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City Hopper: Auckland, New Zealand

March 15, 2013
Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

The next stop on my round the world tour is Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland is on the North Island of New Zealand and is the most populous and largest urban area in the country. Auckland has the largest population of Polynesians of any city in the world and although a great majority of the population has European roots, particularly from Great Britain, a good percentage are native Maori people.

Native Maori man performing in a kapa haka group.

Native Maori man performing in a kapa haka group.

One of the things that you will no doubt see somewhere in your travels through New Zealand is the Maori performing the Haka dance which is an ancient war dance used to prepare for battle and to scare their enemy. This dance is deeply ingrained in the Maori culture and you will see it performed by Haka dance troops, the NZ military frequently does it to see off their fallen war heroes, and most famously is the All Blacks Football team who perform this before every one of their games. Here is a short video with some history of the dance as well as a performance of it.

Auckland is one of the few cities in the world to have harbors in two separate bodies of water – Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. 

Sunrise in Cornwall Park, Auckland

Sunrise in Cornwall Park, Auckland

Auckland has a warm-temperate climate with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters. It is also one of the sunniest and warmest main centers of New Zealand with an average of over 2,000 hours of sunshine per year. Auckland is also very well known for its perfect early morning calm and that’s when you’ll see most out people walking and running.

The 'City of Sails' a.k.a. Auckland

The ‘City of Sails’ a.k.a. Auckland

Auckland is popularly known as the ‘City of Sails’ because the harbor is frequently dotted with hundreds of yachts. It has more yachts per capita than any other city in the world with 135,000 yachts and launches. Also, about one in three households in Auckland owns a boat.

Albert Park, Auckland

Albert Park, Auckland

There is plenty to do here in Auckland. First off, there are many parks such as Cornwall Park, Albert Park, Myers Park, and Victoria Park to name a few.

Auckland Art Gallery

Auckland Art Gallery

For arts and entertainment there is always the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra that have regular performances as well as the Auckland Art Gallery with a collection of over 14,000 works. Another wonderful thing you can do is go up to the top of Skytower and see Auckland from there:

Skytower, Auckland, NZ

Skytower, Auckland, NZ

The view from the top of Skytower!

The view from the top of Skytower!

It's a long way down!

It’s a long way down!

Here’s a great little video that gives you a good overview of all the wonderful things you can see and do in New Zealand:

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