Imagine an urban environment where everybody lives within half
and hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted
holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of
Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and
shopping - you're beginning to get the picture of Auckland, our
largest and most diverse city.
The early morning calm on the isthmus during settled weather,
before the sea breeze rises, was described as early as 1853: "in
all seasons, the beauty of the day is in the early morning. At the
time, generally, a solemn stillness holds, and a perfect calm
Being at the narrowest point of the North Island, it literally
stretches itself from one side of the country to the other, from
the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea. This means, wherever you are
in Auckland, you're never far from the water. And what an amazing
body it is, the Waitemata Harbour - Maori for "sparkling
waters" - leads to the Hauraki Gulf, 4000km2 of stunning
island-filled marine beauty. From wild surf beaches to more
tranquil waters, the Hauraki and all its attractions provide the
canvas for Auckland, the City of Sails. The harbour is often dotted
with hundreds of yachts and has more per capita than any other city
in the World.
In the Maori language ('Te Reo'), Auckland is known as
Tamaki-Makau-Rau - 'the maiden with a hundred suitors', because it
was a region coveted by many tribes. The name still holds true, as
Auckland's lifestyle is ranked amongst the best in the World.
Auckland is a city of 50 volcanoes that take the form of cones,
lakes, lagoons, islands and depressions. The individual volcanoes
are all considered extinct and you are never short of a magnificent
view of the city from the top. Maungawhau (Mt Eden) and
Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) offer a 360 degree panoramic view. The
most recent and by far the largest volcano, Rangitoto Island, was
formed within the last 1000 years. Rangitoto's size, its amost
perfect symmetry, its position guarding the entrance to Waitemata
Harbour and its visibility from many parts of the Auckland region
make it Auckland's most iconic natural feature. Take the ferry and
walk or train to the top for amazing views.
Waiheke Island is an enjoyable 40 minute ferry ride from
downtown Auckland and well worth the trip. The landscape is a
pictureque blend of farmland, forest, beaches, vineyards and olive
Central Auckland is home to adventure. Thrills and spills
from Sky Tower or bungee off the Harbour Bridge to get a birds eye
view of the harbour.
Kiwis love to sail so get out on the water. Head off to
one of the 50 glorious islands in the Hauraki Gulf, cast a line or
enjoy a meal on the water at sunset. Within easy distance
you can get to Waiheke, Kawau, Rakino, Motutapu islands - or why
not jump off at Rangitoto and take the shortest and popular route
up this wonderfully shaped volcano that dominates the harbour.
Climb through lava fields and forest to the peak at 259
metres above sea level. The summit gives the best views of
Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf.
Take in some exercise on an excursion in to the Waitakere
Ranges. This guided tour will introduce you to the 'wild
west' of Auckland. We will get you out on the trails to see
waterfalls and fauna, and listen to local birdlife in the ranges
and then down on to the wild windswept beaches made famous by The
If you're feeling energetic you can walk the coast to cvoast
highway, a 16km trail across Auckland that takes you from one side
of the country to the other ! The walk takes you through
woodland settings, windswept hills, charming parks and gardens,
captivating architectural treasures and fascinating geographical
landforms. You also experience panoramic views stretching
across Auckland city and the region.
Get out of town. Take a days excursion to Auckland's
backyard where you can find some beautiful spots close to the city.
Visit the wonderful boutique village of Matakana. See
the sights of the historic goldmining towns on the Coromandel
Peninsula. Head down to the famous Waitomo Caves to
experience an underground adventure to see glowworms, or take a
wild black water rafting ride through rock, water and darkness.
Cross the harbour and take a day trip to Waiheke Island.
Get there in style aboard a private launch or helicopter straight
in, we will be there to meet you for an excursion around the
stunning wineries and eateries that populate this island oasis.
With views from every angle your glass of wine will be
accompanied by a vista that takes your breath away. Enjoy a
vineyard lunch and admore some of the local sculptures you pass as
you get off the beaten track.
If you love birdlife, cvatch a ferry to Tiri Tiri Matangi - a
conservation success story started in 1984. Birdsong bnow
resounds at this wildlife sanctuary after a major conservation
project bought it back to its forest state and eradicated the rat
and pest population. Endemic birds found here include
Fantail, Takahe, Bellbird, Brown teal, Grey Warbler, North Island
Robin, North Island Saddleback, Rifleman, Kereru and the North
Island Tomti amongst others.