Auckland Hostels

Auckland Travel Tips & Suggestions

Definitely do Waiheke Island -- there are only a couple of hostels. Buses only run once an hour, so bring lots of your own food, although nothing too perishable as the fridges in many hostels are nowhere near cold enough after everyone's stuff has been crammed in. It's a long walk to the takeaways. There's no need to hire a car really -- just get off the bus in Onerowa and hire a bike out for the day from one of the shops. It's a really nice island with lovely, white sand beaches and it's cheap and easy to get to (by Fullers ferry from the Viaduct Harbour it's a half-hour journey at 20 summit dollars return).
Don't pay large amounts of money to park in one of the multi-story carparks across the road from the hostels downtown -- I parked my car for free on New Street, which is about ten to fifteen minutes' walk west from where the hostels are downtown. There are plenty of other streets in that area which would be suitable, any of the side roads off College Hill or Franklin Street (look on Google street map). Ok, so they might not be quite as secure as the carpark, but that is not a premium worth paying 20 bucks a night for in my opinion. As for buying a car in Auckland, cars on notice boards in hostels and internet cafes are almost always seriously overpriced by up to double the going rate in free ads papers (I guess maybe because the same people who buy from them sell on them), might be a hassle to get on buses to look at cars but it's worth it if you get a decent car for hundreds of dollars less than those boards. The backpackers car auction place is even worse, don't even bother going there, I saw a couple of cars in worse states than what I ended up buying for two and a half times the price I paid. Plenty of people buying cars and vans are not willing to do any research or in a rush, but seriously, buy a free-ads paper, give yourself an extra couple of days, and get a car from a local, it's well worth spending the extra time if you get a significantly better and/or cheaper car at the end of it. And you can always sell it on those boards when you leave for a profit to clueless travelers who haven't taken the time to do research on sites like this. If you want to save even more money, wait until you are out of Auckland to buy a car or van -- I found that prices in other parts of New Zealand were significantly lower for backpacker suitable vehicles (station wagons, vans) than those in Auckland, and also you won't have the hassle of long bus rides looking for something and stressful city driving when you've bought it.
Dont miss Waihiki Island! Go there and have lunch at one of the many charming cafes, there. By the way, the Auckland Museum is in a beautiful green area, it's only NZD5 and there are volunteers to show you around.
One of the most interesting tours I've done on my world trip was Murray Baker's volcano tour of Auckland ( Price is around €40-45. Also useful if you're going on to Hawaii afterwards.
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