Auckland vs Wellington for a long weekend in New Zealand

Having never been to New Zealand, one member can’t decide between Auckland and the capital Wellington. Our member will be travelling to one of the cities across the ditch for a long weekend next month, but airfare prices to Auckland and Wellington are almost identical.

Mrs bertflyer and I have never been to NZ and are planning to go to either AKL or WLG for a long weekend in late June. After much googling I am leaning slightly towards WLG but keen to hear the wisdom of AFFers?

It seems both offer great food, cafes etc. We’ll likely hire a car to explore a bit too. Fares are almost identical so no real difference there.

Our members are happy to offer their tips and suggestions. Auckland is the larger of the two cities, and also offers a more central location for exploring the region by car. As our member will be looking to hire a car, it is noted that there is a lot to see within a few hours’ drive, such as the Coromandel Peninsula, Hamilton or the tourist hotspot of Rotorua. Auckland itself is also home to many nice shops and restaurants, though some members believe it lacks the atmosphere of Wellington. And although Auckland is larger, it is also more spread out making it somewhat difficult to get around without a car or public transport.

One thing in Auckland’s favour is its beautiful harbour and the islands contained within. Waiheke Island is an easy ferry ride from downtown Auckland and the island is home to nice wineries, beaches, restaurants and a laid-back lifestyle. Another point of interest in Auckland’s harbour is Rangitoto Island, a volcano offering great views of the city.

Wellington on the other hand, is known by some as the “coolest little capital in the world” for its countless cafes, restaurants and attractions. It is also a lot easier to get around due to its relatively small size. However some raise concerns that Wellington’s infamous windy weather won’t come to the party, especially in winter.

+1 for WLG. AKL’s urban planning was “inspired” by Los Angeles. WLG on the other hand has a very walkable downtown area, and the harbour is lovely. Lots of the typical national capital attractions, like the kind you find in CBR – National Library, National Museum/Te Papa, Parliament/Beehive, etc – and lots of cafes and the like.

Lord of the Rings fans are in luck in both Auckland and Wellington, with tours of Lord of the Rings filming locations taking place within an easy drive of both cities.

One member comes up with a simple but arguably accurate analogy to help the decision-making process.

Auckland = Sydney. Wellington = Melbourne. Hope that helps.

Whichever destination our member decides to visit, we’re sure their trip will be “sweet as”. Share your suggestions HERE.


Related Articles

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

The Whisky Club Possibly the best subscription service on the planet, designed specially by whisky lovers for whisky lovers. Join the club to grow your collection and drink great whisky.
Virgin Wines Australia - Save with Virgin Wines Virgin Wines Australia Has Exceptional Red, White & Sparkling Wines On Offer. See Online. See Our Exclusive Wine Selections From Around Australia & Around The World. Shop Now!

AFF Supporters can Login Now to remove all advertisements

Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]