New Zealand - Tourist Attractions and Activities | City of Sails - Auckland | Auckland Waterside
New Zealand is a beautiful country in the South Pacific with an area of around 268,000 square kilometers comprising two main islands called the North Island and South Island. It is located very close to the International Date Line which corresponds to 180° longitude, on the southern hemisphere. New Zealand is a predominantly English-speaking country with about 73% of the people being of European origin. The rest of the population comprises 15% Maori people who are the original inhabitants of this country, while about 12% of the population comprises of Asiatic people like Chinese, Indians, Japanese and others. New Zealand prides itself on its multi-cultural heritage and is considered to be one of the safest places around.
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand although it’s not the capital. The capital city is Wellington, which is another major city in the country along with Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin. Auckland is often called the ‘city of sails’ for the large number of boats and vessels with sails that can be seen at the city’s magnificent harbor. The city is quite vibrant although it is surrounded by quiet and beautiful islands and offers an exciting mix of activities that includes urban cultural landmarks and events, plenty of water-based and fun-filled activities as well as wildlife.
Visitors with sailing skills can charter their own yacht to go on a short cruise on one of the classic yachts that abound on the Auckland waterside. Alternately, you could try out the Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari, which conducts marine mammal eco-safaris every day, bringing you within sniffing distance to dolphins, both the common variety and the bottlenose variety. If you haven’t tried kayaking, here is your chance to try it here at Auckland – try the Auckland Sea Kayaks at sunset to visit Rangitoto Island. Elsewhere, you can go spot shopping and enjoy a café lunch or explore the tunnels and gun emplacements in North Head that have a World War II connection.
The other attractions in Auckland are wine tasting and beachcombing on Waiheke Island, sunbathing and swimming at Motuihe Island, or going on a wilderness adventure to Great Barrier Island. Nature lovers can go for an eco-immersive forest walk on the breathtaking Waiheke Island, which is organized by EcoZip Adventures who also offer state-of-the-art flying fox ziplines. You could also look forward to a thrilling day at Rainbows End Adventure Park in Manukau City. Visiting the wildlife sanctuary on Tiritiri Matangi can also be an exciting option.
For those who like to walk, the option to explore the scenic beauty of the Waitakere Ranges to the west of Auckland or the Hunua Ranges to the south of the city can be something to really look forward to. You could also pack a picnic and walk up to Mount Eden, Mount Hobson and Mount St John, which are dormant volcanic cones offering excellent views of the city. There are ferries that offer trips to and from Devonport at frequencies of half an hour to many of these destinations. Try a walk to the summits of Mount Victoria or North Head to experience 360 degree views of the Auckland cityscape.
The Coast to Coast Walkway joining the east and west coasts of Auckland, offering great views of many of the city’s scenic icons, is another unique experience that shouldn’t be missed. The longest guided underground walking tour in New Zealand will get you to the Ruakuri Cave by way of a wonderful spiral ramp and winding passageways. Get a close look at the wide range of limestone stalactite and stalagmite formations and the Waitomo glowworms. Take in the eerie excitement of the vast echoing caverns, deep crevices and the distant thunder of subterranean waterfalls that bring a surreal feel to the entire trip.