KIA ORA Travelers!
Volcanic activity deep in the ocean’s southern hemisphere floor created one long island as the tectonic plate activity pushed up magma from the sea. Active seas splashing and tearing at the center of the island eventually split the long land in two, this is New Zealand!
Maori people came in the 12th century (more about them in later episodes) and settled throughout both islands, farming, hunting and fishing and creating tribal communities throughout the coastal regions and within the valleys and hillside areas of the Southern Alps.
In the middle of the 19th century Dutch, British and French colonization of NZ began with Auckland, (Maori name for Auckland is Tāmaki Makaurau – meaning “Tamaki is desired by many”)
This area was known for its beauty, diverse geography and geology; plentiful in natural resources. The northern location at the mouth Mission Bay in North Island was ideal for international commerce routes and trade. The sub-tropical climate allowed for a mix of weather with flash floods, humidity and breezy days year-round. Summer temperatures barely rise above 80 degrees, and winter rarely falls below 40.
Auckland has become a technologically advanced metropolis with an island-feel of relaxed and slow-paced lifestyle. Auckland is considered one of the world’s most liveable cities, ranking third in the 2019 Quality of Living survey. This is the land of food with trendy cafes, ethnic dining spots and award-winning restaurants all due to the diversity of the people. The location between two harbors, makes the fresh seafood an Auckland speciality, and regionally we will find vineyards and olive groves, and of course, sheep. Over a third of New Zealand’s population live in Auckland, more than 1.7 million people.
It is a paradise of sailing, fishing and boating with the most recreational boats per capita in the world, Auckland is also know as the "City of Sails". Sky Tower is the "Space Needle" of Auckland and stands at 1,076 feet as the tallest building in Auckland. Sky Tower is part of the Sky City Complex that is loaded with restaurants, casino, and bars. Visitors can also opt to purchase a pass to free fall from the 630 foot altitude. We WON'T be doing this!
The sub-tropical climate spawned a thriving brewing industry in Auckland and the internal demand for beer is high. We can drink a brew or two while visiting Auckland for sure, and enjoy their olives and wine combinations too! But think about the lovely seafood that we can enjoy with their amazing white wines. The combination of salty with all that bright acidity to wash the salinity will enhance your experience during each meal. But don't worry, if you're not a seafood lover New Zealand is known for their amazing Lamb, and NZ Lamb is unlike any other meat globally.
All this talk of wine and food is making me hungry and thirsty! Let's try some NZ wine before we venture through the vineyards and explore the cafes and eateries of Auckland. Meet you there!