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Auckland is New Zealand's largest urban area with a population of just under a million people. It is not, however, the capital, although it was at one time, until the capital moved to Wellington. Auckland is the centre of commerce and industry, and is perhaps the most vibrant, bustling and multicultural city in New Zealand. Auckland is the biggest Polynesian city in the world, and this cultural influence is reflected in many different aspects of city life.

The city's landscape is dominated by volcanic hills, the twin harbours, bays, beaches and islands. Its nickname 'the city of sails' is very apt. Auckland has more boats per capita than anywhere else in the world, and is the current residence of the America's Cup.

Auckland is dotted with volcanic hills, many of which were once the site of Maori pas, or fortified villages, and which currently afford great views of the city. Auckland lies between the Waitemata and Manukau harbours, and its geography is such that glistening waters seem to beckon from every point. It is a water lover's paradise, with some of the best beaches, swimming, diving, fishing, sailing, windsurfing and watersports in the country.

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