Auckland – the City of Sails and Volcanoes


The largest New Zealand city Auckland is located in a volcanic place, where about one third of the population of the whole country lives. There are 48 extinct volcanoes within the city limits! The most famous city volcano is rightfully extinct 15 centuries ago volcano, called today Mount Eden, the highest point of the city (196 m.). The mountain itself and its bowl-shaped crater with a depth of 50 meters are favorite places not only for tourists, but also for Aucklanders, which contributes to the amazing views of the city, stretching “from sea to sea”.

Traces of volcanic activity are also easy to spot on popular water cruises: within the city limits alone there are more than 50 green islands with hills of the most bizarre shapes. The most popular of these is Rangitoto Island, which was created a millennium ago by the eruption of one of the volcanoes when the Maori already inhabited the area.

The first European who landed in the area of modern Auckland was, as it is easy to guess, Captain James Cook, in 1769. It was more than a century after the foot of the first European – Dutchman Abel Tasman, stepped on the land of New Zealand.

The first European settlement appeared here half a century later – in 1833. The history of the city begins in 1841, when the first governor of New Zealand William Hobson founded a new capital here and named it in honor of Lord Auckland, the Governor-General of India. Auckland was destined to be the capital for 24 years. However, the transfer of the capital to the center of the young country, closer to the South Island, which was actively developing at that time, did not deprive Auckland of the status of the economic center of the state. And the discovery of gold deposits to the east of the city – on the Coromandel Peninsula – only contributed to its active development.

Auckland – the city of sails and volcanoes The city, which is rightly called the “City of Sails”, is surrounded by three sea bays, between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. In the bay, which is near the business center, all year round, a huge accumulation of all kinds of yachts, sailboats, boats and other watercraft. In terms of the number of different types of vessels per capita Auckland – the world leader – for 10 residents there is one floating vessel. Auckland, whose population is 1.4 million people, is slightly smaller in area than such megacities as London and Moscow. Such low population density is explained simply: there are few skyscrapers here and all of them are located in the business City, and the city itself is predominantly one- and two-story, the vast majority of its residents live in private homes with adjacent land plots.

The most attractive attraction for tourists are sightseeing tours and jumping from Sky Tower – the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere (328 meters high). At the request of the tourist can be insured and in special equipment to walk outside the tower on its 360-degree diameter, and you can jump from 192-meter height, being attached to the ropes.

The Sky Tower, Auckland’s 13-year-old landmark, has something in common with the Eiffel Tower in Paris: there were many opponents of its construction among the local population, who were worried not only about its appearance but also about safety. And, as in the case of the symbol of Paris, the Sky Tower successfully repays the money spent on its construction: few people can resist the temptation to have lunch or dinner in a café under the very heavens.

Gianni Little

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