Tāmaki Makau Rau

Discover Auckland

Often described as 'the world in miniature,' New Zealand's peaceful pastoralism is complemented by a startling variety of spectacular landscapes within a small area.

Hot springs, geysers, rolling hills and magnificent beaches in the North Island contrast with the majestic glaciers, mountains and lakes of the South Island.

Dominating the urban scene, Auckland is the largest city and the commercial hub of New Zealand. With a population of about 1.5 million, Auckland enjoys an uncluttered lifestyle amidst parks and gardens on an isthmus enclosed by two picturesque harbours, earning it the title 'City of Sails'. An impressive variety of cultural and recreational activities are readily available for residents and visitors to participate in at a reasonable cost. New Zealanders enjoy a varied lifestyle and comfortable standard of living in an increasingly cosmopolitan society, and demand high standards in a progressive education system. This ensures that tertiary institutions produce graduates whose expertise is well-recognised internationally.

Things you need to know

Living costs in Auckland

To live in Auckland you will need approximately NZ$10,000 to NZ$15,000 per year for accommodation and general living expenses.

Below are some examples of the costs you might face:

Rent (per week) $200-350
Groceries (per week) $100-$150
Average meal $12-16
Milk (per litre) $2.50
Can of Coke $2.00
Hot Drink $3.50-$5.00
Single bus trip (up to 8 stages with AT HOP card) $0.44-$8.40
Phone Credit $20-$40
Movie Ticket (Student Price) $11-$14
Haircut $20-$80
Doctor’s visit $15-$70
Dentist’s visit $150-$500


Auckland is a cosmopolitan city with a wide variety of restaurants serving local and international cuisine. There are also Asian and Indian supermarkets available where you can purchase ingredients not readily available from the larger supermarket stores.

Weather in Auckland

Auckland’s average daytime temperatures range from 19.4ºC to 23.1ºC in January (summer) and 10.9ºC to 14.1ºC in July (winter).

The seasons are:
Spring: September to November
Summer: December to February
Autumn: March to May
Winter: June to August


Most major bank are open for business in Auckland’s main shopping malls during business hours seven days a week. The closest of these to AIS is the Westfield Shopping Mall which is a short drive from the Main Campus.

Business and shop hours

Offices and businesses are usually open from 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. Retail shop hours vary. Most are open 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday with a late night on either a Thursday or a Friday, and from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.


We drive on the left side of the road in New Zealand. Reciprocal driving rights exist between New Zealand and most countries. Students with international driving licences must obtain a New Zealand driver’s licence within a year of arriving in the country if they wish to continue to driving here.

Medical facilities

International students must have medical and travel insurance in order to study in New Zealand, as medical services are not free to them. Pharmacies (chemist shops) can give advice on minor medical problems, and a range of drugs are available without the need for a doctor’s prescription.

Postal services

Post offices are open during business hours and closed at weekends. However, stamps can also be purchased at many stationery stores and dairies (local food stores), and post boxes are easily found.


Public telephones use phone cards which can be bought at many shops, dairies and gas (petrol) stations. New Zealand's international access code is 64.

Tipping and service charges

Tips or gratuities are not routinely expected, however many people tip to show their appreciation for extra service or kindness.

Visitor Information

Information is available throughout Auckland at Visitor Information Network offices. Here experienced staff can provide reliable information ranging from transportation and accommodation to local attractions and activities. For more information, go to www.aucklandnz.com.  

Auckland Sightseeing Activities

Top 10 Things To Do In Auckland
Regularly updated lists of the Top 10 things to do in Auckland. These lists are updated seasonally with the latest attractions for kids, thrill seekers, late night-goers and people on a budget.