Tamaki Drive is the main road between the Auckland downtown area and the eastern beach suburbs. Along Tamaki drive you can get great views of the CBD, the Waitemata Harbour, Rangitoto Island, and Devonport.
This photo is taken from outside Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World. Another good place to go for a view is Bastion Point. At Mission Bay, you can stop for a coffee (if you can find parking and you're feeling pretentious enough to join the "see and be seen" crowd).
Walk around the crater's rim
For a quiet day in the Hauraki Gulf, visit Rangitoto Island (Fuller's ferry). Maps of walks can be found on the wharf. Enjoy the track up to the summit and then take a loop walk around the crater's rim. Bring good walking shoes and a picnic!
Italian supplies while in Auckland.
A delightful place to stop for a coffee and snack, and there is a table for two where you can have a light lunch. Very helpful staff who seem to truly care about your needs. However this is more a place to buy some wonderful Italian food supplies, ranging from mineral water and juices to recipe books and kitchen ware. With everything in between including various oils and pasta. Traditional Italian Breads baked daily.
Recipe books and cooking supplies, both edible and utensils etc.
Coffee beans and coffee machines/ A small but nice and certainly adequate lunch for me was a stuffed chicken let, nicely presented with coffee and briande. $13.
The Ferries - Effective and Fast Travel
The ferries, departing from the terminal at the… guess… Ferry Building at the Waitemata Harbour end of Queen Street, are a great alternative especially for getting to Devonport/North Shore and avoiding traffic jams on Harbour Bridge.
The most important trips, however, are to the many islands in the Hauraki Gulf – Waiheke, Rangitoto, Great Barrier, Tiritiri Matangi, etc. Reservations are normally not necessary but if you want to go to Tiritiri Matangi which has limited access it pays to get your ticket in advance (with 360 Discovery), so you do not miss out on the day you want to travel.
Also the dolphin cruises start here, as do other charters.
The terminal of the big cruise ships is – if you stand in front of the Ferry Building – to your left. Just where a cruise-ship-like looking apartment buildings separates Waitemata and Viaduct Harbour.
The main ferry service company is Fuller’s.
You find a journey planner – like for buses and trains - on http://www.maxx.co.nz/
Specific info about Auckland’s ferry service on http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/auckland/Transport/ferry/default.asp
Fuller’s website is http://www.fullers.co.nz/
If you need a car ferry to Waiheke or Great Barrier Islands you have to use Sealink. Info here: http://www.subritzky.co.nz/
360 Discovery mainly operates harbour and dinner cruises, and charters. They also have tours to Tiritiri Matangi (NZ$ 66).
It is also the company that runs the ferry from Auckland to Kawau Island.
They also have a commuter service to/from Gulf Harbour which is north of North Shore, about half way between North Shore and Warkworth. The timetable is really only for commuters and travellers who stay up there. The ferries sail to Downtown Auckland in the morning and back in the evening – the other way round only from Wednesday to Sunday. Info here: http://www.360discovery.co.nz/
A single trip costs NZ$ 13.40
Excellent Indian curries at Food Alley
Spices Indian Cuisine is one of a number of food outlets at Food Alley food court in downtown Auckland.
Food Alley is located on Albert Street , just off Customs Street, and just a few minutes walk from Queen Street.
As well as Spices, I also saw a Thai food outlet, a noodle house, a fried chicken fast food joint, a Chinese restaurant and a Turkish kebab outlet on the ground floor on the food court. A sign pointed to a Japanese restaurant and a steakhouse upstairs. The surroundings are very humble with wooden tables and green chairs in the communal dining area, and the various food outlets around the edge.
I ate at Spices first during a 5 day stay in Auckland in March 2006. The meal left such a good impression on me that I made sure to return there again on my return to Auckland 5 weeks later.
As you would expect, curries are the speciality at Spices. Choose from chicken, lamb, beef, seafood and vegetarian curries, and from korma, vindaloo, tikka, rogan josh and several other sauces.
As well as curries, there are a few other meat and vegetarian dishes and a good selection of naan breads to accompany your meal (plain, buttered, garlic...). On both occasions that I visited Spices, I opted for:
Prawn Curry - Cost: 10 NZD
A hot curry with around 10 large prawns in a dish and served with a side plate of white rice. I opted for the "medium" curry (as opposed to the "spicy" one)......and it's a good jod that I did, because this was plenty hot enough!
I was very impressed with this curry!
Buttered naan bread - Cost: 2 NZD
The naan breads are excellent value at just 2 NZD. I can personally vouch for the tastiness of the buttered naan!
Coca Cola (500ml) with ice - Cost: 2.20 NZD
Drinks are purchased from a separate outlet, called Alley Cats, within the food court. You are offered a choice of ice cold soft drinks, milkshakes, beers (bottled and draught) and hot beverages.
Excellent quality (and value for money) curries on a humble food court. Very highly recommended, especially if you're travelling on a budget!!