As New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland is vast and varied. Whether tourists are interested in exploring art galleries and dining in world-class restaurants, or spending time outdoors and exploring nature, Auckland caters to everyone.
The first step to planning an Auckland adventure is to obtain the relevant travel permit for the trip. This article explains who needs a visa to enter New Zealand and who can take advantage of the online NZeTA.
Travellers will also find recommendations for the best sights and attractions to visit in Auckland.
Do I need a visa to visit Auckland?
Foreign citizens require either a New Zealand visa or NZeTA to travel to Auckland from overseas. Visas and electronic travel authorisations should be obtained before departure and presented to immigration officials on arrival.
Travellers from 60 nations, including the US and Schengen Area, who meet the NZeTA requirements can stay in New Zealand for up to 90 days without a visa. UK passport holders can enjoy an extended stay of up to 6 months. Such travellers do, however, need a New Zealand electronic travel authorisation to go to Auckland.
With an approved NZeTA, foreign visitors can travel to New Zealand multiple times over the course of 2 years: tourists returning to Auckland do not need to reapply for the NZeTA if their current permit remains valid.
The New Zealand eTA can be used to visit Auckland for both tourism and business purposes.
How to apply for the NZeTA to visit Auckland
Obtaining a New Zealand eTA for Auckland is fast and straightforward thanks to the online application process. Tourists are simply required to submit the NZeTA application form at least 72 hours before departure.
Basic personal details, including the applicant’s name, nationality, and contact details, are requested. Travellers must also provide a current email address as all correspondence and notifications are sent by email.
Details should be written exactly as they appear on the passport, any discrepancies could lead to delays and disrupted travel plans. The passport must have been issued by one of the visa-exempt nations and remain valid for at least 3 months from the expected date of arrival.
To finalise the application, the NZeTA fees are paid securely online using a debit or credit card. There is also a New Zealand tourist levy which goes towards supporting sustainable tourism and conservation projects.
Travelling to Auckland with the NZeTA
An approved New Zealand eTA is valid for air travel. Auckland Airport (AKL) is the most convenient port of entry for tourists visiting the city.
On arrival at the airport, the traveller’s passport is scanned and the electronic travel authorisation verified; the eTA is linked automatically to the travel document, there’s no need to carry a separate permit. Travellers with dual nationality must ensure they use the same passport to apply for the NZeTA and travel to New Zealand.
The eTA can also be used by passengers arriving in New Zealand on a cruise ship.
How long can I spend in Auckland with the NZeTA?
From arrival, visitors can stay for up to 3 months (6 months for UK citizens), plenty of time to explore Auckland and several other cities in New Zealand as well as the stunning countryside and coastline.
The travel permit is valid for 24 months from the date of issue however, should the passport expire during this time a new NZeTA must be obtained. The NZeTA is linked to the passport used to apply and cannot be transferred to another document.
Travellers who wish to spend longer in Auckland will need a visa or another type of travel permit depending on their reason for travel.
Top visitor attractions in Auckland
With so much to see and do in Auckland, visitors are spoilt for choice. Despite being a large city, Auckland has plenty of opportunities for outdoor exploration. Its seaside setting makes Auckland a great choice for watersports enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys a picturesque stroll along the coast.
Some of the most popular sights and attractions in Auckland are detailed below.
Sky Tower: fine dining with the best views across Auckland
The Sky Tower rises above Auckland and is surely the city’s most recognisable structure. The tallest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the Sky Tower measures 328 m.
Tourists can enjoy dinner at the revolving restaurant or sit and enjoy the views with a coffee in the cafe. The most adventurous visitors can even bungee jump from the top, an unforgettable experience.
Mt Eden: the highest natural point in the city of Auckland
To enjoy equally impressive views from a natural vantage point, visitors can head to Mt Eden. The volcanic cone stands 196m above sea level.
As well as the breathtaking views, visitors will be left impressed by the 5m-deep crater.
Auckland art gallery: the largest art institution in New Zealand
With over 17,000 pieces of art spread over 4 floors, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is the largest in the country. Visitors with an interest in art and culture should not miss out on visiting the gallery.
Current highlights include the Whakamīharo Lindauer collection and the Auckland Triennial project.
Auckland is a great city to explore on foot, all the other major attractions, as well as top-quality restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, are within easy reach.