Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, located in the north-west of the North Island, at the southern end of the North Auckland Peninsula. The Auckland Region, is situated between the Hauraki Gulf to the east, The Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Bombay hills to the south, Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and The Waitakere Ranges to the west and north-west. Auckland City occupies a chunk of land between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean.
Auckland was first settled by Maori about 1350. The area was valued for its rich and fertile soils. Many “Pa” sites, (fortified villages), were built on numerous volcanic peaks in this area.
The Greater Auckland area, is the largest urban area in New Zealand, it is physically more then twice as big as London. With over 1.2 million people it has more then a quarter of the country's population. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. It was once capital city, until 1865 when, because of its proximity to the South Island, Wellington was given the title. Auckland is the most vibrant, multicultural city in the country.
The Auckland Region is situated on the dormant Auckland Volcanic Field. There are 50 volcanic vents in the field, many are now preserved within parks, including, Mt. Eden, North Head and One Tree Hill. The oldest and newest volcano, Rangitoto Island, was formed about 1000 years ago. The Ragitoto eruption buried Maori villages on nearby Motutapu Island. Rangitoto is the Regions most predominant landmark, the island is covered in native forest. You can catch a ferry across to Waiheke Island, Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands and spend time exploring the landscapes and taking in the spectacular views.
Auckland is located between the Waitemata and Manukau harbours. Water activities are numerous, its perfect for swimming, diving, fishing, sailing, surfing and windsurfing. Auckland also has long white beaches. and many secluded bays, Piha Beach on the western coast is the home of New Zealand surfing. It is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two separate major bodies of water. Its twin harbours have more boats per capita and than any other city in the world, hence the nickname "city of sails". The Viaduct Basin, on the down town waterfront, was host to two America's Cup challenges, and its cafes, restaurants, and clubs add to Auckland's buzzing nightlife.
There is a wide range of accommodation in and around Auckland. Lodge, hotel, motel and boutique accommodation provide a restful break in comfort and style, while home and farm stays provide a genuine New Zealand experience. A range of camping grounds, backpacker and budget options ensure that everyone can find accommodation to suit their needs. Accommodation can be in high demand, so visitors are advised to book in advance. You can check and pre-book your Auckland accommodation here to be sure that quality accommodation awaits your stay.
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