If you are travelling as a family with children, be sure to ask for family discount at any admission or transportation (buy an all day pass is your best bet if you are using public transportation). It is often less expensive than buying individual adult and child tickets.
The Path in the Woods
There is a woods behind my best friend's house at Lynfiled of Auckland. In a summer's evening(won't be dark before 9pm in summer), it would be nice to have a walk though the little path in the woods towards the beach.
There are more woods paths like that in Northshore of Auckland, such as the one at Longbay beach, a path on the cliff, very exciting. There are millions of them. Although I had lived in Northshore for nearly two years, I'd not tried all of them. They seems like maze, and you never know where it would lead you to. And now I won't have a chance to do that again as I am living in the central city.
NZ's Premier Shopping Strip.
There is really something for everyone here at Newmarket. This is not a shop, but a suburb called Newmarket.
As you see in the photo, there is a small mall called "Two double seven". Nice shops here and a car park.
The main street is called Broadway and around here there are wonderful shops. Shoes, great range of shoe shops, you must find something you like!! You won't find cheap nasty goods here.
Public Transport or Rent a Car?
For a start: Auckland’s regional transport system MAXX has a fabulous website which works out your itineraries in detail, including how many metres you have to walk from a busstop to a certain address, and it has intelligent typing suggesting addresses, and it is fast. Really very impressive.
If the transport itself were as fast and efficient as well, Auckland would not have any traffic problems ;-)
But as the bus still is and remains the major means of transport trips can take their time – although it seems as if it were running smoother on certain routes after the creation of bus lanes. Those are for buses only from Monday to Friday, and also cars are allowed if they have more passengers than just the driver on board. As I could see on TV, this rule has made the creativity of some people go wild. They purchased inflatable dolls from… you know where, put them on the passenger seats, and sped along the bus lane. When police got suspicious they started looking closely at the peak time traffic and stopped cars whose passengers were not moving their heads, and always staring straight ahead ;-)
But back to public transport…
Getting around Auckland is a bit tricky, as there are certain places which you reach best by car, but as parking is extremely expensive in the inner city you better leave your car at the motel, and use the bus… Please note that hotels in the CBD charge steep fees for parking as well, so think twice where you stay, how you want to get around, and what you want to see.
For example, you absolutely need no car for exploring the CBD, Parnell, Ponsonby, Newmarket, the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, and you also reach Mt. Eden, One Tree Hill, Kelly Tarlton’s and the North Shore by bus. You need a car for trips to the Waitakere Ranges, and all areas further away, like Muriwai Beach, Miranda, and so on. And I must admit, I also enjoyed travelling by car to Western Springs (zoo, MOAT), Mt. Eden, One Tree Hill, and for a nice drive with several stops along Tamaki Drive. And especially on weekends it is no problem at all, and in many city areas parking is free on the weekend, or costs only half price.
What makes bus travels difficult sometimes is that they start their trips at different points in the city centre. It is always easy to get there but sometimes tricky to find the right stop for the way back, or to another destination. When you get lost go to Britomart, the main transportation centre at the end of Queen Street, and ask!
Best Indian in Parnell
You'd think with a name like Oh Calcutta this place might not be that good however you would be completely wrong. The setting on Parnell Rise is really good with a few outside seats kept warm, if it's on the chilly side, by some heaters on the ceiling.
The service was quick and the food really good. A good selection of beer was on the menu & my friends (one Irish & one from Hong Kong) had the Kingfisher Strong & Tiger beer respectively. The food came from all Indian directions so choice was not an issue - everything from the (fatty) buttered stuff to very hot Vindaloo. The Fish Tikka was surperb and the Tandori Chicken quite large. The Chicken Madras was very nice and the fragrant rice complemented the meat.