Most relaxing trip ever – Auckland – one of the world's best young cities

Kip Brook

Kip has been involved in the international media industry for more than 20 years and has won three NZ journalist of the year awards, Kip’s firm Word of Mouth Media can provide substantial publicity for companies and organisations. Contact him at:

   Auckland is still growing up. It’s a vibrant New Zealand city on the move on the world destination stage. It may be about the same size in area as London but so much is new, exciting and changing.

    There’s still the terribly small bumpy Pah Road from the airport into the city – no motorway into town here. The face of Auckland changes almost daily. London, Paris, Milan or most other big cities are pretty much as they were 30 years ago - -with a few more skyscrapers.

   The beauty of Auckland is there is so much on in such a small CBD and harbour area. I put my feet up on the seating at nearby Eden Park and watched Australia claw a win over the Black Caps at cricket. It was a breeze getting to and from the ground and heaven strolling back into my hotel. I scooted up to the club floor for a Te Awa chardonnay at sunset. The dusk colours and tones danced across the glass tower buildings: another day in paradise about to end.

   I freshened up in my suite then headed to the Spa for the best massage I have ever had from Caroline, a bubbly lass from Manchester who has already seen much of the world. She loved La Paz and was dying to sample the South Island’s scenery and glaciers. I sleep like a baby that night.

   The next morning I rose early for 20 laps of the Hyatt Regency 25 metre pool – probably the biggest and longest hotel pool in New Zealand. It was magic and tiring; I slid into the giant hot tub, still puffing but so contented. I chat away to a tall striking middle aged woman who had just completed a big triathlon event the previous week and suggested I head out on the harbour to get a feel of the city from the water.

   Auckland is not unlike Sydney with its harbour, harbour bridge (longer than Sydney’s) and skyline. No Circular Quay here but a ferry shuttle set up and the train station across the road.  Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest metropolis and home to 1.4 million of the country’s four million people, is known as the City of Sails, though some women clearly think it should be the City of Sales judging by the shopping malls.
   The Auckland viaduct is teaming with people – office workers, tourists and evidence of a bubbly mood and atmosphere. Out on the Waitemata Harbour, urban Auckland goes on forever and all its little suburbs and villages nestle in snugly for a great sub-tropical lifestyle.

   I trawl through the quirky second hand bookshops across the bay in Devonport, quaff a latte in sunshine and steam back to the city. The sea air has whet my appetite. I head to the Hyatt’s Club lounge for a quiet drink.

   The club ambience is improving and another big flat tv screen, more magazines or better art work would help; but it’s a peaceful oasis I love as I ponder the meal chef Nitan Kumar has prepared for me. I go for the pan seared scallops sautéed pak choy, turnip, crispy shallots and spiced coconut dressing for entree a the roasted red snapper fillet, kumara mash and watercress seedlings for mains washed down with the finest Spy Valley Echelon bubbly – just the best around.

/img/placeholder.gif?aHR0cDovL2k1OTYucGhvdG9idWNrZXQuY29tL2FsYnVtcy90dDQ1L2dldGZyYW5rL2F1Y2tsYW5kLXNob3BwaW5nLTEuanBn   Before heading away next morning I stroll the leafy streets around the 127 year old university and realise Auckland is growing into one of the best cities in the Pacific.
   Being positioned in the historical belt of Auckland and easy access to Auckland's numerous attractions, including Vector Arena for concerts, the Hyatt Regency was the perfect base for the most relaxing visit I have ever had – thanks to such happy and genuine hotel staff. This place will do well during the Rugby World Cup next year.

   Auckland is the gateway to the Pacific and is the biggest island city in the South Pacific. According to Wikipedia the city covers 6059km2 while greater London rams 11 million people inside 1570km. Auckland has more volcanoes – 48 – than any city of its size in the world. Luckily they are extinct!

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  • jarox says
    Good to hear something nice about Auckland for a change.
  • Nos4R2D2 says
    When you talk to a lot of people about Auckland and New Zealand you realise how prohibitively expensive the cost of living here is. I understand this is a positive article but this factor seriously needs to be considered.
  • SJPONeill says
    Auckland's on the move? Woohoo! Where do we go to wave goodbye...?
  • blacknaf says
    What a great writeup and I hope that it will be read by lots of potential tourists. Auckland is a great place and is equal to most of the big cities of the world.
  • barnes10 says
    Auckland is a cool city just a shame about the traffic
  • vish says
    New Zealand is a wonderful place to visit and explore. I arrived in Auckland airport at 12:50 p.m. It was wonderful experience to travel on the roads towards symonds st in the night no traffic and lots of signals.Auckland city is very very beautiful and well maintained.

    I found every system is automatic you take any system take for instance you go to your office the lifts, main doors, cafetaria ,server room are all secured with best security system no intruder can enter into ur premises.

    I visited the Waiheke island with my collegues it was a wonderful experience to travel with your Boss n collegues. We took Ferry from auckland port to Waiheke Island. Once we reached there it was like heaven the beautiful scenery the pleasant weather the blue sky and warm winds feel like ur in heaven

    We visited all the wineyards and historic monuments it is a tunnel built during the Second world war to escape from enemy it was a wonderful system.
    on the way we could take some beautiful snaps of the scenery the open sky the sea shore and scenic beauty. We found one Indian restaurant that was the main center of attraction for us indians because we were struggling to eat some good veg indian food.

    We found one hyderabadi restaurant in Waiheke Island and had a wonderful dinner before coming to ferry station.

    I would like to add one more point here earlier to the visit my boss had a view that scotland is the heaven but once we reached waiheke island his view changed to it.
    Total cost of this Trip will be around $50 - $60 only per person
    I bet ''Heaven in the Earth is Waiheke Island''

  • barnes10 says
    Sorry Auckland is too spread out and the traffic is shocking and I couldn't care about sailing. Give me Wellington any day of the week.
  • Shaun says
    I have never seen the two words 'Auckland' and 'relaxing' in the same sentence before so this article caught my eye. Perhaps the writer was visiting Auckland on a long weekend as most Aucklanders like to escape their natural habitat at these times and venture out into wider NZ. Perhaps that's the secret to a relaxing time in Auckland? I think the other secret is don't plan to be anywhere in Auckland at a specific will just stress out while you are stuck in the traffic or completely lost.
  • T says
    Not everyone can enjoy laps at the Hyatt pool or access to the luxurious Hyatt's club lounge, but there are so much more to enjoy in Auckland that makes it one of the best cities to live in. I found that out personally when I moved up to Auckland!
  • A superb writup, and confirms what I already knew. Auckland actually rocks, for the most part. I moved here in 94 from the UK and never looked back. Actually that's bollocks, I went back in 99 for a friends wedding, um... ok and a trip to Amsterdam... but I've never looked back since!

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