Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is New Zealand's largest city with a population of over 1.2 million people; and the main travel and holiday gateway to New Zealand. Auckland is the main business and industry centre of New Zealand. Auckland is a large, busy bustling city, with a huge Polynesian influence, having the largest number of Polynesian people of any city in the world. There is a great choice of accommodation in Auckland for short stays, orlonger visits.
Auckland City is squeezed between two harbours, the Manukau Harbour on the west coast of New Zealand, the Waitemata Harbour on the east coast. Take a cruise in Hauraki Gulf out to Rangitoto Island, or Waiheke Island. Around the coastline there are many great beaches, bays and islands; which has made boating a favourite past time. There are more boats per person in Auckland, New Zealand than any other place in the world; giving Auckland it's nickname "The City of Sails". It is no surprise therefore that favourite holiday past times also include swimming, fishing, diving and windsurfing. Auckland is the first stop for adventure in the North Island.
Mount Eden and One Tree Hill
The volcanic cones of Mount Eden and One Tree Hill have the best views of Auckland City. Remains of the old Maori pas (fortified villages) can still be seen here.
Mount Eden at 196m above sea level is Auckland's highest point, with a full 360 degree view of the city, harbor, islands and suburbs. Well worth a visit is the nearby park of Eden Gardens, with some beautiful rose and flower gardens.
One Tree Hill was named due to a lonely pine tree that used to grow on the summit, until it was damaged by Maori protesters in October 2000. Sir John Campbell one of Auckland's original "founding" fathers was buried here.
Auckland Harbour Bridge
Connecting North Auckland with South Auckland, the Auckland Harbour Bridge is a major landmark of the city. Originally built as a 4-lane highway in 1959, it soon became inadequate for the task, and heavily congested with traffic. Fortunately, some Japanese engineers came up with a way to add some extra lanes to the bridge. The addition was then given the name the 'Nippon Clip-on' by locals, in humorous appreciation of the improvement.
Close to Auckland city centre is the Auckland Domain, a very large park, with many places of interest in the area, where you can easily spend a day or more exploring. In part of the park are the Winter Gardens, which contain many tropical plants in several glass houses.
Auckland Museum is well worth visiting, containing the world's biggest collection of Polynesian objects and artifacts, including a 30 metre long Maori Canoe carved over 150 years ago from a single Totara Tree. Daily performances of Maori dance occur at 11:15am and 1:30pm each day. There is also a huge display on New Zealand's Natural History.
Auckland University, is New Zealand's largest university. The university holds a number of events and performances, many of these are open to the public.
Parnell Village, Auckland
Near to Auckland Domain is Parnell Village, renowned for it's antique shops, galleries, arts and crafts and restaurants (some very expensive). Parnell Village also contains a lot of Auckland's most historic places of interest, including the original settler's firs house, church and cemetery.
Aotea Square, Auckland
Aotea Square is in the centre of Auckland, along Queen Street, Auckland's main shopping street. Aotea Square is a good place to explore the city from, containing the Aotea Cultural Complex, Old Town Hall and Council Buildings. Nearby is the beautiful old Auckland Art Gallery built in 1887, and containing the largest collection of New Zealand paintings in New Zealand.
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