Auckland is New Zealand’s largest metropolitan area with a gross population of slightly over one million people. Recently, four separate cities amalgamated to form the new Auckland City. These cities included Manukau, Waitakere, Auckland City and North Shore. The larger Auckland region now includes these cities, small towns, Hauraki Gulf Islands and rural areas. Auckland is a highly modernized cosmopolitan city and nearly one third of the entire population in New Zealand lives here. Due to the many yachts found in Auckland gracing the Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbor, the city is commonly referred to as ‘City of Sails’.
Auckland boasts of being the largest Polynesian city and the rich Pacific culture of Auckland is celebrated in various sporting matches and festivals held in the city throughout the year. The city has an international cultural mix and rated among the top five cities with the best quality of life. Tourism wise, Auckland is also a force to reckon with and receives a large number of tourists every year who frequent its top attractions such as the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
This museum house collection of great importance and from the museum, tourists can enjoy the scenic views offered of Hauraki Gulf Islands and Waitemata Harbour from Auckland Domain. This war memorial is a commemoration of those who fought and lost their lives in war theatres. Excellent exhibitions of Polynesian arts and crafts as well as Maori cultural performances are also displayed at the museum as well.
Winter gardens have significant historical importance and highly frequented by tourists who come here to see the impressive flower displays, statues and tropical plants. The Auckland Domain is reputed as the oldest park in Auckland and hosts many weekend sporting events and is located at the nearby New Zealand National Maritime Museum.
Sky Tower in Auckland City is the tallest tower in Southern Hemisphere and offers fantastic views more than 80 km away. Orbit revolving restaurant at Sky Tower offers a fine dining experience. Auckland Art Gallery is home to the largest collections of both the national and international arts and crafts in the country, houses in the main and new galleries.
Auckland Zoo is home to a large collection of exotic and native animals and the best place to have a family outing in the city. The StarDome Observatory along the One Tree Hill slopes is a park containing the best of Maori archaeological sites, a working farm and a playground for kids. Kelly Tarlton’s is a highly treasured aquarium in Auckland and the best place to go swimming in the company of sharks and fish.
Being surrounded by nature, there is so much to do and enjoy in Auckland and there are many indoor recreation activities to engage in when it is raining. Aotea Center is the entertainment precinct in the city and you can catch the latest movies. Other interesting things to do in Auckland include catching a rugby or cricket match at Eden Park, climbing Auckland Harbour Bridge and sky jumping.