Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific) - What to do on a 24 hour transit in AKL?
Sep 16, 06, 11:58 am
We are arriving into AKL on a Friday morning at 9am and are departing the next day at 4pm. We are planning to stay downtown in the Crown Plaza (we have a free night voucher).
We'd love to get a flavour of AKL in our brief stay- say a bus or walking tour, seeing the main sights, somewhere cool to eat either typical NZ food or Asian. We'll be getting off a flight from Europe so we'll feel like getting into bed though hopefully the NZ skybeds will alleviate that a little :D .
I hope the bright sun and some walking around on the first day will help us get used to the time zone better. I also don't want to come halfway around the world and not see the city.
I have looked at regular travel websites but they all suppose you'll stay longer than 24 hours. What do you FTers recommend?
Thanks in advance
Sep 16, 06, 12:10 pm
There is a great museum in Auckland in the Domain, so you can combine walking, getting fresh air and exercise, with culture (it is one of the best Pacific Islander museums in the world, better than the Bishop in Hawaii). The gardens are quite nice too. There is also a great rose garden in Parnell, another area that is good for walking around.
Sep 16, 06, 4:25 pm
From the Crowne Plaza I'd walk down the road to Sky Tower - look at the views and orient yourself. It will also help you decide if weather is good enough to take the ferry across to Waiheke :)
If the weather is good I'd then walk down the hill to Waiheke ferry (opposite bottom of Queen St) and take that across. Head into the first small town on the island, wander around seeing the craft shops, wines etc. Lunch at either a cafe or vineyard. Then take ferry back - if it goes via Devonport (some ferries do, some don't) then hop out there and walk up Mt Victoria (small volcano behind the village). This will give great views across the Hauraki Gulf (including where you've just come from). Back in the city, dinner etc in Viaduct area.
If wet, then I second number_6 about the museum. From Sky City walk down Queen St and turn right at Customs St (1 back from waterfront) to take the link bus up to the museum. After seeing the museum, wander through the park surrounds (Domain) and explore Parnell. You could have dinner in Parnell, or back on the waterfront Viaduct area.
There is a market in Civic Square (not far from your hotel) which I think runs Fridays and Saturdays.
Sep 16, 06, 6:09 pm
I second the recommendation about Parnell, there's lots of neat shops to browse around in, great restaurants, and the most fantastic chocolate shop.
Also, for some undersea life, check out Kelly Tarlton's http://www.kellytarltons.co.nz/home/.
Sep 17, 06, 1:08 am
I would do the SkyTower early on. It will help you to get your bearings.
I stayed at the Crowne Plaza in January. The location is great. A word of caution - they tacked on a charge for using the room safe, even though there was no signage on the safe to indicate that it wasn't complimentary. I've never had to pay for use of a room safe anywhere else, and I would have argued but it was the last hotel stay of a 4 1/2 week trip and I was too tired. It was pretty slimey of them and I hope that ICHG rides them about it.
Sep 17, 06, 5:39 pm
Thanks all, this is just perfect. The ferry, Parnell, Sky Tower, the musuem- maybe a market (we arrive a Fri and dep a Sat). I feel happier about the CP location too. :-:
Sep 18, 06, 3:28 pm
Across from the ferry terminal in central Auckland are several tour companies that operate city tours. I took one last month on a brief stopover with Scenic Tours. Pickup around 10 am at your hotel, drive around the city seeing some sites, then they drop you at the museum and give you a couple of hours there, then a little more sightseeing and back to your hotel. I think the cost was around NZ$60?
Waiheke Island is a nice day trip too. A company called Amanda's Tours (and others, I am sure) do winery tours around the island.