Auckland is a hub for creativity, research, business and lifestyle. Here are some highlights, written by the LCA 2015 team:City
If you're interested in cafes and bars, visit Kingsland or Ponsonby. Probably both. If you are here for a while, you may wish to venture over the Harbour Bridge to Takapuna for an evening. If you get that far, be sure to visit the Takapuna Beach Cafe for some of the nicest gelato you've tasted. Another great little trip is to hop on a ferry and pop over to Devonport to check out the beaches, military tunnels and bunkers, bars, cafes and chocolate shops.
For those who prefer craft beer, Vultures' Lane on Vulcan Lane in the city is a warm, rowdy and conversational pub that's right next door to the city's main road, Queen Street. Galbraiths, whilst further away, brews its beer on site and has a unique character.
Creative type? Auckland Art Gallery is about 10 minutes' walk from the conference venue, through Albert Park. The gallery has a large mixture of local contemporary work, New Zealand work and a headline international exhibition on display. When you're there, do pick up a couple of brochures for the several smaller galleries that surround it.Technology Town
Auckland hosts a large number of innovative companies, spanning traditional business application areas (Vend), health (Orion Health), and embedded software (Fisher & Paykel Healthcare) to name a few. Even Mozilla has an office here!
Peppered through the city are regular technology meetups, many focusing on aspects of free and open source software. Some of the most regular are the Auckland Python meetup.,
The University of Auckland, which is hosting LCA2015, also hosts one of the countries largest computer clusters, boasting thousands of CPU cores, running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Oh, before you ask: Yes, Auckland's maker culture is vibrant.
Tangleball has been a strong feature of the region for years; Auckland Central Library has its own makerspace, hosting regular 3D printing workshops for kids and their families; AUT University was one of the first fab labs in NZ, and co-working space BizDojo has hussled together members of the creative sector to form Cospace.Space to Explore
At the LCA2015, you will be 10 minutes' walk from some of the city's most pleasant civic spaces.
The Auckland Domain, which houses the Auckland War Memorial Museum, is world-renowned for its fabulous open space and inviting Winter Garden. The university campus is couched on its western side by Albert Park, a common spot for lunch, sunbathing and relaxation.
For fitness enthusiasts, Tamaki Drive is flat and scenic jog or cycle, and kayaks can be hired along this route. A night time kayak to Rangitoto Island is a wonderful way to see the city lights.
Fitting with the Tux, Auckland also sports a number of places to spot penguins:
- Auckland Zoo has an enclosure with 9 rescued Kororā, the world's smallest penguin
- Kelly Tarlton's has the World's largest Antarctic Penguin colony, it's well worth a visit.
We hope that you'll find Auckland to be a warm host. Whether you are driving an hour to get here, or flying 20 or more, your visit will be a lasting memory for many years.
Cherie Ellis and the rest of the LCA2015 Core Team
Important things to know before you visitWeather
January in Auckland is humid and hot with highs averaging 25 degrees. Rain is likely though not guaranteed. Temperatures may climb up towards 30 degrees in the city centre. The UV index in New Zealand is extremely high, which means a very low burn time, so make sure you bring sun cream, sun hats, UV protective sunglasses and perhaps a parasol. www.metservice.com/towns-cities/auckland/auckland-centralVisas
When travelling to NZ for a conference, you may need to obtain a Business Visitor Visa. If you need a visa, you should make sure you apply for it a few months before you travel. Check this page to see if you need to apply. www.dol.govt.nz/immigration/knowledgebase/item/5670Spending Money
The general cost of food & drink in NZ is high compared to other countries. Average prices in Auckland are around $5 for a coffee and you'll pay upwards of $10 for a pint of beer. Lots more examples on the Numbeo website so you can get an idea of how much money to bring with you.Changing Money
Auckland is swamped with currency converting booths, many of them on Queen Street and within a 15-20 minute walk from the conference. Most don't charge commission and they display their rates clearly. Auckland Airport also has lots of options for currency conversion, plus plenty of ATMs. If you want to check exchange rates prior to coming over, go to www.xe.com.Getting Around
Auckland has a bus called The Link that loops around the city centre at a cost of 50c per ride (or free if you have a HOP card that is in credit), making it easy to get around. Walking is also easy and safe with lots of well lit footpaths. For travelling further afield there are trains, buses, ferries and taxis.