Auckland, New Zealand

Haere Mai Aotearoa – Welcome to New Zealand

Auckland – the city of sails

Often described as 'the world in miniature,' New Zealand's peaceful pastoralism is complemented by a startling variety of spectacular landscapes within a small area. Hot springs, geysers, rolling hills and magnificent beaches in the North Island contrast with the majestic glaciers, mountains and lakes of the South Island.

Dominating the urban scene, Auckland is the largest city and the commercial hub of New Zealand. With a population of about 1.5 million, Auckland enjoys an uncluttered lifestyle amidst parks and gardens on an isthmus enclosed by two picturesque harbours, earning it the title 'City of Sails'. An impressive variety of cultural and recreational activities are readily available for residents and visitors to participate in at a reasonable cost. New Zealanders enjoy a varied lifestyle and comfortable standard of living in an increasingly cosmopolitan society, and demand high standards in a progressive education system. This ensures that tertiary institutions produce graduates whose expertise is well-recognised internationally.

Living costs in Auckland

To live in Auckland you will need approximately NZ$10,000 to NZ$15,000 per year for accommodation and general living costs.

Below are some examples of the costs you might face:

Rent (per week) $200-350
Groceries (per week) $100-$150
Average meal $12-16
Milk (per litre) $2.50
Can of Coke $2.00
Hot Drink $3.50-$5.00
Single bus trip (up to 8 stages with AT HOP card) $0.40-$8.20
Phone Credit $20-$40
Movie Ticket (Student Price) $11-$14
Haircut $20-$80
Doctor’s visit $15-$70
Dentist’s visit $150-$500


Auckland is a cosmopolitan city with a wide variety of restaurants serving local and international cuisine. There are also Asian and Indian supermarkets available where you can purchase ingredients not readily available from the larger supermarket stores.

Weather in Auckland

Auckland’s average daytime temperatures range from 19.4ºC to 23.1ºC in January (summer) and 10.9ºC to 14.1ºC in July (winter).

The seasons are:

Spring: September to November
Summer: December to February
Autumn: March to May
Winter: June to August

Get today's weather in Auckland.

Things you need to know


Most major bank are open for business in Auckland’s main shopping malls during business hours seven days a week. The closest of these to AIS is the Westfield Shopping Mall which is a short drive from the Main Campus.

Business and shop hours

Offices and businesses are usually open from 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. Retail shop hours vary. Most are open 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday with a late night on either a Thursday or a Friday, and from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.


We drive on the left side of the road in New Zealand. Reciprocal driving rights exist between New Zealand and most countries. Students with international driving licences must obtain a New Zealand driver’s licence within a year of arriving in the country if they wish to continue to driving here.

Medical facilities

International students must have medical and travel insurance in order to study in New Zealand, as medical services are not free to them. Pharmacies (chemist shops) can give advice on minor medical problems, and a range of drugs are available without the need for a doctor’s prescription.

Postal services

Post offices are open during business hours and closed at weekends. However, stamps can also be purchased at many stationery stores and dairies (local food stores), and post boxes are easily found.


Public telephones use phone cards which can be bought at many shops, dairies and gas (petrol) stations. New Zealand's international access code is 64.

Tipping and service charges

Tips or gratuities are not routinely expected, however many people tip to show their appreciation for extra service or kindness.

Visitor Information

Information is available throughout Auckland at Visitor Information Network offices. Here experienced staff can provide reliable information ranging from transportation and accommodation to local attractions and activities. For more information, go to

Auckland Maps

Visit these sites for maps of Auckland and other New Zealand cities:

Auckland Sightseeing Activities

Sky Tower
Take a trip up the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere to get a bird's eye view of Auckland. Dine in the revolving restaurant or just enjoy the scenery.

Auckland Museum
High on the hill overlooking Auckland Domain, the Auckland Museum boasts the world's largest collection of Maori and Polynesian artifacts.

Historic Parnell Village
A great place for boutique shopping and lunch at a sidewalk cafe.

New Zealand National Maritime Museum
Located on central Auckland's waterfront, here you can acquaint yourself with 1000 years of New Zealand's seafaring history. Top it off with a harbour cruise on the Museum's scow 'Ted Ashby'.

Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World
See penguins in a real world of snow and ice and walk through enormous perspex tunnels while sharks, fish and stingrays swim around you.

Rainbow's End Adventure Park
An award-winning theme park offering some unforgettable rides for thrill-seekers.

Otara Markets
The largest Polynesian market in the world, here every Saturday morning. Great food and interesting shopping.

Howick Historical Village
Here tiny cottages of Auckland's first European settlers are presented in an authentic setting.

Museum of Transport, Technology and Social History (MOTAT)
Visit here to see one of the few Avro Lancaster's left in the world and the only remaining Solent IV flying boat.

An unforgettable day can be enjoyed among the many vineyards based in Auckland, at Huapai, Kumeu and around Clevedon.

Pride of Auckland Sailing Experience
Head for the water with a 45-minute harbour cruise on a Pride of Auckland yacht.

Victoria Park Market
Set in historic buildings in central Auckland, this market boasts a wide range of bargains from arts and crafts to clothing.

Relax in the quaint seaside suburb or explore North Head, home of some of the most extensive underground tunnel systems in the South Pacific.

Auckland Zoo
Home to more than 900 birds and animals, Auckland Zoo has an international reputation for its animal management programmes and superb park-like setting.

Mission Bay
One of the most popular of Auckland's inner city beaches. Go for a swim, picnic in the park or dine at one of the popular sidewalk cafes.

Viaduct Harbour
Check out the America's Cup Village and indulge yourself in the wide array of restaurants, bars and up-market shops.

Mt Eden
One of Auckland's many volcanic craters, Mt Eden is a popular spot to check out the best views Auckland has to offer.

Auckland Parks and Gardens

Arataki Visitors Centre
Make this your first stop for a comprehensive introduction to local flora and fauna as well as information about the many parks, beaches and walking tracks in the area.

The Winter Garden
Located in the Auckland Domain it boasts two glass houses and an award-winning native garden.

Eden Gardens
Famous for its Camelias, Rhododendrons and Vireyas, with a great cafe.

Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens
These Manurewa gardens (20 minutes south of the city) feature New Zealand natives, an ornamental lake, a nature trail, and a horticultural library.

Western Springs
A popular spot for a walk or a lakeside picnic. Come armed with bread to feed the ducks.

Cornwall Park
At the base of Auckland's One Tree Hill, the huge Cornwall Park is the perfect place to spend a summer's day, or have an evening barbecue. As at many beaches and parks around Auckland, barbecue facilities are provided, free of charge.

Hunua Regional Park
Offers stunning walks amongst lush New Zealand bush and the thundering Hunua Falls.

Parnell Rose Gardens
Features over 5000 rose bushes, including some bred by world-renowned New Zealand rose breeders.

Auckland Art and Culture

Auckland Art Gallery
This gallery is home of the country's most significant collections of local and European art.

Gow Langsford Gallery
Visit here to see some of New Zealand's top contemporary artists.

Lopdell House Gallery
30 minutes out of town in the trendy Titirangi Village, this gallery always has interesting exhibitions of contemporary New Zealand art.

Town Hall
One of the city's best known and most impressive heritage buildings, it often hosts orchestral, operatic and classical performances.

Aotea Centre
Go here for world-class performances of music, dance and theatre.

Maidment Arts Centre
Offers performances of alternative theatre, children's theatre, dance, pantomime as well as the occasional free music concerts.

The Civic
An inner-city venue for movies, theatre productions, banquets, balls and public events, The Civic is reputed to be one of only seven remaining 'atmospheric' movie palaces in the world.

Recreation and Other Activities in Auckland

Auckland Beaches
Check out the wild black-sand beaches of the West Coast, like Piha, Karekare, Muriwai and Bethells. For pristine white-sand beaches head north to Tawharanui Regional Park or Pakiri.

Golf Courses
Auckland boasts two of the country's finest golf resorts, Gulf Harbour Country Club and Formosa Country Club. Green fees here are around NZ$75 however there are also several cheaper courses throughout the city, where golfers on a budget can play a round for about NZ$25.

Auckland has many fishing charter operators to take you ocean fishing or fish off the beach or wharf.

Hire a kayak or go on a guided kayak tour to Rangitoto moonlight.

Mountain Biking
Woodhill and Riverhead forests are popular spots for thrill-seeking mountain bikers. If you don't have your own bike there are plenty of places you can hire them, or go on a mountain bike tour.

Four-wheel motorbike adventures
Rent a bike and go crazy in the 15,000-hectare plantation pine forest at Woodhill.

Auckland Horse riding and Horse Trekking
There are several horse-trekking operators around Auckland offering spectacular farm and coastal rides.

Hot pools
Take a soak or have fun on the water slides at the popular Parakai or Waiwera Hot Pools.

YMCA Centres
There are several YMCA centres throughout Auckland offering gymnasium facilities, indoor sports courts and in some cases, indoor swimming pools.

Parnell Baths
Spend a day at this popular saltwater outdoor swimming pool.