48 Hours In: Auckland

In association with Emirates

WHY GO NOW?

The British and Irish Lions are on tour in rugby-mad New Zealand, and Auckland is the venue for the final Test on 9 July.

TOUCH DOWN

Air New Zealand (0800 028 4149; www.airnz.co.nz), flies daily from Heathrow to Auckland; you must to clear US immigration at the refuelling stop in Los Angeles. Asian, American or Middle Eastern airlines offer connections; Emirates (0870 243 2222; www.emirates.com) has the widest range of UK departure points: Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

Auckland airport is 21km south-west of the city centre. The Airbus (00 64 9 375 4730; www.airbus.co.nz) leaves every 20 or 30 minutes, 6am-10pm, for NZ$15 (£6), and stops at most major hotels and backpackers' hostels. If you don't have a room booked, get off at Sky Tower (1), on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets, and visit the Auckland i-SITE Visitor Information Centre (00 64 9 3676009; www.aucklandnz.com) at the foot of the tower - open 8am-8pm daily.

GET YOUR BEARINGS

Auckland is set between two harbours: Manukau to the south and Waitemata to the north. The city is built on and around dozens of volcanoes, mostly dormant rather than extinct. A Link bus service (00 64 9 309 6269; www.stagecoach.co.nz) does a circuit of most of the areas of the city you'll want to see for a flat fee of NZ$1.30 (50p) a ride.

CHECK IN

Mollies Boutique Luxury Bed and Breakfast (2) at 6 Tweed Street (00 64 9 376 3489; www.mollies.co.nz) charges an impressive NZ$790 (£300) a night for a villa suite including evening canapés and aperitifs, and a gourmet breakfast. For sea views you can't beat the Hilton (3), at the end of Princes Wharf (00 64 9 978 2000; www.auckland.hilton.com). A room in low season costs NZ$416 (£160) excluding breakfast. If you are on a budget, the well-named Auckland Central Backpackers (4) is on the corner of Queen and Darby Street (00 64 9 358 4877; www.acb.co.nz); dorm beds start at NZ$22 (£9), without breakfast.

TAKE A VIEW

The 328m-high Sky Tower (1) (00 64 9 363 6000; www.skytower.co.nz) is the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere, open 8.30am-11pm daily (to midnight on Friday and Saturday), admission NZ$18 (£7). The really keen can "sky jump" (00 64 9 3681835; www.skyjump.co.nz) from near the top for NZ$195 (£75).

WINDOW SHOPPING

South Auckland Otara Markets (5) on Newbury Street opens 6am-12noon on Saturdays. for fresh fruit and veg, Polynesian music, crafts and clothes.

LUNCH ON THE RUN

With a big Asian population, Auckland has plenty of sushi places and noodle stores. For a one-stop Asian dining experience check out Food Alley in the Asian food hall (6) at 9 Albert Street. You'll be hard pushed to spend more than NZ$10 (£4) on lunch.

TAKE A HIKE

For a walk with a difference, join a Harbour Bridge Experience tour (00 64 9 361 2000; www.ajhackett.com). It takes you under, in, through and over the Auckland Harbour Bridge (7), providing fine views of the Hauraki Gulf, Viaduct Harbour and Auckland's cityscape. Tours operate 9am-5.30pm daily from the Harbour Bridge Adventure Centre (8), and cost NZ$65 (£25).

AN APERITIF

Coast Bar and Lounge (10) is oddly situated in level seven of an office building: the Hewlett Packard Building on Princes Wharf (00 64 9 300 9966; www.coastbar.co.nz). The unprepossessing exterior hides a stylish bar with 360-degree views of Auckland's harbour lights twinkling.

DINING WITH THE LOCALS

Viaduct Harbour offers more than 20 cafés, bars and restaurants including Soul (11) on the corner of Hobson and Customs Street West (00 64 9 356 7249; www.soulbar.co.nz). Another local favourite is French Café (12) at 210b Symonds Street (00 64 9 377 1911; www.thefrench cafe.co.nz), just named 2005 Auckland Restaurant of the Year. For something less formal, Gina's Pizza and Pasta Bar (13) is at 209 Symonds Street (00 64 9 302 2061; www.ginas.co.nz).

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz