Auckland, the city of sails, is a cosmopolitan city that offers a great diversity of landscapes, numerous attractions, two wonderful ports, excellent seafood cuisine accompanied by award-winning wines, and great opportunities for purchases of all kinds.
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, its metropolitan area has over one million four hundred thousand inhabitants. The central area of the city is located in the North Island on a narrow isthmus which separates the two ports of Waitemata and Manukau. The heart of Auckland is centered around Queen Street, here you will find countless shops, the famous Sky Tower the symbol of the city, the Waterfront, the Harbor Bridge, numerous parks, and many other attractions.
THE ONLY LARGE CITY OF NEW ZEALAND
The metropolitan area of Auckland is the most populous region of New Zealand, it includes around 35% of the country’s population. This region extends between the Gulf of Hauraki and the Tasman Sea, and includes 48 volcanic cones, 50 islands, 22 regional parks and agricultural areas partly cultivated with vineyards.
Within the Auckland metropolitan area you will find many possibilities for excursions. South of the city center in the suburb of Manukau is Rainbow’s End, the largest theme park in New Zealand. Not far away is the Auckland Regional Botanical Park, which contains over ten thousand plant species. Auckland International Airport, New Zealand’s most important airport, is also located in this area of the city.
In the western area of the city are the Waitakere Ranges, a chain of hills covered with native forest. These hills reach almost five hundred meters high and are a paradise for hikers. Along the coast there are black sand beaches excellent for surfing, such as those of Piha, Karekare, Muriwai and Bethell’s Beach (Te Henga). Part of the territory of this area of the city is cultivated with vineyards and it is a must to visit at least some of the over 50 farms that produce excellent wines here.
The northern area of Auckland, north of the Harbor Bridge, is known for its relaxed atmosphere, with beautiful views of the sea branches, the bays, and the many islands that dot the Gulf of Hauraki, such as the dramatic volcanic cone of the island of Rangitoto, or the large island of Waiheke. In this area there are beautiful beaches and the old seaside resort of Devonport.
HOW TO GET TO AUCKLAND
Auckland is served by New Zealand’s most important airport, Auckland Airport (AKL). Flights from major Pacific nations and islands, Australia, North America, Europe and Asia land at this airport. Auckland Airport is the main base for the national airline Air New Zealand, and the main hub of New Zealand for Virgin Australia and Jetstar Airways.