There are miles of pristine coastline with dramatic black sand bays to the west and sheltered golden beaches to the east. This ‘City of Sails’ also boasts two beautiful harbours where Aucklanders flock to set sail or simply enjoy the views from the top restaurants and cafes scattered around waterfront. Auckland is a thriving city generating over a third of the country’s GDP, so an excellent choice for work and business opportunities.It is hardly surprising that Auckland consistently ranks in the top five most liveable cities in the world and more and more expats are discovering why for themselves.
Areas to Live
With sea views and the stunning peaks of Mount Victoria and North Head, Devonport is undoubtedly one of Auckland’s most beautiful suburbs. This harbourside district is a short ferry ride from the city and has plenty of pretty shops and cafes and yet is protected from overdevelopment due to its historic nature.
The sheltered bay of St Heliers is located to the east of the city and boasts one of Auckland’s best beaches, complete with cafes, a boardwalk and a great play area for the children. This is a perfect suburb for families moving to Auckland with top schools and plenty of green spaces to explore.
The leafy streets and traditional architecture of this south west suburb are becoming increasingly popular with expats looking for an attractive area close to the city. The large park is a perfect picnic spot and home to the Grey Lynn Park Festival each November, a wonderful celebration of the suburb’s arty, bohemian spirit.
Located on a peninsula just east of the city centre, Howick is one of Auckland’s most historical suburbs with houses and businesses that reflect this. It also has excellent schools and beautiful, clean beaches including Howick Beach and Cockle Bay.
Transport and Getting Around in Auckland
Road remains the most popular mode of transport for most Aucklanders and the city is reasonably easy to navigate by car. Many do, however, chose public transport when traveling to and from the main commercial district which is well served by trains, buses and ferries. Public transport is operated by Auckland Transport and is generally quick and reliable. There are also exciting plans to extend and improve the rail network to encourage more commuters.
Leisure Activities and Things to Do in Auckland
Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower has spectacular views which stretch from the central skyscrapers to the harbour and beyond. Also in the heart of the city, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamāki is home to a wonderfully broad collection including a beautiful selection of Maori art and has recently been named World building of the year. The city is packed with parks and green spaces, the oldest of which is the Auckland Domain with Winter Gardens, formal gardens and bush walks well worth exploring. Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium and Auckland Zoo are perfect days out for families with a huge range wildlife in pretty, well maintained surroundings. For the grown-ups, a night out in Britomart is a great way to spend a Saturday night, in particular the lively Tyler Street Garage Bar and Bistro. Experiencing the exhilarating atmosphere of an All Blacks game at Eden Park Stadium is another Auckland ‘must do’ for even the most fair weather sports fan. For a more scenic excursion, many of the stunning volcanic islands that surround Auckland are a short ferry ride away. A climb to the peak of Rangitoto Island is rewarded with unrivalled views of the harbour, alternatively the larger populated island of Waiheke is ideal for a longer trip, with wonderful wineries and pristine beaches.
Interesting Facts about Auckland
- Auckland stretches between two major bodies of water, with Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea to the West and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean to the East. It only takes four hours to walk between the two on the Coast-to-Coast Walkway.
- One in three Aucklanders own a boat, giving the city the nickname the ‘City of Sails’.
- At 328 metres tall, Auckland’s ‘Sky Tower’ is the tallest free standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world and, with increasing numbers moving to Auckland, is expected to grow by more than 50% in the next 50 years.