Auckland the place of 100 lovers

wildfireAuckland, boasting three harbours, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands, was known by the maori as the “Place of 100 lovers.”  Consistently voted one of the world’s best lifestyle cities in international surveys, Auckland is home to one third of New Zealand’s population.

 

The Maori called it Tamaki Makau Rau, the place of 100 lovers because it was a place desired by all and conquered by many.

By the 1890s dozens of languages could heard in the bustling streets as new immigrants were attracted from Europe, China and India.  Complimented by immigrants from countries such as Hungary, Holland and Yugoslavia and by immigrants from the Pacific Islands, Auckland  is now a truly cosmopolitan city. Today, Auckland is the world’s largest Polynesian city.

But it’s not just a bustling metropolis.  At its doorstep, the Hauraki Gulf is often awash with yachts and pleasure craft.  Regular ferries service the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, while charter boats are available from classic yachts to high tech launches.

skytowerjumpThe Hauraki Gulf is also home to pods of dolphins and whales, which can be viewed on regular boat trips or charters.  Sharks, stingray, penguins and many other varities of sea-life can be viewed from underwater through transparent tunnels built in an underground aquarium at Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World.

For the outdoor enthusiast the region contains an extensive network of regional parks covering some 37,000 hectares. There are farm parks, parks with archaeological sites and historic homesteads, marine reserves and botanic gardens.

The hiking trails in the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges, to the west and south of the city centre respectively, take you deep into cool, peaceful rainforest. The Woodhill and Riverhead plantation forests attract mountainbikers and motocross riders.  Windsurfing is popular in the bays around the harbour, and so is kayaking, with regular guided expeditions to the far reaches of the Waitemata.

viaductThese adventures and much more await you in Auckland. Want to learn more about the Auckland region?  Visit www.aucklandnz.com

Images provided by Tourism Auckland