Auckland & Around
Auckland is the gateway to New Zealand and its biggest city, with around one-third of the population living in what is now classed as the country’s only super-city. It’s a multi-ethnic hotpot, the country’s most diverse population by a long way.
Māori were onto it when they turned up 800 years ago and called it Tāmaki Makaurau (Tāmaki of a hundred lovers) and the name is making a comeback. It was a desirable, fertile site, fought over for centuries.
These days, the super-city, often referred to as the City of Sails, is sprawling – it has its problems with eye-watering house prices and traffic congestion – but it is a still a geographically blessed place, squeezed in on a narrow isthmus between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
Out west of the city are the Waitakere Ranges and west coast black-sand beaches; out east is the Hauraki Gulf, dotted with gorgeous islands such as Waiheke; and up north the city continues to sprawl, eating up farmland and passing gorgeous beaches that were once holiday destinations.
It’s a beautiful place, often rated as one of the most liveable cities on the globe. Auckland has its problems, but you’ll want to spend some time here.