Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quiet places of Auckland

We had a surprising day in Auckland yesterday. On the last time we were there for a day, we stayed around the city precinct - including the harbourside area that was nicely redeveloped for the Americas Cup. We enjoyed the visit - but, not being ones who like the inner parts of big cities, we wondered what we would do this time. We decided to buy tickets on the "Hop on-Hop off bus" (for $25 AUD each) - and were very pleased that we did. We made the most of it - and it was excellent value for tourists. It is actually split into two parts - one of which departs every 30 minutes from adjacent to the cruiseship berth and a second part that departs every hour from the Museum. For a number of reasons, there is a tendency for many to only do the first part of the tour - there is certainly plenty to occupy yourself on it. But - DO NOT!! - make sure you go to the effort of getting onto the second bus route. We found it to be better than the first - and goes over some beautiful parts of Auckland. We were very pleased to discover some quiet and beautiful parts of Auckland this time around - and the bus tour showed us that they were only a few of many other similar places. Auckland reminded me a little of Honolulu - in that, I thought that there MUST be some ugly parts of the city somewhere!! Every city has them - but we didn't see any in Auckland or Honolulu!! During the last time we saw a little of New Zealand (on 5 ports visits as part of a cruise), we thought that next time we travel, it MUST be a land tour of the country. Considering that we have seen a lot of other parts of the World, we have seen very little of our closest neighbour. We now once again realise that we just must plan a longer trip to NZ. This is the last foreign port for us - on our journey around the World. We are starting to feel a little sad that it is just about over - but the "Dancing tugs" of Auckland put on a show for us as we were departing - plus we had the most amazing and most spectacular sunset we have seen to date as we pulled out of the Dock. We have been very fortunate on all of our Port visits and the ending of our visit to Auckland was the cream on top of the cake.

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