Auckland Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

In the far southwest of the Pacific Ocean
lies Auckland. Home to some 1.5 million people, it is New
Zealand’s most populous city. Auckland is the perfect base from which to
explore the scenic coastline and hidden coves of the
diverse North Island. Nicknamed the City of Sails, Auckland has more boats per capita than anywhere
else in the world. In this city nestled between two big natural
harbors, water is never far away… Auckland’s biggest landmark is Rangitoto Island, which can be seen from all over the city. As the country’s biggest city, Auckland has
modern malls, spacious urban parks, and plenty of culture. Enjoy breakfast in the Elliot Stables, an old Renaissance-style warehouse and then
walk along nearby Queen Street. Then, head out and explore the city’s major
attractions on a hop-on, hop-off bus. Outside the central business district, visit the trendy shops and restaurants of
Ponsonby, Auckland’s hippest strip. Walk along the promenade of Mission Bay and
enjoy this inner-city beach. The most characteristic building on Auckland’s
waterfront is the Edwardian-style Ferry Terminal. Head across the bay to nearby Devonport and
enjoy a seafood lunch. You could spend days exploring the cosmopolitan
streets and bays of Auckland, but its main attraction is found beyond the
city limits: Unspoiled nature! Auckland’s rugged coastline with dramatic
cliffs and rolling hills is simply stunning. Drive to the native rainforest of the Waitakere
Ranges to enjoy a treetop walk and see more of New
Zealand’s unique flora and fauna. This regional park is located just to the
west of the city. Nearby, along the volcanic western coastline
of the North Island is Piha Beach, with Lion’s Rock to the north. It’s a famous
spot with experienced surfers. Other west coast beaches are equally stunning
and no matter which one you pick, they are all good for building sandcastles,
fishing, paddling and long walks on the beach. Back in the city, head to the main public
park, called Auckland Domain, to watch the locals play cricket. It’s a great place to tune into the laid-back
lifestyle that is so typical for this remote island
nation. In the stately Auckland War Memorial Museum, hear the story and see the treasures of Aotearoa, “The Land of the Long White Cloud”, as the
native Māori people call New Zealand. Their ancestors sailed here about a thousand
years ago and their fiercely proud culture is still
very much alive today. Children will love the Auckland Zoo, where they can meet AND treat the animals
of the African savannah. Another great day out is Rainbow’s End. Bounce into each other during fun rides…. whirl around in the air or get dumped in seconds! There are more thrills to be had downtown
at the Sky Tower, where you can base jump at breathtaking speeds. If you rather just watch, ride to the Observation
platform, to look straight down on Auckland’s central
streets. Just before sunset, hike or drive to the top
of Mount Eden, an inner-city volcano, to see the sparkling lights reveal some of
the city’s finest buildings. Auckland has countless riches, as the Māori already discovered many centuries
ago. They called the area Tāmaki Makaurau, meaning
“desired by a hundred men”. The appeal is still there today and the city’s
unique history, untouched nature, family-friendly attractions
and easygoing lifestyle make it a desired destination for millions
of overseas visitors each year. Nau mai Tāmaki Makaurau! – Welcome to Auckland!


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