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American Express Offices -- are at 105 Queen St. (tel. 09/379-8286) and 67-69 Symonds St. (tel. 09/367-4422). For credit card queries, call tel. 0800/656-660; for traveler's check queries, tel. 0508/555-358. Find them online at www.americanexpress.co.nz.

Area Code -- Auckland's area code (STD) is 09.

Babysitters -- Most major hotels can furnish babysitters.

Currency Exchange -- Go to city center banks and most neighborhood branches for your banking needs. Banks are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4:30pm. Hotels and restaurants usually convert traveler's checks, but you'll get a much better rate at banks. There is a dedicated currency exchange outlet at Travelex NZ, Brookfields House, Level 14/19, Victoria St. W. (tel. 0800/082-082; www.travelex.co.nz; open normal business hours), and at SKYCITY and at both the Auckland International Airport and the Domestic Airport (open daily during normal business hours).

Dentists -- For emergency and after-hours dental service, call Emergency Dental Service, on the corner of Greenlane East Road and Peach Parade, Remuera (tel. 09/523-3030; www.dentistryforchickens.co.nz). It's open Monday through Friday from 8am to 11pm, Sunday until 10pm.  Doctors For emergency ambulance service, dial tel. 111. For emergency medical services, call the CityMed Medical Centre, on the corner of Mills Lane and Albert Street, inner city (tel. 09/377-5525; www.citymed.co.nz).

Embassies & Consulates -- Embassies are in Wellington. For additional information on embassies in New Zealand, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Wellington (tel. 04/494-8500; www.mft.govt.nz; enquiries@mft.govt.nz).  Auckland has consulates of the United States, Level 3, 23 Customs St. E. (tel. 09/303-2724; fax 09/366-0870); Canada, Level 9 48 Emily Place (tel. 09/309-3690); Ireland, Level 7, 23 Customs St. E. (tel. 09/977-2252); and the United Kingdom, IAG House, 151 Queen St. (tel. 09/303-2973).

Emergencies -- Dial tel. 111 to call the police, report a fire, or request an ambulance.  Hospitals Area hospitals include Auckland City Hospital, 2 Park Rd., Grafton (tel. 09/367-7000), which incorporates the National Women's Hospital and the Starship Children's Hospital; and Greenlane Clinical Centre, 214 Greenlane West Rd., Epsom (tel. 09/367-0000).

Internet Access -- Give either of these a go: Cyber Max, 291 Queen St. (tel. 09/979-2468); or Net Central Cyber Café, 5 Lorne St. (tel. 09/373-5408).

Laundromat -- There is a 24-hour laundromat at 511 Great North Rd., Grey Lynn (tel. 09/376-6062).

Lost Property -- Call the Central Police Station (tel. 09/379-4240) or any local police station.

Luggage Storage & Lockers -- "Left luggage" facilities are at the Visitor Information Centre in the International Airport. The fee for 24 hours is about NZ$8 for hand luggage, NZ$15 for large items, and NZ$12 per suitcase. For more information, call tel. 09/256-8845.

Newspapers & Magazines -- The New Zealand Herald is the daily paper. The Sunday Star Times andSunday News are Sunday-morning publications.

Police -- For emergencies, dial tel. 111. For other matters, call the Central Police Station (tel. 09/379-4240).

Post Office -- Most post offices are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. The central city Post Shop is at 23 Customs St. E. (tel. 09/302-1059); it's open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, and Saturday from 9am to noon. For poste restante(held mail) pickup, go to the Post Shop in the Bledisloe Building on Wellesley Street (tel. 09/379-6714). There is also a Post Shop on the ground floor of Courier Post House, 151 Victoria St. W. (tel. 09/367-9617); and others in suburban locations. For post office questions, call tel. 0800/501-501; www.nzpost.co.nz.

Staying Safe -- Personal safety is always a matter of common sense. Police cameras have been installed in several city areas to reduce crime, but it still pays to be vigilant. Much like public parks anywhere, the Auckland Domain is a place to avoid after dark. And it pays to take care at night in Albert Park and the Aotea Square area.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.