Auckland is a city of volcanoes, with the ridges of lava flows forming its main thoroughfares and its many cones providing islands of green within the sea of suburbs. As well as being by far the largest, it’s also the most multicultural of New Zealand’s cities. A sizable Asian community rubs shoulders with the biggest Polynesian population of any city in the world.
The traditional Kiwi aspiration for a freestanding house on a quarter-acre section has resulted in a vast, sprawling city. The CBD was long ago abandoned to commerce, and inner-city apartment living has only recently caught on. While geography has been kind, city planning has been less so. Unbridled and ill-conceived development has left the centre of the city with plenty of architectural embarrassments. To get under Auckland’s skin you’re best to head to the streets of Victorian and Edwardian villas in its hip inner-city suburbs.
New Zealand’s other adventure capital
As the home of bungee jumping and jet boating, New Zealand has long been a mecca for thrill-seeking travellers...
Need to know
A guide to New Zealand's Rugby World Cup (for non-rugby fans too)
By Sarah Bennett and Lee Slater, Lonely Planet authors If you’re travelling around New Zealand in September and October 2011 you’re either a rugby fan, or run the risk of becoming one...
Auckland's gourmet secrets
It's lunchtime on Friday. Plumbers' vans jostle with Porsches for space, and backpacks bang into Vuitton and Gucci bags. They're all here for the treats at Auckland’s Pandoro Bakery...