Auckland-bound Lions fans won't be twiddling their thumbs
18 September 2014 18:18pm
British & Irish Lions fans always flock in vast numbers
When British & Irish Lions fans head to New Zealand's largest city in July 2017 they could barely wish for a better setting with which to, hopefully, wrap up a second successive series win.
Auckland, known as the City of Sails because it has more boats-per-head than any other city in the world, offers something for everyone.
Those wishing to toast the end of the tour can do so in one of 80 vineyards, producing chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon wines.
Many of Auckland's restaurants, meanwhile, offer Pacific Rim cuisine - a fusion of Pacific and Asian flavours - and reflect its quality sea and land produce.
Alternatively, if watching the Lions was not enough of an adrenaline rush, Auckland boasts opportunities from canyoning and abseiling, to bungy jumping off bridges or the Sky Tower - the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere at 328m.
Auckland's rugged west coast is the perfect place to try canyoning. Deep in the heart of the Waitakere rainforest, visitors can abseil down waterfalls, jump off cliffs into deep pools and slide down smooth natural hydro slides.
The Sky Tower is home to three observation levels, which offer 360-degree views of the city and the chance to 'skywalk' around the outside or 'skyjump' 192m in the air.
And should those that wish to embrace the culture of the only city in the world built on an active volcano field, there is plenty opportunity for that too.
Manukau city in South Auckland has the world's largest Polynesian population, which is celebrated annually at the month-long Pasifika Festival.
More than 18 M?ori tribes have had claims on Auckland at some time, while it was British missionary Samuel Marsden, in 1820, who became the first known European to explore the Hauraki Gulf.
Varied cultural tours offer a first-hand experience of M?ori culture. Tamaki Hikoi has an Auckland walking tour guided by local Ngati Whatua people who share their knowledge of the land, M?ori history, iconic landmarks and places of historical significance.
Auckland War Memorial Museum houses the largest and most valuable collection of M?ori taonga (treasures) in New Zealand. The museum's M?ori culture performances - among New Zealand's leading cultural experiences - are the face of the Ngati Whatua o Orakei, the home tribe of Auckland.
Navigate Tours offer intimate experiences on Auckland's west coast, often involving traditional food and hospitality, while Potiki Adventures specialise in urban, contemporary tours demonstrating how M?ori culture is relevant in today's world.