2010-10-25 19:03


Getting there
Auckland Airport is already rated one of the best in the world and number one in the region.

To get around, use the MAXX Journey Planner which has details of Auckland’s public transport, including new rail stations and services, upgraded bus fleets and timetables, and a dedicated walking route to Eden Park.

Useful Links

Rugby World Cup Stadiums
Eden Park
North Harbour Stadium

Famous sons
Sean Fitzpatrick of the All Blacks 1986 – 1997.
Doug Howlett – All Black 2000 – 2007
Sonny Bill Williams – named in the All Black squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup

Auckland, on the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country, with a population approaching 1.4 million residents. Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two separate major bodies of water.

From the first Maori waka (canoes) and colonial ships, Auckland has attracted immigrants from far and wide.

By the 1890s, it had a cosmopolitan flavour, with dozens of languages heard in the bustling streets and new inhabitants from Europe, China and India. This theme continued throughout the 20th century, particularly in the 1950s when the population was boosted by the post World War Two 'baby boom'. Many European immigrants were attracted from countries such as Hungary, Holland and Yugoslavia; bringing Auckland more cosmopolitan tastes and its first proper restaurants. Many rural people relocated to seek work in the 'bright lights' of the city, and large numbers of rural Maori migrated to Auckland. They were followed by migrant workers from the Pacific Islands, peaking in the 1960s.

Today, Auckland is the world's largest Polynesian city. Around 63% of its residents are of European descent, 11% are Maori, 13% are of Pacific Island descent and there is a growing Asian population of around 12%. In the city centre, Auckland's growing popularity as an international education destination has seen an explosion of ethnic restaurants and shops.

High Street, Queen Street, Ponsonby Road, and Karangahape Road are very popular with urban socialites. Newmarket and Parnell are up-market shopping areas, while Otara's and Avondale's fleamarkets offer a colourful alternative shopping experience.

The Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Centre host conferences and cultural events such as theatre, kapa haka, and opera. Auckland also boasts a full-time professional symphonic ensemble in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Many national treasures are displayed at the Auckland Art Gallery, such as the work of Colin McCahon, while many other significant cultural artefacts reside at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the National Maritime Museum, or the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). Exotic creatures can be observed at the Auckland Zoo and Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World.
The Waitemata Harbour has popular swimming beaches at Mission Bay, Devonport, Takapuna, and the west coast has popular surf spots such as Piha and Muriwai. Many Auckland beaches are patrolled by surf lifesaving clubs, which are part of Surf Life Saving Northern Region.

The city also boasts Harbour Bridge - connecting Auckland and the North Shore, an iconic symbol of Auckland, and Sky Tower - the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, it is 328m tall and has excellent panoramic views.

The most popular sports in Auckland are rugby union and cricket, with soccer, rugby league and netball  also widely played and followed. Auckland has a considerable number of rugby union and cricket grounds, and venues for motorsports, tennis, badminton, netball, swimming, soccer, rugby league, and many other sports.

Auckland city landscape. (Getty)


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