Auckland, a vertical cityWherever you are in Auckland, the tall tower you can see before you even arrive in the city is probably the best landmark. This symbol of the city, an astounding architectural feat, is known as the Sky Tower. The 328-metre-high radio tower is the tallest in the southern hemisphere, a fact that you’ll have no trouble believing after taking the elevator that propels you up 186 metres in just 40 seconds to enjoy the panoramic view from the observation deck. When you reach the deck, you are rewarded with a splendid view of the volcanic landscape of the bay of Auckland.
More intrepid travellers can even bungee jump from the top of the tower. It’s a dose of adrenaline that will supercharge your stay in Auckland, the most sensational city in New Zealand.A city passionate about rugby and aquatic sportsThe country is well known for its athletic tradition, and the city of Auckland is no exception to this philosophy of effort and physical performance. The New Zealand trait manifests itself here primarily through activities related to the sea. It’s important to note that Auckland has the highest number of boats per resident in the entire world. Head to the orange-toned Ferry Building for a cruise on the city’s bay. From aboard a schooner, a three-master or a yacht, you can explore the sea and admire the Auckland skyline, the port of Waitemata and the surrounding areas.
The other major national sport is, of course, rugby. More than just a sport, rugby is a way of life for the inhabitants of Auckland, whom you can join at Eden Park. In this legendary stadium, you can watch a match of the Blues, the local team, while paying tribute to local hero Jonah Lomu.New Zealand cool on the Golden Mile and Ponsonby RoadThe New Zealand way of life is just as easygoing and enthusiastic as that of their Australian neighbour. Auckland is not lacking for demonstrations of creativity and nonchalance. This dynamism is perfectly embodied in the Auckland Art Gallery, the country’s largest artistic institution, with its wing entirely dedicated to modern art. Next, you can head to the Champs-Elysées of Auckland: Queen Street, renamed the Golden Mile in memory of its glorious past. Just a few minutes from the Auckland city centre, the Ponsonby neighbourhood pushes the limits of affluence and tranquility, reflecting a true golden age of New Zealand culture. Spend an afternoon immersed in the amiable atmosphere of Ponsonby Road and have a drink at Chapel Bar & Bistro, a favourite with the locals. Afterwards, browse through the well-established home decor and interior design shops. In the evening, the neighbourhood’s hipster bars and hip restaurants come to life.Discovering Mount Eden and the surrounding areaIn Auckland, like everywhere in New Zealand, nature is omnipresent as soon as you distance yourself from the main thoroughfares and shopping centres. Here, nature often takes the form of volcanoes. Climbing the slopes of dormant volcano Mount Eden, you enter into lands that are held sacred in Maori culture, in particular the crater. After contemplating the holy place, turn around to take in the view of the volcanic islands in the distance.
After strong sensations, physical exertion and artistic curiosity, it’s time for a bit of natural relaxation in the botanical gardens. Between the Camellia Garden, the Threatened Native Plants Garden and the Rose Garden, you have many options to enjoy a breath of fresh air at the heart of the New Zealand metropolis.
If you believe its Maori name, “the city of 100 lovers”, Auckland is a city that is easy to fall in love with. Whether you choose to spend time at the seaside or prefer a stroll along Queen Street, Auckland is a seductive city that’s as wild and volcanic as a haka, the famous traditional Maori dance.
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