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Introducing Auckland Region

Paris may be the city of love, but Auckland is the city of many lovers, according to its Maori name, Tamaki Makaurau. In fact, her lovers so desired this beautiful place that they fought over her for centuries.

It’s hard to imagine a more geographically blessed city. Its two magnificent harbours frame a narrow isthmus punctuated by volcanic cones and surrounded by fertile farmland. From any of its numerous vantage points you’ll be astounded at how close the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean come to kissing and forming a new island.

As a result, water’s never far away – whether it’s the ruggedly beautiful west-coast surf beaches or the glistening Hauraki Gulf with its myriad islands. The 135, 000 pleasure crafts filling Auckland’s marinas have lent the city its most durable nickname: the ‘City of Sails’.

Within an hour’s drive from the high-rise heart of the city are dense tracts of rainforest, thermal springs, deserted beaches, wineries and wildlife reserves. Yet big-city comforts have spread to all corners of the Auckland Region: a decent coffee or chardonnay is usually close at hand.

Yet the rest of the country loves to hate it, tut-tutting about its traffic snarls and the supposed self-obsession of the quarter of the country’s population that call it home. With its many riches, Auckland can justifiably respond to its detractors, ‘Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful’.

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