Population: Circa 1.5 Million – the county’s largest urban area

Ranked 3rd in 2011 Mercer Quality of Living Survey

Climate: Plenty of sunshine during the warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters

Great for: Concerts and Festivals, Eating out at the Viaduct Harbour, Shopping, Sailing


Auckland City Centre & Suburbs
There are great spots for shopping all around the City from Vulcan Lane in the heart of the city with lots of cafés and boutiques, Nuffield Street in Newmarket with all the big names in fashion, to the trendy Viaduct district featuring many shops and cafés, including the fabulous ‘Barabra’ café for a great coffee. Enjoy the views from the iconic Sky Tower – the tallest man-made structure in the country (328m). At night, enjoy a play or head to the Comedy Club.

Island getaways
Two of the best island getaways are Waiheke Island, with its beautiful vineyards and artist retreats, and the untamed Great Barrier Island, where you can take an eco-tour, ride horses and bird watch. 

Sports and activity
Catch a local rugby match, fly down the slopes at Auckland's indoor ski resort or cruise Waitemata Harbour in a yacht. Known as the “City of Sails”, Aucklanders are passionate about all things sailing - check out the Viaduct and see the big America’s Cup yachts up close. If you love to surf, you have to go to Piha - attracting world famous surfers, this is the place to see some true surfing skills.

Head’s top tips

Jennifer Orr:
“Get out and explore the harbour by boat and visit one of the many amazing islands such as Rangitoto Island.”

Caroline O'Hagan:
“If you live in Auckland you have to do the ‘Round the Bays’ annual 8.4km funrun at least once, it's great fun to do with the family and the course takes you round all the beautiful bays and beaches of the city. At the finish you get to collapse and enjoy a BBQ.”

Find out more at

AucklandSailing Auckland HarbourWaiheke Island