The Auckland metropolitan area, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with over 1.4 million residents, 31 percent of the country's population. Increasingly cosmopolitan, Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world, and has seen many people of Asian ethnicity move there in the last two decades. In Maori Auckland's name is Tmaki-makau-rau, or the transliterated version of Auckland, Akarana.
Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two separate major bodies of water.
|Currency||:||New Zealand dollar (NZ$).|
Climate and Geography
Auckland has a warm-temperate climate, with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters.
Buses, trains and ferries make it easy and convenient to get around central Auckland.
√ Buses : - The Link bus connects Auckland city fringe suburbs with the central business district. There is also free environmentally-friendly, hybrid City Circuit buses that follow a route around the inner city. Buses run to all parts of the Auckland region from the Britomart transport centre, downtown.
√ Trains : - Trains run regularly to central, south and west Auckland suburbs from the Britomart rail station.
√ Ferries : - A number of regular passenger and vehicle ferries travel from Auckland City to various locations on the North Shore and Manukau, as well as many of Auckland's islands, including Waiheke and Great Barrier in the Hauraki Gulf.
√ Transport : - The tourists are given myriad options for exploring New Zealand on cars and motorbikes that suits all budgets and can give the best results.
√ Air : - Auckland's international and domestic airports are the number one transport hub in New Zealand. All of the world's major airlines frequent Auckland and there are several airlines serving domestic routes between Auckland and the rest of the country.
√ Water : - Arriving in Auckland by cruise ship is a spectacular way to greet New Zealand. Admire the many islands of the Hauraki Gulf and then sail through the sparkling Waitemata Harbour before disembarking in the cosmopolitan Auckland city centre.
√ Rail : - Travelling by rail is one of the most scenic ways to travel through New Zealand. A train network runs from Auckland through the North Island down to Wellington, the capital city. Along the way, the train passes through the central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune, farmland, a volcanic plateau and stunning river gorges.
Auckland's major railway station is located at Britomart in downtown Auckland. Here, all the major bus, train and ferry public transport networks meet.
Shopping and Entertainment
Auckland's stylish heart is the home of many of New Zealand's top fashion designers. The block around High Street, the Chancery and Vulcan Lane hosts the boutiques of Karen Walker, Workshop, Zambesi and World, plus dozens of other designers.
The inner city suburbs of Ponsonby, Parnell and Newmarket are also well known for their fashion shopping. Auckland is also a good place to shop for unique arts and crafts, and Pacific Island themed treasures.
Large malls and outlet stores like St Lukes, Albany Westfield, Sylvia Park, Dress-Smart and Botany Downs are spread throughout the suburbs. There are also several markets that are a magnet for bargain hunters seeking fresh food, arts and crafts, clothing and second hand goods.
→ With a million residents to entertain and even more overseas visitors arriving each year, Auckland has a great diversity of nightlife. It reaches a climax on Friday and Saturday nights when the most popular venues are overflowing with revelers. Cafes, restaurants and bars often serve food and drink all through the night with music and dancing round the clock. Some of the hottest venues can be found along the entertainment strip known as KRd at the top of Queen Street. There are Irish pubs, Latin rhythm and jazz groups. Top Kiwi musos and overseas bands often perform gigs here. Ponsonby Road and Jervois Road continue on from KRd, extending the clubbing strip. The Downtown area and the waterfront have live jazz in late-night trendy bars and there are regular performances of fully plugged bands.
→ Auckland's theatre scene is concentrated on KRd, the Civic Theatre, Town Hall, Sky City Theatre and Aotea Centre. The Aotea Centre is a world class venue for theatre, classical music, opera and ballet. There are several performances each year by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonic. On any night of the week the city can usually offer visitors a choice of entertainment including plays, comedy, dance troupe, opera or ballet.
→ Cinemas are centered on Queen Street and suburban multicomplexes. In July each year an International Film Festival features a wide range of foreign movies.