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Auckland, NZ Advice Needed  
User currently offlineHALFA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1367 posts, RR: 15
Posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1722 times:

I will be taking my parents on a cruise that ends in Auckland. I haven't been there since HA stopped flying there nearly 20 years ago. I could use some advice on finding a hotel in the CBD or Harbor area with great views of the harbor/city and price is not a determining factor. My parents are up there in age and mom is content with a nice room with an awesome view of something. Any hotel ideas are most welcome! Bonus points for restaurant tips!

Aloha,
HALFA


Don't mess with Texas....We just may do that!
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1717 times:

Hilton is your best bet for views. Sits right on the harbour and is well placed for sightseeing etc.

Plenty of places to eat and it depends what you want. Ponsonby, Parnell probably have the best concentration of contemporary restaurant. Groves in the city is good.


User currently offlineJCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1712 times:

Advice? Tell them to take a flight a few hours west.


America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1708 times:

Wow, only 1 reply before an idiot shows up. Good ole a.net..

HALFA, as the first reply said, Hilton is probably the best bet in terms of view, and location (right on the waterfront, trains and buses about 300 metres away). Viaduct is right next door with some good restaurants. A lot of the other are 'uphill' from the waterfront and that might not be the best bet with your parents being older.

The French Cafe is the nicest (and priciest) restaurant in Auckland, so if you want a 'special' meal one day, consider that one. I was there last month and it was as good as ever.

Mission Bay might be a nice outing if you encounter some good weather - Ruan Thai is an oft-overlooked Thai restaurant there, and Portofino isn't bad for Italian.

For cheap and cheerful, consider Hansan in Newmarket if you go there for shopping one day - it is owned by an Air NZ flight attendant and has very nice and cheap Vietnamese and Chinese food.



-
User currently offlineJCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1706 times:



Quoting TG992 (Reply 3):
Wow, only 1 reply before an idiot shows up. Good ole a.net..

That was actually very hurtful  Sad  Sad . All I wanted to do was to direct my fellow a.netter, HALFA, to a better location in the South Pacific when it comes to his parents. I suggest you take other people's feelings into consideration before you call someone an "idiot." Some of us are very sensitive when it comes to a.net insults.



America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25690 posts, RR: 85
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1697 times:
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Quoting JCS17 (Reply 4):
Some of us are very sensitive when it comes to a.net insults.

And some of us get quite irritated with foreigners dumping on NZ. I'm an Aussie but I live in NZ from choice.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineKiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1672 times:



Quoting Mariner (Reply 5):
And some of us get quite irritated with foreigners dumping on NZ. I'm an Aussie but I live in NZ from choice.

I can't believe he sucked you in because....

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 4):
That was actually very hurtful     . All I wanted to do was to direct my fellow a.netter, HALFA, to a better location in the South Pacific when it comes to his parents. I suggest you take other people's feelings into consideration before you call someone an "idiot." Some of us are very sensitive when it comes to a.net insults.

I don't think I've ever read a bigger load of bollocks!


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25690 posts, RR: 85
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1662 times:
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Quoting Kiwiinoz (Reply 6):
I can't believe he sucked you in because....

How did I get "sucked in"? I thought his first post was nonsense - and mildly offensive - and his second post was, as you say, bollocks.

Someone had to tell him.

 confused 

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6456 posts, RR: 38
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1654 times:

Quay West (Auckland Harbour View Hotel) is a bit higher off the ground than The Hilton is. Your cruise liner will pull alongside The Hilton which would make for an extremely smooth transition from boat to hotel - just lug your bags 100m back down the pier to the check-in area. The problem with having a suite in The Hilton is that there isn't too much of a view at night. You look over towards Devonport and that whole area is suburbian. Beyond that is Rangitoto Island which is completely black at night. I don't know what the view would be like from Quay West but I believe it would be a bit better than the view from The Hilton..

Quoting TG992 (Reply 3):
The French Cafe is the nicest (and priciest) restaurant in Auckland

Mike Hosking (TV/radio host) recently went to both The French Cafe and Vinnies and said that Vinnies was much better than The French Cafe.. I've been to Vinnies twice and it is superb. It's located in Ponsonby/Herne Bay, not too far from the city. Fairly high class restaurant. Others which are commendable - Sails Restaurant in Westhaven Marina, Kermadec in the Viaduct; and Mikano located next to a helipad in Freemans Bay is not bad. White, located in The Hilton is kind of overpriced for what it is. There are many many restaurants located in the Viaduct Harbour and you won't have a problem finding a fairly nice restaurant. Try NZ seafood while you're down here!

Quoting TG992 (Reply 3):
For cheap and cheerful, consider Hansan in Newmarket if you go there for shopping one day - it is owned by an Air NZ flight attendant and has very nice and cheap Vietnamese and Chinese food.

Brilliant place, that! So good that such cheap and delicious meals can be found so close to home and in an upmarket area.

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 2):

Seriously, man. Was your experience down here that bad you have to write such a degrading comment about diverting them to Australia?


Do you need any more advice on things to do down here? How long do you plan to stay/which month will you be in town?



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineHALFA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1367 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1638 times:



Quoting Kiwiinoz (Reply 1):
Hilton is your best bet for views. Sits right on the harbour and is well placed for sightseeing etc.

I've been looking at this hotel online and am considering it as it sounds really convenient to the pier, and the rooms look nice.

Quoting Kiwiinoz (Reply 1):
Plenty of places to eat and it depends what you want. Ponsonby, Parnell probably have the best concentration of contemporary restaurant. Groves in the city is good.

 checkmark 

Quoting TG992 (Reply 3):
HALFA, as the first reply said, Hilton is probably the best bet in terms of view, and location (right on the waterfront, trains and buses about 300 metres away). Viaduct is right next door with some good restaurants. A lot of the other are 'uphill' from the waterfront and that might not be the best bet with your parents being older.

Is "Viaduct" the name of a hotel or an area of the city? If we should stay "uphill" from the waterfront, is there things to do there? Restaurants, shopping? Or is most of that concentrated "downhill" at the waterfront?

Quoting TG992 (Reply 3):
For cheap and cheerful, consider Hansan in Newmarket if you go there for shopping one day - it is owned by an Air NZ flight attendant and has very nice and cheap Vietnamese and Chinese food.

Sounds great, I'm adding this place to my list!

Quoting Mariner (Reply 5):
And some of us get quite irritated with foreigners dumping on NZ. I'm an Aussie but I live in NZ from choice.



Quoting Mariner (Reply 7):
How did I get "sucked in"? I thought his first post was nonsense - and mildly offensive - and his second post was, as you say, bollocks.

Someone had to tell him.

Two replies but no advice for me. I'm sure you are full of wisdom on this topic. Care to offer some?  Smile

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
Quay West (Auckland Harbour View Hotel) is a bit higher off the ground than The Hilton is. Your cruise liner will pull alongside The Hilton which would make for an extremely smooth transition from boat to hotel - just lug your bags 100m back down the pier to the check-in area. The problem with having a suite in The Hilton is that there isn't too much of a view at night. You look over towards Devonport and that whole area is suburbian. Beyond that is Rangitoto Island which is completely black at night. I don't know what the view would be like from Quay West but I believe it would be a bit better than the view from The Hilton..

Thanks for that, and good to know. What would be the tallest hotel in the city? And would the tallest hotel in the city offer views of the surrounding area and harbor?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
Mike Hosking (TV/radio host) recently went to both The French Cafe and Vinnies and said that Vinnies was much better than The French Cafe.. I've been to Vinnies twice and it is superb

Adding that one too!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
Do you need any more advice on things to do down here? How long do you plan to stay/which month will you be in town?

We will be arriving on the Celebrity Millenium on November 2nd. I am in the planning stages right now but ideally, we would like to spend at least 3-4 nights just in Auckland before flying to SYD and spending some time there before taking an HA flight back to HNL. My parents rented a camper van in NZ seveal years ago and went all over the country. They would just like to hang out in Auckland this time. As I mentioned earlier, my mom is content with not doing much. She'd be happy most of the time, in a nice room with a nice view. My dad is the walking/exploring type and he loves electronics/gadgets/flea markets/craft fairs etc...
What would you guys estimate a cab fare from the city to the airport?

Thanks for all the replies, keep them coming!

Aloha,
HALFA



Don't mess with Texas....We just may do that!
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6456 posts, RR: 38
Reply 10, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1624 times:



Quoting HALFA (Reply 9):
Is "Viaduct" the name of a hotel or an area of the city?

The Viaduct Harbour is an area of the city, known for being the base for the Americas Cup when it was still in Auckland. Nowadays it still remains one of Auckland nightlife spots and all the restaurants have remained there since.

Quoting HALFA (Reply 9):
Thanks for that, and good to know. What would be the tallest hotel in the city? And would the tallest hotel in the city offer views of the surrounding area and harbor?

It depends on what floor you get too lol but I do think that along with The Metropolis (It's the name of the building, care to check that one out too!) would offer the best views, also depending on which side you get. The Metropolis is located further "uphill" but remains extremely close to the main drag, Queen Street. Use google maps and you'll be able to pinpoint all of these locations!

Quoting HALFA (Reply 9):
What would you guys estimate a cab fare from the city to the airport?

NZ$50 is probably the minimum.


There are no flea markets in the Auckland CBD on Sunday. Closest one is in Takapuna which may be quite difficult to get to. Your dad might enjoy wandering around Devonport though (via ferry which is about $8 return, can't exactly remember) and he could also spare time to walk up both Mt Victoria and North Head which offer great views of Auckland City. Pity NZ doesn't have great gadgets compared to the range you have in the Radioshack and other similar shops!


Just make sure you book for the restaurants!



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineAerorobNZ From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7389 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1606 times:



Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
NZ$50 is probably the minimum.

Make that $60. I used to get a cab from the airport to the auckland hospital, and it was $55 for cash.

Personally i think one of the better things to do in AKL is go on the Dolphin/Whale Explorer out of the Viaduct Basin.


User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1607 times:

I'd forgotten about the Metropolis. That does have nice views. I've stayed there a few times, although that was a couple of years ago. High Street and Chancery are right next door (two relatively up-market shopping areas), and Albert Park is nice to walk in.

One handy tip to remember - any bus heading up or down Queen Street (the main drag) you can jump on and jump off at any point in Queen Street for 50 cents, so that helps circumvent the otherwise tiring walk.

Your parents may enjoy visiting the Auckland Musem - it has changed quite dramatically over the last decade and is a pretty decent visit. http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/

The French Cafe's menus and other info are located here: http://www.thefrenchcafe.co.nz/menus.html It took out the 'Best Restaurant of the Year' award again this year.

Vinnie's is here http://www.vinnies.co.nz/menus.php. I have to say I preferred the French Cafe to Vinnie's, but I haven't visited Vinnie's since last year, so YMMV.



-
User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1295 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1593 times:

Auckland is a difficult city to visit since it doesnt have a vibrant downtown area like most other cities. Instead its more spread out and most people leave the city when they finish work. Its sad, to much of a carculture and to little public transport unfortunately.

The Franch cafe is nice, one of the few restaurants where you get quality all the way through. Its not posh in its looks or style (or area) but still have the knowhow that you expect from a serious diner. Do book a table, most nights they are fully booked.

Otherwise its difficult to find good restaurants here. Cheap diners that offer value for money are everywhere but quality ones are far and few between.
Asian restaurants are everywhere and they are cheap. Restaurants and cafes are graded from A to F according to hygiene. They are required to show this grading so if youre unsure about a place look for that sign. Most places are A or B anyhow but its always assuring to know.
Fish and seafood restaurants are the best bet if French cafe is not your style. A decent fish restaurant is Hammerhead seafood. Its quite close to Hilton.
Avoid White restaurant at hilton at all costs. An old offspring of the chef Luke Mengen, who was so bad the Danish court gave him the red card from the kitchen when Australias first ever? future queen got married over there a few years ago...

Stick to New Zealand wines, the white ones are good, if you choose importaed ones the quality rarely matches the price.

If the parents like gambling choose a hotel next to the casino like Skycitys grand or Crowne Plaza. Cant say they are my favorites but they do the job and they are close to everything as well. Probably cheaper than Hilton and not far from the Viaduct or the port.

In general walking around downtown is easy and taking the free circlebus gets you almost everywhere in Auckland.



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4865 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (6 years 3 months 4 weeks ago) and read 1586 times:



Quoting Kiwiinoz (Reply 1):
Hilton is your best bet for views. Sits right on the harbour and is well placed for sightseeing etc.

 checkmark  agreed.. Its actually located on a wharf out into the harbour so has good views.
Another place I might suggest would be Quay West as its a big tower near the waterfront which would give more panoramic views.

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 2):
Advice? Tell them to take a flight a few hours west.

 crazy  I think you should:  tapedshut 



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25690 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1567 times:
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Quoting HALFA (Reply 9):
Two replies but no advice for me. I'm sure you are full of wisdom on this topic. Care to offer some?  

I'm always reluctant to offer advice on hotels and restaurants, because my own tastes are quite eccentric.

I agree that the Hilton is splendid, located on a wharf, and that whole area is full of things to do.

I've eaten at White, the hotel restaurant, and enjoyed it - the service was outstanding, but the food was a tad too trendy/modern for me. That applies to some other top restaurants, too - some Auckland chefs are a bit obsessed with "getting a Michelin".

Mostly, I don't know how how old your folks are, or how much they want to do, but I could spend happy hours sitting by the harbor, watching the constantly changing world.

And I don't know what your interests are. So I think almost any hotel - three star or more - in the downtown area is a good idea.

I like the Langham very much, but it's up there in price and "up there" in that it's up a gentle hill (top of Queen Street) and I don't know how good that would be for your folks.

For restaurants, it depends on your hotel, but Ponsonby Road is a short taxi ride and full of good places to eat. For shopping, Newmarket (short taxi ride) is great, but again, I prefer the side streets to the main drag.

Have a great time.  Smile

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6456 posts, RR: 38
Reply 16, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1554 times:



Quoting TG992 (Reply 12):
One handy tip to remember - any bus heading up or down Queen Street (the main drag) you can jump on and jump off at any point in Queen Street for 50 cents, so that helps circumvent the otherwise tiring walk.

Or the free bus that does a city circuit - it's unmistakable being red but only for up/down Queen Street, and usually full as people are too lazy to walk the distance from Britomart to the top end of Queen St.

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 13):
Stick to New Zealand wines, the white ones are good, if you choose importaed ones the quality rarely matches the price.

NZ is known for its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir but there are many other nice wines produced here.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineHALFA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1367 posts, RR: 15
Reply 17, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1493 times:

Thanks everyone for your great replies and suggestions. I am now in SYD on a layover and have been checking out a few places in AKL from agents here.
If any more questions come up, I will post them here.
We are really looking forward to visiting New Zealand again, it's been a long time!

Aloha,
HALFA



Don't mess with Texas....We just may do that!
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