Auckland is the main hub for cruise ships to New Zealand. It is New Zealand's largest city, with a population of more than 1.3 million people.

Known as the city of sails, Auckland is built on a narrow strip of land surrounded by two harbours, dotted with 50 picturesque islands. For a popular metropolis, it certainly has a lot of natural beauty on offer. Volcanic cones, forest parks and stunning beaches are all within easy reach. In downtown Auckland you can enjoy world-class dining, shopping, and sights. Favourite cultural attractions include the Auckland Museum and the Auckland Art Gallery. If you've a mind to explore, visit the island volcano of Rangitoto, or head to Waiheke, known as 'the island of wine' each are within a 40 minute ferry ride of your port.

Shopping in Britomart, Central Auckland, Auckland

Popular onshore activities in Auckland

  • Visit the Sky Tower and travel 328 metres up in glass fronted lifts to the spectacular viewing platforms. Family members who are 10 years or over might like to do a Sky walk or Sky jump!
  • Experience New Zealand's rich history at the Auckland Museum. Daily Maori cultural performances include a welcome dance, poi dance, stick game, weaponry display and haka.
  • Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World(opens in new window) gets you up close and personal with sharks and penguins. 
  • Explore the Viaduct Harbour area that hosted the America’s Cup; the waterfront boasts a wide array of excellent restaurants and cafes. Go sailing on an America’s Cup yacht, or if you're feeling brave, try bridge climbing, bungy jumping or jet boating
  • Auckland offers outstanding shopping, with New Zealand labels like Karen Walker, Workshop, Zambesi and World. Head to High Street and Chancery Lane for the top shops. 
  • Go sightseeing! Visit the summit of Mount Eden, a dormant volcano that last erupted about 15,000 years ago or take a tour to the Waitakere Ranges or black sand beaches which lie to the west of the city.

Getting around

Cruise ships will berth at either Princes or Queens Wharf, which are both in downtown Auckland.

Auckland is the main hub for cruise ships to New Zealand. Upon arrival you will be greeted by friendly and helpful locals who can supply maps and important information such as where to find money changing facilities.

Both cruise ship berths in Auckland are handy to shopping, dining and all sorts of urban comforts. There are many transport options, and if you need local assistance, you can call into an i-SITE Visitor Information Centre. There’s one at the end of Princes Wharf.

On foot

Auckland's central city area is an easy walk from your cruise ship berth. Queen Street is the city's main street; but there's great dining all along the waterfront, and great shopping along city's side streets. Ask at the i-SITE Visitor Information Centre for tips on where to shop.

Public buses

It’s easy to get around the inner city and surrounding suburbs on Auckland’s modern public bus network. A bus to locations in the central city will cost approximately NZ$2, while bus trips to the suburbs will be approximately NZ$3-5.

Freephone 0800 10 30 80 or visit in new window) for timetables and fares.

Hop on Hop off Bus

You can visit Auckland's top attractions with Auckland Explorer Bus. Hop on at the waterfront stop, close to both cruise ship terminals, and hop off at attractions including Kelly Tarlton's, Auckland Museum, Mt Eden, the Auckland Zoo and the Sky Tower. Your pass also includes a free Devonport ferry ticket. Buses every 15-30 mins.

A one-day ticket costs $45 for adults and $20 for children (age 14 and under). For more, see in new window)


Taxis are available to take you into the centre of Auckland from Princes or Queens Wharf. Corporate Cabs can be contacted on (09) 377 0773, or visit online at in new window)

Corporate Cabs accepts New Zealand dollars and major credit cards.

Car rental

It’s a good idea to book rental cars in advance. Find a rental car in Auckland.


Fullers offer ferry services between downtown Auckland, the historical suburb of Devonport on Auckland's north shore, and the nearby islands of Waiheke and Rangitoto. One way tickets cost from NZ$6. Visit in new window) for timetables and fares. 

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