Auckland is a city in New Zealand’s North Island. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of around 1,534,700. It is located in the Auckland Region the area governed by Auckland Council which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,657,200.
The isthmus was settled by Māori circa 1350, and was valued for its rich and fertile land. Many pā or fortified villages were created, mainly on the volcanic peaks. The Maori population in the area is estimated to have been about 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans. The introduction of firearms at the end of the eighteenth century, which began in Northland, upset the balance of power and led to devastating intertribal warfare beginning in 1807, causing iwi who lacked the new weapons to seek refuge in areas less exposed to coastal raids. As a result, the region had relatively low numbers of Māori when European settlement of New Zealand began. Trams and railway lines shaped Auckland’s rapid expansion in the early first half of the 20th century, but soon afterward the dominance of the motor vehicle emerged. This has not abated arterial roads and motorways have become both defining and geographically dividing features of the urban landscape. They also allowed further massive expansion that resulted in the growth of urban areas such as the North Shore and Manukau City in the south.
Auckland is the major economic and financial centre of New Zealand. The city’s economy is based largely on services and commerce. Most major international corporations have an Auckland office the most expensive office space is around lower Queen Street and the Viaduct Basin in the Auckland, where many financial and business services are located, which make up a large percentage of the economy. The largest commercial and industrial areas of the Auckland Region are in the southeast of Auckland City and the western parts of Manukau City, mostly bordering the Manukau Harbor and the Tamaki River estuary. According to the 2013 census, the primary employment industries of Auckland residents are professional, scientific and technical services (11.4 per cent), manufacturing (9.9 per cent), retail trade (9.7 per cent), health care and social assistance (9.1 per cent), and education and training (8.3 per cent). Manufacturing is the largest employer in the Henderson-Massey, Howick, Mangere-Otahuhu, Otara-Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura local board areas, retail trade is the largest employer in the Whau local board are, while professional, scientific and technical services are the largest employer in the remaining urban local board areas. The sub-national GDP of the Auckland region was estimated at NZ$93.5 billion in 2016, 37.2 per cent of New Zealand’s national GDP. The per-capita GDP of Auckland was estimated at NZ$58,717, the third-highest in the country after the Taranaki and Wellington regions, and above the national average of NZ$54,178.
Places to visit
Museum of Transport and Technology, Great North Rd, Western Springs. Situated near the Zoo. It’s an interactive museum with over 300,000 items. Look out for the WW 2 Avro Lancaster Bomber and the Solent Flying Boat in the Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Collection.
Sky Tower, Cnr Victoria and Federal St. At 328 m, this is the tallest free-standing tower in the Southern Hemisphere, offering views of up to 80 km away and fine dining in the Orbit revolving restaurant.
Things to do
Drive or walk up one of Auckland’s many volcanic cones such as One Tree Hill or Mount Eden to experience panoramic views of the city, and to see sheep and cows in a major metropolitan area.
Do the Sky Jump, a cable controlled base jump from a height of 192m on the Sky Tower. Or try the Sky Walk, a walk around a 1.2m wide walkway 92m above the ground with no hand rails.