Piha beach on Auckland's West Coast

Welcome to Auckland, one of New Zealand's major tourist destinations. Auckland is located in the north of the North Island and is the biggest city in New Zealand, with a population of over 1.5 million, although not the capital. No matter where you stay in Auckland, you’ll always be close to totally spectacular scenery, invigorating, walks, gorgeous beaches, idyllic islands, delicious food and wine, good shopping and wonderful nightlife. Aucklands perfect blend of harbour, islands, local Maori & Polynesian culture and modern city atmosphere has created a lifestyle, which is rated amongst the best in the world. Auckland often rates well in international quality-of-life polls, where it consistently stays in the top ten. According to the 2010 Mercer Quality of Living Survey, Auckland is the 4th best place to live in the world. On the other hand, according to the economist's World's “Most Livable Cities” list of 2010 Auckland is 10th most livable city in the world. Also In 2008, Auckland was classified as an Alpha World City in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory by Loughborough University. This soaring city blends with formidable views, offering an experience not to be found anywhere else in the world. When you visit Auckland you can expect a wide range of cuisine and culture with local residents from all over the world. This utopia is the ultimate holiday destination of hundreds and thousands of visitors from around the world each year. The natural assets of Auckland have made this piece of land a dream destination for domestic and international tourists alike. Whether it is the budget backpackers to elite yacht owners, there is something for everyone.

Located at the narrowest point of the North Island, Auckland actually stretches from one side of New Zealand to the other i.e. from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean, making it all the more interesting. You are never far away from water in Auckland. It is also widely known as the "City of Sails" because of the large number of yachts that sail on the Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbour. Although, it can also be thought of as the "City of Volcanoes", as most of Auckland’s natural beauty comes from the fact that it is situated on the Auckland Volcanic Field, which is made up of approximately 48 volcanoes. All of these volcanoes are individually extinct. However, the volcanic field as a whole is not. Auckland has all of the large scale attractions you usually expect of a big city, these include museums, galleries, zoos and family amusement parks amongst others. Most of them are free of cost or relatively inexpensive. Some of the main attractions include Auckland Bridge Climb, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Bridge Bungy, Waiheke Island, Antoinette Godkin Gallery, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Goat Island, Auckland Botanic Gardens, Pohutukawa Coast & Clevedon Country, Bike parks, Awhitu Peninsula, Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World & Antarctic Adventure, Devonport, canyoning, beaches and much more. Have a look at our article about What to do in Auckland for more ideas. Make your holiday unforgettable and experience Auckland's top restaurants, cruise on the beautiful harbor and immerse yourself with local culture and art. Come, visit Auckland, New Zealand. Live the adventure and see the magic for yourself.

Scenic Highlights:

The Mysterious Volcanic Island of Rangitoto: Rangitoto Island, an unforgettable feature of Auckland’s inner harbour, pushed its way through the ocean floor around 600 years ago. The volcanic fireworks that accompanied it inspired local Maori tribes to call it ‘Sky of Blood’.

Auckland City Sky Tower: The Auckland Sky Tower is the country’s tallest building, at 328 metres high.

Parks, Walks and Hikes in Every Direction: There are 22 conservation parks within easy reach of downtown Auckland. Between them they offer over 500km of walking tracks and the Waitakere Ranges (Auckland’s largest regional park) are the perfect backdrop for walking and exploring.

Activities:

- Take a ferry from downtown Auckland and hike to the summit of Rangitoto Island - the Hauraki Gulfs distintive volcanic Island
- Explore the many established wineries on Waiheke Island along with excellent swimming and sunbathing spots
- Sunbathe and swim at Motuihe Island
- Catch a ferry to Kawau Island in the northern Hauraki Gulf and visit the 'Mansion House' which was once owned by George Grey
- Rent or charter a boat and discover the best part of Auckland - the Hauraki Gulf and its many Islands
- Try whale watching or swim with the dolphins in the outer Hauraki Gulf
- Try fishing, diving and relaxing around Aucklands largest Island - Great Barrier Island
- Visit Auckland Museum and the Domain Gardens
- Dine at the many world class eateries in Ponsonby, Parnell and the Viaduct Harbour
- Go hiking amongst a labyrinth of trails in the Waitakere Ranges
- Auckland City Art Gallery houses a comprehensive collection of New Zealand and international art
- Play a round of golf at Formosa, Titirangi or Gulf Harbour
- The Auckland Museum is an iconic landmark in Auckland and filled with national treasures - well worth a visit
- New Zealand National Maritime Museum showcases New Zealand's maritime history
- The newly renovated (as of 2011) Auckland Art Gallery is home to a collection of New Zealand and prized international art
- Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World gets you up close and personal with sharks and penguins
- Take your snorkelling or diving gear and explore the aquatic life at Goat Island Marine Reserve