Auckland New Zealand the City of Sails

by Mark Perkins

Post image for Auckland New Zealand the City of Sails

I was just thinking I guess it is about time I wrote something about Auckland New Zealand the “City of Sails” and my home town.

Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand with a population of approx 1.5 million people. The racial mix is approx 11.1% Maori, 14.4% Pacific Island peoples, 18.9% per cent Asian and 56.5% European. 8% identified themselves as New Zealanders. Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world, meaning there are more Polynesians, Maori, Tongan, Fijian, Samoan Cook Islanders etc living in

Auckland than any other city in the world.

This is mainly contributed to the fact that over the years New Zealand has contributed an enormous amount of aide into these Pacific nations. So as you could imagine we have a vast ethnic cultural diversity in and around the city. Adding to this diversity is the large number of Asia and Indian students that come to New Zealand to learn english and other subjects like business management atc. This has proven to be a great overseas income earner for our country.

The “City of Sails” tag comes from the large emphasis that Aucklander’s putmap on water sport activities. Auckland Anniversary day, which is usually on the Monday of the last weekend in January each year, will see the Waitemata (Maori for sparkling water) harbour, the main Auckland port and harbour, afloat with all shapes and sizes of water craft competing in the Annual Auckland Regatta. This regatta at one time was the largest in the world. It is said that 1 in 4 Aucklander’s own a boat of some kind, however I am one of the 3 that don’t. Auckland shot to fame in the yachting world in 1995 when Team New Zealand won the much converted Americas Cup, successfully defended it in 2000 and lost it in 2004 to that great sailing nation the Swiss… Where is their sea? There was great controversy as the Swiss syndicate had recruited two of the top winning helmsmen from Team New Zealand.

The late Sir Peter Blake, of round the world fame, was the team manager and he started a trend here in New Zealand, that whenever Team NZ were sailing we would all wear lucky “Red Socks” , it appeared to be a winning thing so we all continued to support it.

Auckland New Zealand

Auckland is the narrowest part of New Zealand and has two great harbours. The Waitemata harbour, the Pacific Ocean on the east coast and the Manukau harbour, the Tasman Sea on the west coast.

Both are freight ports however the Waitemata harbour is the largest in vessel through-put and also is graced with a large number of visiting cruise ships throughout the summer tourism season. It is expected to exceed 100 this summer 2012/13.  However whilst the Waitemata harbour is the busiest, it is not the largest in term of weight of freight that is handled, that honour goes to Marsden wharf in Northland, where the oil refinery is and tankers are loaded and unloaded there.

Continuing with the “City of Sails” theme you are reminded of it almost wherever you go in Auckland. A drive along Tamaki Drive passes a number of Sailing clubs where all ages learn to sail and enjoy their chosen sport.

You will find many restaurants and outdoor venues have sun shades in the shape of a sail. It doesn’t take long after exploring Auckland as to why we love to call it the “City of Sails”.

An update is that the “Volvo Ocean Race Series” visited Auckland in 2012 and Camper New Zealand is one of the leading contenders.

This has been just a small insight into Auckland New Zealand and I will be publishing more about it in time to come. So stay tuned.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

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