NZ Auckland Information
When the Maori first settled in Auckland in 1350, they called it “Tamaki-Makua-Rau,”
which is roughly translated to “ the one with a hundred lovers,” because the
land was sought by so many. Centuries later the city still lures travelers of
all kinds. The city of Auckland straddles an isthmus on the North Island,
between the Waitemata and Maukau harbor, offering lengths of sandy beach on both
sides of the city. The region of New Zealand known as Auckland encompasses the
city and the surrounding area. Heavy rains fall year round, and while it has
never snowed in Auckland, the winter rains seem to lengthen the season. The
natural beauty of Auckland extends and includes a range of mountains, tropical
rainforests, and a peppering of volcanic cones and islands. It is a busy urban
center as well as a perfect tourist destination. Auckland’s weather is warm and
As the most populated area in New Zealand with 1,300,000 people, Auckland is
currently ranked 8th in a survey of the world’s top 55 cities. The plethora of
activities available has a range that suits any financial situation. Sometimes
known as the City of Sails, the harbors of Auckland hold the yachts of the
wealthy and the ferries and cruise ships of the tourists. The cities streets are
lined with quality dining and a vibrant nightlife. It boasts many thriving
shopping districts from Chancery’s High Street, lined with designer stores and
boutiques for the trendiest shopper, while, in the art galleries and original
boutiques of Parnell Village, the most unique gift can be found. The businesses
in Auckland account for almost 1/3 of all businesses found in New Zealand.
While the blend of cultures is apparent across the city, in nothing is the
balance of Polynesian ancestry and European colonization as in the art of
Pacific Rim cooking, which deftly combines the elements of Asian and Pacific
The temptations of the city are many, but visitors cannot forget to explore the
nearby outdoors. A ferry or boat out one of the surrounding islands gives the
opportunity to wander into the wilderness. Those with a sense of adventure can
follow the tracks of those who came before them to the secluded pools in the
islands of the Hauraki Gulf. Sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, mountain biking and
horseback riding are all available a short distance from the heart of Auckland.
Regular boat trips can take travelers out to explore the surrounding marine
life, offering views of dolphin and whale pods. There are average to good
surfing locations in and around Auckland.
Other places worth visiting in Auckland include Mount Eden, boasting spectacular
views of Auckland from outside the city and the Auckland Sky Tower, the tallest
free standing structure in the hemisphere, in the center of the business
district. The New Zealand tradition of adventure sports is evident here in the
bungee jumping site on the Tower.
One Hill Tree is actually a volcanic peak in Auckland. The settlement that
surrounded it, before European settlement, was one of the largest and most
important Maori Tribes. The height of the hill made it an ideal lookout.
As a busy city, Auckland has events year round. The Auckland Cup, however, is
just once a year, at the beginning of March. The week of racing begins on the
first Saturday in March and ends the following Saturday with Diamond Day, and
the race of the years best two-year olds.