Auckland City Welcomes & celebrates families coming to Auckland for the America's Cup 2021 Action
I come from a tiny North East village in England called Bishop Auckland, located near County Durham. When I was growing up there wasn't a lot of opportunity in the 80's with issues such as the infamous miner's strike and the poll tax introduced by Margaret Thatcher along with The Falklands War - memories I look back on with sadness, so it was hardly surprising that I spent a lot of my youth working in far away cities to move way from where I had come from.
I never felt like I had a true home - somewhere safe where people cared enough to reach out a helping hand to a stranger; somewhere where it is OK to be who you are - diverse and unique.
In 2010 after the birth of my third child, Joni, I knew that I needed to find a home to settle in and love as my own. Where my heart could be at peace and somewhere safe for my children to grow up feeling free with the sun on their skin and able to dive into the ocean and breath fresh air.
In 2011 I found that very place - Auckland, New Zealand! A city that isn't a city at heart, but instead a diverse paradise filled with gorgeous sailing boats in the harbour to expensive super yachts and the good old little weekend boat that the whole family can go out in and enjoy. Rainforest to black sand beaches within a thirty minute drive means we have the ability to spread out and breathe lungfuls of good air - something I never take for granted after growing up in dirty, dank and dark mining villages.
You see for me, the decision to live permanently in Auckland came from my feeling that the family unit was key for me, which is why I made Auckland my permanent home and where my heart now is always tied. Since that move, I have become the managing director of a luxury experience company that designs and executes the most amazing experiences in Auckland and across new Zealand. My passion is the scenery, food, wines and people and bringing that to a client who asks us to help them make a memorable visit that I am privileged to be able to do.
So when I look at the infrastructure that is going into the exciting new America's Cup village and event venues in Auckland, and how we are moving fast towards The America's Cup in 2021, what stands out for me is all the visitors who will want to travel to Auckland as a family. That means planning wisely, avoiding congestion and sub-standard accommodation, lengthy and unnecessary travel, too much of the tourist trap - instead they want to relax as a family and make the most of their limited time, whilst at the same time enjoying time together, which for some families can be rare in our busy lifestyles.
A centralised village spanning 700 metres across Auckland Viaduct Basin and Wynyard Wharf
Team bases with public access to view daily operations & launching and retrieving the spectacular AC75 race yachts
A legacy Emirates Team New Zealand base and public interactive innovation space
A media centre at the Viaduct Event Centre, broadcasting imagery around the world showcasing Auckland at its best
Sprawling public space with big screen race viewing and interactive attractions to bring the race action to life
Bars, restaurants and cafes spread across the event village
A world class super yacht berthing facility in Wynyard Wharf and on Site 18
An established family and kids play ground in the Silo park
A concert stage in the heart of the Wynyard Quarter showcasing New Zealand’s musical and cultural performers
A legacy plan including non permanent team bases making way for waterfront public space for all to use
The stand out for me in the list above is the wonderful play ground in Silo Park where families can also be a part of the fun that goes with the America's Cup 2021 being held in Auckland. Children can jump in the fountains, swing high, paddle in the early evening and feel at home in a city that welcomes children and wants them to feel a part of what makes the personality of Auckland; the fun we will all be a part of over the many events happening around the 36th America's Cup in Auckland - the excitement of the racing, the food, the places where families can stay and sleep safely. It makes for the perfect destination for a family trip.
As a mother of three I can't wait to welcome families into Auckland in the run up to the exciting 36th America's Cup 2021, and know that as parents, your children are more than welcome - they are a part of it all no matter what their age and we welcome you to make contact with us to help you detail the perfect family vacation.
You know what they say? "It takes a village to raise a child". Well, the America's Cup village, being built here in Auckland, is a way to bring children into a village atmosphere. Auckland is the perfect size to achieve this, making you feel a part of the family.
Reach out and say hi to Sharon, Jake, Lewis and Joni.