Auckland , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country. Auckland has a population of 1,454,300 - 32 percent of New Zealand's population. It is part of the wider Auckland Region, which includes the rural areas and towns north and south of the urban area, plus the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,570,500 that is governed by the Auckland Council. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. In Māori, Auckland's name is Tāmaki Makaurau and the adaptation of Auckland, to suit Māori phonetic rules, is Ākarana.
The Auckland urban area (as defined by Statistics New Zealand) ranges to Waiwera in the north,Kumeu in the northwest, and Runciman in the south. It is not contiguous; the section from Waiwera to Whangaparāoa Peninsula is separate from its nearest neighbouring suburb of Long Bay. Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and theWaitakere Rangesand smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrowisthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two harbours on two separate major bodies of water.
The 2014 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Auckland 3rd place in the world on its list, while the Economist Intelligence Unit's World's most liveable cities index of 2015 ranked Auckland in 9th place. In 2010, Auckland was classified as a Beta World City in the World Cities Study Group's inventory by Loughborough University. In terms of population it is the largest Oceanian city outside Australia.
|POPULATION :||• Urban 1,454,300|
• Metro 1,570,500
|FOUNDED :||Settled by Māori c. 1350|
Settled by Europeans
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone NZST (UTC+12)|
• Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)
|LANGUAGE :||English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)|
|RELIGION :||Christianity 48.5%, irreligious 37.8%, Others 13.7%|
|AREA :||559.2 km2 (215.9 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||Highest elevation 196 m (643 ft)|
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
|COORDINATES :||36°50′26″S 174°44′24″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.2%|
• Female: 50.8%
|ETHNIC :||European 59.3, Māori 10.7, Pacific Island 14.6, Asian 23.1|
|AREA CODE :||09|
|POSTAL CODE :||0600–2699|
|DIALING CODE :||+64 9|
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, and the main arrival point for visitors to the country. It is a vibrant multicultural city, set around two big natural harbours, and ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world. It is in the warm northern part of the North Island, on a narrow isthmus that joins the Northland peninsula to the rest of the island.
One of Auckland's nicknames, the "City of Sails", is derived from the popularity of sailing in the region. 135,000 yachts and launches are registered in Auckland, and around 60,500 of the country's 149,900 registered yachtsmen are from Auckland, with about one in three Auckland households owning a boat. The Viaduct Basin, on the western edge of the CBD, hosted twoAmerica's Cup challenges (2000 Cup and 2003 Cup). The Waitemata Harbour is home to several notable yacht clubs and marinas, including theRoyal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Westhaven Marina, the largest of the Southern Hemisphere. The Waitemata Harbour has several popular swimming beaches, including Mission Bay and Kohimarama on the south side of the harbour, and Stanley Bay on the north side. On the eastern coastline of the North Shore, where the Rangitoto Channel divides the inner Hauraki Gulf islands from the mainland, there are excellent swimming beaches at Cheltenham and Narrow Neck in Devonport,Takapuna, Milford, and the various beaches further north in the area known as East Coast Bays. The west coast has popular surf spots such as Piha,Muriwai and Bethells Beach. The Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Orewa,Omaha and Pakiri, to the north of the main urban area, are also popular. Many Auckland beaches are patrolled by surf lifesaving clubs, such as Piha Surf Life Saving Club the home of Piha Rescue. All surf lifesaving clubs are part of the Surf Life Saving Northern Region.
Queen Street, Britomart, Ponsonby Road, Karangahape Road, Newmarket and Parnell are popular retail areas, whilst the Otara and Avondalefleamarkets offer an alternative shopping experience on weekend mornings. Most shopping malls are located in the middle- and outer-suburbs, with Sylvia Park and Westfield Albany being the largest.
Arts and culture
A number of 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 Philharmonia Orchestra is the city and region's resident full-time symphony orchestra, performing its own series of concerts and accompanying opera and ballet. Events celebrating the city's cultural diversity include the Pasifika Festival, Polyfest, and the Auckland Lantern Festival, all of which are the largest of their kind in New Zealand. Additionally, Auckland regularly hosts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Important institutions include 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/. The Auckland Art Gallery is considered the home of the visual arts in New Zealand with a collection of over 15,000 artworks, including prominent New Zealand and Pacific Island artists, as well as international painting, sculpture and print collections ranging in date from 1376 to the present day. In 2009 the Gallery was promised a gift of fifteen works of art by New York art collectors and philanthropists Julian and Josie Robertson – including well-known paintings by Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin and Piet Mondrian. This is the largest gift ever made to an art museum in Australasia.
The isthmus was settled by Māori around 1350, and was valued for its rich and fertile land. Many pā(fortified villages) were created, mainly on the volcanic peaks. Māori population in the area is estimated to have been about 20,000 people before the arrival of Europeans.The introduction of firearms at the end of the eighteenth century, which began in Northland, upset the balance of power and led to devastating intertribal warfare beginning in 1807, causing iwi who lacked the new weapons to seek refuge in areas less exposed to coastal raids. As a result, the region had relatively low numbers of Māori when European settlement of New Zealand began. There is, however, nothing to suggest that this was the result of a deliberate European policy. On 27 January 1832, Joseph Brooks Weller, eldest of the Weller brothers of Otago and Sydney bought land including the sites of the modern cities of Auckland and North Shore and part of Rodney District for "one large cask of powder" from "Cohi Rangatira".
After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840 the new Governor of New Zealand, William Hobson, chose the area as his newcapital and named it after George Eden, Earl of Auckland then Viceroy of India.The land that Auckland was established on was given to the Governor by local Maori iwi Ngāti Whātua as a sign of goodwill and in the hope that the building of a city would attract commercial and political opportunities for the iwi. Auckland was officially declared New Zealand's capital in 1841 and the transfer of the administration from Russell (nowOld Russell) in the Bay of Islands was completed in 1842. However, even in 1840 Port Nicholson (later Wellington) was seen as a better choice for an administrative capital because of its proximity to the South Island, and Wellington became the capital in 1865. After losing its status as capital Auckland remained the principal city of the Auckland Province until the provincial system was abolished in 1876.
In response to the ongoing rebellion by Hone Heke in the mid-1840s the government encouraged retired but fit British soldiers and their families to migrate to Auckland to form a defence line around the port settlement as garrison soldiers. By the time the first Fencibles arrived in 1848 the rebels in the north had been defeated so the outlying defensive towns were constructed to the south stretching in a line from the port village of Onehunga in the West to Howick in the east. Each of the four settlements had about 800 settlers, the men being fully armed in case of emergency but spent nearly all their time breaking in the land and establishing roads.
In the early 1860s Auckland became a base against the Māori King Movement. This, and continued road building towards the south into theWaikato, enabled Pākehā (European New Zealanders) influence to spread from Auckland. Its population grew fairly rapidly, from 1,500 in 1841 to 12,423 by 1864. The growth occurred similarly to other mercantile-dominated cities, mainly around the port and with problems of overcrowding and pollution. Auckland had a far greater population of ex soldiers, many of whom were Irish, than other settlements. About 50% of the population was Irish which contrasted heavily with the majority English settlers in Wellington, Christchurch or New Plymouth. Most of the Irish, though not all, were from Protestant Ulster. The majority of settlers in the early period were assisted by receiving a cheap passage to New Zealand.
Trams and railway lines shaped Auckland's rapid expansion in the early first half of the 20th century, but soon afterward the dominance of the motor vehicle emerged and has not abated since; arterial roads and motorways have become both defining and geographically dividing features of the urban landscape. They also allowed further massive expansion that resulted in the growth of urban areas such as the North Shore (especially after the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge), and Manukau City in the south.
Economic deregulation in the mid-1980s led to dramatic changes to Auckland's economy and many companies relocated their head offices from Wellington to Auckland. The region was now the nerve centre of the national economy. Auckland also benefited from a surge in tourism, which brought 75% of New Zealand's international visitors through its airport. In 2004, Auckland's port handled 43% of the country's container trade.
The face of urban Auckland changed when the government's immigration policy began allowing immigrants from Asia in 1986. According to the 1961 census data, Māori and Pacific Islanders comprised 5% of Auckland's population; Asians less than 1%. By 2006 the Asian population had reached 18.0% in Auckland, and 36.2% in the central city. New arrivals from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea gave a distinctive character to the areas where they clustered, while a range of other immigrants introducedmosques, Hindu temples, halal butchers and ethnic restaurants to the suburbs. The assertiveness of Pacific Island street culture and the increasing political influence of ethnic groups contributes to the city's multicultural vitality.
Auckland has a temperate climate with distinct seasons. Summers are generally warm and humid, while winters tend to be mild and damp. Auckland can have lots of rainfall throughout the year, with more in winter than summer, though it can also have periods of drought. Winter night temperatures never fall much below freezing. There are an average of nine ground frosts a year.
Climate data for Auckland
|Record high °C (°F)||30.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||23.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||19.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||15.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||5.6|
|Source #1: NIWA Climate Data|
|Source #2: CliFlo|
Auckland straddles the Auckland volcanic field, which has produced about 90 volcanic eruptions from 50 volcanoes in the last 90,000 years. It is the only city in the world built on a basaltic volcanic field that is still active. It is estimated that the field will stay active for about 1 million years. Surface features include cones, lakes, lagoons, islands and depressions, and several have produced extensive lava flows. Some of the cones and flows have been partly or completely quarried away. The individual volcanoes are all considered extinct, although the volcanic field itself is merely dormant. The trend is for the latest eruptions to occur in the north west of the field. Auckland has at least 14 large lava tube caves which run from the volcanoes down towards the sea. Some are several kilometres long. A new suburb, Stonefields, has been built in an excavated lava flow, north west of Maungarei / Mount Wellington, that was previously used as a quarry by Winstones.
Auckland's volcanoes are fuelled entirely by basaltic magma, unlike the explosive subduction-driven volcanism in the central North Island, such as at Mount Ruapehu and Lake Taupo which are of tectonic origin. The most recent and by far the largest volcano, Rangitoto Island, was formed within the last 1000 years, and its eruptions destroyed the Māori settlements on neighbouring Motutapu Island some 700 years ago. Rangitoto's size, its symmetry, its position guarding the entrance toWaitemata Harbour and its visibility from many parts of the Auckland region make it Auckland's most iconic natural feature. Few birds and insects inhabit the island because of the rich acidic soil and the type of flora growing out of the rocky soil.
Harbours, gulf and rivers
Auckland lies on and around an isthmus, less than two kilometres wide at its narrowest point, between Mangere Inlet and the Tamaki River. There are two harbours in the Auckland urban area surrounding this isthmus:Waitemata Harbour to the north, which opens east to the Hauraki Gulf, and Manukau Harbour to the south, which opens west to the Tasman Sea. The total coastline of Auckland is 3,702 kilometres (2,300 mi) long.
Bridges span parts of both harbours, notably the Auckland Harbour Bridgecrossing the Waitemata Harbour west of the Auckland Central Business District (CBD). The Mangere Bridge and the Upper Harbour Bridge span the upper reaches of the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours, respectively. In earlier times, portage paths crossed the narrowest sections of the isthmus.
Several islands of the Hauraki Gulf are administered as part of Auckland, though they are not part of the Auckland metropolitan area. Parts of Waiheke Island effectively function as Auckland suburbs, while various smaller islands near Auckland are mostly zoned 'recreational open space' or are nature sanctuaries.
Auckland also has a total length of approximately 21,000 kilometres (13,000 mi) of rivers and streams, about 8 percent of these in urban areas.
Most major international corporations have an Auckland office, as the city is the economic capital of the nation. The most expensive office space is around lower Queen Street and the Viaduct Basin in the Auckland CBD, where many financial and business services are located, which make up a large percentage of the CBD economy. A large proportion of the technical and trades workforce is based in the industrial zones of South Auckland.
The largest commercial and industrial areas of Greater Auckland are in the southeast of Auckland City and the western parts of Manukau City, mostly bordering the Manukau Harbour and the Tamaki River estuary.
The sub-national GDP of the Auckland region was estimated at US$47.6 billion in 2003, 36% of New Zealand's national GDP, 15% greater than the entire South Island.
Auckland's status as the largest commercial centre of the country reflects in the high median personal income (per working person, per year) which was NZ$44,304 (approx. US$33,000) for the region in 2005, with jobs in the Auckland CBD often earning more. The median personal income (for all persons older than 15 years of age, per year) was NZ$22,300 (2001),behind only North Shore City (also part of the Greater Auckland area) andWellington. While office workers still account for a large part of Auckland's commuters, large office developments in other parts of the city, for example in Takapuna or Albany, both on the North Shore, are slowly becoming more common, reducing concentration on the Auckland CBD somewhat.
Prior to 2010, the Auckland urban area was divided between a regional council, four city councils and three district councils. In November 2010, all eight councils merged into a single "super city" council with 21 subordinate local boards. The districts here are based on Statistics New Zealand's four Auckland urban sub-areas, which in turn are based on the four old city councils.
The central business district and central suburbs that made up the former Auckland City. It has many of the main tourist attractions and the bulk of accommodation options.
Stretching from Orewa and the Hibiscus Coast in the north to Devonport on the North Shore in the south, North Harbour has the longest unbroken urban coastline in New Zealand. Devonport, ten minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, is a popular day trip with its little cafes and Mt Victoria.
The areas south and east of Central Auckland, including Manukau, Howick and Papakura.
Dominated by the Waitakere Ranges, West Auckland (the old Waitakere City) offers many of the delights of New Zealand in a small area — unique trees and flowers, hiking and wineries. It’s also the gateway to the West Coast beaches like Piha and Muriwai.
There are many internet cafes in the CBD with prices ranging from $1 per half an hour to $5 per hour. Free internet is available from the public library (limited 100MB per IP address per day). There is also free Wi-Fi in the Skycity food courts. There are 40 HotSpots that offer Wi-Fi connectivity, most notably Esquires cafe (inside Skycity Queen St, Middle Queen St, Lower Queen St, Nelson St), Starbucks (Victoria St, K' Rd, Lower Queen St) and other cafes around Auckland.