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Auckland - The Largest City of New Zealand
Wellington is actually the capital, but Auckland is where many visitors first set foot in New Zealand. Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting holiday islands, that's Auckland. It's located on the North Island and called the City of Sails. Know why? It has more boats per capita than any other city in the world.

Almost entirely surrounded by water and covered with volcanic hills, the city boasts a superb harbor and a population of 1.3 million people. Add a background rhythm of Polynesian culture, a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping – and you'll want to stay.

Auckland has a pleasant subtropical climate with mild winters (June, July and August) and warm, humid summers (December, January and February). Remember the seasons down here are reversed, so plan your vacation accordingly.

Accommodation to Suit Every Taste

For visitors, Auckland has all types of accommodation ranging from backpacker and budget to luxury international hotels. As the North Island attracts more visitors than the South, it pays to check what's out there as you plan your trip.

Action. Adrenalin. Anticipation.

Auckland is a top choice if you're interested in wide open spaces and physical activities. Above the ground you can go bungee jumping, parachuting and skydiving.

On the ground you can go hiking, mountain bike riding, skiing, horse riding, rock climbing, and "zorbing".

Underground you can go surface caving, cave rafting and hydro sliding; and on the water you can go jet-boarding, white-water sledging, rafting, boogey boarding, canoeing, kayaking, surfing and scuba diving. If there is a difficult and challenging way to get from one point to another you can do it in Auckland, New Zealand.

If you're looking for some less exhilarating activities, such as retail therapy, many Auckland stores are open seven days a week. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs welcome patrons well into the night.
About the Author
Matthew Lawson heads up www.hotel.com.au in Australia and is a reluctant traveler.
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