-651080, http://www.maui-rentals.com.
Spaceships, 31 Beach Rd, CBD, T09-309 8777, http://www.spaceships.tv. ‘Kick-ass’ campervans at the top end of the scale, equipped with everything you might need.
Tui Campers, 142 Robertson Rd, Mangere East, T03-359 7410, http://www.tuicampers.co.nz.
For further information about ferry services, contact the VIC.
Fullers, ground floor of the Ferry Building, T09-367 9111/T09-3676892, http://www.fullers.co.nz. The main ferry company.
Rubens Water Taxi, Viaduct Basin, T09-422 8881/T0800-111616, www.water taxi.co.nz. Not quite as popular as in Sydney Harbour, but these are a good way of zipping over to the North Shore or the eastern suburbs.
Scooter and motorcycle
NZ Motorcycle Rentals and Tours, 35 Crummer Rd, Ponsonby, T09-360 7940, http://www.nzbike.com. An award-winning national company. It hires out a range of bikes from the 50 cc sensible sewing machines to the 1100 cc scary monsters, all at reasonable rates.
Alert Taxis, T09-309 2000.
Auckland Taxi Co-op, T09-300 3000.
Citicabs, T09-300 1111.
Corporate Cabs, T09-377 0773.
Discount Taxis, T09-529 1000.