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Auckland: A Guide to the City of Sails

January 25, 2014

Auckland, the City of Sails always has it’s modern arms open wide to tourists who are ready to take a usually long range flight to actually be in the part of the world which is down under. With beautiful nature and great heritage, Auckland is a truly a must-see, and worth any amount of time flying.

Auckland is ripe with Maori heritage. The first stop to see and understand the culture of Auckland and New Zealand is the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. The gallery hosts fantastic touring exhibitions, traditional and contemporary international works and seven centuries worth of art and history, comprising the largest permanent collection in the country. Entry is free and the museum is open all year round besides Christmas.

The second step to immerse yourself in New Zealand is the Maritime Museum. A nation surrounded by sea, the interactions with it have shaped and defined New Zealand and Auckland as they are now. This is a very dynamic and modern museum, and comprises every bit of maritime history in New Zealand, from early Polynesian migrations to modern-day yachting. The museum also offers an excellent in-depth experience, the opportunity of sailing Waitemata Harbor aboard a heritage vessel!

To see the city in all its glory, an outstanding observatory is the Sky Tower – no less than 1,082 feet/329 meters up in the air. Adventure lovers can experience a controlled leap off the open observation deck. Even for the more serene types, the tower reserves a tiny sinister twist: looking all the way down at the ground, the floor is made of glass. Get ready to watch adults taking baby steps while kids jump enthusiastically and laughing.

If you love sports, Auckland is the ideal opportunity to catch unforgettable cricket and rugby matches at Eden Park stadium. New Zealand’s largest stadium, it has been selected as a venue for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, and is home of the Auckland Blues, Auckland’s rugby union team (16-times winner of the NPC and successors, and who produced 181 All Blacks members) and regularly hosts All Blacks matches.

Locals swear that the most unmissable attraction in Auckland is a visit to Mount Eden. Mount Eden is a dormant volcano situated 634 feet/196 meters above sea level (the highest volcano in Auckland), with a beautiful bowl-like crater 160 feet/50 meters deep. From the top, you can admire Auckland in all directions, and take in the great atmosphere the city emanates.

There are many other volcanos worth a visit in Auckland. The most famous ones are the Rangitoto volcanic island with its great views of the harbor and Auckland, and One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie in Maori), one of Auckland’s largest volcanos. Its highest point is topped with a single tree, a monument, and Sir John Logan Campbell’s grave, and spring visitors are rewarded with beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom. Those looking for wildlife must visit Tiritiri Matangi for a chance to see rare native birds.

When going to the beach, replace the most popular spots with secret beaches and bays in more remote areas. The peace and quiet will be worth the effort. We recommend Waipiro Bay and Kelvin Strand beach (from where you can see the Sky Tower and the harbor).

Auckland is naturally gorgeous, exciting and relaxing. Take a break and head down south, start planning your visit to the City of Sails at Trekeffect!

-Mariya Tugayeva

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Maria Tugayeva
Mariya is a Marketing guru and writer, with a world experience from living and growing up in different countries. Her work quote is: "In a word: pleasure. It's like, my pleasure in other people's leisure." -Daniel "Spud" Murphy, Trainspotting