Auckland is obviously the main entry point for those coming to New Zealand, but it’s definitely not the main reason itself. This is a city that is worth a look around for a day or two, especially if you are dealing with jetlag, but not one worth lingering in. It’s one of the more expensive places in New Zealand as well.
Prices in Auckland largely depend on the current strength or weakness of the New Zealand dollar to your own currency. There’s been quite a bit of volatility in the past few years, and when the NZ$ is strong this can be an expensive place.
There are plenty of hostels and hotels waiting for you, and prices are reasonable in the central backpacker neighborhood, which is where you want to be if you are only in town for a day or two. Budget meals are easy to find though the city’s cuisine might disappoint at the same time.
Visiting the Sky Tower is the most popular thing for first-time visitors, and if you’re loaded you can do a sort of simulated bungee jump off the thing.