Set between two harbours and a magnificent coastal expanse, Auckland has a sub-tropical climate with a casual coastal lifestyle that rates it amongst the 10 most liveable cities in the world.
And as New Zealand’s biggest city, there’s plenty to attract and entertain visitors as well as satisfy the multicultural generations who’ve made Auckland their home.
The region’s large and diverse landscape is matched by the large and diverse range of quality wines it produces. It’s one of the country’s oldest wine regions, established in the early 1900s by passionate Croatian, Lebanese and English winemakers. Pioneering producers like Babich, Brajkovich, Corbans, Delegats, and Nobilo have stood the test of time and gained significant international acclaim.
Today Auckland is not only home to some of New Zealand’s biggest wine companies, but also numerous high-quality boutique vineyards, offering something for every palate. The local sub-regions of Waiheke Island, West Auckland and Matakana each have their own individual personalities, both in wine styles and character. Located within an hour of Auckland city, Matakana is the creative north which has developed into a food and wine mecca, with a lively Saturday farmers' market showcasing locally grown produce and delicacies.
To the west, 30 mins from the CBD is West Auckland famous for lush rainforests, rugged black sand beaches and rolling green rural landscapes. By contrast, a 35-minute ferry ride takes you out into the Hauraki Gulf to Waiheke, the island of wine. Considered New Zealand’s version of The Hamptons, Waiheke is a picturesque blend of beautiful beaches, farmland, vineyards and olive groves where a laid-back Kiwi beach culture prevails.
There are plenty of ways to explore Auckland wine country with self-guided and hosted tours taking in many of the 80 or more vineyards in the region. And whichever direction you choose to head, you’ll find attractive and well- established wineries with cellar doors where you can sip, dine, stay and play – welcomed by friendly winemakers with centuries of knowledge.
Auckland’s is the ultimate marine playground, with everyday life revolving around the sea. Known as the “city of sails” Auckland has more boats per capita than anywhere else in the world. As well as providing transport to outer suburbs and islands, the sea influences everything from cuisine, industry, culture and design to leisure pursuits and sports activities.
The region’s geographic variety, featuring volcanoes and harbours, rainforests and endless coastline, is the perfect playground for outdoor adventure and leisure pursuits. Whether you are canyoning, abseiling, cycling, hiking, jumping off the Harbour Bridge or walking around the Sky Tower, sailing or diving in the Hauraki Gulf, there's every imaginable opportunity to experience the great outdoors.
Visitors coming for more of a big city experience are also spoilt for choice with countless eateries offering quality multi-national foods, masses of great cafes serving world-renowned coffee and a host of stylish cocktail bars and boutique shops in the inner city and outer city suburbs.
Auckland is the main international gateway to New Zealand and is well connected by air to all regions. A third of the country’s population lives here so traffic around the city can be heavy, but public transport is undergoing major expansion and there is an increasing number of cycle ways providing alternative ways to get around.
Don’t miss: a trip up the 328m tall Sky Tower for fantastic 360deg views of the city and environs. Getting out on the water is the best way to enjoy Auckland. For the full experience, helm a former America’s Cup yacht or take a short 10-minute ferry ride to the authentic harbourside suburb of Devonport. Alternatively hike up iconic Rangitoto Island – one of Auckland’s 50-plus volcanoes.