Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand and a very popular tourist destination. Want to get away from cold weather? Visit Auckland because winter in the Northern Hemisphere is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The peak season is from November to March - this is the warmest time of the year but also the most crowded time and hotel rates are higher than at other times of the year. The weather at the end of fall which is May and the beginning of spring with is September sees warm and pleasant weather and you’ll have fewer crowds to contend with. November to March is the best time to visit Auckland, New Zealand. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Auckland Weather & Temperature by Month

Auckland Weather & Temperature by Month
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Auckland Weather in January: Summer is at its peak in January with an average high temperature of 73°F (23°C), making it the hottest month of the year. January also receives the most daily average sunshine of the year with 8 hours per day. The average low temperature is 63°F (17°C).

In February, the average sea temperature is 70°F (21°C), which means it’s a fantastic time to hit the nearby beaches or lakes. The low and high temperature averages stay the same at 63°F (17°C) and 73°F (23°C) respectively.

March sees temperature averages cooling ever so slightly as the high temperatures decrease to 72°F (22°C). The low temperature sees a larger decrease averaging at 59°F (15°C). This signals the start of the fall season in Auckland.

Auckland Weather in April: The weather continues to cool in April as the fall season deepens. The average low and average high temperatures range between 55°F (13°C) and 68°F (20°C). Precipitation averages for the month are relatively low with expected rainfall at 40 mm.

May sees the average high temperature decreasing to 63°F (17°C). Similarly, the average low temperature also decreases, though by a smaller amount, to 52°F (11°C).

In June, the winter season arrives along with high temperature averages and low temperature averages of 59°F (15°C) and 48°F (9°C) respectively. The onset of winter brings with it the lowest daily average sunshine rate of 4 hours per day and a 50 mm precipitation rate.

Auckland Weather in July: Temperatures drop to their absolute lowest in July as the average high temperature sinks to 57°F (14°C). Likewise, the average low temperature drops to 46°F (8°C). July is also the wettest month of the year with expected rainfall at 60 mm.

In August, the final month of the winter season, the climate starts to warm back up. The average high and average low temperatures come in at 59°F (15°C) and 46°F (8°C) respectively.

September sees the upward trend in temperatures continue with low and high temperatures ranging between 50°F (10°C) and 61°F (16°C). Precipitation averages decrease to 40 mm.

Auckland Weather in October: Spring weather is beautifully mild in October with 63°F (17°C) as the high temperature average. Meanwhile, the low temperature average also sees an increase to 54°F (12°C).

November receives a relatively low amount of rain by Auckland’s standards with a precipitation average of 40 mm. The average high temperature sees another increase to 66°F (19°C) alongside the average low temperature which rises to 55°F (13°C).

In December, the summer season returns to Auckland with a 7-hour daily average sunshine rate. The high temperature average hits 70°F (21°C) while the low temperature average peaks at 59°F (15°C).

Truly, there’s never a bad time to visit New Zealand. At any time of the year, there’s always incredible fun to be had an even more awesome views to be seen. The best time to visit for outdoor activities like hitting the beach or the cycling trails is definitely in December through February when summer arrives. For avid hikers who don’t necessarily want to run into throngs of tourists, the autumn months of March through May is the best time to visit. Winter is a fantastic time to visit for winter sports as the ski fields begin to open. It’s also a fantastic time to explore the backcountry valley trails. Lord of the Rings fans will get a kick out of visiting the sights and sounds in spring as a bit of snow still remains from winter making the mountainous views absolutely breathtaking.

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2.Getting to Auckland

Getting to Auckland
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Many tourists arrive in Auckland by plane. The Auckland International Airport is about 13 miles south of the city and is served by more than 25 international airlines. The airport has many amenities such as a visitor’s center, the largest duty-free store in the Asia-Pacific area, and the domestic terminal which is just a 15 minute walk from the international terminal. If you are already in New Zealand, there are several ways to get to Auckland. There are many expressways and motorways that connect other areas with Auckland: renting a car is one option. Some people arrive by cruise ship or by rail.

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3.Getting From the Auckland Airport

Getting From the Auckland Airport
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The Auckland International Airport offers several ways to get to downtown Auckland. Licensed car rental companies are located at the terminal buildings or close to the terminals: there are many companies from which you can choose. Several taxi companies provide transportation services between the airport and downtown. There are also several shuttle companies that will take you to your inner city accommodations. SkyBus is an airport transfer service between the airport and the city: this service takes between 40 and 60 minutes. For visitors who want to arrive by train, the Papatoetoe Train Station can be reached by the 380 Airporter bus.

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4.Auckland Tourist Information Centers

Auckland Tourist Information Centers
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Tourist information centers are called i-SITE Visitor Information Centres in Auckland and other places in New Zealand. There are two centers conveniently located in Auckland: one is found at Princes Wharf at Quay and Hobson Streets; and the second is located at the Atrium, SKYCITY Auckland. All of the i-SITE locations are staffed by professional trained and friendly locals who want to help to make your visit as pleasant as possible. They offer information on where to stay, where to eat, what to see, where to shop, and more. There are free information guides and maps that are available at the centers.

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5.Getting around Auckland by Bus, Train, Ferry

Getting around Auckland by Bus, Train, Ferry
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Auckland has an excellent public transportation system called Auckland Transport: this system includes buses, trains, and ferries. The Link Bus Service is one of the best ways to get around Auckland. They are easy to spot: they are green, red, or yellow. Because the buses provide such frequent service, there’s no need for a timetable! Just wait at one of the many bus stops, pick the right color bus, and hop on. Using a car is not your best option mostly because parking is hard to find. Trains run between Auckland and nearby suburbs and the Devonport Ferry takes visitors to the nearby popular Waiheke Island.

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6.Getting around Auckland - Getting around Auckland

Getting around Auckland - Getting around Auckland
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Many of Auckland’s sights are spread out which is why the bus is such a good option. However, visitors who stay in the central business district can walk to quite a few of Auckland’s top attractions. Some people choose accommodations in the central business district for this very reason. There are also designated Central Auckland walking routes. Many people like to see the sights of Auckland by bicycle. Cycling downtown can be challenging but the Auckland waterfront along Tamaki Drive is a popular ride for cyclists. There are several other popular places to cycle including the Quay Street Cycleway and the Nelson Street Cycleway.

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7.Getting around Auckland - by car, taxi, motorcycle

Getting around Auckland - by car, taxi, motorcycle
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There are several other ways to get around Auckland. Although driving in downtown Auckland can be problematic because of the scarcity of parking, a car can be a great way to explore places just outside of Auckland. There are car rental agencies at the Auckland International Airport as well as many places throughout the city. Another way to get around the city is by motorcycle and scooter. The Auckland Transport system offers free parking for motorcycles and scooters in all of its car park buildings. Using the services of a taxi is also an option for short trips around the city.

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Auckland is a melting pot so it is no surprise that there is a huge variety of dining options in this “City of Sails.” Fresh seafood and Pacific-Rim cuisine are at the top of the list. The other good news is that the world-class food served at restaurants in Auckland is affordable. There are restaurants all over the city, but there are several places that are known for their great eateries. One of these is the Viaduct Harbour Area, in the Britomart Precinct, and along Ponsonby Road. On the North Shore check out what the restaurants have to offer in Devonport and Takapuna.

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Just like its restaurants, Auckland offers a wide range of shopping venues to please every visitor. The most elegant duty-free and tax-free department store is DFS Galleria Custom House. Looking for antiques? There are many antique shops in the Parnell, Ponsonby, and Remuera areas of downtown Auckland as well as the Epsom area. Stores selling the best in art, accessories and New Zealand fashion are located in the High Street-Vulcan Lane-O’Connell Street areas. There are also many shops on Queen Street as well as the little side streets. Farmers’ markets offer gourmet food as well as fresh produce.

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10.Neighborhood Guide

Neighborhood Guide
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Visitors are surprised to find out that Auckland is actually made up of four cities. These are Auckland proper, Manukau, North Shore, and Waitakere. These four areas are all connected by a motorway network. The inner city or central business district is home to many accommodations and attractions. This area and East Auckland have a very cosmopolitan feel with a growing Asian community. North Shore City is casual and contemporary with a little taste of California. Waitakere City is to the west and is the main wine growing area for Auckland. Manukau City is known for its blend of Polynesian and European lifestyles.

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11.Getting Married in Auckland

Getting Married in Auckland
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Auckland is a wonderful place for a wedding: it is full of great venues with spectacular views. To get a license, you just apply at one of several registry offices. Some of the popular venues that are found at accommodations include Hotel DeBrett, the Langham Auckland, and Bethells Beach Cottages on Auckland’s west coast with its stunning setting. Rydges Auckland offers its Rooftop Terrace with unforgettable views. The Boat House at the Riverhead is a beautiful location with its old oak trees and charming gardens. The Wharf is a special venue: it is surrounded by Waitemata Harbour and set in native trees.

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12.Where to Stay

Where to Stay
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There are many different kinds of accommodations in Auckland from which visitors can choose: they range from five-star hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts. There are farmstays and homestays, holiday homes, holiday camping parks, and serviced apartments. Luxury properties include Delamore Lodge on Waiheke Island, Auckland Takapuna Oaks, Hilton Auckland, and Hotel DeBrett. Some of the accommodations in downtown Auckland have amazing views of the harbor and the many sailboats. In addition to expensive properties there are some affordable accommodations in the downtown area like the Scenic Hotel Auckland and the Kiwi International Hotel. Most of the bed and breakfasts are located out in the suburbs.

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Best Time to Visit Auckland, New Zealand - Weather Year Round

More Ideas: Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tours

Located in Matamata, New Zealand is the popular tourist attraction of the Hobbiton Movie Set, which is famed for its use in The Lord of the Rings film series. The Shire, which is the home to Hobbits in Middle-earth, was first created in 1999 and now fans are able to explore the whimsical 12-acre set. Throughout tours, guides recount scenes from the movies while explaining the details of the movie set. Visitors from around the world become immersed the Shire whilst discovering the quaint village and exploring the quirky elements.

The history behind Hobbiton Movie Set begins prior to the creation of The Lord of the Rings film series, on a sheep farm in Matamata. In 1998 location scouts were searching for luscious green pastures and rolling hills to create The Shire, which is the home of hobbits. The stunning Alexander farm strongly resembled the world described in the book series by author JRR Tolkien. The spot was immediately chosen and the crew began construction on the set, and over 9 mounts 39 temporary Hobbit Holes came to life. After filming, demolition was scheduled to commence and after an initial attempt to deconstruct the Hobbit Holes 17 still remained. Yet, in 2002 the shells were the site of a guided tour that launched after the popularity for Lord of the Rings grew. The Hobbiton Movie Set was given an upgrade when The Hobbit Trilogy was being filmed in 2009. The crew reconstructed the site and expanded Hobbiton, which now has 44 permanent Hobbit Holes on the site. Since then The Green Dragon Inn has been added in 2012, which is now a popular addition to the area as a place to visit and try different beverages. Today the movie site is a tourist hotspot that gives movie fans a chance to explore the wonders of The Shire.

As a popular movie lover’s destination, the Hobbiton Movie Set allows visitors to become fully immersed into the world of The Shire due to is phenomenal beauty and untouched nature. There are tours that take visitors around the village that explain the details of the movie set while recounting different scenes. The groups weave through the set, which is dotted along the rolling hillside to explore the Hobbit Holes and the Green Dragon Inn. Famous for the circular doors the Hobbit Holes show the personalities of the different characters and give insight into the culture of The Shire. Hobbits are much smaller than other characters in Lord of the Rings and the solution to showcasing the miniature world on film was to use three sizes of doors to change height perspectives. All of the houses have a rustic look to them and almost seamlessly blend into the surrounding hills because of the overgrown plants that add character to the set. Tours of the quaint village come to an end in the iconic Green Dragon Inn, which has a fully reconstructed interior and exterior that embodies the warm atmosphere of The Shire. As a meeting place for all the residents in Hobbiton, visitors are now able to indulge with a beverage or a specially poured beer from the taps of the Inn. There is also a selection of traditional fare available for guests to purchase and eat while they overlook the quaint village. Throughout all of the aspects at the Hobbiton Movie Set, visitors can step into the enchanting world in Middle Earth and experience life as Hobbits would.

Hobbiton is a popular location that hosts various events throughout the year, which add to the whimsical atmosphere. Visitors are able to have a real Hobbit experience through the activities of Mid-Winter Feast and International Hobbit Day. Guests can participate in a special celebration at the Green Dragon Inn during the Mid-Winter Feast. The evening will begin with a tour of the set and after a themed dinner will be served with Mulled wine and other Southfarthing beverages. The feast will conclude with another tour guided by lantern light to see the beautiful village glow under the moon. For International Hobbit Day, the movie set holds a special event in the little village to celebrate. Visitors are able to wander through the vibrant Marketplace, which is filled with themed stalls offering traditional Hobbit fare such as cheeses, baked breads, cured meats, and fresh produce. Throughout the sets and the events at the Hobbiton Movie Set, visitors are able to discover the magical village of The Shire.

501 I Rd, Buckland, Matamata 3472, Phone: +64-78-88-15-05

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More Ideas: Spiritual Center of the Universe

In 2002, New Zealand’s Castle Hill was given the honor of being named a Spiritual Center of the Universe by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The particular high country station, or farmland, on New Zealand’s South Island is scattered with boulders and stones resembling the ruins of a castle, and has become a popular climbing, hiking and mountain biking spot.

Located on private land, the boulders are open to the public and surrounded by a network of hiking and mountain biking trails. It is a popular spot for both locals and visitors alike. The limestone rock formations were formed underneath the ocean between 30 and 40 million years ago during the Oligocene era. The rock outcroppings have been eroded by the water, offering smooth limestone faces. Rocks such as these are scattered throughout the Torlesse and Craigieburn mountain ranges, about 56 miles northwest of Christchurch.

Guests claim the boulder field indeed has a particular magnetic energy. The site is of cultural and spiritual significance to the Ngai Tahu, the principal Maori tribe of southern New Zealand. The area of Castle Hill was named by the Ngai Tahu as Kura Tawhiti, which translates to ‘treasure from a distant land.’ Throughout the limestone rock outcroppings, 500-year old charcoal drawings of the Waitaha people can still be seen, prompting the area to have been named a Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area in 1998.

History: While the Maori occupied the land for ages, the first documented visits of Europeans were in the mid 1800’s, as explorers scouted the area for farmland.

In 2002, on a visit to New Zealand, the Dalai Lama visited the area and was so taken by its natural beauty, he referred to it as a “spiritual center of the universe.” It’s said that when the Dalai Lama visited New Zealand’s Christchurch Cathedral in 2002, the façade of which is made of limestone from Castle Hill, he was wary of the energy at the cathedral, highlighted by the cold reception he received by Christchurch city council members. He much preferred the natural setting found at Castle Hill, and his comments were assumed to be a nod to the reverence of indigenous cultures for the region.

The ‘Spiritual Center of the Universe’ may also be recognized as the filming location for the final battle scenes in the 2005 movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Ongoing Programs and Education: Climbing is a popular activity in the area, as the rocks present smooth faces and challenging ‘no-hold’ problems for moderate to advanced climbers. Both Castle Hill and the nearby Flock Hill are considered the flagship sites of south New Zealand’s thriving climbing scene. A nearby Cave Stream Scenic Reserve offers two trails, one of which takes guests through a quarter mile long cave to a waterfall and deep pool. Fishing is a popular activity in the area streams and rivers.

Hiking trails throughout the reserve pass by the rocks at Castle Hill and traverse into the two adjacent parks, Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park and the Craigieburn Forest Park. Mountain bike trails in the region include the Hogs Back track, and trails within the Craigieburn Forest Park.

The area is surrounded by four ski resorts, including Craigieburn Valley, Broken River, Mt. Cheeseman and Porters. Visitors to the rock formations enjoy informal sledding during the winter months when the hill is covered in snow.

What’s Nearby: While the ‘spiritual center of the universe’ is located at 700 feet above sea level, the basin of the surrounding reserve is quite cool and lends itself to a unique climate in which many rare plants thrive. Rare flora such as Colenco's forget-me-not, a 2 inch long perennial, and Brockie's bluebell, also a perennial, are only found in the Kura Tawhiti Conservation Reserve basin on the limestone dotted soil, while shrubs such as Carex inopinata are seen only in Castle Hill.

The rock field is near both the Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park and the Craigieburn Forest Park, both of which offer opportunities for enjoying nature and recreation.

The nearby Castle Hill Village was founded in the early 1980’s as a hub for seasonal recreationists. The village has since grown to over 100 houses, most of which are occupied seasonally. There are no commercial shops or restaurants in the area. Although camping is not allowed in the area, many residents of Castle Hill Village rent their homes, and some private landowners offer campsites for backpackers and climbers.

State Highway 73 between Darfield and Arthur’s Pass, Castle Hill 7580, New Zealand

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More Ideas: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is in Wellington, New Zealand on the North Island. The national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa is an art museum and a national gallery, representing New Zealand’s unique cultural history. The museum’s five major collection areas include art, history and natural history, the Taonga Maori and Pacific cultures. The name ‘Te Papa Tongarewa’ may be translated to ‘container of treasures.’

The 6-floor, nearly 400,000 square foot museum was completed in 1998, after four years of construction. The building itself is intended to evoke the history of New Zealand and the diversity of the cultures on the islands. The north side of the museum represents the Maori, while the south façade represents Europeans. The collection occupies the space in between and highlights the evolution of the two cultures and their interconnectedness. In addition to nearly 3 million cubic feet of concrete, the Jasmax Architects designed building incorporates native New Zealand woods such as rewarewa, matai, and tawa and the exotic woods eucalyptus and macrocarpa.

Te Papa’s art, photography and print collection dates back to 1905. Strengths of the collection include New Zealand painting and British watercolor and paintings from the 1900’s, international photography and international prints. Among the New Zealand painters strongly represented in the collection are Dutch-born Petrus van der Velden, Wellington painter J M Nairn, portraitist Mary Tripe and the early modern New Zealand painter Lois White.

The museum’s history collection surpasses 25,000 objects, including a 2,000-object international collection of artifacts from Australia, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Items include jewelry and metalwork, a collection of dresses and textiles, clocks and watches, furniture, and the Medical Collection, which traces the history of Maori herbal medicine, as well as its influence on the dental and medical practices of settlers to the island.

Over 30,000 cultural treasures or ‘taonga’ from the Maori culture are represented in the permanent collection. Items include personal ornaments, clothing and textiles, ancestral carvings and weaponry, as well as archaeological finds that illuminate the lives of the Maori through bird and animal bone fragments, shells and flaked stone.

Te Papa’s Pacific Cultures collection dates back to its origins as a colonial museum in the late 1800’s. Highlights include a cloak made of fibers from an indigenous Cook Island plant, gifted to the museum in the 19th century by a Cook Island Chief. Several items in the collection are from the travels of Captain James Cook, the 18th century British explorer who was the first European to make a recorded contact with Australia and Hawaii, and the first to circumnavigate the New Zealand islands.

History: Te Papa’s origins date back to 1865 as a small colonial museum located behind the parliament building. The tiny museum housed antique objects, paintings, and items of ethnographic ‘curiosity.’ Renamed as the Dominion Museum in 1907, the collection grew to focus on art acquisition. With the Science and Art Act of 1913, both the art collection, and the scientific collection grew within the same building. In 1936 a National Art Gallery opened in a separate building nearby, to house the growing collection, enveloping the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts along with it. By 1972, The Dominion Museum was renamed once again, as the National Museum.

In the 1980’s, it became increasingly apparent that the museum and its collection no longer represented the diverse community of New Zealand. A board was established to review the museum’s collections, vision and mission, and in 1992, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Act outlined new goals for what would be a new national museum. Construction of Te Papa’s current facility began in 1994 and the museum opened to the public in 1998. By 2015, 25 million visitors had walked through the doors.

Ongoing Programs and Education: A variety of guided tours are offered depending upon the visitor’s area of interest. The Te Papa tour offers an exhibit overview, while other tours offered include the Maori Highlights Tour, a Twilight Express Tour, or tours in Mandarin, other languages or private custom-designed tours.

Education is central to the mission of Te Papa. Programs for visitors to the museum include the Learning Lab, where programs span from weekend workshops, to afterschool programs, one-day events and school programs. The Learning Lab incorporates technology to encourage guests to innovate, explore and interact. Te Papa also offers a wide variety of programming for educators, as well as for museums and museum professionals.

55 Cable Street, Wellington, 6011 New Zealand, Phone: +64-0-43-81-70-00

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