New Zealand’s most populous city of Auckland has a population of over a million but still maintains a relaxed vibe, whilst the wider area offers an array of beautiful beaches, regional parks and islands.
Sport in Auckland
Rugby Union, Cricket, Rugby League, Football and Netball are among the most popular sports to watch in Auckland:
- The main sporting focal point of the city is Eden Park, a multi-purpose stadium which hosts both rugby and cricket. The stadium regularly hosts both international cricket and rugby union, with the 1987 and 2011 Rugby World Cup Final’s played there. Eden Park is the home venue of the Blues of Rugby Union’s Super Rugby, Auckland who play in the Mitre Cup and the city’s cricket team, the Auckland Aces.
- The New Zealand Warriors (Rugby League) compete in the NRL, playing the majority of their home matches at Mount Smart Stadium.
- The North Harbour Stadium is predominantly used for Rugby Union, being the home venue of North Harbour in the Mitre Cup as well as hosting some fixtures for the Blues (Super Rugby). The stadium also hosts football, with the New Zealand national team playing matches there. New Zealand’s only professional baseball team, Auckland Tuatara also began to play their Australian Baseball League matches in North Harbour in 2019.
- The Netball teams Northern Mystics and Northern Stars of the ANZ Premiership are both based in Auckland, the Mystics playing at Trusts Arena and the Stars at the Vodafone Events Centre.
- The New Zealand Breakers are a basketball team playing in the Australian NBL, with the majority of their matches at the North Shore Events Centre.
- In tennis, the ATP and WTA Auckland Open (currently known as the ASB Classic) both take place over consecutive weeks in early January at the ASB Tennis Centre.
- The Commonwealth Games (previously known as the British Empire Games between 1930 and 1950) has been hosted in Auckland twice, in 1950 and 1990.
- Sailing’s prestigious America’s Cup has been hosted in Auckand’s Hauraki Gulf twice previously, in 2000 and 2003 and will be due to a host a third in 2021.
Getting to Auckland
Airport – Auckland Airport is the largest and busiest airport in New Zealand, with domestic and international flights to nearly 50 destinations across Europe, North America, South America, Oceania and Asia. This includes an indirect fly to London Heathrow, via Los Angeles.
The most convenient way of reaching the Airport is the SkyBus which runs to Auckland ($17 one way) and North Harbour ($24 one way) in about 50 minutes.
Bus – InterCity has buses running from Auckland (SkyCity Coach Terminal) to most of the North Island, and indirectly to the South Island.
Go Kiwi depart from opposite the Ferry Building on Quay Street and has a daily shuttle to the Coromandel Peninsula.
Train – The Northern Explorer departs from Auckland Strand Station at 7:45am on Monday’s, Thursday’s and Saturday’s, arriving at Wellington at 6:25pm. The train travels through Papakura, Hamilton, Otorohanga, Tongariro National Park, Ohakune, Palmerston North and Paraparaumu.
Where to stay in Auckland
Food & Drink in Auckland
What to do in Auckland
Being the most populated city in Auckland, you’d expect a fair amount of choice of activities, and the city and region doesn’t disappoint:
- Sky Tower – Sitting at 328 metres tall, Sky Tower is the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest freestanding structure. Fantastic views are on offer from the observation deck, or for those seeking more of a thrill – the SkyWalk or SkyJump could be for you.
- Devonport – A short ferry trip from the city, the suburb of Devonport offers a variety of antique, gift and book shops, as well as a number of cafes and restaurants. The Victorian and Edwardian buildings sit below Mount Victoria, offering views across the harbour to Auckland CBD.
- Auckland Museum – Well worth a visit is Auckland Museum, easily spotted sitting upon a grassed plinth in the Auckland Domain. The museum offers a variety of displayers on Pacific Island and Maori artefacts, natural history and military history.
- Hauraki Gulf Islands – The nearby Hauraki Gulf Islands give the Bay of Islands a run for there money, and some are just minutes from the city. Waiheke Island is perhaps the most well known, offering beautiful beaches and top class restaurants.