Although Auckland may not be the country’s capital, it is by far its largest urban area, which can only mean one thing: there’s a lot to do and see.
With Thai Airways celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Bangkok-Auckland route, it was only natural that Thailand’s national carrier increased its number of weekly flights to Auckland. Now offering seven flights per week, it has never been easier for Thais and residents of Thailand to explore the beautiful, thriving and culturally rich city. What are you waiting for? Book your tickets!
The tallest man-made structure in New Zealand offers stunning panoramic views of up to 80km in every direction. You won’t be starved for choice when it comes to food and drink either. Head to either the tower’s revolving restaurant, Orbit 360 Dining; The Sugar Club, a luxurious cocktail bar; or one of Auckland’s highest cafés, Sky Café. It’s guaranteed to provide a unique and pleasurable experience – unless, of course, you suffer from vertigo!
Located in the central suburbs of Grafton, Auckland Domain is the oldest park in Auckland. The 75-hectare green space was developed around the cone of an extinct volcano known as Pukekaroro, and contains the explosion crater as well as most of the surrounding tuff ring of the volcano. The Domain features magnificent winter gardens and scenic walking routes, with the Auckland War Memorial Museum sitting at its highest point.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Inaugurated in 1929, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is New Zealand’s first museum and war memorial. The museum was built in the iconic Neoclassicism style and is home to many Maori and Pacific Island artefacts, as well as collections which focus on the rich history of New Zealand. The museum has exhibitions, over 1.2 million photographs in storage and 1.5 million natural history specimens from many fields such as marine biology, botany and entomology.
Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium
A visit to Auckland would not be complete without a visit to the aquarium! Set on the waterfront of Auckland City and just a quick 10-minute drive from the city-centre on Okahu Bay, Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life houses all sorts of marine animals and wonders of the ocean. For those seeking thrilling or heartfelt adventures, snorkel with sharks during the highly-acclaimed shark cage experience or have an on-the-ice and intimate encounter with penguins.
Looking at food as though it were a piece of art, award-winning Chef Sid Sahrawat puts all his passion towards making the “Sidart” experience exceptional for diners. The restaurant offers various tasting menus as well as opportunities to sit at the special Chef’s table, for guests wishing for a more intimate encounter. Here, you’re guaranteed to eat the very best of New Zealand produce.
Famous for its wide ranging selection of boutique New Zealand wines, Number 5 is an elegant restaurant in the heart of the city. If you were at all obsessed with Netflix’ TV series The Crown, then you’ll be glad to know that you can experience classic New Zealand food at the very place Princess Anne dined at many years ago. Highlights include duck liver parfait and gin and tonic cured salmon.
Situated on the waterside, Euro alludes to the exclusive use of the freshest and finest local seafood. With a legendary kitchen philosophy mixing tradition with innovative techniques, executive chef Gareth Stewart and his talented team have created a menu that is deceptively simple, startlingly involving and at every mouthful, delicious.
Sipping cocktails whilst admiring views of Auckland’s breathtaking harbour? Yes, please. The Conservatory provides a space for you to enjoy picturesque sights of the sea, day or night. Designed to suit every occasion, this award-winning bar is full of life. It’s also the place to go if you want to brunch, lunch, or both.
Inspired by a luxury Hollywood bar, Roxy is a premium club and lounge. Its rooftop deck offers a gorgeous view of downtown Auckland. Enjoy your night out listening to the crème de la crème of local and international DJs while chilling amongst Auckland’s movers and shakers, all in a friendly atmosphere.
Established in 1875, The Empire sits in a Victorian building considered to be one of Auckland’s greatest architectural masterpieces. Events are held in this pub-like establishment almost every day of the week, including open mic and quiz nights. An exciting range of contemporary cuisine as well as a vast selection of on-tap-beers are on offer.
Be sure to check out Auckland’s iconic High Street, where a vast array of New Zealand’s designer label shops are located, as well as international luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dior. High Street is also home to some amazing eateries any time of day, whether you’re after a full meal or a tasty snack.
Smith & Caughey’s
Considered to be a top-range retail store, Smith & Caughey’s is the oldest and most beloved Auckland department store. Stocking three levels of the world’s best brands, it is mostly fashion-oriented, with sections for jewellery and homeware.
Renowned for its dining and shopping establishments, Ponsonby is an inner-city suburb of Auckland where many restaurants, cafés, art galleries and nightclubs can be found. The neighbourhood provides ample opportunity to enjoy a nice stroll or buy some local crafts for your loved ones.
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Nothing really beats staying at a five-star hotel on a waterfront overlooking the harbour. This stylish and beautifully designed hotel is an architectural landmark in itself. Sofitel offers opportunities for a unique stay, with floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies, spacious bedrooms and suites providing views over the Viaduct basin and Auckland city.
Formerly known as the Langham Auckland, Cordis hotel is situated in the heart of the city, with fashionable boutiques, galleries and museums all within walking distanc. The hotel operates 411 contemporary rooms and suites, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars. Also, try one of their spa treatments and relax in the elegant ambience of The Lobby Lounge over their exquisite High Tea.
Set in a grand former department store dating from the 1920s, Heritage Auckland is a home away from home that is steeped in history. The hotel honours the building’s heritage by maintaining a traditional style, while The Tower’s contemporary design best fits the demands of the modern traveller.
A great way to get around in Auckland is by using public transport. The bus services are by far the most extensive and will get you just about anywhere, whereas the trains will give you a quicker alternative to the southern part of Auckland. There are also ferries to get you across the harbour and out to islands.
Click here for public transport services, maps and timetables
You can pay for most public transport either by cash or via an AT HOP card, a reusable prepay smart card for travel on trains, ferries and buses across Auckland. The card can be bought online or in person and usually gives you at least 20 per cent off the fare price.
Amsterdam is not the only bicycle-loving city – many locals in Auckland usually get around on bicycles, too! And what a way for a traveller to see the city, via urban cycle ways, scenic waterfront lanes and off-the-road trails. Find recommended cycling routes here: aucklandnz.com
All you need to drive in New Zealand is a current driver’s license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). With either, you can legally drive in Auckland and New Zealand for up to 12 months per visit.
- “Four seasons in a day” is a phrase you will hear often in Auckland. The weather often fluctuates, so be sure to pack for all weather conditions – just in case.
- If you travel to New Zealand in the summer, go to Silo Park to watch films outside for free! Bring a picnic basket and enjoy good vibes with your loved ones.
Thai Airways offers a direct flight from Bangkok to Auckland operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner seven times a week. Head over to thaiairways.com or call the THAI Contact Center on 02 356 1111 to secure your ticket today.
Royal Orchid Plus (ROP) will offer Platinum, Gold Card and Silver Card Members special privileges when applying for a visa to travel to New Zealand. Royal Orchid Plus will join hands with New Zealand Immigration and offer ROP members (Platinum Member, Gold Card and Silver Card) plus one non-ROP member travel partner who hold a Thai passport and have residence in Thailand, the facility to apply for a New Zealand visa without presenting any bank statement. This offer will be in place until March 31, 2018 and is applicable to ROP members who have had Silver card status for at least 12 months.