In-Port Race: March 14, 2015
Leg start: March 15, 2015
Auckland has an irresistible combination of magnificent scenery and a vibrant city lifestyle, with a stunning natural playground, fine food and wine, superb shopping and plenty of adventure. Here’s just a taste of what you’ll find in New Zealand’s largest city.
On the water
With its incredible harbour setting, it’s no wonder Auckland is known around the world as the ‘City of Sails’, so getting out on the water is a must. With everything from relaxing harbour cruises to sea kayaking, fishing charters, sailing, and whale and dolphin spotting, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Visit one of the many beautiful islands dotting the Hauraki Gulf – walk up Rangitoto Island’s volcanic cone for amazing views or discover Waiheke Island’s world-class wineries and sandy beaches.
Wining, dining and culture
Visit the Auckland Museum or Auckland Art Gallery for a culture fix and discover the city’s eclectic restaurants, cafés and bars. Relax with a drink overlooking the water, join the locals for fresh fish and chips at the Auckland Fish Market or treat yourself to fine cuisine at one of the many harbourside eateries. There’s plenty to do after dark too, particularly in the buzzing Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter and Britomart precincts.
Action and adventure
Head up the Sky Tower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, for incredible 360-degree views across the city – the brave can even ‘SkyJump’ off it or ‘SkyWalk’ around its exterior on a narrow walkway 192 metres above ground. For more adventure, there’s bridge climbing, bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking and even canyoning.
It’s easy to indulge in some top-notch retail therapy when you’re in Auckland. The beautifully restored historic buildings in Britomart are home to the flagship stores of New Zealand’s most internationally successful designers alongside top international labels. Browse the High Street/Vulcan Lane quarter, or check out the bustling city fringes in Ponsonby, Parnell and Newmarket.
Auckland isn’t just a great city, it’s a whole region full of things to see and do. And with so many experiences so close by, it’s easy to hop from one adventure to the next.
Less than an hour north of the city centre is the picturesque Matakana region, known for its boutique wineries, superb farmers’ markets and arts scene, while Auckland’s south is home to the largest Polynesian community in the world. Head west for rugged black sand surf beaches and lush native forest, or east for sandy bays and perfect picnic spots. Just a 10 minute ferry ride away is the seaside village of Devonport, with it gorgeous Victorian villas, cafés and art galleries, plus the fascinating gun emplacements, maze of tunnels and incredible views at North Head.
Find out more at AucklandNZ.com
For more information about Auckland, visit www.aucklandnz.com/.
Auckland sprawls over a narrow isthmus between the sparkling waters of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours. A cloak of rainforest covers the surrounding hills, dozens of dormant volcanic cones dot the landscape and enchanting holiday islands are scattered throughout the vast Hauraki Gulf. Two of the best island getaways are Waiheke Island and Great Barrier Island
Wherever you stay in Auckland, you're never far from breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches, invigorating walks, idyllic holiday islands, outstanding food and wine, great shopping and exciting nightlife.
Some of Auckland's highlights:
Walk or ride to the summit of Rangitoto, the lava rock sleeping volcano in the middle of the Hauraki Gulf. Take the ferry from downtown Auckland and explore at your leisure or take a guided tour.
Enjoy wine and olive tasting, lazing on the beach and art trails on laid back Waiheke Island, a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. Or escape to the wilderness of Great Barrier Island, with bush tracks leading to natural hot springs and historic kauri tree dams.
On the water
Take a cruise on a chartered launch or classic yacht on the Waitemata Harbour. Or go racing on an America's Cup yacht, take a dolphin-spotting excursion or a gentle ferry ride to a seaside suburb.
Culture & heritage
See the biggest collection of Maori taonga (treasures) in the world at Auckland War Memorial Museum, and see a performance of traditional Maori songs and dances.
The Arataki Visitor Centre is the starting point for a range of walking tracks in the Waitakere Ranges, giving you the opportunity to discover the spectacular native flora and fauna of the region. The beaches in this area are renowned for their black sand and wild water, all popular for surfing, swimming and fishing.
More information is available on www.aucklandnz.com.
Local InfoView in Google Maps
It is often easier and cheaper to hire a car instead of using taxis, simply because the city is so large and spread out.
The three main motorway systems running through Auckland are the Northern Motorway (from Orewa to the Central Motorway Junction (CMJ), the Southern Motorway (from the CMJ past Bombay Hills, where it merges to the Waikato Expressway), and the Northwestern Motorway (from Auckland Port through CMJ to Westgate). These motorways clog up during the morning rush in the CBD-bound direction, and the same thing happens in the opposite direction during the evening rush.
The bus network spreads across the region with many of the services going to an from the city centre. Timetables and journey planners are availble on www.maxx.co.nz.
Its buses go to almost all bigger towns and the main tourist areas. Services leave from the Sky City Coach Terminal (102 Hobson St).
Trains arrive at and depart from Britomart station, the largest underground diesel train station in the world.
The Overlander runs between Wellington and Auckland. Details of the service are available at www.tranzscenic.co.nz.
The regional train service extends to the west, east and south of the central city. Timetables and journey planners are available on www.maxx.co.nz.
Auckland International Airport www.auckland-airport.co.nz is 21km south of the city centre and is the main airport for New Zealand. The international and domestic terminals are connected by a free inter-terminal bus and a signposted 1km walkway. Both terminals have visitor information centres. Various shuttle and taxi operators are licensed by the airport and meet all flights, including the city-airport Airbus route.