Category Archives: Auckland

The Pride of the Lions


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The British and Irish LionsWho are the British & Irish Lions?

Every rugby player dreams of one day representing their country at the highest level – it's that sort of game.

Rugby Union's greatest event is held every four years when the Rugby World Cup takes place and there is a great competition between countries wanting to the host that event.

But there is one other jersey which rugby players strive hard to earn – it’s the red jersey of the British & Irish Lions which is worn with immense pride with all who earn one.

The Lions is a combined team selected from the four "Home" unions - England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

The first rugby team from the British Isles visited New Zealand in 1888, but this was apparently a team of cricketers and rugby players who also played Australian rules during that part of their tour of Australasia!

British Isles visit New Zealand in 1888

The first official tour from the British Isles was in 1904 but it was not until the 1930 tour that a proper organisation was set up by the British and Irish unions to provide protocols for future tours. Over the years the combined British & Irish team set up a regular pattern of separate tours to Australia and South Africa as well as New Zealand. This eventually settled into a regular pattern of a tour every four years to one of the countries, so that each country received a visit from the Lions every 12 years. This 12-year gap serves to add excitement and anticipation to New Zealand every time the Lions roll in.

Eden Park Auckland

Eden Park in Auckland is the venue for three games, including two test matches. The third test will be played in Wellington and the other games of Lions are against New Zealand's Super Rugby teams, the Provincial Barbarians and the Maori All Blacks.

With over 20,000 visitors expected accommodation will be pretty tight, but there will be time for visitors to travel around this beautiful country as they watch our own beautiful game!


World Masters Games 2017


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April in Auckland this year is the place to be if you enjoy your sport - as either a competitor, supporter or spectator. the World Masters Games 2017 offers a festival of competition and excitement in one of the world's favourite destinations.

The Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world and features 25,000 participants from 100 countries.

The event includes 28 sports and 45 disciplines from dragon boat racing to archery, and orienteering to athletics.

World master games 2017

The World Master Games is recognised by the International Olympic Committee:

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport in accordance with his of her needs.”

(Olympic Charter, Fundamental Principles)

The Games, while still highly competitive, are above all, a festival of human endeavour of all ages and abilities.

world master games 2017

 

But you don't have to be old to compete - well, unless you think 30+ is old.

 

world masters games 2017

 

So if you're thinking about being part of the Games Community be quick, registration closes on Friday 3 March - but if you wish to find some accommodation why not stay in a private apartment right in the middle of Auckland itself.


Warships on the Harbour, Sailors in the City


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Royal New Zealand Navy Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

Parades of Ships in the Harbour & Sailors in the City

17- 20 November

In 1941, His Majesty King George VI approved the designation “Royal New Zealand Navy” for the regular element of the New Zealand Naval Forces (with Reserve and Volunteer Reserve elements appropriately titled.)

2016 marks the 75th Anniversary of the foundation of our Navy. This occasion will be celebrated with a programme of commemorative events collectively named Operation NEPTUNE.

Celebrations this week include a Naval Review  of the New Zealand Fleet and visiting warships More than 22 nations will be represented at the celebrations including the destroyer USS Sampson,the first American warship to visit New Zealand in 33 years.

Some ships will be open for visitors at the weekend and onshore in the city will be a parade of 1,000 sailors of the Senior Service.

Rear-Admiral Martin says "The Navy is a high performing organisation that the people of New Zealand have contributed to, served in, and been assisted by and this year is our chance to celebrate our national commitment". Many activities are planned for the week, including exhibitions, plays.as well as ships open to the public.

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“While often we are thanked for our service, this year is also a good time to thank New Zealander for their support."

“Whether it’s disaster relief, peace support operations, ensuring that the sea trade on which we depend for our survival can get through, or protecting New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone and marine resources, the Royal New Zealand Navy as part of the New Zealand Defence Force protects and serves the causes important to us and our way of life."

“Our ships and our people are called on by partners and agencies around the world to help them resolve complex issues and deliver humanitarian support,”  Rear Admiral Martin said.

 


Sporting Auckland


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Summer in Auckland is all about the Great Outdoors!

Tackle the Harbour Bridge

The Auckland Marathon at the end of October has kicked off a season of sporting extravaganza in New Zealand’s biggest city. The Marathon, now a venue on the world marathon map, includes the special attraction of running up and over the landmark Auckland Harbour Bridge.  Alternatively you can try biking over the bridge as part of Bike the Bridge Event on 13 November.

auckland harbour bridge

 

Take in the Tennis

ASB Classic Tennis Tournament returns again to Auckland in the new year with really big names for both women's and men's fields.

Together, the Williams sisters have been the most dominant players since before the turn of the millennium. They have jointly captured a staggering 120 WTA Tour Titles, 29 Grand Slam titles and 18 Grand Slam doubles titles. As a pair, they have never lost a final at a Grand Slam and they are coming to Auckland!

The confirmation of the number one American men’s player to join the already announced Agut, Ferrer and Isner, adds to what is shaping up as a quality men's tournament.

williams sisters

 

Play Up at the Rugby League Nines

Eden Park is once again the place to be over Waitangi Weekend, with the fourth edition of the spectacular Downer NRL Auckland Nines confirmed for Saturday 4 February and Sunday5  February 2017.

A host of NRL stars  – 49 Kangaroos; 46 Kiwis; 46 State of Origin; 16 Fijians; 6 English; 28 Samoans; and 23 Tongan reps – have graced the NRL Nines over its first three years, and that parade is set to continue in 2017.

“The Downer NRL Auckland Nines has hosted the game’s most notable players – Shaun Johnson, Sam Thaiday, Paul Gallen, Semi Radradra, Benji Marshall, Darius Boyd, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Greg Bird, and Robbie Farah – to name but a few,” Duco Events chief executive Martin Snedden said.

“The NRL Nines really is the place where the game’s great players come together as one – and the 2017 tournament promises to be even more star-studded than ever,” Snedden said

Rugby League Nines

 

Marvel at the Masters

The World Masters Games 2017 takes place in Auckland New Zealand from 21-30 April 2017. It's an international sporting competition for athletes of masters age, comprising up to 30 sports played over 10 days. The multi-sport festival is for anyone who loves to combine sport with pleasure. Join us for the World Masters Games 2017 here in Auckland.

The World Masters Games 2017

 

Rugby Rugby Rugby

The biggest sporting event of 2017 will undoubtedly be the British & Irish Lions Tour in June/July. The Lions tour New Zealand every 12 years and the 2017 tour promises to be the best ever with games against each Super Rugby team, the Maori All Blacks, NZ Barbarians, and three tests against Rugby World Champions the NZ All Blacks.

The British & Irish Lions can trace their roots back all the way to 1888 when two English cricketers, Alfred Shaw and Arthur Shrewsbury, arranged a tour that would set the wheels in motion.

Auckland's Eden Park, the All Blacks spiritual home, will stage the first and third tests.

British & Irish Lions Tour

 


Auckland Fashion and Food


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August is Restaurant Month in Auckland and we host New Zealand Fashion Week

New Zealand Fashion Week will be staged in Auckland between 22 - 28 August.

Since the initial event in 2001, Fashion Week has become the leading fashion event in New Zealand providing international exposure to many young and aspiring designers, as well as many of the country’s established and well recognised design houses.

The week brings together all facets of the industry to meet, exchange ideas, and discuss upcoming trends for the year ahead.

 

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In recent years young New Zealand designers have been given every encouragement and opportunity to develop their own unique styles and transition them into new labels, all contributing to a growing New Zealand fashion industry which is receiving worldwide recognition and acclaim.

The location for Fashion Week is the Viaduct Events Centre at the entrance to the Wynyard Quarter on Auckland’s city centre waterfront – within a few steps of the water on one side, and an array of bars and eateries on the other side.

 

 

Members of the fashion industry will share with other visitors to Auckland the opportunity to enjoy the huge variety of restaurants around the city during Restaurant Month which has over 100 restaurants offering their own specialty, with a wide and exciting range of themes such as degustation dining, progressive dinners, high teas, social kitchen master classes and the chef dining series featuring amongst others, renowned NZ chefs Sean Connolly and Al Brown.

  

     

 

Auckland's accommodation is usually at a premium during major events, so book your private apartment now.

 


Shakespeare Pops Up in Auckland


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London Globe Theatre

A ‘pop-up’ theatre is under construction in central Auckland as the venue for a season of William Shakespeare’s plays. This ‘temporary’ structure marks the 400th anniversary of the famous English playwright.

The Pop-Up Globe Theatre is an exact replica of the 17th century circular theatre built on the south bank of the River Thames in London, England. The circular structure was the venue for which many of Shakespeare’s plays were specifically written.

 

Auckland Pop-Up Globe Theatre 

The Auckland ‘Pop-up’ Globe is a temporary working replica of the second Globe Theatre, which was built on the ruins of the first Globe in 1614. In 1997 a modern replica of the Globe Theatre was built in London a short distance from the site of the original. To accommodate the dimensions of the contemporary theatre, this is a slightly bigger structure, but the spirit of it, and the way it functions, is the essentially the same.

The steel-framed and plywood-skinned theatre will literally pop up behind Auckland central’s Aotea Square, and will stage a rich menu of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies and romances, then disappear again in April.

 

 

The Auckland Pop-Up Globe Theatre Programme opens on 19 February with the tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Along with Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, the shows will be presented by the Pop-up Globe Theatre Company.

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Auckland is expecting many out of town visitors for this special event and accommodation is likely to be at a premium.

 


 

 


Tourism is New Zealand's No. 1 Export Earner


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The total number of visitors to New Zealand has surpassed 3 million in the last financial year and that is likely to increase to 4 million within the next 10 years. Most of those visitors arrive through Auckland International Airport with several airlines starting up new services and destinations.

While new hotels are going up, there will still be pressure on visitor accommodation with some experts calling for government and council assistance to encourage more development.

Queenstown, the top tourist destination, can barely cope with accommodation demand and is experiencing ‘one-day fly-in-fly-out’ from tourists based in Auckland!

Most tourists spend a few days in Auckland before moving on to the many beautiful areas of this unique country.

Having secured their accommodation visitors will find plenty to do in the ‘City of Sails’ as Auckland is affectionately known. To freshen up after a 26 hour flight, and to get a birds-eye view of the city, there can be no better choice than a walk to the top of Rangitoto our tame volcano in the harbour – catch a ferry rather than attempting to swim!

You can also enjoy other delights of the Harbour and central city bars and restaurants from your central Auckland accommodation

 


Early Summer in Auckland


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Among the world's major cites, Auckland, sitting astride its two harbours, is unique in many ways - not least the fact that it sits on more than 50 volcanoes, fortunately inactive for a very long time! Many of these offer great views over the whole city and the isthmus itself and out to the Hauraki Gulf which is the gateway to the main Waitemata Harbour - meaning in Maori "sparking water".

The visitor can choose from a wide variety of events and activities at any time of the year, but late spring and summer have some special and unique events.This month sees the Urbanesia Festival showcasing the diversity of Auckland's Maori and Pacific peoples art and culture. For a quieter experience visit the beautiful Parnell Rose Garden and if you're in town on November 15 you should witness the Festival of Roses.

And in the evening take a stroll and watch the sunset over the Waitakere Ranges.

... and so to bed.

 



An Auckland Beach For Everyone


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Whatever your reason for coming to Auckland, be sure to visit at least one of our world-famous beaches which range from sun-filled golden-sanded urban beaches near the city to the stunning West Coast and its majestic surf. Aucklanders and their visitors take to the beaches for everything from a quiet stroll to an energetic beach volley-ball session, cricket, soccer and of course numerous water sports with all kinds of boats and boards. The urban beaches usually have a good array of cafés and restaurants nearby while there are always favourite spots for picnic lovers. The West Coast beaches, about an hour's drive from the city, each have their own unique appeal and visitors can stroll beyond the beach to the bush-glad Waitakere Ranges.                                                    .

Closest Beach to the Central City - Mission Bay Beach

Mission Bay

Just a scenic 15 minute drive along Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay is the the most accessible urban beach from downtown Auckland – and one of the region’s most popular. â€‹Mission Bay combines a sheltered white sand beach with grassy areas and a magnificent fountain, all just across the road from a vibrant strip of cafés, restaurants and bars.

 

Way out to the Wild West Coast - Karekare Beach

Karekare BeachKarekare Beach sits at the base of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park and is one of the popular surf beaches in the region. ​Day trippers are also drawn by the vast stretch of volcanic black sand framed by dramatic rocky terrain and numerous bush walks. Bring a picnic, a ball and lots of sun block and set yourself up for the day at this wonderful destination.

 

Just Over the Harbour Bridge - Takapuna Beach

Takapuna Beach

There’s a huge range of water activities, or you can simply relax on the grassy slopes above and take in the fabulous views out to Rangitoto Island and beyond. Even better, the beach is less than 2 minutes away from Takapuna’s lively scene of cafés, bars, restaurants and shops.

NOW, find a place to stay while you are visiting Auckland.

 

 

 



Things to do in Auckland this Spring


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Auckland is a fantastic place to visit year-round but a bright Spring day can be magical. Longer days and warmer weather bring greater access to outdoor spaces - our sparkling harbour, beaches and parks, and to some of the city's most popular festivals and special events.

Base yourself at our centrally located Auckland accommodation and soak up all that the city and region has to offer this Spring. Here are just a few suggestions.

Picnic in a Park

Revel in the fresh fragrance and colour of Spring at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Discover the outdoor sculptures, Potter’s children’s garden and it's the perfect time to enjoy Spring Blossom Valley and the Rose Garden.

Or spend a day at Cornwall Park. Stroll under the cherry blossoms and climb to the top of One Tree Hill - Maungakiekie for panoramic city views. The kids will love the cute baby lambs and the ice creams at the kiosk.

Don’t want to organise your own food? Take a trip to one of the region’s beautiful vineyards and let them do the hard work for you.


Shop local at Auckland's markets

Head to La Cigale French-style weekend Farmers’ Market in Parnell for delicious foods and produce from organic fruit and vegetables to freshly baked bread and pastries.

Further afield, the Titirangi Village Market is held on the last Sunday of each month. It's the perfect excuse to explore out West. Pick up some picnic treats and gifts, before a walk in the bush or on one of the wild beaches.

Marvel at the light exhibitions

Don’t miss one of Auckland’s biggest annual events, the Diwali Festival of Lights, in October at Aotea Square. It's a vibrant atmosphere with a range of authentic Indian cuisine, dance and music.

In November, the spectacular Art in the Dark (pictured) is held in Western Park, Ponsonby. The park is lit up with more than 40 incredible light art installations.


Catch a concert

Some of the world's biggest shows come to Auckland. This Spring there's a great line up from Cats the Musical to Russell Brand and Robbie Williams, among many others.

Matakana Farmers Market

Take a day trip to Matakana

Visit the boutique wineries, pick up some seasonal artisan food at the weekend markets or browse the art and craft galleries. It might even be warm enough for a lazy swim at one of the picture perfect white-sand beaches.


Quinovic Viaduct provides high quality serviced holiday homes and apartments in central Auckland.