Award-winning welcome

By | Travel
The City of Sails. Credit@orangesmile common

Dreams of travelling the world, to see new sights and cultures and experience new opportunities are very much a reality in today’s world. Deciding where to go, where will supply unforgettable experiences, can be exciting yet complicated. It’s in these times that surveys, polls and awards may be a guide for any traveller. One of the most renowned international luxury travel magazines has rolled out their awards.

Condé Nast Travellers readers’ survey announced this week that Auckland, New Zealand has been named joint first (with Melbourne, Australia) as the friendliest city in the world.
Auckland city is loved for its clean air, fresh food and amazing culture. The Auckland people were described as friendly, whose humour and view of life is something that many people aspire to.

Waiheke-island credit@ Tourism New Zealand

Waiheke-island credit@ Tourism New Zealand

Known for its breath-taking landscape, Auckland city lies within the north island of New Zealand. The largest and most populous area in the country, this city is housed within the greater Auckland region. One of the many unique aspects of this award winning city is the isthmus it resides on. This thin strip of land that connects two islands, allows Auckland to be one of the few cities in the world to have a harbour in two separate bodies of water.

Auckland is the only city in the world to be built on a basaltic volcanic field that is still active, and plans on remaining active for an estimated 1 million years. This sub-tropical city is one if the sunniest centres of New Zealand where the early mornings before the rise of the sea breeze, has been described as a place of beauty where ‘a solemn stillness and a perfect calm prevails’.

Auckland coastline. Credit@ travelpod.auckland

Auckland coastline. Credit@ travelpod.auckland

It is the country’s most cosmopolitan city, with a merging variety of cultures calling this city home. European, Asian and Indian descendants are common, with a substantial Maori population and the largest Polynesian community in the world. This variety and diversity has influenced Auckland’s art, music, cuisine and annual celebrations. It has been that way since as early as 1890s where a plethora of languages might be heard on Auckland’s expanding streets, large numbers of rural Maori were migrating to the ‘bright city lights’ and inhabitants from all over the globe were descending on this bright city of the southern hemisphere.

With over 135,000 yachts anchored in Auckland’s harbours, this metropolis gained the nickname ‘city of sails’. With the Manukau harbour based in the Tasman sea to the west of the Auckland city isthmus and the Waitemata harbour in the Pacific Ocean to the east, it is understandable that one in every three households are boat owners and that surfers travel far and wide to try out the many beaches.

Tonga group from the ASB Polyfestival, a gathering of Auckland school to perform in this culture festival. Credit@ Richard Sihamau via Flickr.com

Tonga group from the ASB Polyfestival, a gathering of Auckland school to perform in this culture festival. Credit@ Richard Sihamau via Flickr.com

From a cultural perspective, the Maori population has its cultural roots buried deep into New Zealand, arriving on the island’s shores in waves of canoe voyages from as early as the 13th century. Their religion and mythology are interwoven in this cosmopolitan city, with Auckland museum highlighting their way of life and demonstrating many cultural performances, honouring the Maori people. Wherever descendants arrived from, those that settle in Auckland, adopt the New Zealand way of life, which is fortunately that of a friendly, welcoming and peaceful nature.

While beautiful waters, towering skylines and rolling rainforest might be the reason people visit Auckland city, it is the locals that make the trip memorable. Their welcoming, generous nature is both refreshing and inspirational. The atmosphere, energy and lifestyle are relaxed and positive, with history and culture woven into this nation’s way of life. Making Auckland one of the friendliest cities in the world and one of the most unforgettable.

Where is the friendliest city you have visited?

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