Auckland key facts

AIRPORT TO THE CITY CENTRE

Auckland International Airport is 21km southwest of the city centre and is served by buses and taxis.

BUSINESS AND SHOP HOURS

Businesses are generally open from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

CLIMATE

Auckland enjoys a warm coastal climate without extremes of temperature. The average daily maximum temperature is 18.9 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit).

Auckland is one of the sunniest spots in the country, with annual sunshine hours of 2060. It also has a high rainfall, which ensures the lushness of its rainforests, with a mean annual rainfall of 1240mm.

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.

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature (Celsius/Fahrenheit):

  • January − 23.3/73.9
  • February − 23.7/74.7
  • March − 22.4/72.3
  • April − 20/68
  • May − 17.4/63.3
  • June − 15.2/59.4
  • July − 14.5/58.1
  • August − 15/59
  • September − 16.2/61.2
  • October − 17.8/64
  • November − 19.6/67.3
  • December − 21.6/70.9

DEPARTURE TAX

Departure tax is NZ$25 per passenger and must be paid at the airport branches of the Bank of New Zealand or at one of the self-service credit card kiosks in the airport international terminal.

DISABILITIES

Most tourism facilities have wheelchair access but it is advisable to check before booking.

DRIVING

You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to one year with a current and valid driver's licence. If your licence is not in English, you should bring an English translation with you as rental car companies may require it.

ELECTRICITY

Electricity is supplied at 230/240 volts, 50 hertz. Power outlets only accept flat three or two pin plugs.

EMERGENCY SERVICES

In an emergency, dial 111 for police, fire or ambulance services.

GEOGRAPHY

The Auckland region spreads from Wellsford in the north to Bombay in the south. Administratively, Auckland is divided into four cities (Auckland, Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere) and three districts (Rodney, Papakura and Franklin).

Central Auckland straddles a narrow isthmus between the Waitemata Harbour and the Manukau Harbour. Another large harbour, the Kaipara, lies to the northwest of the region. The Waitemata Harbour opens to the Hauraki Gulf, which is dotted with more than 50 islands including the largest two, Waiheke and Great Barrier.

There are forested mountain ranges to the west (Waitakere) and the south (Hunua). The region is also dotted by 48 dormant or extinct volcanic cones. The volcanic landscape means that there are many vantage points for spectacular views.

GOODS AND SERVICES TAX

New Zealand has a compulsory goods and services tax (GST) of 15%.

HEALTH, VACCINATIONS AND MEDICAL FACILITIES

There are no vaccinations required to enter New Zealand. However, medical care is not free for visitors and health insurance is recommended for all travellers.

IMMIGRATION

For information on visas, permits and emigrating to New Zealand, visit the Immigration New Zealand website.

POPULATION

The Auckland region is home to 1.3 million people, one third of the national population.

The region’s population grew by 12.4 per cent between 2001 and 2006. It is a popular destination for immigrants, with 37 per cent of the region’s residents having been born overseas. Auckland is also characterised by its ethnic diversity. In the 2006 Census, 11.1 per cent identified as Maori, 14.4 per cent with a Pacific Islands ethnic group, and 18.9 per cent with an Asian ethnic group (those surveyed could choose more than one ethnicity).

POSTAL SERVICES

Standard letters cost 50 cents to post within New Zealand. Post Shops are generally open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12 noon on Saturdays.

PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

New Zealand has very strict biosecurity rules for all travellers entering the country.

SMOKING

Smoking is not allowed in most public buildings, including bars and restaurants. A growing number of restaurants and bars have now have set up outdoor seating areas and some of those accommodate smokers.

TELEPHONES

Public telephones are widely available in New Zealand although most only accept phone cards. Some accept major credit cards and coins. Local calls cost approximately 70 cents.

TIME ZONE AND DAYLIGHT SAVING

Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday in September and finishes on the first Sunday in April. Clocks move forward one hour during this period.

TIPPING AND SERVICE CHARGES

Tipping is not obligatory but is appreciated for good service. Service charges are generally not added to bills by hotels, restaurants and bars.

TRANSPORT

Auckland is served by taxis, buses, ferries and trains.

VISAS

Some countries have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand, which means their citizens can visit New Zealand for up to three months without a visitor’s visa.

WATER SAFETY

Auckland is surrounded by three harbours, the Hauraki Gulf on the east coast and the Tasman Sea on the west. While many of the beaches are suitable for swimming, there can be hidden dangers such as rips. Never swim or surf alone or after drinking alcohol. If a beach is patrolled by lifeguards, swim between the yellow and red flags and take notice of warning signs.