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1 day layover in Auckland - what should we do there?

Annapolis, Maryland
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140 posts
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1 day layover in Auckland - what should we do there?

Hi everyone! This is my first time posting, but I always read others' posts, and they are so helpful!

My husband and I are heading to Australia, but we have a full day layover in Auckland. We are getting in around 6 am, and need to be back at the airport by 4.

Any suggestions on what we should definitely do in that time? We were going to go to the Sky Tower, but everything else is up in the air.

Also, we would love some suggestions on how to get around. Should we rent a car for the day? Will they accept US licenses?Or if we do a tour, what would you recommend? We looked into Explorer Bus, but that's about it so far.

We would really appreciate any advice you could give - we are leaving in 5 days, and starting to panic a bit!!!

Thank you so much!


Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: 1 day layover in Auckland - what should we do there?

Sorry, I can't offer too many suggestions of things to do; I was only in Auckland for a day myself, and spent most of it trying to stay awake as long as possible. Keep in mind that you will be jetlagged and probably very tired when you arrive. (I'd recommend bringing a large bottle of water on the flight, as the air is very dry. I went through my 1L bottle in addition to the water offered by the flight attendants, and was still thirsty!)

I can give you an idea of how much time you will have, as I also arrived in Auckland around 6am. There are a number of flights arriving at this time, so it took about an hour to clear immigration, pick up my bags, clear the agriculture inspection, and finally step out of the airport. It then took another hour to take the airport bus to downtown. This was on a sunday, so the traffic was light.

If you're not experienced in driving on the left, renting a car may not be a good idea.

London, UK
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2. Re: 1 day layover in Auckland - what should we do there?


Maybe you have set off already. Jerm makes some good points. I guess though that the thought of stopping over at an airport for 10+ hours isn't appealing and Auckland beckons.

It took us about 1.5 hours to get off plane and out (5am arrival). By the sounds of it you will be in Auckland by about 9am (though if it is a weekday the rush hour is a bit heavy into Auckland from Airport area.

So you can bank upon six hours free time. You will need to select between options depending upon your interest. If you get to Auckland by 9.15am you could do a Tour:


Consider adding Kelly Tarlton's if it appeals We enjoyed it). Then afterwards make your way to the Sky Tower.

An alternative to the bus tour might be to walk round Auckland in morning and Sky Tower then go on the water between 1.30pm and 3pm:


If you walk round Auckland you could visit a museum:


I think you need to look at ways to get around the city centre quickly without getting exhausted (it ha a few hills). The City Circuit Red Bus is ideal and it is FREE. Hop on and hop off. Bus every ten minutes:


I recommend get on Red Bus at Britomart Bus Station and take a lovely walk around Auckland University and Albert Park. Then go over to Aotea Square area then Sky Tower. Then walk downhill to Harbour or get on Red Bus.

Hope this arrives before you go.