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Around Auckland, inside the Hauraki Gulf, are many protected islands which are perfect for diving and snorkeling and have a vast diversity of marine life.
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The metropolitan area of Auckland is the largest and most densely populated region in New Zealand. She lies at the base of the Hauraki Gulf which offers many different types of dive sites because it sits on top of a dormant volcanic field. The area is littered with volcanic cones, lakes and islands all considered to be extinct. This has resulted in a lot of different micro environments which in turn have attracted a wide variety of marine species. Some of the well known offshore islands in the bay are Little Barrier Island, Great Barrier Island, Burgess Island, Fanal Island, Hen Island and Kawau Island. Most dive sites of the Coromandel Peninsula have also been included in this section.
Auckland is not primarily known as an extensive diving destination but mere for its shopping, nightlife and excellent dining. The vibrant city, often called the city of sails, has a fabulous marina named Westhaven and is blessed with a stunning skyline with the 328 meter tall sky tower topping all other buildings. It is a famous for its tracking and many visitors visit 260 meter high Rangitoto Island which is the largest volcano near Auckland. Many tourists start their journey in Auckland and take a look at one of the nearby islands or rent a car to explore the country in depth.
Many islands in the Hauraki Gulf such as the shores of Goat Island are protected marine sanctuaries and are therefore famous for snorkelers and day visitors. Fish life is even more healthy and numerous here than at the other islands as fishing, catching crayfish and collecting shells is prohibited. Many tours visit these crystal clear waters and often find bottlenose dolphins, killer whales and bryde's whales. Many other species of whales migrate to these rich waters such as humpback, fin and mink whales. There are many tours out of Auckland and its neighboring towns that offer these trips, so there is always something to be done.
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