Auckland refers to the largest metropolitan area in both Polynesia and New Zealand. It has a population of 1.45 million people where almost one third of New Zealand’s entire population resides.
What attracts tourists is the fact that many suburbs were once separate towns and the city has to offer examples of early European settlement. Some popular areas include Ponsonby, Newmarket, Parnell, Mission Bay, and Takapuna.
A number of events are held in Auckland, such as the Auckland Festival, the Auckland Triennial, the New Zealand International Comedy Festival and the New Zealand International Film Festival.
Warnings & Dangers in Auckland
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Auckland, and New Zealand in general, has the lowest rate of serious crimes. Violent crimes involving guns are very rare and almost do not exist. Theft and pickpocketing might happen. There is also an increase in the number of thefts from hotel rooms, so it is advisable not to leave valuables there or use a hotel safe if possible.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transport or taxi risk in New Zealand is very low. You can get around by bus, ferry, train, taxi or shuttle. Auckland taxis are plentiful and taxi drivers always use the meter and are honest. All taxi drivers must be licensed. Public transport is also very reliable and safe.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
In Auckland, police tends to decrease the number of pickpockets and they are doing it successfully, but still you need to be vigilant at places frequently visited by tourists and watch your belongings.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Auckland is prone to strong earthquakes. Volcanoes are in active phase and volcanic eruptions may take place frequently. New Zealand’s entire coastline is at risk of a tsunami, so travelers need to follow the weather forecast and be prepared in case any of the hazards happen.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
When it comes to kidnapping and mugging risk in Auckland, the chances of being kidnapped is extremely low. Mugging is very rare, but the possibility exists, so you need to remain watchful of any suspicious activity around you. In case you become a victim, do not resist, but give them what they are after, and that is usually money and valuables.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
The global risk of terrorist attacks exists and Auckland might be the target, but the possibility is very low. Still, in order to minimize your risk, you need to follow the advice of local authorities which will inform you what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The only frequent scam is lottery winning scam, when you receive a letter which says that you won a prize in a lottery and that you need to pay a fee for processing it. Your money is never recovered, if they manage to deceive you.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Woman travelers can feel free in Auckland and walk the streets without encountering any trouble. The risk is low, but it is recommended to exercise normal safety precautions and avoid going to dangerous areas especially at night.
So... How Safe Is Auckland Really?
The European settlement of Auckland began in the early 1800s and nowadays it is the largest metropolitan area not only in New Zealand, but in the whole Polynesia. Auckland has activities that may amaze even an experienced traveller, such as hiring a kayak and paddling out to a volcanic island, visiting Waiheki Wine Island or exploring the largest collection of Mãori taonga.
The more interesting city for tourists is at the same time the more interesting for criminals, even though that is not a situation in Auckland. The majority of crimes are crimes of opportunity, like pickpocketing and theft from vehicles. However, travelers need to be careful in the areas Karangahape Rd where a large number of pubs and clubs are located and Queen Street where an increasing number of homeless people sleep.
- Visas - People coming with Australian passport or who hold a current Australian resident return visa, do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand. Other nationalities might need a visa to enter the country. Visa and other entry and exit requirements can change at short notice. All the information about the visa to New Zealand can be found on the following website: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa.
- Currency - The official currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar. ATMs are available and credit cards are acceptable, but it is better to contact your bank before coming to see whether your card can be used overseas. Most retail shops and supermarkets accept credit cards while some tourist or souvenir shops might exchange foreign money for purchases.
- Weather - Auckland is located in a temperate climate zone which means that temperatures are neither extremely hot nor cold. From April to June temperatures are cooler and it is raining most of the time, so humid and moist conditions are usual in all seasons. Summers are characterized by dry weather.
- Airports - When you come to Auckland, you can travel via Auckland International Airport which is New Zealand's largest airport and has direct flights from Europe, UK, Middle East and the USA.
- Travel Insurance - You will need to get a travel insurance policy before you leave your country which will cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.