Auckland is the main gateway to New Zealand and its largest city with its
vibrant waterfront life not for nothing is it called the City
of Sails and its busy Downtown district. Auckland may not be
New Zealands capital that distinction going to Wellington
but it is the countrys largest city and its major gateway for most
As well as the harbours and fertile land, the citys maritime climate
was appealing. Its situation by the sea means that it never gets too hot in
summer or too cold in winter. Between K Road and the waterfront, is the
heart of Auckland City. To the southeast is the sophisticated Parnell
district, with the Auckland Museum and Auckland Domain Park, while to the
northwest of the centre is Herne Bay and Ponsonby.
These are the hip and happening areas, with bohemian bars and cafés.
Tourism, the countrys biggest earner, is on the up, especially since
the film release of the first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which
was filmed in New Zealand with a knock-on effect for the citys
other sectors, such as business and finance. It may not be boom city
but Auckland is certainly blossoming.
Auckland's Key Attractions
Auckland Harbour Bridge
The Auckland Harbour Bridge is another icon that can show you an exciting
time. Bridge climbing is one of the latest things to do - and it doesn't
require a high level of fitness or daring. You'll be carefully guided along
the spans before proceeding to the highest point for a knockout view of the
city and harbour.
Start your Auckland experience at the top of the Sky Tower. At 328 metres,
it's the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Apart from a stunning
view, the Sky Tower now offers you Sky Jump - the world's highest
tower-based jump. It's a leap beyond description...
Tarltons Underwater world and Antartic Encounter
For different view of Southern Hemisphere life, make a point of visiting
Antarctica while you're in Auckland. At Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter
and Underwater World you can meet King and Gentoo Penguins in a world of
real snow and ice. You'll also walk through enormous perspex tubes while
sharks, fish and stingrays of every description swim around you. Auckland
Zoo's Sealion and Penguin Shores gives you a similar close encounter, except
this time it's sealions whistling past your nose.
The other main attractions
of Auckland are Auckland Domain and
Auckland Museum, citys oldest, largest and most attractive park, with
gardens and statues. Auckland City Art Gallery, citys main art gallery
that has the countrys largest collections of both native and
international art. New Zealand National Maritime Museum covers almost a
millennium of history from the arrival of Maori and then European
settlers, to the 2000 Americas . Auckland Zoo , with almost 1000 creatures
from around the world are housed at this forward-looking zoo and yes how can
one forget the Howick Historical Village this living museum deals with the
dramatic and turbulent events of the next 50 years, when the bulk of the
settlers arrived from Britain, Ireland and Australia and Maori were forcibly
removed from their land.
Auckland - A Fun , Food and Entertainment World
Whether your energy levels shoot up or down in the evening, Auckland gives
you plenty of scope for fun. Linger over a meal or burn off some calories on
the dance floor, catch a play or find a seat in front of the Philharmonia.
Cocktails at sunset are an excellent way to start a night out in Auckland.
Down at the Viaduct Harbour the bars look west to the setting sun. Watch the
America's Cup yachts get put to bed while you sip your favourite relaxant.
could be a casual affair at a wine bar or a starched linen experience at a
fine dining establishment. Seek out the flavours that take your fancy -
Japanese, Italian, French, Indian, Thai, Korean or Pacific Rim (a fusion of
all the culinary styles that border the Pacific Ocean).
Theatre and live music performances give you the chance to witness
Auckland's creativity in full bloom. See what's on at the Herald Theatre and
the theatre at Sky City. The St James is the venue that rocks with loud,
live music, while the Town Hall is somewhat more refined - the venue of
choice for the Auckland Philharmonia.
Auckland's Markets Shopper's Paradise
The weekend markets at Otara (Saturdays in South Auckland) and Avondale
(Sundays in West Auckland) offer Asian, Indian, Pacific Island and European
fruit and vegetables, alongside fresh seafood, baked goods and ready-made
foods. The Avondale markets, in the grounds of the local racecourse, also
have a wide variety of second hand goods and collectables.
At the Otara markets, the air is filled with traditional Pacific Island
music as well as modern hip hop. Pacific Island arts and crafts - including
printed cloths, carving and jewelery.On Sunday mornings the centre of
Takapuna on the North Shore also hosts a bustling market. Expensive antiques
are sold alongside bric-a-brac, home preserves and plants.