The 2009 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Auckland in fourth place in the world on its list of desirable places to live, a notable achievement for the City of Sails, formerly known as the Queen City (now rarely used).
The Auckland metropolitan area (commonly pronounced /ˈɔːk.lәnd/), is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with a population approaching 1.4 million residents, 31 percent of the country's population. In Māori, Auckland's name is Tāmakimakaurau, or the transliterated version of Auckland, karana. Auckland’s nickname, The City of Sails, is derived from the fact that it has the largest number of boats per capita in the world. The beautiful waterways around it offer yacht races, highspeed boat rides and cruises around the harbour. The beaches are both golden sand fringed by native pohutakawa trees and there’s also black sand shoreline. There is a vibrant and exciting nightlife in the city that will accommodate all tastes and style. Across the Hauraki Gulf there are 50 islands that are sure to feed the soul. West Auckland provides a beautiful forest with running streams and towering trees, providing a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Whether one wants to enjoy the activities on offer in the nation’s biggest city or take advantage of the natural attributes for which New Zealand is famous, then Auckland is a definite hot spot for the adventurous soul!
Employment prospects are excellent in the hospitality industry; the range here is very diverse - from the casino in the Skytower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere at 328m, to the array of major international hotels. The city is the economic capital of the nation and Queen Street and the Viaduct Basin in the Auckland CBD offer a tantalising mix of cuisines, a legacy of the city’s two America’s Cup challenges. Auckland's status as the largest commercial centre in the country is reflected in the high median personal income, with jobs in the Auckland CBD often earning more than anywhere else in the country. Throughout the entire Auckland area, from the North Shore to Great BarrierIsland, hospitality is available everywhere, from exclusive dining through to roadside cafes. High Street, Queen Street, Ponsonby Road, and Karangahape Road, in particular, are very popular with urban socialites. Newmarket and Parnell are up-market shopping areas, while Otara and Avondale flea marketsoffer a colourful alternative shopping experience. Newer shopping malls tend to be outside city centres, with Sylvia Park (Auckland City), Botany Town Centre (Howick, Manukau City) and Westfield Albany (Albany, North Shore City) being the three largest.
Auckland has a population of 1.4 million, which is about one third of New Zealand's entire populace. It is a multicultural city with a mix of European , South Pacific and Asian cultures all living together making Auckland an amazing place to live and work. If living beside water appeals to you, Auckland has it all. It is one of the few places in the world to have two major harbours in two different bodies of water. Manukau Harbour is on the Tasman Sea while the Waitemata Harbour is on the Pacific Ocean, with dramatic bridges crossing these amazing natural harbours. Not far away from the centre of Auckland is a volcanic field, with around 50 volcanoes having left their mark on the spectacular l andscape in the form of cones, lakes, lagoons and islands.
This region has a warm and temperate climate and boasts over 2000 hours of sunshine every year, making it one of the sunniest regions in New Zealand. Auckland is half urban and half marine, a cosmopolitan experience wrapped up in fascinating water world that's dotted with over 50 islands. Auckland's amazing geography and warm, humid climate have inspired a lifestyle that's regularly ranked in the world's top ten. In just half an hour you can be almost anywhere: sailing to an island, trekking through a rainforest, picnicking on a volcano, sampling wines at a vineyard or wandering a wild, black sand surf beach. Auckland is a sophisticated multicultural experience, with a great lifestyle, restaurants and bars. It’s also a shopper’s paradise along with theatre, art and culture and fashion. This is a city where you will find originality and flair everywhere you look. Local theatre and live music gigs provide an opportunity to discover the creative side of New Zealand culture.
Land Area: 1,086 km2
Main Centres: Auckland City, Manukau City, North Shore City, Waitakere City
Auckland was considered very desirable due to its rich and fertile land as far back as 1350 when Maori settled in the region and built villages on the peaks of dormant volcanoes. Europeans settled here in 1840 and Auckland was officially declared New Zealand's capital in 1841, but this status was shortlived and political power was transferred to Wellington 24 years later.
The Māori population in the area was estimated at about 20,000 people before the arrival of Europeans. After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840, the new Governor of New Zealand, William Hobson, chose the area as his new capital, and named it after George Eden, Earl of Auckland. However Port Nicholson (later to be known as Wellington) was seen as a better choice for an administrative capital because of its proximity to the South Island, which was being settled much more rapidly, and that city became the capital in 1865. Roads were being built towards the south into the Waikato, which enabled Pākehā (European New Zealanders) influence to spread from Auckland. Its population grew fairly rapidly, from 1,500 in 1841 to 12,423 by 1864. Trams andr ailway lines shaped Auckland's rapid expansion in the early first half of the 20th century, and soon afterward the dominance of the motor vehicle emerged. This allowed further massive expansion that resulted in the growth of associated urban areas such as the North Shore (especially after the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge), and Manukau City in the south.
Activities: What to do there?
There’s a smorgasbord of activity on offer in Auckland – a busy harbour that’s a haven for boating enthusiasts and nautical events; swimming beaches; surfing spots; and sporting grounds and venues for rugby union, cricket, tennis, swimming, soccer and many more sports. For those who love to shop, High Street, Queen Street, Ponsonby Road, and Karangahape Road are very popular. If you’re looking for more individual items, fleamarkets in Otara and Avondale offer a chance to experience something different. Cultural opportunities abound, including a wide range of galleries and museums. The Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Centre host conferences and cultural events such as theatre, kapa haka (traditional Maori performing arts), and opera. For an island escape, choose between Waiheke, Motuihe, Rangitoto, or journey a little further to Tiri Tiri Matangi, Kawau or GreatB arrier. Each island has a different character and different things to do. Take your hiking boots or a good b ook and beach towel; you can be as active, or as inactive, as you like. The native forests of the Waitakere and Hunua ranges let you discover New Zealand's unique bird and tree species, particularly the giant kauri tree. Auckland does the urban side of life just as well as it does adventure. America's Cup activity has added an infusion of exciting new restaurants and bars were you'll feast on culinary masterpieces that draw from many international styles.
You won’t be short of entertainment and art experiences in Auckland as this is a big city by any standards, and with a large population comes choice and diversity. Bars, cafes and clubs are vibrant and provide a thriving nightlife. Live theatre, opera and music gigs appeal to the more artistic side of life. Tourist attractions and landmarks in the Auckland metropolitan area include Auckland Civic Theatre host that has hosted many great plays and shows. The Auckland Town Hall, built in 1911, with its concert hall is considered to have some of the finest acoustics in the world. The Auckland War Memorial Museum stages large exhibitions. There are wonderful craft m arkets and art festivals in Aotea Square in the hub of downtown Auckland and don’t forget to visit Eden Park, the stage for many of our All Blacks rugby games and our Black Caps for cricket. Eden Park will also host the 2011 Rugby World Cup final. Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underworld World is a wellknown aquarium and Antarctic e nvironment in the eastern suburb of Mission Bay. This has been built in a set of former sewage storage tanks and showcases penguins, turtles, sharks, tropical fish, stingrays and other marine creatures. Take a boat and go to Waiheke Island, the second largest island in the Hauraki Gulf, which is well known for its beaches, forests, vineyards and olive groves.
Airport: Auckland Airport was voted Australasia's leading airport at the 2009 World Travel Awards held in London. Auckland Airport (formerly Auckland International Airport) is the largest and busiest airport in New Zealand with over 13 million (seven million international and six million domestic) passengers a year, a figure expected to more than double by 2025. The airport is in Mangere, a western suburb of Manukau City, and is 21km south of Auckland City centre. It is the central hub for Air New Zealand. Auckland has various small regional airports.
Roads: The State Highway network connects the cities in the Auckland urban area through the Northern, Southern, Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways. The Auckland Harbour Bridge (Northern Motorway) is the main connection to North Shore City. The Harbour Bridge does not provide access for rail, pedestrians or cyclists. The Central Motorway Junction, also called 'Spaghetti Junction' for its complexity, is the intersection between the two major motorways of Auckland (State Highway 1 and State Highway 16). Two of the longest arterial roads within Greater Auckland are Great North Road and Great South Road the main connections in those directions before the construction of the State Highway network.
Buses:Taking the bus is an easy way to get around that is costeffective and simple to do and with Auckland City's new bus lane initiatives and other bus priority measures, it is now often quicker to take a bus than to sit in traffic in your car! Bus services in Auckland are mostly radial rather than ringroutes, due to Auckland being on an isthmus. Late night services (i.e. past midnight) are limited, even on weekends.
Ferries: Ferry travel is a popular type of public transport for some Auckland destinations. Auckland's ports are the largest of the country, and a large part of both inbound and outbound New Zealand c ommerce travels through them, mostly via the facilities northeast of the Auckland CBD. Freight usually arrives at or is distributed from the port via road, though the port facilities also have rail access. Auckland is a major cruise ship stopover point, with the ships usually tying up at Princes Wharf. Auckland CBD is connected to coastal suburbs, to North Shore City and to outlying islands by ferry. Ferries also provide transport to parks and nature reserves at Devonport, Waiheke Island, Rangitoto Island and Tiritiri Matangi.
Trains: Trains service the west and southeast of Auckland, with longerdistance options scarce. Auckland has three main railway lines, serving the general western, southern, and central eastern directions from the Britomart Transport Centre in downtown Auckland. It is the terminal station for all lines, and connects them to ferry and bus services. In 2007 approximately NZ$5.3 billion worth of largescale projects were underway or planned (and budgeted for) in the Auckland area to improve rail and public transport patronage over the next decade.
Cycling: Auckland City Council recently ran its third cycle awareness campaign "Hey! We're all on the same road". The local campaign supports ARTA's regional drive to improve safety for cyclists and encourage all road users to share with care. Auckland City Council promotes cycling as a fun, healthy and sustainable travel choice for all.