Auckland located in the North Island of New Zealand, has a population of about 1.5 million and is the most populated urban area in the country. It is also known by its Maori name Tamaki Makaurau. Tamaki meaning desired by many. It is a region of exceptional natural beauty, volcanic islands, sandy beaches and abundant wildlife. Its natural scenery is breathtaking, and its distinctive culture make it a sought-after destination for tourists from around the world. Moving here will fill your senses with the beautiful beaches, hiking trails, enchanting islands, scrumptious food and wine with a Polynesian rhythmic backdrop.
While Kiwis with European backgrounds make up the largest number of residents, and Kiwis with Asian backgrounds account for 31% of the population. The isthmus’ first settlement can be traced back to circa 1350 with around 20,000 Maori’s estimated to have occupied the area. In 1840 a British colony was established in New Zealand and Auckland was chosen as its capital. In 1865 Auckland was replaced by Wellington as the capital after conflict between Maori’s and Europeans. Auckland continued to grow and has been the country’s largest city because of its port, the logging and gold-mining activities in the hinterland and latterly because of pastoral farming and manufacturing in the city itself.
In 1840 Chief Apihai Te Kawau signed the Treaty of Waitangi and made a gift of 3,000 acres of land on the Waitemata Harbour to the Governor of New Zealand. Auckland was founded on 18 September 1840 and was officially declared New Zealand’s capital in 1841.
The city lies between Hauraki Gulf, the Hunua Ranges, Manukau Harbour and Waitakere Ranges. Rainforests cover the surrounding hills and the landscape is peppered with dormant volcanoes. Central Auckland occupies a narrow isthmus between Manukau Harbour off the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour off the Pacific Ocean. Flanked by natural harbours it is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours from two separate major bodies of water. It is also the only city in the world built on a basaltic volcanic field which is active and expected to stay active for 1 million years. The surface includes cones, lakes, lagoons, islands and depressions with extensive lava flows.
Auckland is also called the “City of Sails” because of the plethora of yachts and sail boats. It has over 135,000 registered yachts and 60,500 registered yachtsmen. One in three households own a boat. The Waitemata Harbour is home to several yacht clubs and marinas with the Westhaven Marina being the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is located here. Auckland is also one of the world’s most unique location for sea kayaking.
On the eastern coastline there are several popular swimming beaches around Cheltenham, Narrow Neck in Devonport, Takapuna, Milford and others further north area known as the East Coast Bays. The west coastline has several surf beaches like Piha, Muriwai and Te Henga. The beaches are patrolled by lifesavers from the Piha Surf Life Saving Club and Piha Rescue Club. If you are interested in water sports, then relocating to this city is a must. It is a mecca for all things sea faring.
Auckland’s climate is warm with dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate is comfortable most of the year except for summer when it can get a little humid and hot. During the months of January, February, March, April and December the temperature hovers between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. July is the wettest and coldest month with temperatures averaging about 14 degrees centigrade. If you don’t like rain, then moving or holidaying here during July isn’t the best time to do so. Snowfall is extremely rare in Auckland but it is wet almost throughout the year with yearly rainfall averaging around 1114 mm.
Schools and Universities
Auckland has a few rural primary schools, some town primary and secondary schools, and many city schools. There are 538 primary and secondary schools in Auckland. Students begin formal education in Year 1 at the age of five. So, if you are moving here with school aged children you will have no problem finding a school.
If you are a university student considering relocating to Auckland you have a few to choose from. Universities in Auckland are well-known for their high-quality education. Some of the universities you can find here include:
The University of Auckland Auckland University of Technology Manukau Institute of Technology Unitec Institute of Technology Massey University
Shopping and Entertainment
Auckland is an ideal destination for shopaholics with an abundance of top-end designers to open air street stalls, markets and everything else in between.
An array of bars, restaurants and cafes offering cuisines from around the world and a buzzing nightlife adds to this city’s vibrant and eclectic entertainment scene. The nightlife in Auckland features crowd-pleasing bars, waterfront nightclubs, lively music venues, intimate late-night bars and cocktail lounges, just about everything can be found here.
Then there’s the vineyards where one could sample local wines against the backdrop of vine-covered hills and wide expanses of ocean.
Arts and Culture
Several arts events are held in Auckland, including the Auckland Festival, the Auckland Triennial, the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, and the New Zealand International Film Festival. The Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra performs its own series of concerts with an accompanying opera and ballet. In addition, Auckland regularly hosts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet. Auckland is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of music.
The Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland War Memorial Museum, New Zealand Maritime Museum, National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy, and the Museum of Transport and Technology are found here. The Auckland Art Gallery is the largest gallery in New Zealand with a collection of over 15,000 artworks, including prominent New Zealand and Pacific Island artists, as well as international paintings, sculptures and print collections.
Several ethnic groups reside in Auckland making it the country’s most cosmopolitan city. The city has the world’s largest ethnic Polynesian population and a large population of Pacific Islanders and indigenous Maori people. The Maori culture is fascinating and there are several places in the city where you can experience it. There are programmes with Maori entertainment and education as well as dancing, music and Maori cuisine. Restaurants also offer a range of traditional Maori dishes and there is a host of art galleries which showcase Maori art. The Skytower, home to the SkyCity Casino is open all hours while the Aotea Centre is where you’ll find all things cultural.
Events celebrating the city’s cultural diversity include the Pasifika Festival, Polyfest, and the Auckland Lantern Festival.
Auckland’s public transport includes buses, trains and ferries. Buses cater to 70% of the public’s transport requirements. Taking the bus is a great way to get around Auckland. Buses travel to destinations all over the region, all year round – even on public holidays. They run from 6 a.m. to midnight and a few operate after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.
Trains are another great way to travel around Auckland with four commuter rail lines: Eastern Line, Southern Line, Western Line and Onehunga Line with 40+ stations. It also has two long-distance passenger train services.
Auckland is a harbour city and ferries have been a part of its fabric for over 150 years. The famous Devonport and Waiheke ferries and the Hobsonville, Gulf and Pine Harbour ferries offer a direct and stress-free way to travel. The ferries also provide a harbour experience for locals and visitors alike. They offer the opportunity to admire views of the city, and an up-close view of the Harbour Bridge and coastline. So, if you are looking for a quicker and less stressful way to travel to the city, want to just enjoy the beauty of the harbour, or wish to explore the seaside spots around Auckland, ferries are the best option.