Auckland has an irresistible combination of stunning scenery and a vibrant city lifestyle, offering an amazing array of things to see and do. The city centre’s buzzing waterfront precincts, designer shopping, dining spots and galleries are surrounded by beautiful harbours, islands, wine regions and rainforest.

From the heart of the city, visitors can be hiking through lush native bush, riding a horse along the beach or relaxing in rolling wine country in only 40 minutes. And with the harbour on the city’s doorstep, jet boating, kayaking, sailing, cruises and New Zealand’s only ocean-touch bungy jump are all at your fingertips too. Auckland’s magnificent Hauraki Gulf is dotted with emerald islands, many of them just a short ferry ride away. Climb to the top of Rangitoto Island’s volcanic cone or visit Waiheke Island, with its 30 boutique wineries, picturesque olive groves and sheltered sandy beaches.

With a population of around 1.5 million, Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and the gateway to the rest of the country for travellers. It is ranked the third most liveable city in the world on the global Mercer Quality of Living Survey and was rated one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014.

New Zealand's indigenous Maori call this land Tamaki Makaurau, ‘a maiden desired by 100 lovers’. As well as a rich Maori culture, Auckland is also the largest Polynesian city in the world and a melting pot of cultures from every corner of the globe. It is this diversity that gives the city such an exciting variety of cuisine, events, music and art.

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Auckland has a proud history of supporting and hosting two highly successful FIFA World Cups - the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and 1999 FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup. In fact, Auckland was rated one of the top three sporting cities in the world by the International Sports Management Awards.

Local football clubs - Auckland City and Waitakere United - have dominated the New Zealand national league. They have both won the OFC Champions League and both participated in the FIFA Club World Cup on more than one occasion.

The 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Auckland had the highest average spectators per game (10,298) and, although there was no New Zealand team playing, 16,000 people attended the final.