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Planning on visiting Auckland next year and it seems the vast majority of the hotels are in the city center/CBD. Is this the best place to stay? We’re not planning on having a car and I assume/hope the train/bus system is fairly good? Are any of the beaches worth visiting?
What are your plans in New Zealand?
I found the city to not have a ton to do – I’m more of the outdoorsy type though. I took a bus and did the Waitomo glow worm caves (the bus station is right in the CBD) and a day trip to the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton set.
Piha is an amazing beach, about an hour outside the city. I’m not sure how to get there via train/bus, though.
I think I spent just over 48 hours in Auckland before heading to the South Island to wine country and hiking, where I spent 2 whole weeks. I thought it was the right mix for what I was looking for.
I stayed at the Hilton downtown – it wasn’t really memorable in any way, good or bad. It fit the purpose!
Thanks for the info. My friend is having a milestone birthday and wanted to spend it in NZ. Other than meeting up with some folks in Christchurch and going out on their boat we weren’t really sure what to do. I’ve been to Queenstown and have recommended that but as long as we were flying into AKL we thought perhaps there was stuff there we should see. I’ll pass your info along.
In Auckland proper, a visit up to Mt. Eden with views of the surrounding city and CBD is quite peaceful and serene. I also visited the Auckland War Memorial museum and thought there was a lot there. There’s a couple more museums and botanical gardens. There’s also ferries from the CBD to a few nearby islands where you can go hiking and exploring; definitely a nice option to have that could probably fill half a day to a day. There’s also a lot of great food in Auckland. Enjoy your visit!