Race Village opening: 24 February 2018
In-Port Race: 10 March 2018
Leg Start: 18 March 2018
Auckland is one of the Volvo Ocean Race’s most storied stopovers – the ‘City of Sails’.
It’s also New Zealand’s most populous city, and first featured in the second edition in 1977-78. It’s only been missing from two editions since then – and these days it’s a very cosmopolitan place, with a population of about one and a half million people. Volvo Ocean Race icons such as Sir Peter Blake, Grant Dalton and Mike Sanderson are still legends around these parts – mention their names, and you’ll see for yourself the high regard in which the Kiwi public holds this race and its heritage.
Auckland is surrounded by water, so you can do anything from harbour cruises to surfing, kayaking and whale watching.
If you’re looking for a rush, then you can jump off the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The Kiwis take their sport very seriously, and it’s a very active culture. If you want to travel further afield, then New Zealand’s geography is a microcosm of planet Earth. It has volcanoes. Alpine mountains. Fjords. Rustic hills. Beaches. Forests. Woodlands. Then there’s the wine, cafés and restaurants – New Zealand has a buzzing food culture and the coffee is just great. Try a flat white.
March can often be a beautiful month in Auckland.
The daily average is cooler than the previous stops, but still a pleasant 18C. Don’t forget your sun block – you’ll burn more easily in New Zealand than in the Mediterranean due to there being less ozone here to block the rays. And pack an umbrella, just in case: the weather changes fast, and March has an average of one rainy day in four.