If you’re planning a trip to the renowned city of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island, then you’ve picked just about the perfect place. Auckland is the most populous urban area and the warmest spot in the whole of New Zealand.
The harbour and the islands
Auckland is a wonderful city in terms of its mix of urbanism, business, arts, culture and nature. It has a coastline of 3,702 kilometres, and around 21,000 kilometres of rivers and streams.
Auckland is one of the few cities in the world that has two major harbours on two separate bodies of water. Waitemata Harbour is to the north, leading to the Hauraki Gulf and out to the Pacific Ocean. Manukau Harbour is to the south, and opens out to the west and is located on the Tasman Sea.
On top of that, one of Auckland’s suburbs is an island – Waiheke Island to be more precise. Rangitoto Island, on the other hand, is a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf. This is the most iconic natural landmark of Auckland, due to its volcanic shape giving it a distinctive symmetrical look.
Culture and leisure
Auckland is by far the most cosmopolitan city in New Zealand. It also has the biggest Polynesian population in the world, along with predominant European, Asian and Maori groups.
Also known as The Sail City, Auckland’s main attraction is, of course, the harbour areas. With many famous yacht clubs and marinas, Waitemata Harbour is also home to several popular beaches that provide a well-deserved retreat. Enjoy a quiet day at the beach or take some surf lessons to spice up your holiday. Later, enjoy a good meal and night out on a fancy yacht – it’s all there at your fingertips.
If you feel like shopping, we recommend the famous Otara and Avondale flea markets. These offer a picturesque alternative to the mainstream shopping experience. Get to know the best New Zealand and Pacific artists at the Auckland Art Gallery, with works dating as far back as the 14th century. The New Zealand Maritime Museum is also worth a visit. Here there is a unique collection of Polynesian and Maori vessels, as well as European ships from the historic voyages of discovery.
Exploring the outdoors
Auckland is the perfect place for enjoying unique natural scenery. With its many parks, the largest of which is Auckland Domain, you will be spoilt for choice. If you wish to truly extract yourself from the urban area for a few hours, there are many natural reservations a ferry ride away. One of them is the Tiritiri Matangi Island, and another bigger option is the double island complex of Rangitoto and Motutapu islands.
If adventure is your thing, hop in the car for an hour and head to Woodhill Forest, one of Auckland’s largest adventure destinations. Activities range from mountain biking tracks, to skydiving. Discover family friendly walking trails and look for native birds and reptiles. This sand-based pine forest will be the cherry on top of your Auckland holiday memories.