Auckland is simply a stunning city. Its style and
activity easily rival Sydney. It has been said that
Auckland is best seen from its harbor, and surely
this is correct. Our ship came into the harbor and
docked at the pier seen at the right of the picture.
It is a pier with a difference: sitting on it is a
Hilton Hotel. Some folks aboard the ship met almost
face to face with residents in their hotel rooms
just a few yards across from them!
Auckland sits in what is called a volcanic field.
Some fifty volcanoes, regarded as extinct, manifest
themselves across the city. This photo is taken from
Eden Park, a volcanic cone - one of many rising
above the city. Just below us in fact was the
volcano's crater. Cattle graze easily on the slopes
of the peak. In the distance can be seen the
marvelous Auckland Harbor.
Auckland is called the "City of Sails." On a Sunday,
we went for a sail ourselves and took in all the
sights we could. Across from Auckland is a community
known as Devonport. Dominating this area is a peak
called Victoria. In the distance beyond Devonport
can be seen the silhouette of Rangitoto, the largest
and most recently active of the volcanoes here, now
an island in the bay.
connected to Auckland by a great bridge, reminiscent
of Sydney's famous counterpart. It is hard to
capture the charm of this community. Its streets are
filled with cafes and shops, banners, and happy
people. It is a favorite place for families on a
Our sail was not on a sleek sailboat in the marina,
but a rebuilt scow called the Ted Ashby. It is run
by the National Maritime Museum. On this day, Jim,
Diane and Laura were the only paying passengers!
This was due to a Santa Claus Parade in the main
part of the city and everyone seems to have gone to
that instead. Diane and Laura got into the act and
helped "crew" for the Ashby, raising and trimming
the sails of this old steam driven craft.
|The War Memorial
occupies yet another hill surrounded by a huge, lush
park called the Domain. The Memorial commemorates those from New
Zealand who died in the world wars. But it is not
just a monument. It is also a vast museum housing
the history of the islands and her peoples. We spent
several hours here, adding to our experience of the
Te Papa in Wellington. Auckland actually served as
the first capital of New Zealand.
Auckland has many parks. The largest is called the
Domain, and is home to numerous cricket fields, the
Winter Garden, outdoor sculptures, and carefully
manicured lawns. Auckland is home to nearly half of
the population of New Zealand, which totals over 4
million. Its suburbs and communities are colorful,
lively places. We found Auckland to be a high point
of our voyage.