Day 48 — Feb 19 — Auckland, NZ
The ship arrives before dawn and we awake to see the dock next to us. We have nothing planned today but we get up and get off the boat by 8:00 AM. We are looking for the Hop On, Hop Off Bus and find the Info Office doesn’t open until 9 AM. So we walk around for a bit and check out the local streets. At 9 we make our way to the Info Office and buy tickets for the buses. We get the deal that includes all the sights and even a Ferry.
We find the bus pick up location and board the bus. We ride the “Red Line” on a Double Decker Open Top Bus and our cameras happily click away. This city has a “Sky Tower” that is similar to the “Space Needle” in Seattle, Wa. We get off at the Tower and go inside and inquire about what is available. Our bus tickets get us to the observation decks. We ask about the Open Air Deck with a Tether attached to you and they tell us it costs $150 NZD or about $105 USD each. We decline but also ask the cost of the Tethered Bungee Jump that is also available and are told that is $250 NZD or about $180 USD. We also decline and I’m disappointed because I would have done it for half that price. $180 for a 2.5 second ride seems quite extreme.
After satisfying our camera lenses up top of the Tower, we get back on the bus and ride the “Blue Line” around the other half of the city. We see a harbor filled with boats and yachts that are part of the most per capita boat owners in the world. We also see a yacht management company with an interesting name that resembles a famous singer. See if you can identify it!
The Sky Tower permeates the skyline of the city wherever we go. I will never forget this skyline because it is so striking. And construction cranes are everywhere. I wonder if I’ll ever visit a city without construction cranes? A WWI Memorial Statue catches my camera’s attention on the way though the streets. The bus driver on one tour mentions a building that has earned the nickname of “The Toilet Seat Building” and we don’t see it until we process our photos of the skyline and it becomes clear. He mentions that the original architect did not plan for the nickname when he designed the building. Can you see it? Look at the skyline photos carefully!
Then we walk back to the docks and get on a Ferry that takes us out to a resort island, Devonport. The skyline as we leave the dock only adds to our cameras satisfaction. We walk around and find lunch. We find it at a small restaurant called, “Hemingway’s Bistro”. The Fish & Chips are very good and we note that we may have to seek out bars and restaurants called :Hemingway’s” as we have already visited sister restaurants in Cuba and on our ship.
We walk around Devonport and check out the neighborhood and find some views of Auckland. We are entertained by some wall art on one house’s block walls as it is very humorous. Quaint buildings assault our senses and this seems to be quite the comfortable place to live. Back in town and many fun store signs catch our attention on the way to the docks.
We get on the last Ferry back to town and go back on board our ship for an early departure. A building called, “The Cloud” catches our eyes as we arrive back to the docks. We never seem to find out what it is but it is on the docks next to the other ship in town. We also find out the other ship is also on a World Tour and it also was turned away from Tonga, just like we were! One of the ship’s tours runs late and we depart late.
But not to worry, we are At Sea tomorrow and scheduled to arrive in Wellington on Friday. As I write this, it is Wednesday for us but only Tuesday in the USA for we have crossed the International Date Line several days ago and it is tomorrow for us. This is one of the more difficult things for me to understand. We have only traveled 3 time zones west of California but we have moved a whole day ahead.
Back on board, we clean up and attend the nightly show where one of our talented singers does a Karen Carpenter Tribute and she is very good. Then dinner and a nightcap and it’s off to our room to write this blog.
See you all tomorrow At Sea!