Even the locals admit it. Public transportation in Auckland is the worst.
Most of the places in Auckland are very spread out so if you don't have a car you are just going to have to use the bus or trains. I am just going to write about how I understand their public transport system works, I have been using buses and trains for about a month now and this is what I understand.
If you are going to be staying in Auckland for a few weeks and will be using buses and trains a lot. Getting a AT Hop card is the cheapest way to go.
How it works is you buy the card for $10, at the transportation center (I got mine in Britomart station).
Then you top up with the amount of money you want. After that you just tap on and off each time you ride the train, bus or ferry.
A day pass is $18
Monthly pass is $210
For me I use the bus at least twice everyday but since I just use 2 zones from home to work I don't even need the monthly pass and up until now I spend around $150 per month on transportation.
Fares and Zones
Auckland and its surroundings are divided into "zones" and the fares are not measured by distance travelled but by how many zones you go through.
This is a map of the public transport, each color represents a different zone.
This is a chart of the prices
If you travel only in one zone (one color) the price will be $1.85 with the HOP card.
2 zones (2 colors) will be $3.15 and so on.
These zones and fares are the same whether you use buses or trains.
There are only 4 train lines here in Auckland. Let me say it again ONLY FOUR...There is not even a train that goes to the airport which was kind of a shocker to me...
These are the train lines:
And these are the stations where they each stop.
Because I live in a suburb away from the city my main mode of transportation is by public bus. And they are unfortunately almost always late...especially on rainy days traffic can be bad and buses tend to be later than usual so, I always go extra early on rainy days.
If you don't have a HOP card you can buy the tickets from the bus driver, but they are almost double the price.
I usually don't like using buses to go to new places because I don't know where the bus stops are but I recently found out about this app called「 KiwiHub 」and if I type
where I want to go it searches the closest bus station from my current location.
It also says bus numbers and times.
Its mostly accurate, although sometimes its off by a few minutes but overall I find it quite useful.