Auckland is the capital of New Zealand and has a population of more
than 1 million. It is known as the City of Sails. Auckland is located
on an isthmus of the North Island where
the city covers the width of the island. Manukau Harbour, off the
Tasman Sea, is on its western edge and Waitemata Harbour off the Hauraki
Gulf forms its eastern border. The Maori settled here in the 1300s
and they represent the world's largest Polynesian cultural center.
Auckland is located in the Southern Hemisphere, so its seasons are
reversed as compared to Europe or North America. Temperatures in
the winter months from May to September average highs of about 63 F
(17 C) while average lows are 46 F (8 C). The months of January and
February mark the height of summer, with average highs of 75 F (24 C) and 60 F
(16 C) for lows. Rainfall is lowest during January and February, making it a perfect time to visit Auckland.
Auckland Airport (AKL) is New Zealand's largest
airport. It provides international access to Auckland from a location
about 30 minutes south of the downtown area by taxi. There is also
regular bus service between the airport and the Britomart Transport Centre
on the downtown waterfront. The Britomart Transport Centre
is the transportation hub of Auckland, including the central train station,
the cruise terminal, the airport shuttle bus terminal, local buses and numerous ferries.
Check the Auckland
Transport site for more information. Although there are quite a few attractions in the
Britomart Prescint and Auckland has excellent transportation services, it's
worthwhile considering a rental car for an extended visit. Unlike
cities in Europe, the things to see and do in Auckland are spread over a
wide area in distinct regions that are detailed below. Visitors to
Auckland often also visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from the Lord of the Rings
, the Waitomo
Glowworm Caves and the volcanic geysers, hotsprings and mud pots in Rotorua.
All these attractions are located within 3 hours of Auckland.
Wynyard Quarter -
North Wharf, Karanga Plaza, Auckland Fish Market and Silo Park.
Try the North Wharf restaurants
for fresh fish served at the waterfront. Take a ride around Wynyard Loop
on the Auckland Dockline Tram.
Watch the sailboats or charter one.
Britomart Precinct - new pubs and restaurants, City Farmers' Market, specialty stores and the art work of the Britomart Project Space.
The Britomart Transport Centre is located here.
- sail on an authentic America's Cup yacht or go whale watching.
Things to see and do in the Auckland Central Business
Auckland Central Business District (CBD) forms the backdrop for the
Edge - home of the Civic (theatre), Auckland Town Hall, The
Aotea Centre, Aotea Square with its crafts and art festivals and
The Edge is right beside Queen Street
which extends from Karangahape Road down to the harbour with its
heritage walk, bars, clubs, smaller shops and red-light district.
Sky Tower - the tallest
building in New Zealand at 328 m (1,076 ft). Enjoy views of the
city. Dine at the Orbit Restaurant, the SkyLounge or Orbit with
360 degree views. At the 192 m level, take a SkyWalk
around the outside of the building or a SkyJump
off the building.
Mission Bay - Rollerblade along Tamaki Drive, fish and chips, views from
Bastion Point and the Michael Savage Memorial. Visit Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium
to see Sub-Antarctic penguins, stingrays and sharks.
Mount Eden - a
volcanic cone with a grassy crater. Views over Auckland and award
Eden Park - All Blacks rugby and Black Caps cricket.
Park (also known as One Tree Hill and Maungakiekie) - One Tree
Hill is a volcanic cone that forms part of the Auckland Volcanic Field
of 48 volcanoes. The tree at the summit is no longer there, but
an obelisk now marks the top. The park is also a Maori
archaeological site with over 170 terraces and the Rongo Stone.