Lonely Planet is one of the most trusted and most used travel guides in the world - perhaps the most. Every year they publish lists of various best or emerging destinations to go in the world. This year for 2022 they named Auckland of New Zealand as the best city to go to in 2022. Auckland is also the main port of entry and the starting point for any North Island road trip.

Auckland is a beautiful and diverse city. While there may be better shopping and nightlife in many other cities in the world (and better public transport), few cities can match the idyllic setting of Auckland. Auckland is one of two places to go whale watching too - the best though is in the South Island at Kaikoura.


Lonely Planet And Its List

About 600 days after New Zealand's Auckland closed to international tourists, it is being touted as the best city to visit in the post-pandemic world.

"Auckland doesn't necessarily realize what it has," said the publisher's senior director of trade sale and marketing, Chris  Zeiher.

While Auckland has been in the top ten lists in the past, it has never actually topped the list. The cruel irony is that at the time of their release of the top ten cities and as at the time of writing, Auckland is in a strict lockdown to contain an outbreak of the pandemic. Aucklanders can not travel, stay with friends, or visit any shop that is not a supermarket or a pharmacy.

  • Status: Largest City In New Zealand
  • Population: 1.7 Million

But it would seem that Lonely Planet is optimistic. Fortunately, the government in New Zealand has set a reopening guideline. The guideline will reopen New Zealand to international travel. So hopefully later in 2022, Auckland will once again be standing with open arms and a great city to visit.

  • Hobbiton: Lord Of The Rings' Hobbiton Is Just A Short Drive South Of Auckland

The other cities that made the top ten list (in order) are Taipei in Taiwan, Freiburg in Germany, Atlanta in America, Lagos in Nigeria, Nicosia/Lefkosia in Cyprus, Dublin in Ireland, Merida in Mexico, Florence in Italy, and Gyeongju in South Korea.

Related: How To Go Whale Watching In New Zealand's Stunning Coastal Kaikoura

The Diversity Of Auckland

Auckland is a stunning city and by far New Zealand's largest city, it enjoys a warm climate and is full of stunning beaches, forests, and mountains.

Auckland is in itself not that much of an interesting city to visit for a holiday. But it is also different from many other cities in the world. In Auckland, all the districts were united into one "Super City" and so the city of Auckland includes much more than just the urban city. The city of Auckland includes many outlying towns and regions where people commute to the city for work.

Auckland boasts 53 volcanoes within its boundaries and over 50 islands. The city is cut through with majestic natural harbors and boasts stunning beach waterfronts. There are three wine regions within the city. It is a vibrant city, but while it has a great nightlife and vibe - it's not that that one would visit Auckland for, it's more the majestic setting in which Auckland is placed.

  • Volcanoes: 53 Volcanoes Within the Borders
  • Islands: Over 50 Islands
  • Beaches: Both Yellow Sand And Black Sand Beaches
  • Harbors: Two Large Natural Harbors

The city of Auckland is diverse in both landscapes and population. It is the largest city in Polynesia and the most diverse in New Zealand. Here one will see Maori, European, Pacific Islander, Indian, and Chinese cultures all fuse.

Related: White Island Is In New Zealand's Bay Of Plenty, And You Can Stay In These Two Gorgeous Towns

Things To See and Do In Auckland

And it is one of the few places in the world where one can climb a volcano, visit pristine islands, go shopping in a large mall, enjoy the nightlife, go sailing, see marine wildlife like sea birds, penguins, and whales, and go wine tasting all in one region.

  • Nickname: "City of Sails"

Auckland is nicknamed the "City of Sails" and as one sees its harbor one will see why. Sailing is a sport that is deep in New Zealand's blood and they ferociously contest each America's Cup in sailing (they are currently the champions).

In Auckland one can see or do:

  • Gannets: See The Nesting Sea Birds Gannets  At Murriwai
  • Piha Beach: A Pristine Black Sand Beach In Auckland
  • Rangitoto Island: A Young Volcanic Island Rising 850 Feet Only Around 600 Years Old With Young Forests Covering It
  • Waiheke Island: The Most Populated Island (Other Than The Two Main Islands) And Famous For Its Wineries
  • Whale Watching: Go Whale Watching In The Hauraki Gulf
  • Sailing: Called The "City Of Sails"

Next: Why The Bay Of Islands In New Zealand Is Worth Visiting And What To Do When You Get There