"Busy Auckland" Auckland by Kate-Me
Auckland Travel Guide: 1,035 reviews and 2,290 photos
With a population of about 1.2 million people, Auckland is by far New Zealand's largest city. 1.2 million may not seem a lot, but for New Zealand it is more than 25% of their entire population!
Due to it's traffic congestion (hardly any train service, so traffic is nearly all bus and a very high % of cars).
Some of my best childhood memories are of Auckland, staying at my maternal grandmother's home when my mother and I would visit from Australia every few years in the late 1970s and early 1980s. We often used to visit (and visit again each time) places like the Mt Eden Volcano, the Domain and museum, and take the ferry to Devonport, and visit Takapuna beach.
My last few visits to Auckland have been 1999, 2004 and most lately November 2009.
Auckland is a city which to me always seems to be under construction....the skyline seems to have cranes constantly on the horizon, but this time, what I noticed the most were huge road works between the airport and the city.....I think they must be greatly expanding the freeway and bridges into the city, to try and reduce some of the traffic congestion. There's already quite a lot done, but still quite some time to go.
This trip, after arrival, we picked up our car from ACE car rentals near the airport (see Warnings section, my husband comments that they should be called DisgrACE car rentals - we certainly had a really bad experience with them when in the past we'd had no problems at all).
On our way into the city is when we hit the huge roadworks....and 5 pm peak hour, so we have an even better insight into the Auckland transport problems...we just crawled along in our car, about 20-40 kms an hour for 30 mins or so....we were very happy to finally reach the city and check into our accommodation....Formule 1 in Wyndham Street (which recently became All Seasons, hence why we couldn't find the building on our hotel brochure!) Arrival in the hotel, ahhh, nice, some time to relax.
Our findings this time....Auckland has never had an abundance of Tourist Attractions for such a large city, but this time we discovered it has been developing more cultural tourism, such as Maori shows at the Domain Museum, and now some well known Farmers Markets on weekends, including even a French Farmers Market!
The city is just as multicultural as ever. A few years back, a lot of cafes and restaurants left the city after a prolonged electricity failure, but now I'm happy to see there are many more restaurants and cafes back in the city again.
Here's a shot of part of Auckland city, taken from Mt Eden's volcanic crater, with the volcano of Rangitoto in the background. Rangitoto is on our "must visit" list for another time, as I still have never been there!
- Pros:A large city, very multicultural, with many multi lingual signs (including Maori & Japanese)
- Cons:A few crazy drivers & some fast braking bus drivers
- In a nutshell:A multicultural city where you almost feel like you could be in Asia sometimes....
Great interior decor (as you can see) busy ambiance with latin music (much lounder and it would have been too loud).... more travel advice
For the price which we paid this time, we got a much higher standard of accommodation than we've ever had in Auckland... more travel advice
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