Between two ports on the beautiful North Island of New Zealand you’ll find Auckland City, also known as: the City of Sails. Despite that there are living more than half million people, 'city' is a big word for Auckland. Because of all the low-rise buildings, the place looks more like an extended village, but with a cosmopolitan character. Auckland is the gateway for many travelers to New Zealand. The city is surrounded by plenty of water and various volcanoes, and still has a very pleasant climate.
Auckland, Tamaki-or-rau Makau as the Maori say, is the most densely populated urban area of New Zealand on the North Island. The Auckland metropolitan area comprises the cities of Auckland City, Waitakere, Manukau and North Shore. A quarter of the total New Zealand population live in the area. In summer (Dec-Feb) the temperature usually varies between 21 and 24 ° C, in winter (Jun-Aug) the temperature rarely hits below 12c. Most rain falls during the winter.
City of Sails
Aucklanders are crazy about sailing. So if you are a sailing fan, you may .. no, you have to travel to Auckland. The passion for sailing shows through the many sailing ships in the harbor. There are also a lot sailing competitions, like the famous America's Cup. If you really want to be one of the locals, go in water! There are plenty of possibilities. Rent (if you have a large budget) the yacht of a millionaire or take a luxury dinner cruise. If you have a large budget: make friends with the millionaire, or take lessons at a sailing school and hire a boat for a trip along the many islands.
Many of Auckland's attractions are in and around the city by the water, as well as the oldest parks of the city, Albert Park and Victoria Park. At the volcanic peak One Tree Hill you have a wonderful view over the city, the ports and the islands. But are you really into heights, than take the glass elevator to the top floor of the Sky Tower. The impressive tower is no less than 318 meters high and can proudly call itself the highest tower of the southern hemisphere. Test your fear of heights by taking a step on the glass floor. Not enough for you? Do the Sky Jump, the highest jump in the world that you can do from a tower.
The areas in Auckland are very similar, but we'll tell you which are the best. Parnell Village, 0.8 miles from the center, is worth to visit despite its tourism. There are still many historic Victorian homes and shops. Drink a beer on the terrace or do some window-shopping at the exclusive stories. For budget shopping, the district of Newmarket is the ideal place. There are also many theaters in that area. Would you literally taste more of the multicultural society, walking through K Road, south of the center. There are many ethnic restaurants. The original habitat of the Maori now is a melting pot with a bohemian atmosphere. For the best clubs you need to go to K Road and Parnell.
Do you suddenly feel the need to eat some Dutch cuisine? Then you are lucky! Edam cheese, Unox pea soup, a bag of liquorish, croquettes .. it's all available in Auckland. In the neighborhoods Henderson, Orewa and Papakura Beach you'll find the shops of The Windmill. The visit is worth a try, because you will find all the Dutch clichés!
Because New Zealand is a popular country among many travelers, there are many different types of accommodations. If you have lots of money to spend, you can enjoy the luxury of five star hotels. But with having almost nothing, you can find a good sleeping place as well. New Zealand has excellent campsites. Would you like a special sleeping spot, than a real Kiwi farm might be something for you. And they do not grow Kiwi. The inhabitants of New Zealand are called Kiwi's. You can also stay overnight in one of the B & B's or hostels. Costs range from 15 euros for a hostel bed to 100 euros for a hotel room.
Best time to go?
Because New Zealand has a temperate climate, you can visit the country all year round. The spring and fall are the best season to visit, because of the nice temperature and the few tourists. In the winter (our summer) the daily temperature varies from 10 to 15 degrees. Most activities are accessible all year round, but not all campsites are open in winter. The large campsites, such as camping in the chain 'Top 10' are open all year round.