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HOME AT FIRST's

New Zealand

AUCKLAND

 

          AUCKLAND STRADDLES AN ISTHMUS BETWEEN THE SOUTH PACIFIC AND THE TASMAN SEA: THE NARROW CONNECTION BETWEEN THE NORTHERN ARM AND MAIN BODY OF NEW ZEALAND'S NORTH ISLAND. THREE-PLUS HOURS FLIGHT TIME FROM SYDNEY AND TWELVE HOURS FROM LOS ANGELES, AUCKLAND IS THE WORLD'S MOST REMOTE LARGE CITY: ITS POPULATION EXCEEDS 1.3MILLION, INCLUDING ABOUT 400,000 MAORI AND OTHER POLYNESIANS.

PHOTOS © HOME AT FIRST

Welcome to the Largest City in Polynesia!

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city with one-quarter of its population.
It is the nation's cultural and economic center, the world's sailing capital,
and international
gateway to the rest of New Zealand.

 

Downtown Auckland's Waitemata Harbour with the ferry terminals and the space needle of the Sky Tower. Photo © Home At First.
Downtown Auckland's Waitemata
Harbour with the ferry terminals
and the Sky Tower space needle.

Attractions in Auckland:
The "City of Sails" offers visitors
• World-class museums, shopping, & restaurants
   downtown centering on Queen Street.
•
48 small volcanic hills: many are now city parks,
   like One Tree Hill Domain (below) by Cornwall Park.
• A
lively waterfront with restaurants, bars, clubs,
   the excellent National Maritime Museum, and
   ferry services to Devonport, and the islands of
   the Hauraki Gulf.

• Sky City with its casino, restaurants, and bars,
   surrounding
the iconic 1,000-ft. high Sky Tower,
   with observation decks, and the adventures of
   the SkyWalk and the extreme SkyJump.
• Sophisticated
neighborhoods of Devonport,
   Ponsonby,
Parnell, Remuera, and Newmarket, with
   fashionable boutiques, cafés, restaurants, clubs.
• Boats & Islands: Waitemata Harbour
touring and
   sailing options
, Hauraki Gulf cruising with island
   tours of Waiheke (vineyards), Rangitoto
   (volcano),
and Great Barrier (nature preserve).
• Excellent
oceanside and inland golf at local

   courses like Muriwai Beach, Waitemata and Remuera, and to internationally-known
   courses like Titirangi and Gulf Harbour.

 

Lodgings: Top quality bed and breakfast inns in quiet, convenient locations within easy reach of bustling downtown Auckland including Devonport, the chic, waterside town a 15-minute ferry ride across the Waitemata Harbour from downtown Auckland, and in Auckland South, 10-minutes drive south of downtown Auckland and twenty minutes from the Auckland International Airport. HOME AT FIRST lodgings in Auckland are in or near attractive, prosperous neighborhoods with several restaurants and other services, centrally located to permit the efficient exploration of Auckland city and region and with easy access to all the region's top activities. HOME AT FIRST lodgings are small, owner-operated, upscale accommodations with knowledgeable, welcoming hosts eager to help guests get the most out of their visit to Auckland.

Home At First's highly-rated Devonport Inn: a superb accommodation mixing Victorian elegance with South Pacific gardens. Located just 15 minutes by ferry across the harbor from downtown Auckland, Devonport Inn makes it possible to visit Auckland without the complications driving and parking in New Zealand's largest city. Photo © Home At First.
HOME AT FIRST's highly-rated Devonport
Inn
: a superb accommodation mixing
Victorian elegance with South Pacific
gardens. Located just 15 minutes by
ferry across the harbor from
downtown Auckland,  Devonport
Inn makes it possible to visit
 Auckland without the complications
of driving and parking in New
Zealand's largest city.

 

One Tree Hill, one of the Auckland's 48 small volcanoes, is also one of its high points at 600 feet above sea level. Since 2000, however, the obelisk stands without a tree. The tree was attacked by a chainsaw-wielding vandal and could not be saved. Because of disputes over the sacred rights to the hill between Maori tribes, and between Maori and European New Zealanders, no decision has been made about what to do with the Auckland landmark. The lack of decision itself is viewed as a commentary on New Zealand's official confusion about Maori cultural rights and property claims, one of the few controversies that raises the ire of most average New Zealanders. Photo © Home At First (from 1995).

       One Tree Hill, one of the Auckland's 48  small volcanoes, is also one of its high points at 600 feet above sea level. Since 2000, however, the obelisk stands without a tree. The tree was attacked by a chainsaw-wielding vandal and could not be saved. Because of disputes over the sacred rights to the hill between Maori tribes, and be-tween Maori and European New Zealan-ders, no decision has been made about what to do with the Auckland landmark. The lack of decision itself is viewed as a commentary on New Zealand's official confusion about Maori cultural rights and property claims, one of the few controversies that raises the ire of most average New Zealanders.

Pre-Planned Adventure Activities in Auckland: Most activities for your visit can be comfortably arranged once you are in Auckland. However, if you will only be spending 1-3 days there, and, especially, if you plan your visit for January-March, we recommend you pre-reserve any GOLF you would like to include in a visit to Auckland before leaving home for New Zealand. HOME AT FIRST will make these advance tee-time reservations for you for specific courses/dates/times. There is no extra charge for this service. (Note: some golf courses may require an advance booking deposit to be applied to the greens fee you pay.)

Getting to/from Auckland: Some HOME AT FIRST guests begin their New Zealand itineraries in Auckland. After their international flight into Auckland, they pick-up rental cars for the short drive to their Auckland lodgings. (Note: there is an optional airport meeting/driving service available to guests not wanting to drive in Auckland right off the plane.)

 

          Some HOME AT FIRST guests who fly domestically into Auckland at the end of their New Zealand itineraries wish to overnight in Auckland prior to beginning their long flights home. Our Auckland lodgings are ideally located for a final night or two in New Zealand's most vibrant city: close to the action, and close to the airport.
          Many HOME AT FIRST guests come to Auckland by rental car from NORTHLAND, approximately 3½ driving hours to the north, or from other regions of New Zealand. These guests receive detailed arrival instructions for getting to their Auckland lodgings.

Air New Zealand domestic flight readies to take on passengers at Auckland Airport. Photo © Home At First.
Air New Zealand flight preparing to depart
Auckland Airport's domestic terminal.
Home At First's Auckland lodgings are
ideally located for new arrivals to New
Zealand and for those wanting to stage
at Auckland prior to departing for home.

 

Taking Auckland's harbor ferries means no traffic or parking problems. Photo © Home at First.
Auckland Harbour ferry
departing Devonport
.

Getting around Auckland: Auckland is one of very few places in New Zealand that have dense urban populations spread over large roadway networks with significant traffic congestion and limited parking facilities. Although many HOME AT FIRST guests to Auckland will have rental cars with them, we recommend using public transportation in the central city whenever possible.
          Guests staying in Devonport can leave their cars by their lodging and take the cross-harbor ferry services to downtown Auckland. Guests staying in Auckland South can leave their cars by their lodging and take city buses into the city center. Auckland operates a free and frequent center city loop bus on a circular route that reaches most downtown attractions.

 

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