Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and is located on North Island. It covers an area of four hundred and nineteen square miles and has a population of one million and three hundred thousand residents. Auckland is an urban area that contains over thirty percent of the country’s population and demographics trends show that it will grow at a faster rate then the rest of New Zealand. Auckland currently has the largest Polynesian population of any urban center in the world and has seen a significant increase in the number of Asian residents over the past twenty years.
Auckland is the economic capital of New Zealand, and as a result many multinational corporations have an office in the city. The city also has a high median income which exceeds thirty-three thousand U.S. dollars per capita. The main industrial and commercial area of Auckland is located in its southeastern quadrant. The most expensive office space in the city is situated between Queen St. and the Viaduct Basin. The educational needs of the city is serviced by several primary schools, secondary schools and institutions of higher learning. Schools in the city of Auckland include Massey High School, Rangitoto College, Avondale College, St Peter’s College, University of Auckland, Auckland College of Education, Manukau Institute of Technology, Massey University and Unitec New Zealand.
Auckland can trace its history back to the mid-fourteenth century when the area was settled by the Maori people. The area was a natural choice for the Maori due to the ease of access to the ocean for fresh seafood and access to fertile valleys, which provided a great agricultural base. The main Maori tribes in the area were the Tainui and the Ngati Whatua. When the first Europeans arrived in the area during the seventeenth century, they upset the balance of power between these two tribes. Eventually, the Maori tribes were pushed out of New Zealand by the Europeans. In 1832, Joseph Brooks Weller bought land that present day Auckland is now situated on. In 1840, Great Britain annexed New Zealand and the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.
A prominent and popular attraction in the city is the Auckland War Memorial Museum. This museum is one of the most important museums in the country, as well as serving as a war memorial. It was established in 1852 and was moved to its current location in 1929. During the 1950s, the museum was expanded and an administrative annex and a courtyard was added. Over the last twenty years, the museum has gone through several renovations. First, the building went through an extensive restoration and then an atrium was constructed in the courtyard. This museum contains one of the largest collections in the world of Maori and Pacific Island art and artifacts. The museum also has over a million pictures, and over a million and a half natural history specimens. There is also a large permanent exhibition that covers the wars of New Zealand. Past exhibitions at the museum have included Secrets Revealed, In Memory, T-Rex Named Sue, War in Paradise, Metazoa, Darwin, Paintings by Captain Matt Gaudie, Walsh Brothers to Warbirds, Loli-Pop, Egypt; Beyond the Tomb, Whale Strandings and IHC Art Awards.
Another popular attraction is the National Maritime Museum. This museum contains exhibitions that chronicle New Zealands maritime history from its Polynesian roots to modern day New Zealand. Main exchibitions of the museum include Te Waka Theatre, Aotearoa Evolves, New Beginnings, Landfalls, Blue Water Black Magic, Kiwis and the Coast, Voyager Live and the Edmiston Gallery of Maritime Art. Collections at this museum include the New Zealand Maritime Record, New Zealand Maritime Index, Fraser Collection, Northern Steamship Company, Bill Laxon Maritime Library, Genealogy Documentation, Maritime Paintings and the Edmiston Collection.
The Auckland Zoo is another popular attraction in the city. This museum was founded in 1922 and is located next to Western Springs Park. By the 1930s, it had a large collection of animals and the zoological society was formed. During the 1970s, the zoo had expanded into Western Springs Park. Exhibits at the zoo include Animal Planet Elephant Clearing, Aussie Walkabout, Hippo River, BNZ Kiwi and Tuatara house, Native Frog Research Center, Just Juice Primate Trail, Paddlepop Kidzone, Newstalk ZB Rainforest, Pridelands, Sealion and Penguin Shores and Tiger Territory. Animals in the zoo include African clawed frogs, African grey parrots, African crested porcupines, African lions, American alligators, Asian elephants, Asian small-clawed otters, Asiatic golden cats, Australian king parrots, Australasian shovelers, Blue and gold macaws, Blue ducks, Bornean orangutans, Australian cranes, Buff-banded rails, Chacma baboons, Common peafowls, Cotton-top tamarins, Cunningham’s skinks, Eastern blue-tongued skinks, Eclectus parrots, Galapagos tortoises, Golden lion tamarins, Greater flamingos, Green and gold bell frogs, Helmeted Guineafowls, Himalayan monals, Leopard tortoises, Luzon bleeding-heart doves and New Zealand wood pigeons.
Those looking for a break from the urban landscape should check out One Tree Hill. One Tree Hill is a five hundred and forty-six foot high volcanic peak. This peak was formed thirty thousand years ago when lava flow covered the area for ten square miles, creating a large portion of the Auckland Volcanic Field. The main features of One Tree Hill include Maori pa Fort, Cornwall Park, Acacia Cottage and Stardome Observatory. Stardome Observatory is a puublic observatory that was established in 1967.
Other attractions in the city of Auckland include Sky Tower, Albert Park, Bush and Beach, Spookers Haunted Attractions, House of Nobilo Estate, Viaduct Harbour, Woodhill Mountain Bike Park, Mount Eden, Ponsonby, Rainbow’s End Theme Park, Auckland City Art Gallery, Lion Nathan Breweies, Piha Beach, Sky City Casino, Waitakere Ranges, Museum of Transport Technology and Social History, Auckland Harbour Bridge, Auckland Art Gallery, Glenbrook Vintage Railway, Regional Botanical Gardens, Bethells Beach, Matakana Village, Vulcan Lane, Twin Coast Discovery Highway, Cathedral Church of St. Mary, Parnell Rose Gardens, Auckland Buddhist Center, Auckland Unitarian Church, Lopdell House Gallery, The First Presbyterian Church of Saint Andrew, Pitt Street Methodist Church, Auckland Hotel, Tohuna Torea Nature Reserve, Howick Historical Village and Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World.