Here is what I found in Auckland on Day 1
(36o 51.164' S; 174o 45.895' E;
Elevation = 42')
first impressions of Auckland were that it has a pretty vibrant center city
section. The streets are flooded with people, cars and buses. Lots
of pretty young girls, a just about everyone, sans the tourists, are well
dressed. My hotel is right on the main drag (Queen St), a few blocks above the
harbor. Right across the street is the old City Hall, that doubles as a
concert hall for the Auckland Chorus, among other performing groups.
The folks in Auckland even staged a demonstration of striking
union workers for my pleasure!
The signature Sky
Tower of the town is just two or three blocks away. The waterfront is
active with local cruise boats, ocean-going cruise liners, and lots of people
milling around. There are many restaurants, here, and I had a nice lunch
in a fairly elegant Japanese one, with some sashimi and grilled eel over rice.
It was good.
a little time to kill, I made a quick trip through the Auckland Maritime Museum.
It was interesting--especially the material and information about Maori war
canoes, Captain Cook's visits to New Zealand, and some of the information they
had about the whaling days. They had a very nice film of the actual
killing of a right whale from shore based boats, using exploding harpoons.
It was interesting.
On my second day in Auckland I decided to take a trip across the Hauraki
Gulf to the island of Tiritiri Matangi, which is a predator-free island,
maintained by the Department of Conservation as a preserve for endangered New
Zealand endemic birds and lizards.