New Zealand's largest city, Auckland's skyline is dominated by the Sky Tower, 328 metres tall and offering sweeping views across the city, as well as a rotating restaurant. It's a great spot to get a city overview before you start exploring the museums and galleries, including the Auckland Art Gallery and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The surrounding landscape is dotted with pretty volcanic cones, while out onto the deep blue waters of the Hauraki Gulf you'll find the relaxed beaches, vineyards and forests of Waiheke Island, just a 35-minute ferry ride away.
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With sailing on the Hauraki Gulf a popular pastime and over 135,000 yachts registered here, it’s no wonder Auckland is known as the City of Sails. Away from the water the city is dotted with volcanoes, making for an attractive, outdoorsy city, with some lovely views and pretty suburbs.
For the best citywide vistas head to the top of the 190m Sky Tower, or for something more relaxed set sail for the vineyards and beaches of Waiheke Island.
Did you know?
Auckland boasts over 50 volcanoes, all stemming from a source of magma 100 kilometres underneath the city.
Auckland’s Sky Tower is 328 metres tall and offers stupendous views in all directions which, on a clear day, reach over 80km.
Auckland is known as the City of Sails because it has more boats per person than any other city in the world.
In the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki Makaurau.
How to get around
Take the bus, train or ferry
With a comprehensive public transport network, Auckland is easy to get around. Choose from the bus, the train and the ferry, or for the ultimate freedom, hire your own car. For visitors, buses are the most common choice, with the hop-on-hop-off buses especially tourist-friendly and useful for those trying to cram a lot of sights into a short space of time. To reach Waiheke Island, you’ll need to take the ferry, which you can easily catch from the Downtown Ferry Terminal.