Test your Level C2 reading skills with this text. Read the article then answer the 10 questions that follow.
Read the following passage and select the best heading for each paragraph.
A. Lapped on all sides by water, it’s hardly surprising that the country’s largest city is a giant aquatic playpen, with its two harbours, a gulf full of islands, a rugged coast and the highest density per head of pleasure boats in the world. By ferry, boat or water taxi, some 48 islands make for a perfect cruise. Some offer homes for commuters and weekend retreaters. Others are only for native birds, flora and fauna, or for lifestylers seeking a bygone era. Then there is the volcano island of Rangitoto, with a cone so perfectly round it looks the same wherever you are.
B. Waiheke, a short ferry ride from Auckland, is a popular choice for those who prefer island living. Auckland’s long and sunny, sometimes humid, but mostly balmy days are at their summer best between January and April. This time of year brings Auckland dwellers outdoors to savour this lifestyle built on a nautical backdrop but underlined by artistic and sporting endeavours. The city is home to well over a million, including the world’s largest Polynesian population and an increasing swell of Asians. It is a colourful tapestry of culture, cuisine and a sophisticated manner befitting a grown-up metropolis. A free evening concert of fireworks and orchestra is an annual event in the Auckland Domain, below the majestic Auckland Museum. It draws a sea of picnickers, complete with chilly bins full of food and fine local wine. In winter, brisk weather is no deterrent to the thousands who swamp Eden Park to watch an invigorating game of rugby. No matter what time of year, Auckland always has an event or festival to celebrate.
C. Little wonder that more and more well-heeled and sometimes very famous folk fall for the city’s charm. They glide in on floating palaces, treating Auckland as a newfound southern Riviera. That they should have discovered the city and its pleasures is largely due to Team New Zealand bringing two defences of the prestigious international America’s Cup yacht race to the Hauraki Gulf. The Cup defence sparked a citywide spruce-up and the creation of a swank new Viaduct Harbour village, teeming with classy restaurants, boutiques, bars, hotels and apartments. Suburbs of Auckland are never far from beaches as golden sand and bath-like waters in the sheltered harbourside draw the barbecue brigade and families.
D. The North Shore, the community north of the Harbour Bridge, is well worth exploring. Ferries ply the harbour between downtown Auckland and Devonport, a sweet village that offers main street browsing and al fresco cafe lattes in the sun. Mt Victoria and North Head, with their war remnant defence bunkers, rise up behind the village. They’re perfect places for children to scramble and explore. Picturesque swimming beaches hug the shores that stretch to the north-east below.
E. The needle-shaped Sky Tower rises from the bustling commercial centre. The tower houses a casino, and madcap sky jumpers plunge over its side past diners eating in the revolving restaurant. Far below, motorways slither under and over each other in such a sprawl that one section is simply known as “spaghetti junction’. From the gourmet and trendy shopping strip of Ponsonby on the city fringe, to fashion-conscious Newmarket, upmarket Parnell and Remuera, from smart suburban malls to the Pacific Island markets in colourful Otara to the south, the sprawling city is an ever-changing mosaic.
F. It is a place where, half an hour from the centre, you can fish for snapper, tramp in a national park, or play golf on some of the most picturesque and challenging courses in the world. Its backyard brims with treats. There’s a beautiful garden smothered in scented roses. Another is planted by scent for the blind. You can drive up a volcano called One Tree Hill, fill up on culture and history at galleries and museums or land yourself in a virtual Antarctic at Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World. But for a relaxing reward, nothing beats the lolling landscape carpeted in vineyards on the city’s outskirts, where a taste or three of some of the country’s premier wines is a pleasant way to end the day.
Match a title to a paragraph
i. Messing about on the water
ii. Getting out of Auckland
iii. A bird’s-eye view
iv. Overwhelming choices
v. City lights
vi. Harbourside development
vii. Something for every season
viii. Over the Bridge
ix. Bird spotting
1. Paragraph A:
2. Paragraph B:
3. Paragraph C:
4. Paragraph D:
5. Paragraph E:
6. Paragraph F: