On your free evenings during your stay in Auckland, you may wish to dine out at some of the city's great restaurants and bar food eateries.
For guests staying at SKYCITY Hotel, there are a number of restaurants and bars for your enjoyment and convenience. Alternatively, the concierge will be happy to provide off-site suggestions and make a reservation for you.
For those wanting to try some of Auckland’s other quality restaurants, you may like to take a look at the Metro Eats website. This site conveniently lists the top 50 restaurants of 2016, as well as the best cafes and bars.
Alternatively, we recommend:
- Café Hanoi: Northern Vietnamese inspired cuisine, Britomart precinct.
- Ebisu: Contemporary Japanese fare in the Britomart precinct.
- Euro: Fine dining on Auckland’s waterfront Princes Wharf - by one of NZ's best chefs Simon Gault, and his team.
- Fatimas: Healthy Middle Eastern food on Auckland’s Ponsonby Road.
- Fish Pot Café: An iconic 'fish and chip' shop on the Mission Bay waterfront.
- Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill: A premium seafood grill in Auckland’s iconic Ferry Building.
- Ostro: A waterfront brasserie and bar with stunning views north-east in the Britomart precinct.
- Prego: Italian food in the heart of Ponsonby - one of the city's longest established eateries and always good.
- Soul Bar & Bistro: A bar and bistro with an emphasis on seafood, located on the water’s edge in the Viaduct Harbor.
- Saan: Authentic Northern Thai cuisine located on Ponsonby Road.
- Cassia: Modern Indian dining, Fort Lane, Britomart precinct.
- Masu: Japanese Robata restaurant in the Federal Dining precinct, Federal Street.
- Ima: Israeli cuisine, Fort Street, CBD.
- Ortolana: Garden-to-table bistro, Italian and wider European flavor, Britomart precinct.
- Depot: Casual, fresh eatery and oyster bar located beneath the Sky Tower, Federal Street. Famous NZ chef Al Brown rules here.
- Odettes Eatery: Flavors from the Mediterranean with a blend of Levantine and African spice, City Works Depot, CBD fringe.
- Tanuki’s Cave: Authentic sake and yakitori, Queen Street.
- Fokker Bros: The best casual eats in Auckland. The best burgers, chicken, hot dogs, shakes, beers, wine and more located on the Customs Street West-end of the Viaduct.
Summers in Auckland are generally warm with high humidity (December – March). When visiting Auckland, it's a good idea to pack a rainproof jacket as well as sunglasses, sun hat and sunscreen during summer due to New Zealand's (extremely!) high UV rating. The weather in Auckland can be changeable, so prepare for 'four seasons in one day'. The average daily temperature in Auckland during the summer is 23°C (74°F).
When visiting New Zealand, you should bring clothing to cover all seasons and weather conditions, no matter what time of the year you are visiting. In summer, it’s best to take a wind jacket, sweater, or wrap in your luggage in the event the weather turns cooler or you visit higher altitudes. You can expect some rain.
Restaurants and hotels generally accept tidy, casual clothing. Men are generally not expected to wear suits and ties, although a jacket is likely to be expected in higher-end restaurants. Nightclubs accept tidy dress and will often have an appropriate dress code. Swimmers at beaches, pools and lakes should always wear bathing suits. When adventuring into the outdoors, no matter how long you are going for, always take a spare change of dry, warm clothes.
All visitors need to be carrying a passport that is valid for at least three months BEYOND your intended departure date.
New Zealand has a range of visa options that allow you to enter the country for a holiday or to visit friends and family. We also have some special visas that cover business activities.
You do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand if you are:
- A New Zealand citizen or Resident Permit holder.
- An Australian citizen travelling on an Australian passport.
- An Australian resident with a current Australian resident return visa.
- A British citizen and or British passport holder who can produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the UK (you can stay up to six months).
- A citizen of a country that has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand (you can stay up to three months).
- People travelling on a United Nations Laissez-Passer (UNLP) intending to visit New Zealand for three months or less.
Visitor’s visa applications
If your country is not on the visa waiver list, or you wish to stay longer than three months, you will need to apply for a Visitor’s visa. You can download application forms from the Visitor visa page of the New Zealand Immigration Service website, or contact your nearest New Zealand Embassy.
Currently travelers from more than 50 countries do not require a Visitor’s visa for stays less than three months. You do require:
- A passport that is valid for at least three months after your planned departure from New Zealand.
- An onward or return ticket to a country that you have permission to enter.
- Sufficient money to support yourself during your stay – approximately NZD 1,000 per month per person.
- If you have stayed in New Zealand for up to three months previously you may need to apply for a visa.
To find out if your country qualifies for a visa waiver, visit the New Zealand Immigration Service website where you will find a list of all eligible countries and other visa information.
British citizens and other British passport holders who have evidence of the right to live permanently in the UK may be allowed to stay in New Zealand for up to six months.
Airport arrival cards
Every person is required to complete an arrival card before passing through Customs Passport Control. An arrival card will usually be given to you during your flight. If not, cards are available in the arrival area.
Comprehensive advice for travelers is available on the New Zealand Customs Service website.
Agricultural restrictions and quarantine
New Zealand is free of many insect pests, plant diseases, and animal infections that are common elsewhere in the world. We put a lot of effort into minimizing the risk of these being introduced at ports and airports. For more information on New Zealand’s biosecurity policies, see www.customs.govt.nz.
Heavy fines may be imposed on people caught carrying prohibited materials. On arrival you should place any questionable items, particularly fruit, in the bins provided. You will find details of restricted items on the Ministry of Primary Industries website.
Other prohibited items
You should not bring the following items into New Zealand:
- Firearms and weapons (including sporting firearms), unless a permit is obtained from New Zealand Police on arrival at the airport. Visit the New Zealand Police website for more information on importing firearms.
- Class A drugs or narcotics of any kind.
- Pharmaceutical drugs (for example, diuretics, depressants, stimulants, heart drugs, tranquillizers, sleeping pills) unless in their original bottle with a doctor’s prescription.
- Ivory in any form; tortoise or turtle shell jewelry and ornaments; medicines using musk, rhinoceros or tiger derivatives; animal skins; carvings or anything made from whalebone or bone from any other marine animals.
Visitors to New Zealand may purchase duty-free goods (which are not subject to local taxes) from airport duty free stores on arrival and departure. Duty-free stores in downtown Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will deliver purchases to aircraft departure lounges.
Apart from your own personal effects, and as long as you are 18 years or older*, you are allowed the following duty-free concessions:
* 4.5 litres of wine (6 x 750ml bottles) or beer (12 cans), or no more than 3 bottles of spirits (up to the maximum of 1.125 litres each).
Keeping yourself safe
Crime rates in New Zealand are lower than many other countries, but you can help keep yourself and others safe by following these simple tips:
- If possible, go to places with someone you know and trust.
- Be aware of your surroundings when walking and sightseeing.
- Late at night, stay with other people in places that are well lit. Don’t take shortcuts through parks or alleyways. Take a taxi or get a ride with someone you know.
- Drugs and more than moderate amounts of alcohol can lower your awareness and increase your vulnerability.
- In a bar, avoid accepting drinks from strangers and don’t leave your drink unattended.
- If using an ATM, withdraw small amounts (preferably during the day) and shield your PIN.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.
- Keep valuable items close to your body in zipped pockets.
- While still relatively safe in New Zealand, we recommend you don’t hitchhike.
- Carry a basic first-aid kit for use in emergencies.
- Carry a mobile phone and don’t hesitate to dial New Zealand’s emergency phone number 111 if you feel unsafe or threatened.
Keeping your possessions secure
- Keep copies of important documents such as passport and credit cards, and keep them separate from the originals.
- Keep a record of the description and serial number of valuable items such as digital cameras.
- Always lock your hotel room and your vehicle if applicable and keep windows secure, especially at night.
- Hand your room key to reception rather than carrying it with you.
- Never leave valuables, clothing, bags, maps or visitor brochures visible in your vehicle - put them in the boot (trunk).
- Store valuables securely, ideally in a safe at your accommodation.
- Try and park campervans in designated areas.
- Never leave bags, backpacks, wallets or cameras unattended in any public place, especially airports, ferry terminals, or railway stations.
- If any of your possessions are stolen or valuable items misplaced, advise local police as soon as possible.
In an emergency
The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is 111. It is a free phone call. If you have an emergency and need a quick response from the police, the fire service, ambulance or search and rescue, dial 111.
There are police stations in all main cities and towns in New Zealand and in many rural locations. Don’t hesitate to contact the police if you feel unsafe or threatened. And do report any theft or crime to the police immediately.
Accidents and health insurance
With care and common sense, your visit to New Zealand should be accident-free. If you are injured here, you may need the help of the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) which is New Zealand’s accident compensation entity.
In New Zealand, you cannot sue anyone for compensatory damages if you are injured. Instead ACC helps pay for your care, contributing toward the cost of your treatment and assisting your recovery while you remain in New Zealand.
You still need to purchase your own travel and medical insurance. ACC only covers treatment and rehabilitation in New Zealand, and you must pay part of the cost. If you have a serious injury with long-term effects, you may be eligible to be assessed for lump-sum compensation once the injury is stable. ACC does not pay any additional costs resulting from an accident, for example delayed or curtailed travel costs, return travel home, treatment at home, or loss of income in your home country.
We reiterate that you should arrange your own health insurance. New Zealand’s public and private medical/hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment but these services are not entirely free to visitors.
Visitors bringing in a quantity of medication are advised to carry a doctor’s certificate to satisfy New Zealand Customs. Doctor’s prescriptions are needed to obtain certain drugs in New Zealand.
Given New Zealand’s subtropical climate, it is no surprise that New Zealanders like to spend so much of their leisure time in the water. However, water can conceal hazards. If you cannot swim, stay well within your depth. Popular beaches with potential hazards are usually patrolled by lifeguards with yellow and red flags indicating the recommended swimming area. Water Safety New Zealand recommends that swimming between these flags is the safest place to swim on these beaches. Other tips include having an adult watching over children at all times, listen to advice from life guards, never swim or surf alone, learn to recognize rip currents, always use safe equipment, never swim or surf when tired or cold, consider other swimmers, and stay out of the water if in doubt.
Although there are no dangerous animals in New Zealand, you should be aware of the following:
- Giardia: Giardia is a water-borne parasite that causes diarrhea. To avoid contracting it, it is best not to drink water from lakes, ponds, or rivers without first boiling, chemically treating, or filtering.
- Sunburn: New Zealand’s clear, unpolluted atmosphere and relatively low latitudes produce sunlight far stronger than much of Europe or North America. Be prepared to wear hats and sunblock if you plan to be out in the sun. You can burn in minutes.
No vaccinations are required to enter New Zealand.
The following information is provided for your road safety:
- Always drive on the left-hand-side of the road and give way to your right.
- All road distances are measured in kilometers.
- All traffic turning right must give way to a vehicle coming from the opposite direction and turning left. This applies to cross roads, T intersections, and driveways where both vehicles are facing each other with no signs or signals, or the same signs or signals.
- There are no left turn rules as in North America.
- When the traffic light is red, you must stop.
- The amber (orange) traffic light means stop, unless you are so close to the intersection that you cannot stop safely.
- The speed limit on the open road is maximum 100 km/h (approximately 60m/h). In urban areas the speed limit is 50km/h unless sign posted otherwise.
- Signage is well resourced and speed limits are strictly enforced by the police.
- Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts or child restraints at all times, in both the front and rear seats.
- During long journeys take regular rest and refreshment breaks.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand and is strictly enforced by police with severe penalties for offenders.
International driving licenses & permits
You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have either a current driver’s license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). After 12 months you are required to convert to a New Zealand license. This applies to each visit to New Zealand.
In New Zealand all drivers (including visitors from other countries) must carry their license or permit at all times when driving. You can only drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country. The common legal age to rent a car in New Zealand is 21 years.
Make sure your driver’s license is current. If your license is not in English, you must bring an English translation with you or obtain an IDP. Contact your local automobile club for further details about obtaining a translation or an IDP. A translation of your overseas license or permit can be issued by one of the following:
- The New Zealand Translation Service
- A diplomatic representative at a high commission, embassy or consulate
- The authority that issued your overseas license (an international driving permit may be acceptable as a translation).
Refer to the Transit New Zealand website for country wide information on New Zealand Roads. For up-to-date information on South Island roads you can also call toll free 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).