Located on the northern of the two main islands of New Zealand, Auckland not only boasts the largest population in the country at 1.5 million as of 2016, but also the most cultural diversity along with other top cities in the world.
The Maori first called Auckland home — their name for it is Tāmaki Makaurau — in the 13th century. European settlers joined them in the late 18th century to early 19th century, after which immigration has continued to flourish into the modern era. Auckland was the capital of New Zealand for over 20 years and remains the economic center of the nation.
Legends of the Land
Auckland is a distinctive landscape created, as local legends say, when two indigenous fairy tribes fought each other with magic so strong chasms appeared in the fertile earth, while in response, the gods created volcanos that swallowed the warmongers and clouded the skies. It remains the only city in the world that is constructed on a volcanic field, though the field is now dormant and each of its 48 volcanoes is either dormant or extinct. Today, the Auckland region maintains a unique and harmonic balance between its large, urban cities and its traditional and modern mixture of cultures.
Sea and Scenery
As with the two tribes of Auckland lore, the people still enjoy the beautiful views and rich resources brought by its magnificent forests and coasts. Despite its proximity to urban culture, the West Coast remains natural and “wild,” with its rugged cliffs, black sand beaches, hidden waterfalls, and crashing waves. The sea isn’t all untamed, however — thanks to the three always-busy harbors that bring international traffic, trade, and tastes, Auckland is also known as the City of Sails. Its Maori name means “Tamaki of a hundred lovers,” which refers to its multitude of waterways that move travelers and populations in every direction, according to the Government of New Zealand.
Travel and Tourism
Unsurprisingly, sailing, yachting, swimming, and other water leisure activities are popular past-times in this coastal region, whose culture, history, and economy have always been closely intertwined with its waters. Auckland is also home to New Zealand’s first marine reserve: Goat Island Marine Reserve. From the harbor, visitors who wish to see more of the volcanoes may travel by ferry to the volcanic island Rangitoto. Maritime travel isn’t all that Auckland has to offer: its main airport, Auckland Airport (AKL), is the largest and busiest in New Zealand.
Why Visit Auckland?
As with most coastal regions, Auckland’s climate features mild summers and subtropical winters. The winter and summer months there are the opposite of those of the Northern Hemisphere. The harbors also keep Auckland constantly supplied with fresh Pacific Rim seafood and a myriad of cuisine experiences from various cultures: European, Asian, Pacific Islander, and of course, Maori. As of 2015, Auckland offers its inhabitants and visitors the third highest quality of life among cities worldwide. It is an increasingly popular destination for immigration and tourism, especially from Asia and Europe. Everyone should walk across Auckland’s beaches and experience its rich culture at least once — and, better yet, travel across water to do so. Click here to contact .