Manukau City is part of the Auckland metropolitan area, which is in the Auckland Region of the North Island of New Zealand. Sometimes known as South Auckland, it lies immediately to the south and east of the adjacent Auckland City. It is New Zealand's third most populous "city", after Auckland City and Christchurch.
It is one of the truly multi-cultural cities of the world, with Pacific Island nationalities being particularly strongly represented among its residents. There are over 55 different ethnic groups that make up the population of this unique city, with people from Europe, Asia, and the Americas also here.
The resident population of Manukau City in the 2001 census was 283,200. It is now believed to be in excess of 310,000 making Manukau City one of the fastest growing areas in New Zealand. It has welcomed more than 5,500 new residents each year since 1996. The Howick and Manurewa wards accounted for 60% of the growth, with the remainder spread evenly amongst the remaining wards.
Manukau's diverse population is something that makes this city unique. It has over 55 different ethnic groups represented. Manukau city has the highest proportion of Pacific Island residents (25.6%) of any New Zealand city. In some cases, there are more Pacific Island residents living in Manukau city than there are on the Pacific Islands that those residents originate from.
Also of interest is the age spread of Manukau's population. Manukau has a large proportion of people under 25 years of age (41.9%) making it a city with a very strong young population.
Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens, located in Manurewa, has over 10,000 different plant types, both natives and exotics, spread over 65 hectares.
Butterfly Creek, Tom Pearce Drive (near Auckland International Airport), . A tropical butterfly and moth house. Any time is good to see the butterflies but the best time is on sunny mornings. The butterfly house is warm and humid. Also has some tropical aquaria, farmyard animals, a train for the kids and a cafe.
Howick Historical Village, Corner of Lady Marie Drive & Bells Road, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga, . This historical park gives visitors a taste of what life was like from 1840 to 1880. It's open seven days a week from 10 AM to 4 PM. Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day. Adults $14, children over 5 $7.
Otuataua Stonefields, site of ancient Maori gardens on a low volcano.
Otara Flea Market. Every Sat, open from 6AM - 12 noon at the Otara Shopping Centre, Newbury St. Huge selection of clothes, household items and food. Otara is largely populated by Polynesian and Maori people and this market reflects the culture of the area. You can buy Pacific Island music and clothing for example. Well worth a wander around.