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Getting Around Auckland

The best way to get around Auckland is via the cheap and efficient Link buses. Walking is another viable option in the city center. Taxis and rental cars are also available, but these are more expensive and prone to frustrations like traffic and limited parking spots. To get to one of Auckland's islands, you'll need to hop aboard one of the city's ferries. The Auckland Airport (AKL), which sits just 13 miles south of downtown Auckland, can be reached by bus, taxi or car.

Bus

Auckland Transport's Link buses are a convenient way to get from point A to B. There are three different Link lines: the CityLink (red buses) with seven stops in the city's central business district; the InnerLink (green buses) that travels a circular route throughout central Auckland; and the OuterLink (orange buses) that serves Auckland's inner suburbs. Buses operate daily from 6:30 or 7 a.m. to 11 or 11:30 p.m.

Adult bus fares range from 1 New Zealand dollar (less than $1) to NZ$5.50 (about $4), depending on the distance traveled. (Discounted rates apply for children.) You can pay cash for your fare directly on the bus. Additionally, day passes are available for NZ$18 ($13) per person but must be loaded onto an AT HOP card, which is sold at various retailers and online for NZ$10 (roughly $7). A Waiheke Island AT HOP day pass is sold as well for NZ$10 per adult and NZ$6 (approximately $4) for each child ages 5 to 15. AT HOP day passes include unlimited rides on buses, trains and inner harbor ferries within a 24-hour period.

Ferry

The easiest way to visit Waiheke Island and neighborhoods like Devonport and Half Moon Bay is to use the city's ferry system. Ferry tickets can be purchased at the CBD's Downtown Ferry Terminal. Though fares vary depending on the route traveled, one-way adult tickets start at NZ$6.90 ($5). Some routes offer round-trip fares, which cost at least NZ$12.50 ($9) per adult. Reduced rates are available for kids and AT HOP cardholders, while travelers with AT HOP day passes have unlimited 24-hour access to select ferries. Ferry operating hours vary by route but are available on Auckland Transport's Timetables page.

Car

Driving is another good way to get around Auckland, especially if you're planning to travel outside the city limits. Car rentals are available at Auckland Airport and in the CBD. Keep in mind that rush hour runs from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m., so it's best to leave your car parked during these busy times. There are metered parking spots and garages throughout the city, and most accept coins and credit cards. Still, finding a spot can be problematic. Also, remember that Kiwis drive on the left side of the road. An international driving permit is not required to drive in Auckland so long as you have a valid U.S. driver's license.

On Foot Though most parts of the city cannot be easily reached by foot, travelers staying in the CBD can walk to many of Auckland's top attractions, restaurants and shops. To save on transportation costs, consider staying in a CBD hotel.

Taxi

There are six taxi companies that service the Auckland area, and they each charge varying rates. That said, meters start at NZ$3 (approximately $2) and increase by at least NZ$2.15 per kilometer traveled (or about $2.50 per mile). Taxis are readily available outside many CBD hotels, shopping centers and attractions like the New Zealand Maritime Museum and the Sky Tower. Ride-hailing services, such as Uber and Zoomy, also operate in Auckland. 

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