Auckland, located in the North Island of New Zealand, is a large metropolis and is the most populous urban area in the country. Located in a beautiful setting, it is quite a popular tourist destination. Auckland is well-known for straddling the Auckland volcanic field and is therefore surrounded by several volcanic formations. Auckland is not only the largest city in New Zealand; it is also the most multicultural. It is home to the biggest Polynesian population of any city in the world in addition to Asians and those from the Middle East. Therefore there are quite a number of mosques and Halal restaurants in Auckland.
To start off with, as always, the best way to see and get to know Auckland is to go on foot. What a lot of people don’t know is that, in just one day, one can walk from one side of New Zealand to the other. The Coast to Coast walkway takes visitors through 16 kilometers of beautiful and natural landscapes, parks, some of Auckland’s finest heritage areas, Manukau Harbour, volcanic cones and past the most panoramic views one has ever seen. It is part of the Araroa, which is a continuous 300 kilometer track that goes from Reinga to Bluff. Another good way to get to know Auckland is to visit Aotea Square. Activities that range from rallies of the political nature to parades, markets and other cultural events take place here.
Adventurous tourists and adrenaline junkies can also climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge, jump off the Sky Tower; which is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand, or walk along a narrow walkway with no handrails; located on the outside of the Sky Tower. For those looking to shop, Auckland is a shopper’s paradise. It has several fashion areas and districts as well as department stores and flea markets. Britomart is a series of streets, open spaces and lanes that are meant to be wandered and explored. Visitors will discover a variety of stores that sell a range of items including clothes, furniture and beauty products.
To experience panoramic 360 degree views of the city, visitors must make it a point to drive or trek up Mount Eden, One Tree Hill and Mount Victoria; which are three of Auckland's many volcanic cones.
The main airport that serves Auckland is the Auckland Airport which is the largest and busiest airport in New Zealand. It is located close to Mangere, which is a residential suburb, 21 kilometers from the city centre of downtown Auckland. After the airports in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney; the Auckland Airport is the fourth busiest in Australasia. It consists of an International terminal as well as a domestic one. The airport is easily reachable and accessible by public transport including buses and taxis. In addition to the Auckland Airport, Auckland also has several other smaller regional airports.
Muslims make up a small percentage of the population and therefore there are quite a few Halal restaurants in Auckland. Most of these Muslim-friendly restaurants are either Muslim owned or Halal certified, while others claim to sell Halal meats but do serve alcohol. It is best for Muslim tourists to make inquiries at the local mosque, if possible. Some of the Halal restaurants located in and around Auckland include; Kebab City, Zezenya, Ayutthaya Thai Food and Salateen.
Due to its sizeable Muslim population, there are quite a number of mosques in Auckland. The following are just a few of the numerous mosques that are scattered all over Auckland; Al Maqtoum Masjid, Lynfield Islamic Centre, the Auckland University Masjid, Al Falaah Islamic Centre, Al Iqra Islamic Centre and the Birkenhead Islamic Center.