Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand. To discover the city as easily as possible, we went ahead with the best option – Auckland Explorer Bus.
Auckland Explorer Bus is a hop on hop off sightseeing bus tour which is very convenient for tourists visiting the city for 2-3 days. We bought a 48-hour pass & thoroughly enjoyed Auckland. Here’s our experience with the Auckland Explorer Bus.
Quality of the bus
The buses that we sat in during the sightseeing were amazing. All of them were air-conditioned, clean & had very friendly drivers. All the windows were clean & there was a glass roof in all the buses as well. There were brochures about bus routes, attractions, and other information about Auckland. We totally loved the quality of the Auckland Explorer Bus.
We went to Auckland in September which is off-season in New Zealand. During off-season, Auckland Explorer Bus runs every 30 minutes. During the peak season, the buses run every 20 minutes. The frequency is quite good even for off-season.
Price of Auckland Explorer Bus Pass
The 24 hour pass costs $45 for adults & $20 for kids. The 48 hour pass, which we got, cost us $55 per person. For kids, the same pass is $25. The price for the 48 hour pass is quite reasonable considering it contains 2 tours & a trip to Devonport.
Talking about routes, there are 2 routes that Auckland Explorer Bus follows. The first one is the Red route. The red route begins from Viaduct harbour, goes to Bastion Point, Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE, Parnell Rose Gardens, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland Museum, Parnell Village, Queen Street & ends at Sky City.
There is a common bus stop at Auckland Museum from where the Blue route begins. The Blue route goes to Wintergardens, Eden Garden, Mount Eden, Westfield St. Lukes, Auckland Zoo & MOTAT. There is a lot to explore in Auckland for 2 days with Auckland Explorer Bus.
If you just want to get a panoramic view of Auckland, you can also just sit in the bus & do both the routes. It will take 1 hour to complete each route. with the Auckland Explorer Bus Pass, we also got a complimentary return ferry tickets to Devonport. This indeed was a welcome addition since Devonport was also on our list.
Things we explored
During the 2 days of our stay in Auckland, it was raining most of the time. We obviously couldn’t explore everything that this spectacular city has to offer but we did went to a few nice places.
1. Viaduct Harbor
The Viaduct Harbor is the main harbour of Auckland. On the harbor itself, there are many things to do. We also went on a marine discovery with Auckland Whale And Dolphin Safari Tour. There are many boats departing from this harbor to nearby islands & there are some water sports activities also available here. Viaduct Harbor is truly a nice place to observe the calmness of the sea, the busy life of Aucklanders & of course, the inquisitiveness of tourists like us.
2. Bastion Point
The next stop was the Bastion Point Lookout. When we were going from Viaduct Harbour to Bastion Point Lookout, we saw amazing views of the ocean & parked yachts. Once we reached Bastion Point, the bus driver told us that this is his most favourite place in Auckland. We were quite excited to explore this.
We discovered that the Bastion Point is not only about great views & the gardens. It is very important to the people of New Zealand historically, culturally & politically. For Maori people, this land is sacred. This is also where they protested for their rights against European settlers.
There is also a memorial to the first Labor Prime Minister – Micheal Savage. Once you are here, make sure you spend at least an hour to explore & soak in all the beauty that Bastion Point has to offer.
3. Holy Trinity Cathedral
After spending some wonderful time at Bastion Point Lookout, we came back to the Auckland Explorer Bus & got down at Holy Trinity Cathedral. We had heard a lot about this cathedral & once we saw it for ourselves, none of the praises sounded exaggerated!
The cathedral is truly beautiful from inside & outside. When we went here, we literally got the entire cathedral to ourselves. The most beautiful thing about the cathedral is its West window & the interior of St Mary’s Cathedral.
4. Parnell Village
It was time to sit again in the Auckland Explorer Bus & reach the next destination. We got down at Parnell Village. It is one of the wealthiest & upmarket suburb of Auckland. We could truly feel the difference between the main city & Parnell.
Parnell is majorly famous for its great restaurants, bars, boutique stores & art. We had a nice lunch at this Italian restaurant called La Porchetta. The food here was quite tasty. After taking a stroll on the main street of Parnell, it was time for us to get back to the city. We got on the Auckland Explorer Bus once again & reached Queen Street.
5. Queen Street
The part of Auckland has to be the Queen Street. We loved all the time we spent at Queen Street. Right from restaurants to shops to cafes to bars to everything that you require on a holiday, you will find it there.
We walked on the Queen street, ate at a pizzeria, explored the coffee shops & shopped at H&M. Queen Street was bustling with energy at all times. Whenever you are in Auckland, Queen Street is literally the city in a nutshell.
Our Auckland Explorer Bus Pass also gave us free tickets to Devonport. We reached Viaduct Harbor & took a ferry to Devonport. We walked by the beach & then went to Devonport Chocolates. This chocolate shop makes all their chocolates in the same premise. We ate chocolates filled with chilies & cherry liquor. Both of them were so freaking tasty.
Devonport also has many sights to see. If you want to see Auckland’s skyline, you can see it from Devonport & it is the best view for sure. Even though it is called a suburb of Auckland, it has totally different vibes than Auckland.
Overall, we felt that the Auckland Explorer Bus Pass was very helpful in exploring Auckland.
Book your Auckland Explorer Bus Pass directly through their official website.
Want to do an interesting tour in Auckland? Read our Auckland Whale And Dolphin Safari experience!