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Cheap Car Hire Auckland
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A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Auckland and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the many attractions around Auckland you might like to consider checking out. The letters on the map match those below, where you'll find information about each attraction. For more ideas, check out the Tourism Auckland website.
A. Auckland Sky Tower
Standing in the heart of the city, and boasting a myriad of entertainment options, restaurants and even a casino, the Sky Tower is a must-see attraction for all visitors to Auckland. The tower itself was opened in 1997 and soon became Auckland's premier tourist attraction, with over half-a-million visitors per year.
At well over three-hundred metres high, the tower offers 360 degree views stretching up to 80 kilometres from its three spacious viewing decks, which come complete with viewing telescope, information panels, and glass flooring for more courageous souls. Perfect for waving down to those who chose to stay with the hire car rather than brave the heights!
While on the subject of adventure-seeking, those of a particularly daring disposition may be interested in the Sky Jump, a bungee-style jump from near the tower's peak, or the Sky Walk, an outdoor trek around the tower's 192 metre high pergola. Visitors looking for a slightly calmer kick can visit the tower's adjacent casino, which houses over 1600 gaming machines and 100 tables, catering for high-rollers as well as those just seeking a cheap thrill. If you're seeking to unwind after a long day of travel in your rental car, the Sky Tower also plays host to ten bars, ranging from the relaxed The Nation's Clubroom sports bar to the more refined X.O.
Hungry patrons can take their pick of a dozen restaurants, with a mix of casual and fine-dining options available. One highlight is Orbit, a 190 metre-high restaurant situated inside the Sky Tower, which gradually rotates giving diners a fantastic opportunity to take in Auckland's views as they simultaneously take in the finest cuisine the city has to offer.
The Sky Tower is located in central Auckland, with ample parking and accommodation available at the tower itself. It is a must see Auckland attraction and deserves a place near the top of your priorities list.
B. Kelly Tarltons - Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World
Just a ten minute drive along the coast from downtown Auckland, Kelly Tarlton’s is an immersive aquarium experience that is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Kelly Tarlton’s was constructed in 1985, making it one of Auckland’s more venerable tourist attractions. The aquarium, which is in reality more a fully-functional sea-life museum, was constructed from the remnants of a sewerage system. But don’t worry, they made sure to clear it all out before putting in the fish and opening it to the public, so you won’t end up with mucky feet in your rental car!
The aquarium was an early trend-setter as it was one of the first facilities to house curved tanks and make use of conveyor-belts, which allow visitors to stand and gape in awe as fish, stingrays and even sharks gently glide over their heads.
More recently, Kelly Tarlton’s became home to the Antarctic Ice Adventure, a full exhibition of polar marine life, including a recreation of the hut inhabited by famous explorer Captain Scott, and an encounter with real penguins.
Kelly Tarlton’s offers a deep educational experience for young visitors and old, as well as a cheap, well-stocked gift shop, in case you’re looking to pack your rental car’s boot with soft-toys and various other bounty of the sea. Located at 23 Tamaki Drive and open 9:30 to 5:00, seven days a week, Kelly Tarlton’s is an ideal stop for families exploring Auckland in one of our hire cars.
C. Viaduct Basin & Wynyard Quarter
Viaduct Basin is a lively dining and entertainment precinct on the edge of downtown Auckland’s stunning waterfront with a backdrop of breath taking super yachts. As well as a fantastic selection of bars and restaurants to choose from, it’s also the starting point for lots of Auckland’s exciting harbour activities.
Sailing trips, jet boating, harbour cruises, floatplane flights, whale and dolphin spotting trips, and hands-on saiing an America’s Cup yacht are just some of your options.
There’s also the fascinating Maritime Museum where you can learn about New Zealand’s rich maritime history.
Wander over the lifting Wynyard pedestrian bridge to Wynyard Quarter, Auckland’s most newest waterfront precinct. Here you’ll find family friendly dining, play-spaces and, in the summer, markets and an outdoor cinema. Adjacent is the Auckland Fish Market. As well as being a functioning fish market, you’ll find Auckland’s only dedicated seafood cooking school, a range of places to eat, plus New Zealand wine tasting.
If you plan to visit fabulous Waiheke Island, named as one of the world’s top 10 places to visit in 2016 by Lonely Planet, you can take your rental car across to Waiheke on one of the vehicle ferries that leave from Wynyard Quarter.
D. One Tree Hill
You won’t find a cheaper destination in Auckland than One Tree Hill, an extinct inner-city volcano surrounded by one of the city’s finest parks.
One Tree Hill (or Maungakiekie in Maori), is a 182 metre high peak located just outside the central city. The hill is visible from many city suburbs, particularly the prominent obelisk at its peak. The ‘One Tree’ for which the volcano is named no longer stands on the hill as it was cut down in protest in the year 2000, leading to the peak being colloquially referred to as ‘None Tree Hill’.
The peak is an easy 15 minute drive from downtown Auckland, and well-paved roads allow travelers to drive directly to the summit. However, those looking to tone-up will find the steep ascent to be a fine walk, which will make the magnificent views of the city all the more rewarding.
The view from the peak is quite different to that offered by the Sky Tower, as Auckland’s southern suburbs and central city are more clearly visible. The peak is surrounded by Cornwall Park, as well as the One Tree Hill Domain, creating a 220 hectare public park, which is free to visit.
As well as a multitude of native trees and an 88 hectare farm, the park is home to a quaint cafe, which is perfect for a spot of lunch, or even brunch – the Aucklander’s favourite meal. The park also contains Auckland’s Stardome Observatory, with its two telescopes and planetarium. Access to the park is allowed between 7am and dusk, seven days a week.
The park is most easily accessed from the Pohutukawa Drive gate, just off Green Lane West
E. Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery (or Toi o Tāmaki) is an excellent stop for the more culturally-inclined, and located just a stone’s throw from most downtown Auckland car rental depots.
Although originally founded in 1887, the gallery was recently renovated in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. It contains spacious, modern viewing areas packed full of New Zealand and international artworks both traditional and of the more contemporary persuasion.
A highlight is the huge flower chandelier in the atrium. The gallery itself is free to enter, so there’s no excuse not to pop in for a cheap distraction. Those willing to part with a little cash can enjoy one of the gallery’s frequent temporary exhibitions, which range from displays of rock photography to grand installation pieces.
The gallery also hosts one of the finest collections of Maori and Pacific art in the world, with artworks having been donated from private collections, as well as by the artists themselves. Total holdings exceed 15,000 works, including work from notable artists such as Colin McCahon and C.F. Goldie.
Once you’re done perusing a touch of high culture, feel free to delve deeper into la dolce vita and grab an ice-cream from the gallery cafe and stroll up the stairs to bask amongst the trees in Albert Park, the most central of Auckland’s public green spaces. If the weather’s not so flash, the gallery would still be an ideal first stop as you explore Auckland in your hire car.
The Auckland Art Gallery is on the corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets in the city center. It is open from 9am to 5pm each day of the year bar Christmas. There are free, daily tours available between 11:30 and 1:30, which last around an hour.
Great value - thanks! Definitely will recommend you to my friends.
Jack Webber (Australia)
Was the best deal we could find and we looked hard. Very happy.
Matt Boser (USA)
Excellent value, We got what you promised. No hidden costs like the rip off we had in Cairns!
Mike Smith (UK)
Great for backpackers like us on a tight budget. Got to do more of the amazing things NZ offers with the money we saved. Awesome!
Sue White (UK)