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Auckland

Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, and is also the country's industrial, commercial and financial hub. The city of Auckland is located on New Zealand's North Island, and incorporates 56 islands, such that the city's urban areas are almost equally divided into inland and seaside areas, giving the entire area a unique, diversified marine environment. Numerous multinational companies have offices in Auckland, making the city the true economic capital of New Zealand. Auckland is also New Zealand's center for foreign trade, its tourism gateway, its major road, rail and air transportation hub, and the nation's largest and busiest commercial and financial center.

Sky Tower

The Sky Tower is Auckland's most famous landmark, and is a must-see for visitors to the city. The Sky Tower is 328 meters high, and is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand. Tickets provide access to the Tower's Main Observation Deck, at a height of 186 meters, or the 220 meter-high Sky Deck. Visitors to the tower must take an elevator. This is a ride only for those not afraid of heights, as the glass-floored, glass-walled elevators allow you to enjoy the scenery outside as you rise above the city. The Tower's observation decks provide 360-degree views of Auckland, and many visitors say that the nighttime views are even more beautiful than the daytime scenery.

Address: Located in downtown Auckland on the corner of Federal Street and Victoria Street.

Viaduct Harbour

Viaduct Harbour brings together a variety of bars, restaurants, international hotels, and luxury apartment buildings, but it is best known for the yachts and vessels of all kinds which berth here, making the area an ideal location for photography.You can then choose from the many waterfront restaurants to round off your visit with a meal of fresh seafood.Viaduct Harbour is also home to the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum, which maritime history buffs will definitely find worth a visit.

Address:Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland

Auckland Domain

The Auckland Domain is the city's oldest park, and is a 5-minute drive from the downtown area. The Domain is a haven of lush greenery, and its pathways and ornamental flower beds make it an ideal place to stroll and relax. The park's duck pond is particularly popular with the locals. From time to time you may see families of ducks taking a stroll down the road.

Address:20 Park Road, Auckland

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are one of New Zealand's most famous natural wonders. These are active rock caves, formed approximately 15,000 years ago. The erosive action of the relatively harder blackstone in the water flows against the lower parts of the caves has formed smooth, circular blackstone marbles, each in its own hole – these may be lovely, but removing them is strictly prohibited. The caves are peppered with entrances, enticing a wide range of insects into the caves. Of these, glow worms are the caves' most exotic inhabitants, and these cling to the sides and roofs of the caves to create the starry, enigmatic vista for which the caves are famed.

Address: Located on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island, 2 hours south of Auckland

Visitors to New Zealand usually buy products specific to the country, which include woolen products, sheep oil, manuka honey, and health products. Prices are generally lower in Auckland than in the South Island, and we recommend shopping for souvenirs and gifts here. Besides these NZ-specific products, the city also has local designer brands, many of which can only be bought in Auckland. Fashionistas should get ready for some serious window-shopping.

Otara Market

The Otara market is where New Zealand's Maori and Polynesian populations come to trade. You will find unique island-style printed textiles and Maori-style carvings, as well as a wide variety of tropical fruits and vegetables, and also come face to face with different cultures.

Address: Otara Leisure Centre, Newbury Street, Otara, 1701

PAK'nSAVE Supermarkets

If its bright yellow plaque doesn't attract you, this supermarket's prices certainly will – they are generally lower than those found in Countdown and New World. You are also certain to find almost whatever you need. A tip once you are at the checkout – shopping bags will cost you 10 cents each, but the supermarket provides free empty cardboard boxes for customers to pack their shopping.

Address: Outlets can be found in various places around Auckland

Rotorua

Rotorua is the cultural center of New Zealand's Maori population, where shoppers can easily find exquisite Maori art and crafts, local woodcarvings, natural woven fabrics, as well as carvings in materials as diverse as greenstone, bone, shell, and much more. Each piece touches a part of the area's Maori story. Rotorua is also home to a number of specialist black pearl and abalone pearl retailers. Handworked glassware is a further Rotorua specialty for you to discover.

Address: Located on the southern banks of Lake Rotorua, 221 kilometers south of Auckland.

Auckland offers a wealth of local, fresh seafood. There are numerous Korean, Japanese and Chinese restaurants in the area around Queen Street and Quay Street, offering fresh food at affordable prices – all of them are worth trying. Of these, we particularly recommend Japanese cuisine, because of the freshness of the seafood, including lobster, squid, and shellfish, and the Teppanyaki cooking style, which gives the seafood a very special flavor.

Blacklip abalone

New Zealand is home to a particular species of abalone, with black edges, known locally as 'paua.' It is a local delicacy, and is usually served chopped and fried, but it is sometimes eaten raw.

Recommended restaurant: Cin Cin on Quay

Address: 99 Quay Street, Auckland

Green-lipped mussel

The green-lipped mussel is unique to New Zealand, and is recognizable by its bright green outer shell and green lips. It tastes delicious. Restaurant menus also commonly feature delicacies such as other types of mussel, scallops, and clams. Mussels are successfully bred in many areas of New Zealand for food, nutrition, or health purposes. But the larger, wild mussels provide an altogether higher taste sensation. Cooked in white wine and herbs, and served in the shell in a large bowl, this is another attractive local dish to savor.

Recommended restaurant: Harbourside Seafood Bar & Grill

Address: Ferry Building Level 1, 99 Quay Street, Auckland

Cream Pavlova

You cannot leave Auckland without trying New Zealand's most famous dessert – a Pavlova. The excellent quality of New Zealand cream gives this delicious dessert its outer appearance of a giant marshmallow, while its crunchy meringue interior has a sweet, chewy taste. It is served topped with cream and kiwi, passion fruit or pear.

Recommended restaurant: Orbit Revolving Restaurant

Address: Sky Tower, Corner of Victoria Street and Federal Street, Auckland

Bus

Several bus companies provide public transport services in Auckland. The most widespread and convenient is LINK, which provides services along three circular routes covering the city center and surrounding areas. The company's three routes serve most of Auckland's attractions.

Taxi

Taxi services in Auckland must generally be booked. Only a few areas such as downtown Auckland or shopping centers have roadside taxi stands. Taxis are also relatively expensive, and different taxi companies charge different rates; the price per kilometer is approx. NZD 2-3, while some companies will charge an additional minimum fee of around NZD 3.

Currency:New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

Telephone code:+6409

Climate

Auckland's weather is a mix of mild and rainy climate, with clear seasonal differences.Temperatures in the summer can reach as high as 27℃, and drop as low as 0℃ in the winter.Average annual rainfall is about 1200 mm.

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