Going ashore in Auckland

Going ashore in Aucland

The biggest port and city in New Zealand, Auckland is situated on an isthmus that connects the northwestern part of the North Island with the North Auckland Peninsula and it is washed by the Tasman Sea (on the West) and Pacific Ocean (on the East).  For this reason, the city has two ports – Manukau Harbour in the West and Waitemata Harbour in the East – known by the names of Auckland West and Auckland East.

The main berthing area, handling general cargo and container vessels, is situated in Auckland East, on the South side of the harbour, between Fergusson Container Terminal and Wynyard Wharf. Very few big cities in the world are so close to their ports as Auckland is. For this reason, going out of the port for a walk is a very easy task, regardless the duration of you vessel’s stay alongside.

Walking inside the port is not permitted and in order to reach the gate you need to take a shuttle bus, which can be called upon using the phone number provided.

Once you reached the gate, you find yourself in the city and you can rely only on your two good feet to walk around and discover the centre.

Just in front of the gate, you’ll find a big supermarket (open 24/7) where you can do some shopping. There is also an exchange office inside the supermarket (open between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the weekend).

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Taking a right on Quay Street towards the Ferry Terminal Building, you will pass by the building hosting the Seafarer’s Centre.

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If you are a nature lover, you can have a stroll in one of the city’s parks and the closest one is Albert Park, situated on the hill, close to the end of Queen Street.

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If you are lucky to arrive in the town on a bright and sunny day, you should make an effort and visit the Sky Tower, the highest building in Auckland and in the whole Southern Hemisphere. The Sky Television Tower goes 328 meters up and it is the first building you will notice while approaching the port. It is also the most famous landmark of the city, making the well known skyline of Auckland a very easily recognizable one.

Auckland sky line

You can climb up the Tower to have an amazing 360° view over the city and the surrounding islands. One ticket costs 28 NZ$ and it offers you the possibility to have a walk on both observation decks – one at 186 meters and the other at 220 meters above sea level.

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If the visibility is good, you can see as far as Great Barrier Island, Auckland Peninsula and you can admire the Hauraky Gulf with all its small island and islets.

You can also see the Container Terminal – your vessel alongside, together with all the other vessels in the Commercial Port – the Ferry and Passenger Terminal and the Pleasure Harbour, where many yachts are docked.

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Auckland Viaduct Basin view from the Sky Tower

You can have dinner/lunch in the restaurant situated on the 50th Floor and enjoy the beautiful view.

After you admired the city from up, you can continue towards Viaduct Harbour – the pleasure harbor situated at the end of Quay Street – and have a stroll along the piers packed with wonderful luxurious yachts.

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At the end of Quay Road you can find the fish market – one of the busiest markets in the country – and lots of restaurants serving fish and seafood. You can choose between a great variety of fish and seafood available in the fish market and you can buy them fresh or cooked on the spot.

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Other tourist attractions in Auckland centre:

  • Parnell (Auckland’s oldest suburb)
  • Zoo
  • Stardome Observatory and Planetarium
  • Auckland Museum
  • Mount Eden (the highest natural point in Auckland, one of the region’s volcanic cones)
  • Sea Life Aquarium
  • Auckland Botanic Garden
  • MOTAT (Museum of Transportation and Technology)

Tips and recommendations:

  • Driving in New Zealand is on the left;
  • Money exchange is available everywhere in Auckland – in the banks, but also in small exchange offices in malls and along the important streets;
  • Wireless Internet is free in most restaurants and Malls. You can also buy a local sim (Vodafone or 2 Degrees) for 5 NZ$ and a 20 NZ$ top up offers you one month internet (1GB);
  • Seafarers Centre is situated on Quay Street 114, in front of Marsden Wharf. The centre is open everyday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m (during the weekend it opens at 10 a.m.) and it offers money exchange, internet (2$/hour), books and magazines, a souvenir shop, a chapel, a pool table and a very friendly environment where you can enjoy some pleasant time.

Best shopping:

  • Downtown Shopping Centre (Customs Street West)
  • Queen Arcade Shopping Centre (Queen Street 34-40)

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