Dangers & Annoyances
Auckland isn't a particularly dangerous place but it pays to keep your wits about you if you're walking alone late at night. Alcohol-fuelled aggression isn't uncommon around the Viaduct and the bottom of the city centre in the early hours on the weekend. Otherwise, the main dangers are all road related, with Aucklanders notorious for running red lights, failing to indicate and failing to allow other drivers to change lanes.
Embassies & Consulates
Emergency & Important Numbers
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The Queen City (as it's known for completely coincidental reasons) has by far New Zealand's biggest gay population, with the bright lights attracting gays and lesbians from all over the country. However, the even brighter lights of Sydney eventually steal many of the 30- to 40-somethings, leaving a gap in the demographic. There are very few gay venues and they only really kick off on the weekends. For the latest, see the monthly magazine Express (available from gay venues), or online at www.gayexpress.co.nz.
The big event on the calendar is the Auckland Pride Festival. Also worth watching out for are the regular parties held by Urge Events (www.facebook.com/urgebar); the only reliably fun and sexy nights out for the over 30s, they book out quickly.
Venues change with alarming regularity, but these ones were the stayers at the time of writing:
Family Trashy, brash and extremely young, Family gets crammed on weekends, with drag hosts and dancing into the wee hours, both at the back of the ground-level bar and in the club downstairs.
Eagle A cosy place for a quiet drink early in the evening, getting more raucous as the night progresses. Get in quick to put your picks on the video jukebox or prepare for an entire evening of Kylie and Taylor.
Centurian Gay men’s sauna.
Auckland Council offers free wi-fi in parts of the city centre, Newton, Ponsonby, Kingsland, Mt Eden and Parnell. All public libraries offer free wi-fi, and a few internet cafes catering to gaming junkies are scattered about the inner city.
Banks 9.30am–4.30pm Monday to Friday
Pubs and Bars noon–late
Restaurants noon–2.30pm and 6pm–10pm
Shops 9am–6pm Monday to Saturday, 11am–4pm Sunday
Karanga Kiosk Looking like a precariously stacked set of shipping containers, this volunteer-run centre dispenses information on goings on around the waterfront.
Travel with Children
All of the east-coast beaches (St Heliers, Kohimarama, Mission Bay, Okahu Bay, Cheltenham, Narrow Neck, Takapuna, Milford, Long Bay) are safe for supervised kids, while sights such as Rainbow’s End, Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, Auckland Museum and Auckland Zoo are all firm favourites. Parnell Baths has a children’s pool, but on wintry days, head to the thermal pools at Parakai or Waiwera.
Baby-changing facilities are widespread, often in shopping malls and integrated within public toilets. City buses, trains and ferries offer convenient access for prams, and pavements are generally in good condition.
Auckland accommodation generally caters fairly well for travellers with disabilities, with many places equipped with wheelchair-accessible rooms. Many tourist attractions similarly provide wheelchair access and wheelchair-friendly taxis can be ordered. Pedestrian crossings cater to both hearing- and sight-impaired people with visual and aural signals.