Our visit to Auckland was a learning experience from beginning to end. Tamaki Makaurau as Maori people call it, is a city with singular culture, huge range of outdoor activities, very warm and affectionate people. Most people do not know that Auckland was the capital of New Zealand for 25 years from 1842 until 1865 which led it to become one of the most important cities in the country until now, home to 31% of the country’s population. It is a city where everyone is welcome and we felt it since we arrived, it is a city made up of all kinds of people and cultures. Among the first to arrive here were the Maori, followed by large numbers of immigrants from the United Kingdom, people from neighboring Pacific Islands including Samoa and Tonga, Chinese and Korean migrants, and new residents from a wide range of countries such as the US, South Africa, Zimbabwe and India. New Zealand is a modern, secular, democratic society, with no ingrained class system and you can feel it everywhere. People’s will to live and to enjoy life is contagious and it may be due to the great weather they enjoy, Auckland has 265 days of sunshine per year. Auckland is considered to have one of the highest standards of life in the world, there is plenty of jobs and educational opportunities, as well as numerous leisure facilities. Aucklanders love sports such as: rugby, cricket, hiking, kayaking, fishing, white-water rafting, football, basketball and skiing. Excellent hotels, amazing restaurants, gorgeous parks like the Albert Park, Myers Park, Victoria Park among many others, make of this city a complete vacation destination. We will say no more and simply let you enjoy Auckland, WOW Travel put together a Top 8 Things To Do In Auckland but this city has much more, just visit and enjoy it.
Sky Tower – This 328 meter (1076 ft) structure is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand. The Sky Tower is an iconic landmark in Auckland’s skyline due to its height and unique design. Thousands of tourists visit it every year and enjoy the breathtaking views, in a clear day you could see up to 80 km (50 miles) in every direction. Visitors may also sit down for a delicious meal at The Sugar Club restaurant or simply relax and enjoy the scenery at the Sky Lounge or dine at Orbit – Auckland’s only 360-degree revolving restaurant. The brave one have one more option, to jump off the famous Auckland Sky Tower and fall 192 meters (629 ft) down.
Auckland War Memorial Museum – The Auckland Museum, as locals call it, is the most important museums and war memorials of the country and it is home to vast collections about history, nature and specially military history. The museum houses a large collection of Māori and Pacific Island artefacts and treasures. This neo-classicist building is one of the most beautiful and emblematic ones in the city. This museum is also a war memorial, mainly to those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars.
Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium – It is Auckland’s public aquarium and it offers adults and kids multiple activities for a full day of learning and entertainment. Set on the waterfront of Auckland City on Okahu Bay, just moments from the famous Mission Bay beach, Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium is one of Auckland’s top attractions. Visit the Antarctic Ice Adventure with its friendly and cute penguins, the Pacific Shark Zone where visitors can join the fish in a Shark Cage encounter or cage-less shark encounter, the Stingray Bay with “Phoebe” a 250 kilogram short-tail stingray with a two metre wingspan.
Mount Eden – This Mount Eden is a lively and dynaimic suburb of Auckland, with a winning combination of culture and nature. Wander through the neighborhoods and make it to the top of Mount Eden’s volcanic cone for some of the most spectacular views in Auckland. Enjoy the waterfalls, rock formations, resident native birds and fabulous city and harbour views.
Rangitoto Island – This natural paradise is only 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Auckland. Rangitoto is a large island of 2,311 hectares with a wonderful volcanic landscape that houses more than 200 species of moss, plants and trees. This island is a perfect place for a day trip near Auckland, regular ferry services leave everyday from downtown Auckland and there are lots of outdoor activities to do like walking and tramping, camping, mountain biking, bird watching, caving and more.
Auckland Art Gallery – Or Toi o Tāmaki, in Maori, is the principal public gallery in Auckland and is home to the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand, a collection of more than 15,000 artworks. The building itself is a piece of art and worth a visit, it was built with brick and plaster in an early French Renaissance style and was completed in 1887. It is three storeys high, with an attic in the steep pitched roofs, and a six storey clock tower.
Victoria Park Market – A former waste depot and incinerator complex is nowadays a wonderful and lively craft, souvenir and clothing market in Auckland. The newly refurbished market has been transformed into an upmarket retail precinct in a stylish heritage setting, with offerings which range from lifestyle and beauty stores to cafes, delicatessens, restaurants and bars. We stopped here more than a couple of times and had amazing meals and met lots of cool people.
Hauraki Gulf – The gulf is part of the Pacific Ocean but it is protected from the winds by the Great Barrier Island and Little Barrier Island to the north. We ventured out into the Hauraki Gulf on a full day sailing trip and were able to enjoy wonderful views of the Gulf’s historic landmarks and islands, we saw dolphins, and took a dip in the ocean and swam among them. We invite everyone to do it, you will not regret it.
Just So You Know…
- There are around 50 volcanoes in the Auckland region.
- There are over 800 restaurants in Auckland.
- The nickname of Auckland is the “City of Sails”.
- The Sky Tower is currently the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Auckland is one of the only places in the world where rainforest exists outside of the tropics.
- English is the official language spoken in the city. However, since this place is largely Polynesian, a large number of other languages such as Asian and Maori languages are also spoken widely.
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