Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping - you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland.

In the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki-Makau-Rau - 'the maiden with a hundred lovers'. It earned this name because it was a region coveted by many tribes.Auckland Harbour Bridge

Auckland's blend of harbour, islands, Polynesian culture and modern city environment has created a lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world.

The natural assets of Auckland have made it a dream destination for all kinds of travellers, from doing-it-on-the-cheap backpackers to cost-is-no-issue super yacht owners.

Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, is situated on and around a narrow isthmus that is flanked by two maginicent harbours - the Waitemata to the east and the Manukau to the west. Think of it as half urban, half marine - a cosmopolitan experience wrapped up in a fascinating water world that's dotted with over 50 islands.

Auckland's amazing geography and warm, humid climate inspire a lifestyle that's regularly ranked in the world's top ten. In just half an hour you can be almost anywhere - sailing to an island, trekking through the rainforest, picnicking on a volcano, sampling wines at a vineyard or wandering a wild, black sand surf beach. Everything is right on your doorstep, and Auckland's layout makes it easy to jump quickly from one theme to another.

There are spectacular views from many of Auckland's natural and man-made landmarks.

The region is dotted by 48 volcanic cones, with easy access to the summits of Maungawhau (Mt Eden), Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill), and Rangitoto Island. In the heart of the CBD, you can't miss the imposing Sky Tower, which at 328 metres is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere. You can also climb to the apex of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and the more adventurous can bungy jump from it.

The region is surrounded by rain forested hills, such as the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges. They offer dozens of bush walks for all abilities. The Waitakere Ranges are also the gateway to the wild west coast, where surf pounds black-sand beaches, all just a 40 minute drive from downtown.

New Zealand’s Festivals – any excuse to celebrate First Light Travel Blog2.png

Almost every day somewhere in New Zealand there will be a festival or public event occurring celebrating what we kiwi’s love. View them here.