Auckland Business Travel Guide
Located on the North Island, Auckland is New Zealand's largest and most commercial city, supporting 1.2 million residents. Nicknamed "City of Sails," it is home to more sailboats per capita than any other city in the world; it is also home to the world's largest Polynesian population. Significant industries include manufacturing, business services, transportation and agriculture. But tourism has also been a major draw thanks to a revamp of the city's port in 2000 for the America's Cup and the country's worldwide exposure on the silver screen in films such as the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
|Facts to Know Before You Go
Currency: New Zealand Dollar
You can exchange money at an airport within the U.S. or in New Zealand once you arrive. Cash machines and currency exchange centers are plentiful and easy to locate, both at the airport and in town.
Taxis can be hired at the airport, and a trip to
downtown Auckland will cost about $50 NZ, but service
is metered and cost varies depending on traffic.
While in the city, it's best to call ahead
to book a local taxi service or private car — hailing
a cab from the street isn't common.
For share-ride service to most major hotels, try Airbus Shuttle. Vans run between downtown Auckland and the airport every twenty minutes. Expect to pay about $15 NZ one way.
Buses are available in the city center from the
main bus terminal on Commerce Street. A service
called The Link makes a loop around downtown Auckland;
it runs every ten minutes during the week and
every fifteen minutes on weekends. $1 NZ for one
You can rent cars from the airport upon arrival,
starting at about $50 NZ per day.
35 Hobson St.
The Art Deco grandeur of Farmers, a once famous department
store, is preserved in this 467-room hotel overlooking
the waterfront and business district. Extensive facilities
inside this 1920s gem include two restaurants
(of note is Hector's with its unique sail "ceiling"),
two gyms, a heated rooftop swimming pool, indoor heated
lap pool, a tennis court and plenty of business extras thirteen
flexible conference and banquet rooms offer breakout
areas and space for up to 400. Bedrooms are nicely furnished
in contemporary style, and those in the Tower have many
nice residential amenities, such as microwaves, washing
machines and dryers. Tower Suites add the convenience
of kitchenettes, with cooking facilities, utensils and
147 Quay St.
Jutting out over the harbor like a giant cruise ship,
this hotel allows you to sleep, dine and drink not just
overlooking the water, but literally over the water.
Large glass windows and a minimalist white décor
enhance the expansive liquid views. The 166-room property
underwent a major refurbishment to accommodate the influx
of business travelers to the revamped waterfront area.
Guestrooms come with work desks with data points and
high-speed Internet connections, and there's also
a business center, a dozen multi-purpose conference
and event spaces and facilities such as a pool and fitness
center for unwinding after your meetings. Another great
way to relax and feel like you're on a luxury
cruise liner is with a cocktail in the cool, stark
The Langham, Auckland
a Sheraton, this hotel was popular with business travelers,
and a tradition of catering to corporate types continues
under the Langham name. The décor is more festive
than usually found in executive-friendly lodgings, but
all the office essentials are still available, such
as high-speed broadband Internet access and two phones
with voicemail. Staying in a Langham Club Room gets
you exclusive check-in, access to the Club Lounge, a
dedicated business center, butler service, and you can
even get three garments pressed on arrival. Meeting,
board, hospitality and ballrooms are available. A nice
selection of dining choices includes Partingtons, serving
fresh regional cuisine, and SBF Brasserie. The Winery
is a pleasant venue for drinks and weekend entertainment.
Corner Mayoral Drive & Vincent Street
size matters, head for this business district hotel,
which contains one of the largest capacity ballrooms
in the city (accommodating up to 800). The hotel's complement
of meeting rooms can handle corporate events and private
functions, and there are specialists to help with trade
shows, themed events and even off-site activities. Corporate
services are enhanced by the availability of catering
chefs, multi-media experts and a full business center
open 24 hours. Among the tasteful guest rooms decorated
with native timbers and floor-to-ceiling windows are
Plaza Club Rooms
on the top three floors, with city and harbor views
and access to the Plaza Club Lounge, serving complimentary
breakfast and pre-dinner drinks. Executive Suites are
designed especially for business travelers and also
offer access to the lounge. Leisure facilities include
a full gym, indoor lap pool, Japanese roof garden and
two restaurants: Pacific and Katsura.
91 St. Georges Bay Rd.
in an old chocolate factory in Parnell Historical Village home
to advertising, architecture and design professionals this
modern restaurant showcases chef Kate Fay's creative
dishes. It attracts an eclectic clientele, from business
types to wedding parties. A sampling of the daring, contemporary
dishes include Hapuka poached in garam masala and coconut
milk with fresh snow peas and semolina noodles, and Sansho-peppered
lamb loin with lamb brain chickpea fritters, miso-braised
eggplant and parsley oil. The first-rate wine list includes
many New Zealand labels.
Shed 22, Princes Wharf
to impress and finesse? Try this hip and modern bistro
in the hotter than hot Shed area. Past the curvy wood
bar with its Philippe Starck bar stools, we found one
of the most eclectic and adventurous menus in town. The menu is ever-changing, but previous main courses have included seared medallions of
venison, parmesan-crusted pork or prosciutto-wrapped veal
rump. The entrées have featured smoked beef tartar with
duck fat and truffle-poached egg, and crisp fried snails
and red wine-braised chicken with a garlic-herb cappuccino.
As if that weren't enough, there is a delicious
gourmet pizza selection. Although you shouldn't
overlook the fish and lamb from the char-griller, the
stunner is the wood oven-baked double entrecôte
of beef with crayfish hollandaise, truffle-roasted potatoes
and caviar crème fraîche.
is an intimate, cozy café for wine lovers, more
reminiscent of the romantic Left Bank of Paris than the
invigorating streets of Auckland. Sweetbreads, wild hare,
confit of duck leg, and Valrhona chocolate crème
brulée are just a few of the house favorites all
served by romantic candlelight. The excellent wine list
is highly rated, and the bar, with its after dinner cognacs
and cigars, is a favorite with corporate types.
40 Kitchener St.
in the Old Magistrates Court House Building, on the
second floor of the Ascott Metropolis, Otto's
sleek, contemporary décor doesn't distract
from the grandness of the original architecture, featuring
high ceilings and a large stone fireplace. Executive
chef Philip Reynolds hails from Harrods in London and
offers an eclectic modern European menu. Entree ingredients
range from duck liver to ostrich, and main dish highlights
include Venison Fillet, Char-grilled Fillet of Beef
and Roast Blue Nose Groper. The
exclusive Reidel Room is perfect for small, private
Kiwi Judith Tabron shines at this waterside hot spot on
the viaduct. But the real star here is the cuisine of
chef Gareth Stewart: seafood with a Moroccan flair, offered
hot and cold under the "Soul Food" menu. Try
the flounder cooked four ways or the chowder made with
local Hapuku, mussels and saffron; then order a side of
creamed feta spinach with fried almonds. With an open,
airy feel and large outdoor patio, Soul is very popular
for business lunches. Service can be spotty, so don't
come if you're in a rush.
Step back in time in this charming colonial village only
a few miles from Auckland's city center. Cobblestone
streets, leafy walkways and beautifully restored period
buildings frame enchanting, flower-bedecked and lamp-lit
courtyards. Singular specialty shops house some of Auckland's
finest retailers. The products (and people) are as colorful
as the ornate rooftops and hand-painted signs fine
jewelry, designer clothing, hand-made arts and crafts,
sheepskin products and antiques. Dozens of top galleries
showcase works by local artists and sculptors. This tiny
village also boasts over fifty top eateries, offering
excellent cuisine and lively jazz bars.
is called the "City of Sails." And it has hosted
the America's Cup. No matter what your interest
is in sailing voyeur or participant you'll
find something to suit you in Auckland: you can watch
a regatta, take a sailing lesson, charter your own craft
or leave the technical stuff to the experts and embark
on a sunset dinner cruise. When it comes to recreation,
hitting the water is a favorite with both locals and visitors
Auckland is a great place to get started.
Corner Victoria & Federal Streets
space age monument and gamblers' heaven towers
over the city. It is taller than the Eiffel Tower and
offers more in the way of entertainment. Here you can
dine in a rotating café and drink and gamble
the night away with panoramic views of Auckland and
the harbor. The casino consists mostly of slot machines,
but there is a second level for high rollers, complete
with a dress code and more traditional roulette games.
If you've had a particularly hard day at work,
you can release all that tension in a Sky Jump off the
observation platform in a controlled plummet to the
trip to Auckland would be complete without taking the
quick, thirty minute ferry ride north to Waikheke Island,
whose subtropical climate is ideal for growing grapes.
You will find awe-inspiring views, luxury lodges, great
restaurants and over thirty wineries … not bad
for what was known as "hippie island" in
the ‘70s. We found the lamb, Cabernet, service
and views from Mudbrick Restaurant & Vineyard to
be the most stunning. You can also take a tour with
long-term resident Jenny McDonald at Ananda Tours to
learn the secrets of the island, including where to
find the clothing optional beach!
Princes Wharf, Quay St.
to cut loose after a long day at the conference table?
Unwind by immersing yourself in the flamboyant and energetic
rhythms of South America. You can dance the night away
to live Latin bands right on the waterfront beneath
the moonlight. Wildfire is a large but modest, traditional
Brazilian churrascaria by day, but after 11 p.m. the
tables are pushed back and a mixed crowd parties until
the wee hours. Private parties of up to 260 can be accommodated
indoors, with another 80 on the outdoor promenade area,
making this an original site for a corporate event.
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