Economic capital of New Zealand, Auckland City, also known as the "city of sails" (Boating is king here), is ranked eighth among the most pleasant cities in the world. Auckland is also the largest city in New Zealand. It has the reputation of being a lively town where life is good. There are many tourists who hustle to visit Auckland. Indeed, no less than a third of New Zealand's population lives in this cultural metropolis.
Auckland is a colorful, exciting city with attractions to suit both outdoor enthusiasts and those who feel more comfortable in a bustling, concrete and glass metropolis. Most visitors to New Zealand from overseas first arrive in Auckland, so it’s often referred to as "the Gateway to New Zealand." As the largest city in the country, almost one quarter of the population lives within its sprawling urban area; it’s also home to one of the world’s largest Polynesian populations. Straddling a narrow piece of land between stunning Waitemata and Manukau Harbors, Auckland is surrounded by the South Pacific Ocean to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west – a sailor’s paradise. All year round Waitemata Harbor is sprinkled with boats of all kinds, the water is a sparkling backdrop to many colorful sails. Home to thousands of sailing vessels, it’s easy to see why the city has been affectionately nicknamed “the City of Sails.” And as its name indicates, in Auckland, sailing enthusiasts are kings. This city is the promise of a stay rich in action and emotion. The water, mixed in the sun and the beach are the ingredients for a pleasant travel in a single place. It is also famous as a great dining city of the Pacific Rim.
Auckland is also known for a multitude of gorgeous beaches, striking gardens and parks. The eastern shoreline of the city offers tranquil water and protected beaches, while the western shores boast wild waves, world-class surfing, and secluded, windswept beaches. The urban center is wrapped around a number of ancient volcanic peaks which host scenic viewpoints with gorgeous vistas. From these lookouts, it is amazing to see how Auckland has literally been created around parks and gardens – packed on weekends with walkers, joggers, cricketers, kite enthusiasts, and families enjoying the year-round pleasant climate.
Auckland also has plenty of big-city style entertainment options, including art galleries, museums, theatres, five-star hotels, and fine dining options offering an extensive variety of cuisine. A good starting point for exploring Auckland on foot is Queen Street.
Queen Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, unrolls from the waterfront as far as the suburb of Newton, with regular bus service. This is a charming and lively area filled with department stores, trendy boutiques, banks/ATMs, pharmacies, souvenir shops, taxi ranks, and much more. It is lined with lovely places to relax and refresh during the shopping experience; cafes, restaurants, theaters and two main sources of visitor information, the New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Travel Office (NZTP) at and Auckland Public Relations office at. Located at the waterfront end, find the Chief Post Office, Duty Free Shop, and Downtown Shopping Centre. The ferry building terminal is on Quay St. (pronounced “key”) from where many harbor cruises and ferries depart. Also on Queen St. are the two main squares, Queen Elizabeth Square with its Japanese wind tree sculpture, and Aotea Square farther up, next to the imposing Auckland Town Hall. To ward the upper end, Queen St. crosses Karangahape Rd., nicknamed "K Road." This area has a festive Polynesian atmosphere, and a variety of foreign nationalities are represented in the restaurants, shops, and food stands.
Take time to explore the many engaging aspects of this exciting city, particularly from the water. A ferry ride, a harbor cruise, or a trip to one of the many volcanic islands that riddle the harbor are all good ways to experience the true maritime aspect of Auckland.