If a third of a country’s population lives in just one city, you better believe that the city is pretty great. And so it goes with New Zealand’s Auckland. Located on the north island, it’s home to some 1.45 million people. Metropolitan by nature, there’s life flowing through the city’s veins, and there’s plenty of nearby nature spots to enjoy, too. This is New Zealand’s leading city, where you’ll find the best that the country has to offer. From museums to the outdoors to fine-dining, Auckland has a little bit of something for everyone.
What to Know
Auckland doesn’t get extreme weather during any period of the year, and thus there’s less of an obvious “good and bad time” to visit this city than there are others. In general, you’ll find the best deals, fewer crowds, and more agreeable weather during spring and autumn, which fall from September to November and March to May. While you’ll there, it’s best to rent a car, as this will allow access to the surrounding areas of the city, though while you’re downtown you’ll be able to use public transport, taxis, and walking.
What to See
As the cultural and economic heartbeat of the country, there are plenty of things to see and do in Auckland. To get a sense of the city, head on over to Waitemata Harbour: it’s a terrific place to take a photograph. And for an arguably even more impressive view, visit the observation deck of the Sky Tower, which is New Zealand’s tallest building. For a cultural insight into the city, make sure you’re stopping by the Auckland Art Gallery, which has more than 15,000 works of art on display. The Auckland War Memorial Museum is also recommended — it deals with the region’s military history, but also the broad history of Auckland, too. If the weather is fine, then make sure you’re visiting the Winter Gardens, which is filled with flower and plant displays.
Part of what makes Auckland so great to visit is that it offers just as much physical fun as it does cosmopolitan fun. Indeed, this corner of the planet is something of a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, and really, whatever your activity of choice is, you’ll find it well-represented here. There’s plenty of usual hiking and cycling trails around (such as One Tree Hill), but the real fun begins with the more extreme activities, such as canyoning, bungy jumping, skydiving, and ziplining. If you’ve got an adrenaline addiction, you’ll find much to love here. If you’re more of a water lover, then give surfing a try.
Oh, do they know how to eat well in Auckland. Due to the multicultural makeup of the city, there’s food from all corners of the world. There are delicious, locally reared meats on restaurant menus, while you’ll also find plenty of tasty Asian dishes — there’s a sizeable selection of restaurants to choose from anyway, and some streets are even exclusively dedicated to them!