Auckland City and Region
Introduction to Auckland's geography, history and more
You may have seen Auckland described as the 'City of Sails' – it's one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two major bodies of water (the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean) – but what else do you know about our city? We've put together a few facts and figures to tell you more.
Quick Facts About Auckland
- Auckland is the largest and most populated urban area in New Zealand with nearly 1.5 million residents.
- Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world.
- Tāmaki Makaurau is the Maori name for Auckland.
- Auckland was ranked 10th by The Economist in their index of Most Liveable Cities.
- Following the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, Auckland was the capital of New Zealand. It moved to Wellington in 1865.
- Auckland straddles the Auckland Volcanic Field, which has produced about 50 volcanoes.
- Auckland is known as the City of Sails because the city has more yachts per capita than any other city in the world.
Auckland is located on and around a isthmus, less than 2km wide at its narrowest point between Mangere Inlet and the Tamaki River. There are two harbours in the Auckland city urban area: Waitemata Harbour which opens east to the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Harbour which opens west to the Tasman Sea.
The Auckland Volcanic Field has produced about 50 volcanoes, the largest of which formed Rangitoto Island – sometime within the last 1,000 years. Some of the areas of Auckland which particularly appeal to visitors are:
- Auckland City - Home to the Scenic Hotel Auckland
- Devonport – A ferry ride from downtown Auckland is this delightul seaside suburb
- Mount Victoria – Offers fantastic 360° views of the city
- Mount Eden – A dormant volcanic cone perfect for picnics in its lovely park.
Auckland was first known as Tamaki Makau Rau, meaning 'isthmus of one thousand lovers' and was settled by the Maori people in approximately 1350AD. The two main tribes, Ngati Whatua and Tainui, who lived in the region fought over the highly fertile land and seabeds until Ngati Whatua (with the aid of Europeans and gun trading) finally defeated the Tainui.
In 1840, Ngati Whatua offered the Governor (Lieutenant William Hobson) the land around the present central city of Auckland. This offer was accepted in the Treaty of Waitangi on 20th March 1840. By 1841, up to 2,000 people lived in Auckland with numbers slowly swelling over time until in 1900 Auckland was New Zealand's largest city.
Find out where the Scenic Hotel Auckland is located in relation to major city centre attractions, activities in the wider area and airport services. (View more Auckland maps.)
Auckland is located in the North Island of New Zealand which is sub-tropical. It typically has warm, humid summers and a relatively mild, damp winter. You should include a jacket in the summer as weather can turn cooler and warmer clothing should be packed for visits between May and September. Always pack a raincoat. (View more about Auckland weather.)
The roads in Auckland get very busy and congested at peak times, so read our driving tips so you can drive a car in Auckland, without getting driven mad. (View more about driving in Auckland.)