Auckland: An introduction

New Zealand's largest city, set between two harbours and magnificent coastal expanses, offers a sizzling blend of urban sophistication and multicultural style.

Rated among the world's 10 most liveable cities, Auckland is home to one-third of New Zealanders and has the world’s largest Pacific Island population. This vibrant multicultural mix infuses the region's cuisine, music, art and culture with colour and diversity. The subtropical climate promotes casual coastal living and outdoor adventure and activity. 

Perched on a narrow isthmus between two harbours, Auckland is the ultimate marine playground, with everyday life revolving around the sea. With the sea at its doorstep, there are so many ways to get out onto the city's sparkling harbours. As well as providing transport to outer suburbs and islands, the sea influences everything here, from cuisine, industry, culture and design to leisure pursuits and sports activities.

The region’s diversity of people and landscapes gives an extra dimension to visitors' experience. Within half an hour of the fashionable boutiques and cafés of downtown Auckland, they can be sipping wine at an island vineyard, hiking through rainforest or exploring a black sand beach on the rugged west coast.

Heritage

Its variety of nationalities makes Auckland New Zealand’s most multicultural region. The region's indigenous culture has a fascinating history that is illustrated by Auckland's Māori name, Tamaki-Makau-Rau – "the maiden with a hundred suitors", so-named because, over time, more than 18 tribes have laid claim to the region.

Art and culture  

Auckland is a sprawling metropolis where no two streets or houses are the same. Creativity and innovation runs through every aspect of design, from architecture and interiors to clothing, fashion and public art. Every community has its own identity and style, from chic inner-city suburbs with trendsetting boutiques and cafés, to more relaxed beachside suburbs. 

Food and wine

You're never far from a good café or restaurant in Auckland, and the city is a haven for discerning travellers seeking a local gourmet experience. As well as a thriving coffee culture – think "flat white", the Kiwi coffee creation – the quality and choice of locally sourced produce underpins exceptional dining experiences at the hands of acclaimed chefs.

Auckland also has more than 80 vineyards producing Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. As a consequence, wine tasting is a popular pastime on picturesque Waiheke Island, on the outskirts of west Auckland and around Matakana to the north of the city and the Clevedon Valley in the south..

Adventure / outdoors

The Auckland region’s geographic variety, featuring volcanoes and harbours, rainforests and endless coastline, is the perfect playground for outdoor adventure and leisure pursuits. Whether you are canyoning, abseiling, cycling, hiking, jumping off the Harbour Bridge or walking around the Sky Tower, sailing or diving in the Hauraki Gulf, there's every imaginable opportunity to experience the great outdoors.

And by the way...

  • Experts disagree about how many volcanoes Auckland has, but there are generally thought to be the remains of about 50 extinct volcanic cones.
  • Auckland sits on two harbours between two oceans – Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean.  

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