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Cities and Regions in New Zealand


The largest metropolitan area in the country, a quarter of New Zealanders live in and around Auckland. It has the largest Polynesian population in any city in the world. Auckland is known as the 'city of sails' because they have more yachts per capita than any other city in the world. Nearly one in three Auckland households own a boat. The Sky Tower, (shown in the photo on the right) is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. It attracts many tourists and locals due to the excellent panoramic views, the revolving restaurant, as well as the 'Sky Walk', in which you can walk around the outside platform at 192meters high and the 'Sky Jump'. Auckland lies on and around an Isthmus and is surrounded by harbours. There are many islands and volcanos in the area. The climate is temperate, with warm summers averaging over 24 degrees and winters at 16 degrees on average.


Known as Kirikiriroa in Maori, is New Zealand's largest inland city, situated on the banks of the Waikato River and in the hub of central North Island. Visitors can easily access the iconic attractions such as the Hobbiton film set, Raglan's surf coast, Waitomo Caves and the historic Te Aroha Mineral Pools. The city hosts approximately 40,000 tertiary students and because of this education and research and development play a large role in Hamilton's economy. Hamilton has a damp climate and slightly cooler temperatures than Auckland.


Is situated on the northwestern corner of the bay of Plenty. Tauranga is the sixth largest city in New Zealand and is continuously growing at a rapid speed. It is one of the main centres for business, culture, international trade and horticulture science. Tauranga's port is the biggest in New Zealand in terms of gross export tonnage. There are several volcanos in the area including the most prominent Mount Maunganui, which is shown in the photo above, and White Island Volcano. Due to its sheltered position in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga has a warm, subtropical climate. It is a popular destination for tourists due to the long white beaches and well known surf.


Also known as Ahuriri, located on the Eastern coast of the North Island, it has the fifth largest population of New Zealand cities.Napier is the largest wool centre in the Southern Hemisphere and holds the primary seaport for export for northeastern New Zealand. It is the largest producer of apples, pears and stone fruit and is becoming an increasingly important centre for grape and wine production. Napier is a popular tourist attraction due to their 19302 Art Deco architecture. Another tourist attracting event is the annual food and wine festival, the Harvest Hawkes Bay festival.                          


Named the 'Coolest little Capital' in the world and the fourth top city to visit in the world in 2011. -Lonely Planet.

Although Wellington is much smaller than Auckland it is the capital and holds parliament as it is the central point between the North and South Islands. The city was built around a bay, part on a flat area and part on the hills surrounding the harbour. The waterfront area was modernised and transformed into a leisure park which attracts lots of people. The commerce is rich and sophisticated with plenty of nice restaurants (some of the best in New Zealand),cafes and entertainment. Wellington is also considered the cultural capital of New Zealand, with excellent museums and art galleries, as well as mix of nationalities that provides interesting reflections in all areas. Parliament- The Beehive and Government Buildings are situated in the central business district of Wellington, there are daily guided tours. New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, is a landmark on Wellingtons waterfront. The architecture symbolises aspects of the Maori culture.


The region is surrounded by beaches, mountains, national parks and crystal lakes. Nelson city is relaxed, easy, full of cafes, restaurants and accommodation. The economy is based on tourism, fishing and the wine industry. Port Nelson is the biggest fishing port in Australasia, catering for fishing vessels from small local inshore boats to large factory trawlers. Wine produced in the area is very highly ranked in the world and tours of the local wineries are very popular. Nelson has the most sunshine hours in New Zealand annually and is a very popular summer destination for New Zealanders and tourists because of the weather. The climate and lifestyle have historically drawn artists to the region, which has shaped the nature of the area and filled it with festivals and galleries including the world famous Höglund glass blowing studio. The people in Nelson make it the appealing place that it is through their strong sense of community and welcoming spirits for new comers who bring rich diversity into Nelson. The Able Tasman National Park is right on Nelsons door step it is world famous for its crystal water, vibrant golden sands and fascinating wild life, the park attracts thousands of visitors each summer.


New Zealand's second largest city, it is situated on the central east coast of the south island. While parts of the city have been affected by the recent earthquake, the city as a whole continues to operate. Local business people have responded innovatively and created business and education hubs on the outskirts of the Central City. It is officially the oldest established city in New Zealand. Christchurch has a dry climate, the temperature ranges between 22 degrees in summer and an average of 11.3 in winter. The city is almost completely flat with big buildings only in the city centre, the Avon River flows through the city and divides the centre from the suburbs, which are mostly constituted on houses. Christchurch's economy is based on the primary industry such as milking and farming but has also been accomplishing great results in Information Technology and Tourism.


Dunedin lies south east of Christchurch on the central-eastern coast of Otago, surrounding the head of Otago Harbour. The harbour and hills around Dunedin are the remnants of an extinct volcano. It is also greatly modified by its proximity to the ocean, this leads to warm summers and cool winters. The winter months are frosty, but significant snowfall is uncommon. The city's largest industry is tertiary education – Dunedin is home to the University of Otago, New Zealand's first university 1869. Baldwin Street is the steepest residential street in the world and is located in the suburbs of Dunedin. Dunedin was New Zealand's first big city due to the gold rush in Otago and therefore many heritage buildings stand in Dunedin and New Zealand's only Castle, Larnach Castle is situated 13km out of the city centre. Dunedin seems to have the first of most things in New Zealand such as Botanical Gardens and the first local newspaper.


Queenstown is located in the South Island of New Zealand on the margins of a beautiful lake surrounded by high mountains catering for spectacular views. It is known in the world as the capital of radical sports, from Skiing to Bungy Jumping and Jet Boating. Queenstown is the snow centre in New Zealand and attracts people from all over the country and the world to ski or snowboard at one of four main ski fields, as well as cross country skiing. The population is only 9000 people but it can double every day depending on the tourist influx. Queenstown and the surrounding area was used as the set for many scenes in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, as well as X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Queenstown has an alpine climate with winters that have clear blue skies and snow capped mountains and summers with long warm days and temperatures that can reach up to 30°C.

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