Auckland City

New Zealand is situated in the southern waters of the Pacific Ocean, with a population of four million. Known by the Maori as Aotearoa, "land of the long white cloud", New Zealand is celebrated for its breath-taking scenery, ranging from sparkling beaches in the north, to majestic mountain ranges and fjords in the south.

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city, with a wider metropolitan population of just over a million. The city is also known by Maori as Tamaki-makau-rau, "Tamaki desired by thousands".

The University of Auckland is in the centre of the city and offers the attractions of city life combined with the appeal of outdoor living - close to cafes, restaurants, cinemas, parks, quality clothing and craft shops, yet within 30 minutes of some of the world's most stunning beaches. A harbour city with a mild climate, Auckland provides opportunities to pursue all sorts of water sports and explore the many islands in its harbour, famed as tourist spots and bird sanctuaries.

Auckland is also a centre for the arts and entertainment. The Aotea Centre, Town Hall and many other venues regularly play host to world-class performances of music, dance and theatre. The University's own Maidment Arts Centre offers performances of alternative theatre, children's theatre, dance, pantomime as well as the occasional free music concerts.

Recognised as New Zealand's leading art museum, the Auckland Art Gallery's unrivalled New Zealand holdings trace the development of New Zealand art from Cook's voyages to the present day. There is always a large selection of Maori portraits by the great nineteenth-century artists Goldie and Lindauer on display along with major early historical paintings and works on paper by artists such as Blomfield, Heaphy, Hoyte and Sharpe.

The Auckland Museum in the Domain is well worth a visit. It also traces the history of New Zealand from its original occupation around 1200 AD to the present day, has numerous Maori taonga (treasures), as well as giving a good overview of the geology, flora, and fauna of New Zealand.


Prior to European settlement in the early nineteenth century, the indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori, heavily populated Auckland. The Maori, of Polynesian descent, settled in this area around 1200 AD after sailing across the Pacific from Polynesia. New Zealand was the last country in the world to be settled by human inhabitants, and the Maori people were "the last major human community on Earth untouched and unaffected by the wider world" (Michael King, 2003, p.91 from The Penguin History of New Zealand)

The area now known as Auckland was purchased from the Maori people in 1840 for six British Pounds. Auckland briefly enjoyed capital status from 1840 to 1865 when the administrative and legal centre of the country was assigned to Wellington. Auckland, however, remains the largest city in New Zealand.


Auckland operates on alternating current (AC) 230 volts, 50 hertz mains supply. We use 3-pin plugs – the same as Australia. The pins are flat and angled.


Banks and Exchanges are available every day to change most kinds of currency to the NZ Dollar. ATM machines are widely available.

The exchange rate of the NZ$ has been about NZ$1.43 to the U.S dollar (as of 16 February 2005).

Climate and Time

New Zealand has a temperate climate where the northern part of the country is noticeably warmer than the southern part. There are four seasons: Summer (December to February), Autumn (March to May), Winter (June to August) and Spring (September to November).

Auckland is near the top of the North Island. In July the mean daily maximum temperature is 15°C/59°F and the mean daily minimum temperature is 7°C/45°F. The weather is variable and in July is likely to be wet. The mean July rainfall is 146mm (5.7ins) with a mean of 16 wet days in July. Bring winter clothes, raincoats, and umbrellas for July.


It is recommended that participants arrange insurance for medical expenses, loss and accidents that may occur during the Forum. The University of Auckland cannot be held responsible for any losses, damages or injuries.


The New Zealand time zone is ahead of all other countries or is at the beginning of the date line. International time zones can be viewed at The World Clock - Time Zones Website (

Auckland City Map

Auckland Regional Map

Travel to New Zealand

Virtually all visitors to New Zealand arrive by air. The Auckland International Airport is approximately 45 minutes from the city centre. Most long haul flights arrive very early in the morning into Auckland and therefore we would like you to indicate your expected arrival time on the registration form so that the Grafton Hall rooms are ready for you on arrival.

The program assumes that all participants will arrive in Auckland on or before Friday July 1st. Once you arrive in Auckland please organize a taxi or shuttle bus to Grafton Hall, 40 Seafield View Rd, cost about NZ$50. Otherwise catch the Air Bus, NZ$15, to the Langham Hotel and from there walk across Grafton Bridge into Park Rd, and turn right at Seafield View Rd where you will find Grafton Hall. This walk is about 250m. The Air Bus does a loop around the Auckland City hotels and the Langham Hotel is at the beginning and end of this loop so ask to be dropped off at the beginning.

Travel within Auckland

Booked transportation, as well as local transportation, will be provided for all scheduled events.

The Free Inner City Bus (red bus) runs every 10 minutes from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week. The route does not go to Grafton Hall but does provide easy transport from the University of Auckland to the city centre. The closest point on the route to Grafton Hall is the corner of Symonds St and Wellesley St. The route can be viewed on

The Link bus service is a very convenient way to move around the city. Times are as follows:

Monday to Friday 6am to 7pm Every 10 minutes
Monday to Sunday 7pm to 11:30pm Every 15 minutes
Saturday 7am to 6pm Every 10 minutes
Sunday & Public Holidays 7am to 11:30pm Every 15 minutes

The route goes very close to Grafton Hall with a bus stop on Park Road. Cost is NZ$1.30. This service provides transport to the popular dining areas of Ponsonby and Parnell, and shopping areas of Newmarket and the city centre. The route can be viewed on .


There are many taxi companies in Auckland. One of the most popular is the Auckland Co-Operative Taxi Society (phone 300-3000).


Every international traveler needs to check with their own authorities regarding travel visas.

Weights & Measures

NZ uses the metric system.

We drive on the left hand side of the road.

Useful websites

General tourism sites

Sites of cities within greater Auckland