"Last. Loneliest. Loveliest. Exquisite. Apart."
Rudyard Kipling's immaculate description of Auckland still encapsulates perfectly the city's special character. In the almost1000 years since discovery by Polynesian voyagers, a rich human history has evolved within a remarkable natural environment.
Auckland lies between 2 oceans, on a narrow isthmus dominated by the multiple cones of an active volcanic field. The city's gulf, harbours, islands and estuaries provided food in abundance. Settled by Maori, evidence of their fortresses are visible on almost every hilltop. Internal strife and colonisation by Britain changed society and transformed the landscape.
When the first settlers sailed into Auckland harbour in 1840 they did so past a landscape desolated by tribal warfare. A colourful array of Utopians and Imperialists drifted here, encouraged by the prospect of a new start. Protected during the Land Wars by the stone walls of the Albert Barracks, remnants of which still remain, there are places where hangings were carried out and gentlemen duelled in defence of their honour. The city dutifully functioned as a remote outpost of Empire, trading and contributing manpower through Depression and 2 World Wars. There was a WW2 air raid shelter in the city capable of accomodating over 20,000 people!
Since WW2 New Zealand has had to learn to stand on its own feet. Nowhere is Kiwi pragmatism, energy and independence of spirit more apparent than in Auckland. It is New Zealand's largest city and its largest market place. Now a bustling world metropolis, it is a vibrant multi-cultural place with a wide choice of quality dining, entertainment and shopping opportunities.
Typical Aucklanders, your Guides are a disparate bunch of refugees from real work. Bound simply and single mindedly by their passion for place, they love Auckland and would like to share it with you. Widely experienced, they will take you to where you would like to go, and to some places you didn't imagine existed. They can also tailor your walking tour experience to accommodate special interests, including social history, architecture, art, music, sport as well as suggestions for further experiences in our great city - the place desired by many.