JWC 2014 host cities
Welcome to Auckland
New Zealand’s largest city is an urban oasis – an exciting combination of vibrant city culture and stunning natural beauty.
Auckland is an immensely varied region full of diverse activities and attractions. A stunning natural landscape, beautiful beaches, outstanding food and wine, great shopping, exciting nightlife and plenty of action and adventure – Auckland has it all.
Auckland fast facts
- About one third of New Zealand’s population lives in Auckland – approximately 1.5 million people live in the greater Auckland area.
- The city’s sparkling waters, varied landscapes and cosmopolitan city life combine to make it one of the most desirable places in the world to live or visit. Auckland is rated third on the Mercer scale of global lifestyle cities.
- Auckland is the world’s largest Polynesian city, with a rich mix of Maori, Pacific Island, Asian and other cultures – Auckland is a true melting pot.
- Auckland is set on three beautiful harbours – Waitemata, Manukau and Kaipara – and is home to more than 50 islands.
- Auckland is the best-connected city in New Zealand, easily accessible to visitors from overseas and around the country, and is the ideal gateway for those travelling further within New Zealand.
- New Zealand's indigenous people, the Maori, called this land "Tamaki Makau Rau", a maiden with 100 lovers. It was a place desired by many and fought over for its riches, including its forested hills, productive volcanic soils and harbours full of seafood.
- Auckland’s landscape is dotted with 48 volcanic cones. The largest and most iconic is Rangitoto Island, Auckland’s youngest volcano, which emerged from the water over 600 years ago. The volcano is home to the world’s largest pohutukawa forest.
A panoramic view of Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand - Photo: ATEED
On the water
With its incredible harbour setting, it’s no wonder Auckland is known around the world as the ‘City of Sails’, so getting out on the water is a must. With everything from relaxing harbour cruises to sea kayaking, fishing charters, whale and dolphin spotting and match racing, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Visit one of the many beautiful islands dotting the Hauraki Gulf – walk up Rangitoto Island’s volcanic cone for amazing views or discover Waiheke Island’s world-class wineries and sandy beaches.
Wining, dining and culture
Visit the Auckland Museum or Auckland Art Gallery for a culture fix and discover the city’s eclectic restaurants, cafés and bars. Relax with a drink overlooking the water, join the locals for fresh fish and chips at the Auckland Fish Market or treat yourself to fine cuisine at one of the many harbourside eateries. There’s plenty to do after dark too, particularly in the buzzing Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter and Britomart precincts.
Action and adventure
Head up the Sky Tower, the tallest building in the southern hemisphere, for incredible 360-degree views across the city – the brave can even ‘SkyJump’ off it or ‘SkyWalk’ around its exterior on a narrow walkway 192 metres above ground. For more adventure, there’s bridge climbing, bungee jumping, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking and even canyoning.
Auckland is known around the world as the City of Sails - Photo: ATEED
It’s easy to indulge in some top-notch retail therapy when you’re in Auckland. The beautifully restored historic buildings in Britomart are home to the flagship stores of New Zealand’s most internationally successful designers alongside top international labels. Browse the High Street/Vulcan Lane quarter, or check out the bustling city fringes in Ponsonby, Parnell and Newmarket.
Auckland isn’t just a great city, it’s a whole region full of things to see and do. And with so many experiences so close by, it’s easy to hop from one adventure to the next. Less than an hour north of the city centre is the picturesque Matakana region, known for its boutique wineries, superb farmers’ markets and arts scene, while Auckland’s south is home to the largest Polynesian community in the world. Head west for rugged black sand surf beaches and lush native forest, or east for sandy bays and perfect picnic spots. Just a 10-minute ferry ride away is the seaside village of Devonport, with it gorgeous Victorian villas, cafés and art galleries, plus the fascinating gun emplacements, maze of tunnels and incredible views at North Head.
Find out more at AucklandNZ.com