From urban fun to island sun
Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping - you're beginning to get the picture of Auckland.
In the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki-Makau-Rau - 'the maiden with a hundred suitors'. It earned this name because it was a region coveted by many tribes.
Auckland's blend of harbour, islands, Polynesian culture and modern city environment has created a lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world.
The natural assets of Auckland have made it a dream destination for all kinds of travellers.
City at the edge of the ocean
Auckland is New Zealand's largest city. Half urban and half marine, it's a cosmopolitan experience wrapped up in a fascinating water world that's dotted with more than 50 islands. Rangitoto Island is an extinct volcano on the horizon.
Thirty minutes to anywhere
In just half an hour you can be almost anywhere - sailing to an island, trekking through a rainforest, picnicking on a volcano, sampling wines at a vineyard or wandering on a wild, black sand surf beach.
A diverse range of cultures adds flavour and interest to the city's style of life. As a result, Auckland has perfected a style of cuisine called Pacific Rim, which blends Asian and Pacific flavours.
Local Attractions: One Tree Hill & Cornwall Park, Stardome Auckland Observatory, Ericsson Stadium/Mount Smart Stadium, Eden Park, Alexandra Park Raceway, Auckland Showgrounds/Expo Centre, Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Zoo, Fullers Auckland Cruises, Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World, New Zealand National Maritime Museum, Sky City Casino.
New Zealand's largest city sits between three beautiful harbours and offers a cosmopolitan range of activities and attractions.
Auckland is home to over one third of New Zealand's population, and is the largest Polynesian city in the world. It was the country's capital from 1840 to 1865, before it was moved to the more centrally located Wellington.
Auckland is situated at the narrowest point of New Zealand's North Island and is almost totally surrounded by water. This, perhaps, is one reason why it has the largest number of pleasure boats per person of any city in the world, earning it the title 'City of Sails'. Its warm, subtropical climate adds to the attraction of its water based activities.
Auckland also has its fair share of volcanoes, its most notable being Mount Eden and One Tree Hill. Both offer panoramic views over the city from their summits. The city's youngest volcano, Rangitoto, emerged from the sea just 600 years ago. It is a short ferry ride from downtown Auckland and a walk to the top offers spectacular views over the Hauraki Gulf and the city.
There are over 50 other islands in the gulf, many of which can be enjoyed as a day trip, and others that require more time. Many also offer visitors a variety of accommodation for extended visits.
Whilst Auckland is a sprawling city, its city centre is relatively compact and it is an easy stroll to many of the city's attractions. There is an abundance of fine restaurants, cafés, nightlife, and shopping.
The city also has museums, art galleries, a Zoo and the tallest building in the southern hemisphere, the Sky Tower. A visit to the Viaduct Basin will take you to the home of the Americas Cup 2003. Many of Auckland's suburbs are well worthy of a visit.
A short ferry ride from the centre, the seaside suburb of Devonport is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of the centre, and has a selection of splendid cafes and restaurants.
Parnell, a short walk or bus trip from the city, is one of Auckland's oldest suburbs. It is crammed with art galleries, shops, wine bars, fine restaurants and cafes.
Orewa Beach is on the Hibiscus Coast, just a 30-minute drive north of Auckland. The beautiful 3km beach provides safe swimming, walking, relaxation with awesome sunrises and sunsets. Just half an hour north of Auckland's harbour bridge, the town of Orewa spreads inland from the edge of a magnificent three kilometre beach. It's a great destination if you like swimming, surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and kite surfing.
For coastal views, you can't beat a stroll along the Millennium Walkway. Beyond the beach, entertainment possibilities include golf at Gulf Harbour, wine trails, hiking in regional parks, ten pin bowling, cycling, mini golf, cinema, horse riding, go-carting, indoor skiing and thermal hot pools.
Orewa has a comprehensive shopping centre and a wide selection of eating places.
Pukekohe is a small but growing rural town in the Franklin district of the North Island of New Zealand. Located at the southern edge of the Auckland region, it is approximately 50 kilometres south of Auckland City, between the southern shore of the Manukau Harbour and the mouth of the Waikato River. The hills of Pukekohe and nearby Bombay Hills form the natural southern limit of the Auckland region.
Pukekohe Park is New Zealand's most unique racing establishment, situated 35 minutes south of downtown Auckland and a 30 minute drive from Auckland Airport. Within Pukekohe Park you will find premier motor sport, thrilling horse racing and a first class function centre.
Wrights Watergardens are gardens with a difference! Set in an abandoned rock quarry which has a 10 metre waterfall - Mauku waterfall. The gardens of over 3 hectares consist of more than 30 waterlilly and lotus ponds which are surrounded by areas for picnics, relaxing and enjoying the beauty of a large variety of garden plants.
Saturday is 'market day' with the Franklin Country Farmers' Market in the town square serving up fresh local produce, and the Franklin Market providing a colourful array of handcrafted goods, antiques and collectables and tasty food.