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.