Most major international corporations have an Auckland office, as the city is the economic capital of the nation. The most expensive office space is around lower Queen Street and the Viaduct Basin in the Auckland CBD, where many financial and business services are located, which make up a large percentage of the CBD economy. A large proportion of the technical and trades workforce is based in the industrial zones of South Auckland.
The largest commercial and industrial areas of Greater Auckland are in the southeast of Auckland City and the western parts of Manukau City, mostly bordering the Manukau Harbour and the Tamaki River estuary.
Auckland's status as the largest commercial centre of the country reflects in the high median personal income (per working person, per year) which was NZ$44,304 (approx. US$33,000) for the region in 2005, with jobs in the Auckland CBD often earning more. The median personal income (for all persons older than 15 years of age, per year) was NZ$22,300 (2001), behind only North Shore City (also part of the Greater Auckland area) and Wellington. While office workers still account for a large part of Auckland's commuters, large office developments in other parts of the city, for example in Takapuna or Albany, both North Shore City, are slowly becoming more common, reducing concentration on the Auckland CBD somewhat.


Auckland is popularly known as the "City of Sails" because the harbour is often dotted with hundreds of yachts and has more per capita than any other city in the world, with around 135,000 yachts and launches. Around 60,500 of the country's 149,900 registered yachtsmen come from the Auckland Region. Viaduct Basin also hosted two America's Cup challenges (2000 Cup and 2003 Cup), and its cafes, restaurants, and clubs add to Auckland's vibrant nightlife. With the sheltered Waitemata Harbour at its doorstep, Auckland sees many nautical events, and there are also a large number of sailing clubs in Auckland, as well as Westhaven Marina, the largest of the Southern Hemisphere.
High Street, Queen Street, Ponsonby Road, and Karangahape Road are very popular with urban socialites. Newmarket and Parnell are up-market shopping areas, while Otara's and Avondale's fleamarkets offer a colourful alternative shopping experience. Newer shopping malls tend to be outside city centres, with Sylvia Park (Sylvia Park, Auckland City), Botany Town Centre (Howick, Manukau City) and Westfield Albany (Albany, North Shore City) being the three largest.
The Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Centre host conferences and cultural events such as theatre, kapa haka, and opera. Auckland also boasts a full-time professional symphonic ensemble in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
Many national treasures are displayed at the Auckland Art Gallery, such as the work of Colin McCahon, while many other significant cultural artefacts reside at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the National Maritime Museum, or the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). Exotic creatures can be observed at the Auckland Zoo and Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World. Movies and rock concerts (notably, the "Big Day Out") are also well patronised.


Positive aspects of Auckland life are its mild climate, plentiful employment and educational opportunities, as well as numerous leisure facilities. Meanwhile, traffic problems, the lack of good public transport, and increasing housing costs have been cited by many Aucklanders as among the strongest negative factors of living there,together with crime. Nonetheless, Auckland currently ranks 4th equal in a survey of the quality of life of 215 major cities of the world (2009 data). In 2006, Auckland placed 23rd on the UBS list of the world's richest cities.


Similar to the rest of the country, over half of Aucklanders profess Christianity, but fewer than 10% regularly attend church and almost 40% profess no religious affiliation (2001 census figures). The main denominations are Roman Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian. Pentecostal and charismatic churches are the fastest growing. A small community of Coptic Orthodox Christians is also present.
Recent immigration from Asia has added to the religious diversity of the city, and about 10% of the population follow such beliefs as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism, although there are no figures on religious attendance. There is also a small, long-established Jewish community.


Auckland is home to many cultures. The majority of inhabitants claim European - predominantly British - descent, but substantial Maori, Pacific Islander and Asian communities exist as well. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world and a higher proportion of people of Asian origin than the rest of New Zealand. Ethnic groups from all corners of the world have a presence in Auckland, making it by far the country's most cosmopolitan city.

Demographics

The proportion of Asians and other Non-European immigrants has increased during the last decades due to immigration, and the removal of restrictions directly or indirectly based on race. Immigration to New Zealand is heavily concentrated towards Auckland (partly for job market reasons). This strong focus on Auckland has led the immigration services to award extra points towards immigration visa requirements for people intending to move to other parts of New Zealand.
The following table shows the ethnic profile of Auckland's population, as recorded in the 2001 and 2006 New Zealand Census. The percentages add up to more than 100%, as some people counted themselves as belonging to more than one ethnic group. Figures for 2006 refer to the whole Auckland Region, not just the urban area. The substantial percentage drop of 'Europeans' was mainly caused by the increasing numbers of people from this group choosing to define themselves as 'New Zealanders' - even though this was not one of the groups listed on the census form.

The 2006 Census also provides information about the multilinguality of the region. 867,825 people in the Auckland Region spoke one language only, 274,863 spoke two, and 57,051 three or more


Auckland has a warm-temperate climate, with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters. It is the warmest main centre of New Zealand and is also one of the sunniest, with an average of 2060 sunshine hours per annum The average daily maximum temperature is 23.7 °C in February, and 14.5 °C in July, the absolute maximum recorded temperature is 32.4 °C while the absolute minimum is -2.5. High levels of rainfall occur almost year-round with an average of 1240 mm per year spread over 137 'rain days'.
Climatic conditions vary in different parts of the city owing to geography such as hills, land cover and distance from the sea, hence unofficial temperature records exist, such as a maximum of 34°C in west Auckland.
On 27 July 1939 Auckland received its only recorded snowfall.The early morning calm on the isthmus during settled weather, before the sea breeze rises, was described as early as 1853: "In all seasons, the beauty of the day is in the early morning. At that time, generally, a solemn stillness holds, and a perfect calm prevails..." Many Aucklanders used this time of day to walk and run in parks. car ownership rates are very high and emissions controls relatively weak, Auckland suffers from some air pollution, especially in regards to fine particles emissions. There are also regular breaches of guideline levels of carbon monoxide. While maritime winds normally disperse the pollution relatively quickly it can sometimes become visible as smog, especially on calm winter days.


Auckland lies on and around an isthmus, less than two kilometres wide at its narrowest point, between Mangere Inlet and the Tamaki River. There are two harbours in the Auckland urban area surrounding this isthmus: Waitemata Harbour to the north, which opens east to the Hauraki Gulf, and Manukau Harbour to the south, which opens west to the Tasman Sea.
Bridges span parts of both harbours, notably the Auckland Harbour Bridge crossing the Waitemata Harbour west of the Auckland Central Business District (CBD). The Mangere Bridge and the Upper Harbour Bridge span the upper reaches of the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours, respectively. In earlier times, portage paths crossed the narrowest sections of the isthmus.
Several islands of the Hauraki Gulf are administered as part of Auckland City, though they are not officially part of the Auckland metropolitan area. Parts of Waiheke Island effectively function as Auckland suburbs, while various smaller islands near Auckland are mostly zoned 'recreational open space' or are nature sanctuaries.


Volcanoes
Auckland straddles the Auckland Volcanic Field, which has produced approximately 50 volcanoes. These take the form of cones, lakes, lagoons, islands and depressions, and several have produced extensive lava flows. Most of the cones have been partly or completely quarried away. The individual volcanoes are all considered extinct, although the volcanic field itself is merely dormant.
Unlike the explosive subduction-driven volcanism in the central North Island, such as at Mount Ruapehu and Lake Taupo, Auckland's volcanoes are fueled entirely by basaltic magma. The most recent and by far the largest volcano, Rangitoto Island, was formed within the last 1000 years, and its eruptions destroyed the Māori settlements on neighbouring Motutapu Island some 700 years ago. Rangitoto's size, its symmetry, its position guarding the entrance to Waitemata Harbour and its visibility from many parts of the Auckland region make it Auckland's most iconic natural feature. Few birds and insects inhabit the island because of the rich acidic soil and the type of flora growing out of the rocky soil.


The Auckland metropolitan area, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with over 1.4 million residents, 31 percent of the country's population. Demographic trends indicate that it will continue to grow faster than the rest of the country. Increasingly cosmopolitan, Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world, and has seen many people of Asian ethnicity move there in the last two decades. The 2009 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Auckland 4th place in the world on its list. In Maori Auckland's name is Tāmaki-makau-rau, or the transliterated version of Auckland, Akarana.
Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two separate major bodies of water.


A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities.
Some examples include historical places, monuments, zoos, aquaria, museums and art galleries, botanical gardens, buildings and structures (e.g., castles, libraries, former prisons, skyscrapers, bridges), national parks and forests, theme parks and carnivals, living history museums, ethnic enclave communities, historic trains and cultural events. Many tourist attractions are also landmarks.
Tourist attractions are also created to capitalise on unexplained phenomena such as a supposed UFO crash site near Roswell, New Mexico and the alleged Loch Ness monster sightings in Scotland. Ghost sightings also make tourist attractions.
Ethnic communities may become tourist attractions, such as Chinatowns in the United States and the black British neighborhood of Brixton in London, England.
In the US, owners and marketers of attractions advertise tourist attractions on billboards along the side of highways and roadways, especially in remote areas. Tourist attractions often provide free promotional brochures and flyers in information centres, fast food restaurants, hotel and motel rooms or lobbies, and rest areas.
While some tourist attractions provide visitors a memorable experience for a reasonable admission charge or even for free, others can have a tendency to be of low quality and to overprice their goods and services (such as admission, food, and souvenirs) in order to profit from tourists excessively. Such places are commonly known as tourist traps.

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