If you need help finding your way around the city, keep an eye out for the Auckland City Ambassadors (& 09/379-2020; www.aucklandcity.govt.nz). They're decked out in bright yellow jackets and are on the streets in the downtown area daily from 9am to 6pm.
The double-decker Explorer Bus tfffiff (& 0800/439-756 or 09/571-3119; www.explorerbus.co.nz) departs from the Ferry Building on Quay Street every half-hour from 10am to 4pm daily. It visits 14 major Auckland attractions; for NZ$30 (US$17) adult, NZ$15 (US$8.25) per child ages 4 to 16, you can hop on and off as many times as you want in a day.
Look out for the City Circuit (& 09/309-6269), a free inner-city bus loop operated by Stagecoach Auckland. It runs daily every 10 minutes between 8am and 6pm, connecting the Waterfront/Viaduct Basin to Queen Street, the central universities, Civic Theatre, The Edge, and Sky Tower.
Typical rates start at NZ$3 (US$1.65) for a flag call and NZ$1.50 (US85<0 per kilometer. Cabs can be flagged down, ordered by phone, or picked up at taxi stands. Stands are found at all terminals and on the corner of Customs Street West at Queen Street. Call Auckland Taxi Co-Op (& 09/300-3000) or Corporate Cabs (& 09/631-1111).
Tranz Metro runs between Auckland, Newmarket, Waitakere, Papakura, and Orakei, stopping at Remuera, Mount Eden, Mount Albert, and many other suburbs along the way. Fares range from NZ$1.10 to $7 (US60i-$3.85). You can buy 10-trip passes, a Day Rover Pass (about NZ$10/US$5.50 for adults, NZ$6/ US$3.30 for children), or a Family Pass (about NZ$22/US$12). Call Rideline (® 09/366-6400) for details and schedules.
The Devonport Ferry departs regularly, 7 days, from Queen's Wharf, Quay Street (& 09/367-9118). The fare is about NZ$10 (US$5.50). Waiheke Island is serviced by Fullers and Pacific Ferries; for details, see "A Side Trip to Waiheke Island," later in this chapter.
Driving in downtown Auckland can be problematic. Finding parking is difficult. Given the efficiency of the Explorer, The Link, and the City Circuit buses, it's a much better idea to explore the town without a car. However, if you insist, there are parking buildings operated by the City Council on Beresford Street just off Karangahape Road; near the waterfront on Albert Street, west of Queen Street; on Victoria Street, slightly east of Queen Street; at Britomart off Customs Street, east of Queen Street; downtown to the east of Queen Street; downtown to the west of Queen Street, with an entrance from Customs Street West; Civic Underground on Mayoral Drive; and Victoria Street East. They're all open 24 hours daily; rates can be expensive.
FAST FACTS: AUCKLAND
You can rent a bike from Adventure Cycles, 36 Customs St. E. (& 09/309-5566; www.adventure-auckland.co.nz). They're open daily from 7am to 7pm, and rates start at NZ$12 (US$6.60) for a half-day and include the mandatory helmet.
FAST FACTS: Auckland_
American Express American Express offices are at 105 Queen St. (& 09/3798286) and 67-69 Symonds St. (& 09/367-4422). Area Code Auckland's area code (STD) is 09.
Babysitters Most major hotels can furnish babysitters. Also, Freemans Bay Child Care on Pratt Street (& 09/376-7282) will provide daytime child care and help in arranging babysitters for evenings.
Currency Exchange Go to city center banks and most neighborhood branches for your banking needs. Banks are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4:30pm. Hotels and restaurants will usually convert traveler's checks, but you'll get a much better rate at banks. Dedicated currency exchange outlets are available at 80 Queen St. (open normal business hours) and at Sky City and Auckland International Airport (both open daily; www.bnz.co.nz/currencyexchange).
Dentists For emergency and after-hours dental service, call Auckland Accident & Emergency Clinic (& 09/520-6609). It's open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 11pm, Sunday until 10pm.
Disabled Services For information on ramps, toilets, parking lots, telephones, and an equipment showroom, contact the Disability Resource Centre, 14 Erson Ave. (P.O. Box 24-042), Royal Oak, Auckland (& 09/6258069; [email protected]).
Doctors For emergency medical services, call & 09/524-5943 or 09/5799909; for emergency ambulance service, dial & 111. The CityMed Medical Centre is on the corner of Mills Lane and Albert Street, Inner City (& 09/377-5525).
Embassies/Consulates Embassies are located in Wellington (see "Fast Facts: Wellington" in chapter 10). For additional information on embassies based in New Zealand, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Wellington (& 04/494-8500; www.mft.govt.nz; [email protected]).
Auckland has consulates of the United States, Level 3, 23 Customs St. E. (& 09/303-2724; fax 09/366-0870); Canada, 48 Emily Pl. (& 09/309-8516); and Ireland, Dingwall Building, 87 Queen St. (& 09/302-2867). Emergencies Dial & 111 to call the police, report a fire, or request an ambulance.
Hospitals Area hospitals include Auckland Hospital, Park Road, Grafton (& 09/379-7440); Greenlane Hospital, Greenlane Road, Epsom (& 09/ 638-9909); and the National Women's Hospital, Claude Road, Epsom (& 09/638-9919).
Internet Access Give any of these a go: Cyber Max, 291 Queen St., next to the Visitor Centre (& 09/979-2468); Livewire, 1st Floor, Mid City Complex,
239 Queen St. (® 09/356-0999); Citinet Cybercafe, 115 Queen St. (® 09/ 377-3674); Cyber City Internet Café, 29 Victoria St. E. (® 09/303-3009); Net Central Internet Café 5 Lorne St. (® 09/373-5186); and Net Zone, Shop 3/44 Queen St. (® 09/377-3906).
Laundromat There is a 24-hour laundromat at 511 Great North Rd., Grey Lynn (® 09/376-6062).
Lost Property Call the Central Police Station (® 09/379-4240) or any local police station.
Luggage Storage/Lockers Left luggage facilities are located at the Visitor Information Centre in the International Airport. The fee for 24 hours is about NZ$5 (US$2.75) for hand luggage, NZ$10 (US$5.50) for large items, and NZ$8 (US$4.40) per suitcase. For more information, call ® 09/256-8845. Maps Specialty Maps, 58 Albert St. (® 09/307-2217), is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm and Saturday from 10am to 1pm. It sells maps, guidebooks, and topographical and park maps. Newspapers & Magazines The New Zealand Herald is the daily paper. The Sunday Star Times and Sunday News are Sunday-morning publications. Police For emergencies, dial ® 111. For other matters, call the Central Police Station (® 09/379-4240).
Post Office Most post offices are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. The Chief Post Office (CPO), CML Mall, Queen Street at Wyndham Street, is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 5pm, Friday from 8:30am to 6pm, and Saturday from 9am to noon. For Post Restante pickup, go to the Post Shop in the Bledisloe Building on Wellesley Street. There is a conveniently located Post Shop in the Downtown Shopping Centre on Quay Street at QEII Square. For post office questions, call ® 0800/501-501.
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