Scenic flight, Auckland
By Alistair Guthrie
Internationally acclaimed wines, Auckland
By Alistair Guthrie
West Coast, Auckland
By Julian Apse
Kayaking , Auckland
By Julian Apse
Wynyard Quarter, Auckland
By Jeff Brass
Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping, and you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland, New Zealand, our largest and most diverse city.
More than just a city, Auckland is a whole region full of things to see and do. Best of all, with so many experiences close by it’s easy to hop from one adventure to the next.
Auckland’s diverse landscapes provide countless opportunities to get immersed in nature. In the west, lush native rainforest plunges down the hills to meet the sea on dramatic black sand beaches, while the east’s sheltered golden sand beaches are fringed with red-flowering pohutukawa trees. To the north the rolling hills of wine country meet stunning coastlines and in the south you'll find picturesque country gardens, unspoilt forest and tranquil bays to explore.
New Zealand's Auckland region is dotted with 48 volcanic cones, which provide spectacular panoramic views of the city and harbour. Many are surrounded by lush parkland, making them perfect picnic spots. Rangitoto Island, just a 25-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, is the region's most iconic volcano and a favourite day trip destination for visitors, hikers and bird watchers.
Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park encompasses an incredible 1. 2 million hectares of coast, sea and islands – and there are so many ways to explore it.
The jewel of the Hauraki Gulf is Waiheke Island, a haven of beautiful vineyards, olive groves, farm land and golden beaches - and only a 35-minute ferry ride away from downtown Auckland. Sip on award-winning wines at some of the 30 boutique vineyards and wineries, enjoy fine dining and pick up superb local artwork.
Make sure you get out on the water while you're here, whether it’s a relaxing harbour cruise, a fishing charter, whale and dolphin spotting, diving, kayaking or surfing.
Auckland is a shopaholic's paradise, with everything from top-end designers to open air street markets. Discover the diverse range of cafes and restaurants offering cuisine from around the globe and check out the buzzing nightlife of the central city. Favourite spots include Wynyard Quarter, the Viaduct Harbour, the Britomart precinct and City Works Depot. Once you've seen the city, head out to one of Auckland's beautiful wine regions where you can sample local wines against the backdrop of vine-covered hills and sparkling ocean.
New Zealand's indigenous Maori people called this land Tamaki Makaurau, a maiden desired by a hundred lovers. It was a place fought over for its vast riches, including its forested hills, productive volcanic soils and harbours full of seafood. The name still holds true, as Auckland's lifestyle is ranked amongst the best in the world.
In fact, Auckland is rated the third most liveable city in the world on the Mercer Quality of Living scale and has just been named as one of the top 10 most liveable cities in the world by The Economist.
Come and experience it for yourself. A few days in Auckland, building in a tour or two, is the perfect beginning to your New Zealand vacation.
Content courtesy of Tourism NZ