Sunday, 25 March 2007

The City of Sails

Auckland is also known as the City of Sails, and is lucky enough to have a huge natural harbour. You can see the sea from almost everywhere you go in Auckland, which gives the city an open feel and provides beautiful views. During our last few days here staying with Mr Knitbert's lovely cousins, we visited as many places as we could with Catbert and DSoK. This photo was taken from the Rose Garden in Parnell, just as the sun was setting, and I must say I am rather pleased with it. It is of course the Auckland Sky Tower, which you can also see from almost everywhere you go.

We visited the Sky Tower on our last evening in Auckland. For me and Mr Knitbert it was our second visit, and I promised you earlier an amusing story about our first visit there. We went to the Sky Tower last time only a couple of days after arriving in NZ, while still jet-lagged, and went down to the basement where you buy the tickets. There you can buy a ticket to the main observation deck and, for 3 dollars more, a ticket to the highest observation deck. We had the following conversation:

K: We'll just get tickets to the main deck shall we?
Mr K: It's only 3 dollars to go to the very top, let's get the full tickets!
K: I'm not sure I want to go to the very top. I'm sure I can see whatever I want from the main deck.
Mr K: It's only 3 dollars more! Great value! Let's do it!

So we did it. In any case, you go in the lift to the main deck first, where you change lifts to go to the very top. In the lift, the floor has a glass square in it, so you can see the ground fall away and get tiny as you get higher and higher. Mr Knitbert and I looked through the glass square and saw how high we were going, and we both got really freaked out by it. We left the lift and went onto the main deck, where the glass windows are angled out for better viewing and there are more glass squares in the floor. We clung uneasily to the guide rails and sidled along the viewing benches, neither of us wanting to admit that we were completely freaked out by how high up we were.
After a while, it was time to get the next lift to the higher level. I said, "I don't really want to go any higher", and Mr K admitted that he didn't either! So we never got our 3 dollars' worth!
This time, we were rather apprehensive, but found that we were not at all bothered by the height but instead enjoyed the wonderful views. We think it must have all been caused by jet lag. We watched the sun set over Auckland and I took this photo of the city at night:

Only a few hours earlier we had been lucky enough to go sailing in the harbour and out past North Head in Devonport and along the Northshore up as far as Takapuna. From the Sky Tower we could see where we had sailed and the Auckland Harbour bridge which we had come back towards, and the Marina just by it.
During our short stay in Auckland, we also visited the wonderful Auckland Museum, where my favourite part is the ground floor, dedicated to the People of the Pacific. Here we all are in front of the museum:

As I write this post, I am actually in Nelson, on the South Island, where tomorow we are going walking in the Abel Tasman National Park. We have done so many things since we left Auckland I am several posts behind! Our next stop was Rotorua, a city in an area of geothermal activity and famous for its Maori cultural experiences. By way of a taster, here is the view from our hotel window, which looked out over the Whakerewarewa Thermal Park and the Pohutu Geyser.


Christina said...

wow - lovely photos again. what a view from your hotel room of the geyser!! glad you're having a great time :)

clarabelle said...

Fantastic photos!

I'm totally jealous and would love to be visiting my own relatives in Christchurch.....