Arrival in Auckland
Customs are very strict (and not very polite) here. Make sure you don't bring animal/wood products, food, and almost anything out of ordinary. If in doubt, claim it by going to red-lane and ask the officers there. It is actually faster going through red-lane than green.
Also watch out burn time, use sunscreen even in cloudy days, or you'll be sorry.
Auckland Airport... an unwelcome welcome!
Auckland Airport is situated in Manukau. The airport has some excellent shopping in the departure pier (after customs and immigration). The only negative thing about AKL International is the customs and immigration arrival hall. The waits to get your passport stamped are always long and you feel like a sheep herded into a pen. It's a disgrace really... It always makes me fume coming back to NZ. So many other countries minimise queues totally, but not good old AKL International. It can take up to 45 minutes to get your passport stamped. It's a very uncomfortable wait in an airless, cramped hall, cheek by jowl with other frustrated travellers. Lots of room for improvement here AKL International!!
Also be warned incoming travellers... don't bring anything into NZ that may endanger our environment or agriculture. To ensure you don't we've got the brown uniformed gestapo-like MAF people. I totally support them in what they do, but they could learn to smile! They're always a great welcome to NZ!! Make sure you declare everything you should.
K'Rd - Super cool but super seedy
Auckland is a beautiful city,and tops places like Sydney in cleanliness and nightlife - HOWEVER,don't get too cocky being in such a "safe" place. Streets such as K'Rd and Fort Street are quite funky by day,with designer shops and many alleyways of stalls,but at night they become seedy.The sidestreets of K'Rd are jam packed with prostitutes - trannies,female and male - and drug dealers,homeless and gangs looking for trouble.Childs play compared to other major cities,but people can be fooled by Auckland's initial level of safeness.Also be cautious around Aotea Square,which attracts drunks.But Auckland rocks!
- Arts and Culture
Shady Internet Cafe
Be careful of shady internet cafes in Auckland. Some cafe are actually where there are alot of vice happening and may not be a good place for the tourist to check their emails. Do check out the place before entering one. Look at the crowds that the cafe is drawing before devoting your time to check your emails else you might end up with more than you have bargained for.
- Family Travel
Watch out for those Rays
The ozone layer above New Zealand (as with Australia) has been significantly eroded by ozone-depleting chemicals, and unprotected skin is more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancers than in other similar latitudes. Be careful in the sun and wear protection.
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