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New Zealand:

Auckland, Parnell

This is the first of my multi-part series on New Zealand. It is such an amazing place to travel that it is going to take some time to give you a real feel of this stupendous land. It has always been one of my most favorite places to visit. Over the years I have been there many times for business, hiking, touring, sightseeing, or skiing. Come join me traveling around Aotearoa or New Zealand.

New Zealand is the 75th largest country in the world with a population of approximately 4.4 million. In comparison the UK is the 79th largest country in the world and has a population of some 61 million. You can see that New Zealand has lots of room to move; one of its most attractive aspects.

Most people arrive first in Auckland the capital city. The metropolis is located in the North Island of the two main islands that form the country. Actually New Zealand is made up of 33 islands, but the largest are known as the north and south islands. Auckland is home to the principal population in the country, around 1.4 million.

Auckland straddles a volcanic field, which has produced about 50 volcanoes. These take the form of cones, lakes, lagoons, islands and depressions, and several have produced extensive lava flows. One of the most beautiful examples of all this volcanic activity is Rangitoto Island. It is a widely visible landmark of Auckland with a distinctive symmetrical shield volcano cone rising 260 meters (850 ft.) high over the Hauraki Gulf.

Parnell is a suburb of Auckland and is home to several beautiful parks. Besides the main park known as The Rose Gardens, there are several others scattered around the area. Fraser Park, known by locals as "Mike Robinson Park", is a wonderful place to get a feel of the extraordinary flora in this remarkable place.

Parnell is also a great place to stay as it has terrific serviced apartments, hotels, coffee shops, and is host to bustling shopping on Parnell Road. Much of Parnell will remind you of so many streets in San Francisco filled with open restaurants and chichi shops.

From 1921 to 2002, Carlaw Park, which is located in Parnell, has been the home of rugby league football in Auckland. This is a must see if you are a fan of the sport.

New Zealand is full of vistas, mountains, volcanoes, tropical forest, glaciers, and attractions of all kinds, but it is not full of people. However, the few people that are there are warm and friendly. Come join me on our continuing tour around the surprising land of New Zealand.


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