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Auckland - New Zealand's Largest City

Auckland is the largest metropolitan area in New Zealand with a population of 1.4 million residents.

In Māori Auckland's name is Tāmaki Makaurau, or the transliterated version of Auckland, Ākarana.

Today Auckland teems with life, from its vibrant, regenerated waterfront and ever-expanding Downtown district to the hip suburbs with their Edwardian and Victorian delights, and glorious beaches.

Thanks to its location on a narrow isthmus, Auckland’s districts weave around bays and harbours, so you’re never far from the water.

Auckland is the country’s most culturally diverse city, home to a large Polynesian and Asian community. This diversity is reflected in Auckland’s eclectic restaurants serving quality Pacific Rim cuisine, plus numerous festivals and sporting events.

The 2010 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Auckland 4th equal place in the world on its list.

Top 5 things to do in Auckland

Sky Tower

The Sky Tower observation and telecommunications tower is located on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the Auckland CBD.

At 328m high, it is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere and an iconic part of Auckland's skyline.

The popular tourist attraction and associated casino gets half a million visitors every year.

The upper portion of the tower contains two restaurants and a cafe, including a revolving restaurant which is located 190m from the ground, turning 360 degrees once every hour.

There are three observation decks at different heights, each providing 360 degree views of the city.

The main observation level at 186m has 38mm thick glass sections of flooring giving a view straight to the ground. The top observation deck labeled 'Skydeck' sits just below the main antenna at 220m and gives views of up to 82 km in the distance.

The town is illuminated brightly at night sometimes using different colours to promote events such as orange for the Auckland Festival, red and gold for the Chinese New Year.

Auckland Museum

The Auckland War Memorial Museum houses collections that tell the history of the Auckland region as well its military history.

The museum dates back to 1852 when it was established in a farm workers' cottage. With an initial call for the donation of specimens of wool for display it attracted 708 visitors in its first year

The current building is located atop the grassy plinth of a dormant volcano in the Auckland Domain - one of Auckland's oldest parks close to the CBD (see #3 below)

The museum houses a large collection of Māori and Pacific Island artefacts and treasures, including for example three entire buildings.

Parts of the museum, as well as the Cenotaph and its surrounding consecrated grounds (Court of Honour) in front of the Museum, also serve as a war memorial, mainly to those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars.

Special events are held at the museum throughout the year so please do check the events guide on the website.

Open daily from 10am until 5pm. Guided tours are available.

Auckland Domain

Auckland Domain, located in the Grafton suburb, is the largest and oldest park in the city at 75 hectares.

The park lies mostly within the crater of the dormant Pukekawa volcano and is home to one of Auckland's top tourist attractions, Auckland Museum (see #2 above).

Pukekawa means 'hill of bitter memories' in the Māori language, and likely refers to various hard-fought tribal battles between the different tribes.

After the Europeans bought the land from the Māoris in the 1840s, it was set aside as a public reserve.

Today several sports fields occupy the floor of the crater and the Domain has hosted many of New Zealand's largest outdoor events.

The Wintergarden has two beautiful glass houses and several duck ponds lie on the north edge of the park.

KT's Underwater World

The Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World aquarium was opened in 1985.

Built in disused sewage storage tanks, the aquarium was the first to use curved see-through acrylic tunnels rather than flat-paneled glass viewing areas as well as conveyer belts to slowly move people through the labyrinth.

The aquarium's main features are the Antarctic Encounter and the Underwater World, but it also includes several other exhibits such as Stingray Bay, NIWA Interactive Room and Sea Creatures.

For a fee, visitors can join the fish in a shark cage encounter, a cage-less shark encounter, or a swim in the stingray tank.

Open daily from 9.30am until 5.30pm. Located at 23 Tamaki Drive,Orakei.

Rainbow's End Theme Park

Rainbow's End is New Zealand's largest theme park and a great day out for families.

Its main attraction is New Zealand's only Corkscrew Roller Coaster.

Other rides include The Invader, Power Surge, Dodgems,Cadbury Land Castle and Fear Fall - an 18 storey tower free-fall drop.

As with other parks, there are special events held within the grounds throughout the year. Check the websites events calendar for more details.

Open daily from 10am until 5pm. Located at RAINBOW JUNCTION in Manukau City.

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Other Places To Visit

If you have some extra time in the city, some other worthwhile places to visit are:

  • Harbour Bridge - considered to be one of Auckland's landscape icons
  • Mount Eden - the highest natural point in the whole of Auckland

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Temperature & Rainfall Guide for Auckland

Climate graph for Auckland

More Auckland details from Climate Charts

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Auckland City Centre Map

View Larger Map of Auckland

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Great Airfare Deals to Auckland

Book your airplane ticket to Auckland now. Use our list of airline providers to find discount flights to Auckland.

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Travel Extras

Make sure you check out our handy travel extras section for useful information to help you plan your holiday.



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