Heading off to the land of the Maori? Discover the best places to stay in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand!
Stretched over several kilometers from west to east, the Auckland conurbation is sprawling. It has an area of 268,000 km² – three times the size of French Guiana – and is home to approximately 1.5 million inhabitants and 4.7 million inhabitants throughout its urban area. Located on the North Island of New Zealand, it is the country’s largest and most populous city.
Auckland offers a wide array of accommodation options, from Australian-style backpackers to luxury hotels and private apartments. You might have trouble selecting the right neighborhood to stay in Auckland. As usual, we recommend staying as close to downtown as possible.
The Central Business District
Photo credit: Flickr – Chris Gin
Auckland Central, or the CBD, is Auckland’s most central district. It is bordered by the Waitemata Harbour waterfront and extends south towards Queen Street, and up to Karangahape Road. The area is packed with nightlife venues and features most of the city’s cultural events. The CBD is home to skyscrapers, office towers, residential complexes, but also bars and restaurants. A good place to stay in Auckland, however, rentals can be quite high as it is also one of Auckland’s most popular residential areas.
Moreover, Auckland is predominantly populated by expatriates from Polynesia, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe: the housing supply, therefore, tends to quickly saturate. However, thanks to the “backpackers” – the local youth hostel – you can stay in Auckland at affordable rates.
Photo credit: Flickr – Robert Young
Located on a hill just east of Queen Street, Parnell is Auckland’s chic neighborhood, filled with art shops, restaurants, and featuring high-priced, spacious accommodation. If you want to stay in Auckland in a luxurious Victorian-style villa with a garden and a pool, you should definitely stay in Parnell. The neighborhood is surrounded by green areas where you can relax in fine weather. Though staying in Parnell is expensive, the area is centrally located, only a few minutes away from the CBD.
Photo credit: Flickr – Brendan Bombaci
Located on the western flank of Auckland Domain Park, Grafton is a quiet but central area thanks to its proximity to the CBD and Newmarket. If you are sporty, it’s a great place to jog in the early hours of the morning, when the city is still asleep. Be aware that the neighborhood is booming, so you might as well stay in Grafton now before prices soar and align with CBD rates.
Photo credit: Flickr – wiredforlego
K’Road is a district formed around the Karangahape road separating Queen Street from Upper Queen Street. This is Auckland’s bohemian quarter, packed with LGBT clubs, sex shops, and strip shows for those who like to slum it on debauchery nights. You’ll also find a wealth of terraces, small cafés, vintage art shops, numerous bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. If you want to party in the city, K’road is THE place to stay in Auckland. Join the young night owls who like to party until dawn in this lively, festive, and effervescent neighborhood.
Photo credit: Flickr – Chris Gin
Further south of the city center, Mount Eden offers a small town atmosphere with the added bonus of a hill where you can go for short walks and enjoy a beautiful view of the CBD. Walk down Mt Eden Road, a bustling street filled with all sorts of shops, cafés, bars, and restaurants. An ideal place to stay in Auckland if you are looking for peace and quiet, although accommodation rates can be quite high.
Main photo credit : Flickr – Stewart Baird