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One Tree Hill in Auckland

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What to Do in New Zealand's City of Sails
Latest Tours and Activities




By Richard Moore

Latest Tours and Activities

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city with more than one million people living within its boundaries.

Auckland is known as the City of Sails and the chosen playground is the beautiful Waitemata Harbour where yachts and ferries play their way through the blue waters.

It could also be known as the volcano city because dotted around the harbour and city are extinct cones that offer spectacular views of the metropolitan area.

The two major volcanoes are the island of Rangitoto, which you can get to by ferry, and One Tree Hill where an obelisk stands and has become an icon of the city. You can also see a pretty impressive volcanic crater on Mt Eden.

Auckland is built on an isthmus and water is never far away. In fact the city is split by the Waitemata Harbour and the Auckland Harbour Bridge is the main link for commuters from the North Shore to the central city.

The bridge is known as The Coathanger and you can take walking tours over it and bungy jump under it.

A newer symbol of Auckland is the huge Sky Tower which, at 328m, is the 12th highest tower in the world. From the viewing platforms on Sky Tower you get stunning views of up to 90km away.

Restaurants and good eateries abound in Auckland, together with theatres, galleries and museums.

Two great places to see are the Museum of Transport and Technology and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The war memorial museum is a fabulous building situated in The Domain. It houses the world's best Polynesian artifacts collection and you can easily spend half a day in its marbled rooms.

Nearby the museum is the tranquil Winter Garden which is a really cool spot to investigate. It has very pretty architecture and hothouses for some fabulous plants.

MoTaT, as the former is known, is near the Auckland Zoo and both can be seen in a day.

Auckland has stunning - and potentially dangerous - black sand beaches on its west coast. Piha is the most famous while Muriwai is also wild. Piha is renown for surfing and its lifeguards have a pretty exhilarating time.

On the way to the black sands you can drive through the very pretty Waitakere Ranges.

And be sure to take yourself out on to the Waitemata Harbour for a cruise to Devonport. This little spot is a quiet village within a bustling city, protected by the fact it's easier to get there by ferry rather than car.

There are tours available around the very pretty - and expensive - streets of Devonport and they will also take you up to old naval gun emplacements protecting the city. You can find a variety of great travel deals on the Expedia website.

Another spot to visit is Waiheke Island, seemingly a retirement island for ex-Aucklanders. Waiheke is pretty and has some nice eateries - and you can see a pretty amazing underground fort dating back to World War II. However, unless you are very rich and can put up with pretentiousness, don't bother with most of the wineries. There are a few exceptions as you will see on our Waiheke page.

What's On In Auckland








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