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With a population of 1.3 million people, including immigrants from all over the world and a heavy concentration of Polynesian people, Auckland is far and away New Zealand's largest and most cosmopolitan city. Called the "City of the Sails" because of its beautiful location between two harbours and great weather, Auckland is a big fish on a small island and a swank city in a rural country.Find Cruises Sailing to This Port
Expect plenty of time to explore the City of the Sails on your own, plus a special treat -- a visit to the countryside for morning tea at a private sheep farm and homestead, with a stop at a local honey centre.
Sky Tower is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere, standing 328 meters, or 1,076 feet - which may not sound very tall, until you jump off it. The Sky Jump is 11 seconds of free fall from the platform at the top of Sky Tower to the base. Your life will pass before your eyes, twice.
Riding ATVs through a rain forest, horseback riding on the beaches, bungee jumping from the Auckland Harbour Bridge, exploring canyons, abseiling (rapelling), sea kayaking, scuba diving, hover crafting, salt-water fishing and sailing - it's all here. These people are addicted to adrenaline and adventure.
As a cross-cultural city, Auckland specializes in "Pacific Rim" cooking, a fusion of Pacific and Asian influences using fresh local produce like green-lipped mussels, oysters and even lamb. Go high-end at Viaduct Basin and Princes Wharf, or head to Parnell and Ponsonby roads to find something more exotic. Make sure to try the local wines.
From 10am to 10pm daily, the DFS Galleria Customhouse is the place for duty-free and tax-free shopping. The Parnell and Ponsonby areas will have unique boutiques as well as antiques. And for something native, try the Tongan Church on Saturday mornings for superb bark cloth at good prices.
Currency is the New Zealand dollar, currently worth about $0.65 USD. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are everywhere. Moneychangers are widely available so don't expect any real trouble converting currency or travelers checks, but do shop around for the best rates.
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Learn more about this port city with this tourist information guide.