Okay, I’ve been home for over three months now so it’s about time I wrote my final New Zealand post!
On our last full day in New Zealand, we decided to actually stay in Auckland. It also turned out to be the only day of our entire stay that we had rain! Oh well 🙂
We started the day with a harbour cruise. There are two per day, and we chose the morning one. With your ticket you also get a free return ticket to Devonport and the price also includes a free cup of tea/coffee and a muffin on the boat. The cruise takes about 90 minutes and includes a stop at Rangitoto islandl. You only get about 10 minutes there, which is just about enough time to walk up and see some of the historic baches (pronounces batches, what New Zealanders call their holiday homes), but we saw a Fantail there, which was pretty fun since the room we were staying in at the B&B was called Pikawaka, which is Maori for Fantail. The commentary on the cruise was interesting at the time, although I remember nothing of it now! Oh well, you only come here for the pretty pictures, right?
After the cruise we met my aunt for a drink – she managed to pop out between meetings to see us – then we decided to use our free ferry tickets to go back to Devonport and buy some chocolate for me to take to my colleagues. Then we took another ferry back to Birkenhead where we had parked the car. As we went under the Harbour Bridge we actually saw some people bungee jumping!
My cousin had recommended Mount Eden as a nice place to get a view over Auckland and its surroundings. Mount Eden or Maungawhau is a dormant volcano and the highest natural point in Auckland. There’s also a crater, approximately 50 metres deep, which is where the volcano erupted from.
It was chucking it down by the time we got up there so visibility wasn’t the greatest, but luckily we had already seen the view from the Sky Tower the day before. It’s difficult to get a sense of the depth of the crater from photos, so you’ll just have to trust me that it was deep 😉 Also notice that someone had been down to the bottom and arranged stones to say HI!
By this time my feet were soaked, so we headed back to the B&B for some dry clothes. We had planned to meet my cousin for dinner again, but she had a headache so we ended up just going to a place near where we were staying, The Good Home in Birkenhead. I chose fish and it had its head still on! I was brave though and ate it all.
The next morning we drove around looking for a place to post some postcards (the stamps we had were for a specific type of post box, not the normal NZ post) then ended up at some bay that I don’t know the name of but it was pretty and we saw sea birds there! On some grass near the bay we then saw a Pūkeko (a kind of swamphen). I had been trying all week to get a photo of one but they kept running away so we parked the car and stalked this one until I kind of managed to get a photo 😉
The afternoon was spent with my cousin, watching her boyfriend’s football team play in their first match of the season. Then it was off back to the airport where we had dinner and waited around for a while before catching the looong flight back.
On the way home, we had a ten hour layover in Dubai so I shall leave you with the one and only photo I managed to take there before my camera battery died. At least it was a half decent one 😉 (We went up the tower but Jan has all the photos from there)
And that’s it! I can’t believe my New Zealand tales are actually over! To sum up this epic series of posts I have only four words to say: Go to New Zealand!! (I promise you won’t regret it)