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     Auckland is New Zealand's largest city with over a million people living in the urban area of greater Auckland.  In its early years Auckland was the capital city but in 1865 the administration of the country was moved to  the more central situation of Wellington.  Auckland stretches between two harbours on a narrow neck of land and is almost surrounded  by water.  Aucklanders call their city the "City of Sails" and indeed it seems so on a yachting  regatta day.  A feature of the landscape is the numerous extinct volcanic cones - Mount Eden (Maungawhau), One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie), Mount Albert  (Owairaka) and Mount Hobson (Remuera)  are prominent examples in the city  itself whilst  Rangitoto Island, a very recent volcano, stands as a sentinel at the entrance  to Waitemata  Harbour.  Early Maori settlement made Auckland a densely populated part of the country and  the volcanic cones all show signs of their use as secure places to live.
    There are several museums in the city which help visitors to understand the development of modern New Zealand: the Auckland War Memorial Museum;  the Auckland Maritime Museum;  and the Museum of Transport and Technology are notable.  The many Servas hosts in the area  will be only too pleased to advise travellers on interesting places to visit.
    North Shore Auckland is made up of North Shore City and the Hibiscus Coast.  The  North Shore is easily reached from the CBD Auckland by car or bus over the harbour bridge, and regular commuter ferries take both foot passengers and bicycles. 

  Devonport on the harbour is a  self sufficient settlement of commuters and artists. Takapuna is the City on the Beach and the  Lake.  Albany on the northern fringe is home to Massey University - Auckland  campus.
    West Auckland is home to many notable vineyards and the gateway to the prominent bush covered Waitakere Ranges and the western beaches.  These are the wild beaches of Auckland - for surfers and gannets and wild scenery.  West Auckland is based on Waitakere City which is NZís only eco-city and the home to many artists and crafts people.

    East of Auckland lies the old town of Howick, now linked to Auckland city centre by the newer suburbs of Auckland.  Wide roads, safe golden beaches, large gardens and the occasional large  shopping malls are found here.

Check out http://www.biglittlecity.co.nz/