Travel Destination AucklandPublished: 09/20/2013
Auckland is the monetary capital of New Zealand, not the parliamentary capital. Situated half way up the north island, it enjoys a moderate to warm climate boasting hot lengthy summers and mild winters with heavy rainfall. The north island has hot springs and geysers among its many natural features as well as the bulk of the New Zealand population.
Maoris were the first settlers in New Zealand 1200 years ago. New Zealand is the worlds biggest exporter of meat, cheese, wool and butter and has a very healthy tourist industry.
You may be aware of how diverse New Zealand as a country is and the same can be said for Auckland as a city. If you are located centrally you can enjoy a beautiful waterfront cityscape and no matter which direction you venture, you're bound to have a different adventure.
Auckland city has a relaxed pacific vibe by day and a pleasant night time pulse. New Zealanders love their culture and sports and you will find no shortage of museums and arenas here. There is always an international group or celebrity visiting and sports events never seem to end.
The Hauraki Gulf is home to over a million hectares of sheltered, sparkling blue waters and is dotted with beautiful islands. Waiheke Island has many vineyards and restaurants, the perfect day out. Rangitoto is an old volcano which can be climbed with staggering views. Not to mention Great Barrier Island, Mototapu, Tiritiri Matangi, Rotoroa and Kawau.
The city outskirts are testament to the love of fine dining and good wine that so many New Zealanders share. If you head out West of the city you can experience the wild side of Auckland with mountainous bush lands and untamed, rugged coastline. This is where the Tasman Sea's powerful surf crashes onto black volcanic sands and you can find hundreds of kilometres of tracks to walk in native forests. East Auckland is mostly sweeping coastline dotted with pohutukawa trees and views over the Hauraki Gulf. South Aucklands Manukau is home to the world’s biggest Polynesian community and is a bustling cosmopolitan centre.
Contemporary Kiwi food mixes its large British heritage with European, Asian and Pacific influences. This influential blend has created a mouth-watering range of flavours and food in cafes and restaurants nationwide. Distinctly New Zealand-styled foods include lamb, pork, venison, crayfish, oysters, salmon, whitebait, paua, mussels, pipis, scallops, tuatua, kumara, pavlova and kiwifruit. In keeping with the laid back lifestyle, meals are usually enjoyed in a relaxed environment and as unaffected as possible.
A few Kiwi etiquette tips: casual dress is the preferred way, handshakes to greet and offers to help prepare or clean up at social occasions. Tipping is not necessary, elbows off the table when you eat and bring your own beer to parties.
Some interesting facts about Auckland: The Sky Tower is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere at 328m. The outer lanes on the Harbour Bridge were not part of the original structure. Japanese engineers invented a way to clip them on when the bridge needed widening. Some refer to the lanes as the ‘Nippon Clip ons’.
Posted in: Travel Destinations