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Auckland is a busy metropolitan area that occupies a substantial space on New Zealand's North Island and is surrounded by some gorgeous countryside. It's a city of various parts, including bustling urban districts, and neighbourhoods thronged with Edwardian and Victorian houses that evoke a lingering sense of the past.
With its impressive waterfront, easy access to beaches, and rich cultural offerings, Auckland is a great place to visit. Here's why you should go...
Within Auckland city, look out for the various aspects that make up this metropolitan expanse. You could check out the central city for instance, a vibrant place to be that offers energetic living opportunities. The waterfront in Auckland city has been renovated and is now filled with bars and places to take an evening or daytime stroll. Meanwhile, a tour of Auckland's multiple neighbourhoods, such as the Howick Industrial area, will expose you to a number of facets of Auckland life. Other places to explore in Howick are the bays, such as Cockle Bay, which provide decent swimming and paddling opportunities.
The great steel bridge, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, is very similar in style to Sydney Harbour Bridge and can be found across Waitemata Harbour. This motorway bridge is the second-longest bridge for cars in the country and measures 1,020 metres.
Many visitors to Auckland take in the sights and then journey out to the area's many beaches. There are some 28 beaches in the city's confines and these include popular Mission Bay and exotic Rangitoto. For a peaceful experience, try the Eden garden, a 5.5 acre paradise filled with plants native to the country and features such as waterfalls. Stop here to take in the views of Auckland on offer. If you're looking to see the famous One Tree Hill, you can only see the hill itself as the previously aged pine tree was taken down for safety reasons in 2000; meanwhile, another grows in its stead.
In terms of cultural delights, Auckland has a lot to see. The Auckland Art Gallery is stuffed full of historic and modern art and includes Maori works as well as sculptures and paintings dating all the way back to 1376. Find the Gallery in Auckland's Albert Park. You can see exhibitions dedicated to the sailors of the past at the Voyager Maritime Museum, which includes information and documentation devoted to New Zealand's maritime triumphs and heritage. At the Auckland Botanic Gardens, which opened in 1982, you can explore a tourist attraction that has won numerous awards for its flora exhibitions.
Talking of spectacles, at the Auckland Domain Sculpture Walk you have the chance to view several sculptures by some of New Zealand's greatest living artists. These sculptures are collected together but are each unique in form and background. You can walk on the wild side meanwhile with a visit to Auckland's Zoo, which comprises many miles of parkland and is close to the city centre. There are chances to head behind the scenes or take tours of the animal exhibits.
You can marvel at amazing vistas via the Auckland Sky Tower. You will take a lift to reach one of the Tower's viewing platforms, before looking down across 80 kilometres of views. There is also the Observatory Restaurant on-site for food in the sky. For thrills of a different kind, try the Power Surge white knuckle ride or the Log Flume at the Rainbow's End theme park. Other attractions at this exciting theme park include runaway mine carts and a 3D theatre.
Of course, you can escape into the countryside around Auckland to enter the Maori country, where you will spy lush scenery and can stop at villages to purchase authentic Maori products such as ornaments and jewellery.
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