In the native language of the Maori people, Auckland was named Tamaki Makau Rau, which means the city of 100 lovers. It was given this name because everyone wanted the city, and many people even succeeded in conquering the area. The Auckland region offers stunning natural wonders with three harbors, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones, and more than 50 islands. The abundance of volcanic cones is a testament to the area's legacy as a volcanic plateau that nature lovers and biology students alike can appreciate.
Auckland's 1.3 million people provide a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for the many international students who find their way there. The city's varied population mixes the traditional Polynesian heritage of the island with that of European immigrants and more recently those from Asia. The Kiwis (New Zealanders) have perfected Pacific Rim cuisine, a unique blend of Asian and Pacific flavors. Auckland also has much to recommend it to students looking for activity. The city's harbors and geography make it perfect for a vast array of water activities including snorkeling, surfing, and swimming. However, the most popular water activity in Auckland remains yachting, and the number of sailing enthusiasts may seem obsessive to the casual observer. The extreme number of boats was instrumental to Auckland earning its nickname as the 'City of Sails.'