Located on the northern part of New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland receives a fair share of tourist traffic throughout the year. The city was built on the Auckland Volcanic Field, that is made up of forty eight volcanoes and has led to the nickname, ‘City of Volcanoes’. However, Auckland is probably more popularly known as the ‘City of Sails’ for the many yachts that traffic Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf. The city is home to a diverse population, a fact that is reflected in the local festivals and sporting events. No trip to New Zealand is complete without stopping by Auckland, and no trip here is complete without passing a greeting to the whales and dolphins that frequent the seas nearby!
Whaling was once a thriving industry in New Zealand, but saw a decline amidst waning whale populations. The last whale harpooned here was in 1963. Whaling has been replaced with a much friendlier activity; whale and dolphin watching. The safaris allow visitors to get close to these marine mammals and this activity is especially well developed around Kaikoura and the Hauraki Gulf. Of all the different whale species in the world, roughly half that number can be found in the waters around the country.
Some whale species live here throughout the year, while others are seasonal visitors who pass by on the way to their breeding grounds. Humpback, Sperm, Pilot, Bryde’s and Southern Right whales are the ones that are most commonly spotted here. Dolphins are much more common than whales, and one is nearly guaranteed to come across them on a safari. In addition to commonly found species of dolphin, one should keep an eye out for Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins, which are exclusive to the region.
Getting around Auckland is easy thanks to the availability and efficiency of public transport services. Accommodation is also quite easy to come by and one can find lodgings to suit any kind of budget. Travellers searching for well placed hotels in Auckland can choose from the properties on offer from Millennium & Copthorne Hotels NZ. With several New Zealand hotels across the country, one can rely on this reputed hotel chain for friendly and efficient service.