Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city is nicknamed: The City of Sails
The nickname has of cource a substantial reason: Auckland is reputed to have the largest boat ownership per capita in the world. Take a look at the harbor and you know why….
Where is Auckland?
Auckland is located in the northern central region of the North Island of New Zealand. The City lies cross an 11km (8 mile) wide volcanic isthmus separating two harbours.
The Waitemata Harbour to the east opens to the Hauraki Gulf, and to the Pacific Ocean. The Manukau Harbour to the west offers many estuaries and surf beaches and opens to the Tasman Sea. The nearest city to the south of Auckland is Hamilton, and to the north Whangarei.
The Auckland region boasts three harbours, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands – it is a setting that attracts not only visitors from all over the world but also film makers: the region has been the set for a number of successful television series and films, including Xena: Warrior Princess starring Lucy Lawless, and the Oscar-winning Jane Campion film, The Piano. And recently filming of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’.
Auckland has much to offer to its visitors – here are some highlights
Auckland is home to the Sky Tower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere (and taller than the Eiffel Tower). In 1998, the highest bungy jump in the world was made from the tower and now paying thrillseekers are able to jump off the tower attached to a harness and wire. But that’s not all: you can now climb over and under and even jump from the spectacular harbour bridge which dominates Auckland’s inner harbour. Auckland Harbour bungy is the only harbour bridge jump in the world!
Beside thrill-oriented adventures the visitor will find lots of other activities: Auckland offers dolphin encounters, island bird sanctuaries, idyllic beaches and native forest all within half an hour of its bustling downtown that invites to relax in cafes and/or to engage in serious shopping.
Auckland is home to more than 80 vineyards, including Waiheke Island’s Stonyridge, which produces Larose, one of the top 20 Cabernet blends in the world.
The surrounding, spectacular landscape provides challenges for golfers on more than 40 courses, including native forest on the Titirangi course, a windswept surf beach at Muriwai and harbour-side at the PGA rated courses of Gulf Harbour and Formosa.
Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world, with 11% of its 1.2 million population being of indigenous Maori descent, and another 13% being of Pacific Island origin.
Watch on YouTube: www.youtu.be/q-TMUr92GM4
Auckland’s must-see places and attractions
Basically it is difficult to reduce the best things to do to a list of only 10, there’s much more, but it gives you a starting point: We compiled a list with the Auckland must-see places
A Brief History of Tamaki makau rau (the city of one hundred lovers)
This name came about because the area was desired by all and conquered by many. More than eighteen Maori tribes are known to have had claims on Auckland at one time or another. The Maori people of the Auckland Region mostly claim descent from the great migratory waka (canoes) Te Arawa and Tainui, which navigated to New Zealand from the legendary Hawaiiki – believed to be part of French Polynesia.
The volcanoes around Auckland are reminders of early Maori settlement. Using digging sticks (ko) the Maori settlers flattened the cones of these dormant volcanoes, terraced the sides for agriculture and formed fortified villages (pa).
Captain Cook’s charting of New Zealand’s coastline in 1769 is said to have missed finding the Waitemata Harbour. In 1820 Samuel Marsden became the first known European to explore the Hauraki Gulf. Missionaries and European settlers followed soon after.
In 1839, the British Government made New Zealand a part of the British Empire. The following year William Hobson, the Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, chose Auckland as the capital of the new British colony. He named it after his naval commander, George Eden, Lord Auckland. Auckland remained New Zealand’s capital for the next 25 years.