Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and the centre of the country’s retail and commercial activities. Approximately 401,500 people live within the city boundary and 1.5 million in the greater Auckland area. This represents about a third of the country’s population.
The city is built on a narrow isthmus between two harbours – the Manukau and the Waitemata – and is surrounded by 11 dormant volcanoes and numerous picturesque islands.This harbourside location is known as the “City of Sails” because of the great number of yachts that sail in the harbours and the adjoining Hauraki Gulf.
To the west of the city, the Waitakere Ranges rainforest forms a gateway to magnificent west coast surf beaches and an abundance of bush walks.
Auckland has a rich cosmopolitan mix of people. Around 63 per cent of its residents are of European descent while 13 percent are Pacific, 11 percent are New Zealand Māori and there is a growing Asian population, currently about 12 percent.
English is the main written and spoken language in Auckland. Māori, Pacific and Asian languages are also spoken by ethnic communities.
The city’s climate is temperate, with warm summers (averaging more than 24 degrees) and cooler winters (averaging 16 degrees). The summer months are between December and March. The prevailing wind is westerly.