Imagine a multi-cultural, urban environment with a sunny climate that combines the best of nature: incredible hiking trails, pristine beaches, enchanting islands, and top-notch vineyards, all within a half-hour of the city center. This one-of-a-kind city is Auckland. Rich in Polynesian culture and a reputation for incredible food and wine, Auckland is a perfect metro destination with all the buzz of a world-class city with plenty of natural escapes.
Uncover the Natural Wonders of Auckland New Zealand
Known as the City of Sails because of its two harbors and most recently hosting the 2003 America’s Cup, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. However, Auckland also has a secondary nickname, City of Volcanoes, because of its unique and fiery geology. It is home to fifty volcanoes, some of which are not extinct. You can explore the highest volcanic cone, Mount Eden (196 m), for a beautiful view of the Viaduct Harbour, City Centre, Auckland Bridge, and the Hauraki Gulf.
To understand its Maori culture, history, and art, take a stroll through the Auckland Museum in the City Centre. Get up close to artifacts and masterpieces that highlight the eight hundred year Polynesian history and showcase Maori traditions. As you make your way towards the harbour, you will stumble upon Chancery Precinct full of designer boutiques. For lunch or dinner, meander through the Viaduct Harbour area, admire the sailing vessels, and stop to enjoy the best eating and drinking in Wynwood. With a recent facelift from the 2011 World Rugby Cup, Wynwood has eclectic waterfront cafes, a fish market, many public plazas, and frequent community events. If your travels are during rugby season, do your best to attend or watch a match of the All Blacks. The Haka (Maori war dance) that the team performs is a must see.
For those looking for adventure, Auckland has got you covered. Right in Downtown, you can stop in Auckland’s highest building, the Sky Tower (192 m). You can test your limits by walking around its edges for a Skywalk or push your limits by jumping off the edge with its Skyjump. However, when in the country that invented bungy jumping, you may want to take the true plunge. The Auckland Bridge bungy jump is for thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline high and view of Auckland like no other. Named after the famous Kiwi (nickname for New Zealander) who popularized bungy, AJ Hackett provides a 40m bungy jump. Depending on your height and weight, you may be lucky to bungy and touch the water. Not ready for a bungy jump? AJ Hackett also provides guided bridge climbs for soft adventure seekers.
To see the beautiful waters of the Hauraki Gulf from another perspective, take a boat ride whether an eco-safari to spot whales and/or dolphins or short thirty-five-minute ferry to Waiheke Island. Waiheke Island is the perfect getaway for wine lovers, especially rosé. Peruse the galleries near the harbour, but then head for a vineyard tour of Mudbrick Restaurant and Vineyard, Tantalus Estate, or Stonyridge Vineyard. Upon your return to Auckland’s harbour, reap the benefits of seeing its skyline, including the Auckland Bridge, SkyTower, and Mount Eden from another vantage point.
Auckland has a unique blend of culture, history, natural wonders, and cuisine. Whether you’re a wine lover, adventure seeker, history buff, or marine life enthusiast, you will fall in love with Auckland.
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