Auckland Region

Auckland is situated on and around a narrow neck of land that is flanked by two magnificent harbours - the Waitemata to the east and the Manukau to the west.

Auckland's amazing geography and warm, humid climate has inspired a lifestyle that's regularly ranked in the world's top ten. In just half an hour you can be almost anywhere - sailing to an island, trekking through the rainforest, picnicking on a volcano, sampling wines at a vineyard or wandering a wild, black sand surf beach. Auckland's layout makes it easy to jump quickly from one theme to another.

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city, with a multicultural population of over a million, it has a fascinating blend of Polynesian and European culture.

America's Cup activity has added an infusion of exciting new restaurants and bars. In the stylish precincts of Parnell, Ponsonby and Viaduct Basin, scores of restaurants compete for your attention.

It's the port of entry for most international visitors and, because there is so much to do and see it's worth pre-planning to fit as much as possible into your stay.

Top Attractions in Auckland

• See the city from Sky Tower - great views and technical wizardry, and highest tower in the Southern Hemisphere. For the adrenalin seekers, you can climb to the top crows nest, or jump off!

• Take a harbour cruise to one of the 50 islands surrounding Auckland, or the pretty village of Devonport.

• Catch the daily Maori concert and the world's largest collection of Maori and South Pacific artifacts at the Auckland Museum.

• There's also a daily Polynesian performance at the National Maritime Museum.

• Discover the city on the Explorer Bus.

• Drop in to the West Auckland or Waiheke Island wineries.

• Check out the restaurants in the inner suburbs of Parnell and Ponsonby or the seaside suburbs of Mission Bay and St Heliers.

• For nightlife, head for the narrow arteries of Lorne Street, High Street and Vulcan Lane, as well as the bustling Viaduct Basin.

• Get in a round of golf.

• Shop till you drop in the arcades and side streets off Queen Street (commercial centre). For designer fashion and jewellery, start in Vulcan Lane. There are many chic boutiques in the inner suburb of Newmarket and other great spots (with an array of cafes and restaurants) are Parnell, Ponsonby and Devonport Village. For craft and fun, the Victoria Park Market bustles 7 days a week or the Otara Market in South Auckland for the terrific Saturday flea market.

• Visit Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter near Mission Bay.

• For the kids there's the Rainbow's End Amusement Park at Manukau City or the Auckland Zoo at Western Springs.

• Over 10,000 works of art are to be found in Auckland Art Gallery.

• Stroll magnificent gardens like the Parnell Rose Garden, Albert Park and the Domain.

• Catch a ferry to Rangitoto and hike through the pohutakawa forest to the summit and spectacular views. Also great views and a look at the volcanic past from

• Mt Eden with its yawning, extinct crater.

• Get in some adventure - jump onto a yacht, into a kayak, under a wave or out of a plane.

Auckland Harbour Sky City Tower, Auckland Pride of Auckland Auckland Bungy Waiheke Island