APPT Auckland: Port, isn't that something you drink?

By Landon Blackhall

Auckland may not have the historical remnants of a city dating back hundreds or thousands of years, but it more than makes up for it with a unique blend of attractions that combine the city's best elements.

Known as the "City of Sails", Auckland boasts the largest boat ownership per capita in the world - the proof is there in Waitemata Harbour, which resembles a cheesecake factory such is the concentration of white triangles.

apptamarina1b.jpg

Waitemata Harbour: "The white one belongs to me"

There ate plenty of opportunities for the budding sailor to get his or her sea legs - you can start off with a scenic cruise, catch a catamaran and search for whales and dolphins, or for the ultimate nautical gig, you can learn the finer points of yachting aboard America's Cup challengers NZL40 or the NZL41. We have enough trouble telling our "bow" from "stern" or "port" from "starboard".

More our style is a trip on a ferry or kayak to Rangitoto Island, home to one of almost 50 volcanic cones dotted around Auckland. After a picnic lunch, you can explore the lava tunnels, climb to the summit for a stunning vista of Hauraki Gulf or take a step back in time to learn about the many historical archaeological sites.

apptakiwi1b.jpg

The closest most visitors come to seeing a Kiwi in New Zealand!

We even found a real kiwi! Tiritiri Island is home to the one of the world's most successful conservation reserves including the stumpy little flightless birds you find stamped on everything here.

Speaking of Kiwi icons, NZ hip-hop pioneer Brotha D is attracting most of the attention from the rail. He won his way into the APPT Auckland Main Event after taking out the media and celebrity event held on Tuesday night. He's a big man ... we suspect he'll be getting plenty of respect from his rivals today.

Img_7692 048.jpg

Respect to Brotha D, one of the celebs lining up today at SKYCITY Auckland

With the opening level done and dusted, APPT tournament director Danny McDonagh has confirmed that the field will be more than 260 players, with official numbers and prize pool to follow in the next hour. Blinds are now at 100/200.