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Living in Auckland

A lifestyle in part of the world like no other

City of Sails

The University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau is located in the heart of Auckland city, which is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the Global Liveability Ranking (EIU 2023).

Auckland’s harbourside location has fostered locals’ love of the sea, and it is nicknamed the “City of Sails” because of the great number of yachts that sail in the harbours and the adjoining Hauraki Gulf.


Auckland’s harbour setting, magnificent beaches and verdant bush make it a great place to study and work, while the University’s close proximity to New Zealand’s major business city enables staff and students to rub shoulders with leading practitioners, government, media and influencers.


Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and the centre of the country’s retail and commercial activities. Approximately 1.6 million people live in the greater Auckland area, representing about one-third of the population of the whole country.


Auckland is a city with a rich cosmopolitan mix of people with particularly strong Māori and Pacific communities. English is the main written and spoken language in Auckland, with te reo Māori, Polynesian and Asian languages also spoken. Te reo Māori is an official language of New Zealand, along with New Zealand Sign Language.

Hear more from Prof Julian Paton about his move to Auckland.

Auckland is a vibrant cosmopolitan centre with a thriving arts, dining and entertainment scene and, thanks to its stunning natural surroundings, a myriad of lifestyle options. From golden sand beaches and bays to idyllic harbours and lush forests, Auckland is a city that allows you to truly enjoy outdoor life.

The city’s climate is temperate, with warm summers (averaging more than 24°C) and cooler winters (averaging 8-16°C). The summer months are between December and March.


The city is built on a narrow isthmus between two harbours – the Manukau and the Waitemata, enabling you to see and walk from coast to coast across the isthmus. And view the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea from any of the 11 dormant inner city volcanoes.


To the west of the city, the Waitakere Ranges rainforest forms a gateway to magnificent west coast black sand surf beaches, sand dunes, and an abundance of bush walks.

Your gateway to Aotearoa

Ready to explore our beautiful country?


From the heart of our City Campus you can:

  • Enjoy a 40 minute ferry to Waiheke Island on Auckland’s sparkling Waitemata harbour – a waterborne commuter suburb.
  • Visit Tiritiri Matangi Department of Conservation reserve/conservation land and go kayaking around Rangitoto Island – one of our 30+ extinct volcanoes, or explore all of the others.
  • Take a short plane or ferry trip to Great Barrier Island, where time and fishing have stood still since the 1960s.
  • Head north and within 3-4 hours, be in the magical Bay of Islands, where people come to visit from around the world.
  • Take a 4 hour drive to the amazing central plateau with its spectacular geothermal fields, some of the biggest lakes, wild rivers and mountains anywhere – like Mount Ruapehu and the Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields. And don’t forget your mountain bike, trout fishing rod or water skis.
  • Take a 1 hour drive to Tawharananui Regional Park and the white sand beach.
  • Explore great hikes through the Hunua or Waitakere Ranges, just a short drive from the CBD.
  • Visit our thriving inner city Viaduct Harbour for events, festivals, markets and more.


That’s just a starter list….

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