Auckland, round 1

We landed in Auckland and began the next phase of our holiday vacation.  We actually didn’t do a lot of research on Auckland which made things a bit more on the difficult side.  We found our way to the Skybus stop outside of the terminal and began to test our luck at finding our way into the city.  Our Airbnb was actually on the outskirts of the city because we had booked them so late and couldn’t find anything closer.  At this point in our journey, it actually didn’t matter because we really just needed a place to sleep because we were leaving for Australia the next day.

According to Google Maps, we could take the Skybus into the city and then from there catch the local buses throughout the city and get to where we needed to go.  We found the Skybus stop right outside of the terminal.  There are a few that will take you into the city but the one that we took was red and one thing to keep in mind is that they have a map that shows the major stops but it does not necessarily include all the ones that the Skybus would actually hit.  So if you choose the Skybus, you can check Google Maps and see all the stops between the airport and your destination so that you can see if any of them overlap with the actual map for the Skybus.

You can buy your tickets at the booth and then the ticket person will let you know which bus to take.  Just a FYI, the ticket is 16 NZD but that does not include the tickets for the actual local bus.

We boarded the bus (which also has wifi if you need it) and then got off close to our local bus stop.  When our bus pulled up, we boarded, bought our ticket and began our journey to a newer part of Auckland.  One of the things to keep in mind about the Auckland bus system is that you need to ensure that you have exact change and make sure you have cash unless you get the public transportation card.  Since we were new to the city and only there for a very short period of time, it wasn’t worth it to get the card. We arrived at our Airbnb and then proceeded to settle in for the night.  Since we were hanging out only for the evening, we decided not to worry about exploring too much which ended up working out really well in our favor.  The area that we were staying was a new development and there wasn’t too much around. Plus since it was the holidays, not a lot was open.  We settled on some Japanese food for late lunch and then Italian food for dinner.

While we were hanging at the Airbnb, we got to talking to our host and then mentioned to us that there’s actually a company in Auckland called Cheap Taxis that does a flat fee from Auckland to the airport and then a flat fee from the airport back into Auckland.  The only thing is that you have to book them in advance and you have to pay them exact cash.  This is a really great deal, especially if you have multiple people.  From the city into the airport, you’re looking at about 35 NZD and it picks you up directly at the door and drops you off at the airport.  With the convenience factor and the fact that there were two of us, it made sense.  Plus it ended up being slightly cheaper when you add in the cost of the Skybus and the regular bus ticket.

When you book this, you can do it online but one thing to keep is in mind is that they actually don’t allow the online booking if you do not have a local number. So if you can get access to a local number, then use it.  Otherwise, if you can get access to a phone, you can call and negotiate with them to allow them to actually confirm the booking.  We got to use a phone there, gave our personal number (even though the phones weren’t on) and the next morning just made sure to be outside prior to the arrival of the taxi.

We ended up going to bed super early that night, in preparation for our 4AM wake up to go to the airport for our flight to Sydney, Australia for New Year’s Eve…

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