I have been in Auckland for a few days now. I arrived on Monday evening and then had dinner with my family who live in Auckland. On Tuesday I went into the centre of town on my own to do some shopping and other chores. After that I headed to the excellent Auckland Museum, it was interrupted by a fire alarm – my view on these things is once you get outside if there isn’t smoke pouring out of the building it is fine, but of course they had to call the fire brigade to check it out properly. The museum had a lot of stuff on Auckland and the Maoris and the polynesians in general as well as a Volcano exhibit.
The following day we went to a nearby beach and walked around before returning to the joys of planning my trip around New Zealand, first I’m heading north towards the bay of islands before going to Rotorua and then onto Wellington in the North Island, then on the south island I’ll head towards Christchurch to catch the train through the mountains and then head to Queenstown and Milford Sounds in the south.
Then on Thursday I had an epic day as first I headed to the nearby Rangitoto where I climbed to the top and looked out over a nice (but not as good as Easter Island) crater. After that I explored some really good lava tunnels, which are apparently formed when the lava solidifies at the surface first and then the still liquid lava in the tunnel retreats back down into the earth again. After that I just had enough time to catch the boat so they time that very well!
After a quick sandwich (and cake and fruit as I was hungry) in town I headed to the Maritime Museum which had more stuff on polynesian shipping which was very interesting before heading up one tree hill and another hill for views of the city. We also saw a container ship just leaving, what impressed me was the sheer size of the thing which completely dwarved everything around it.
Tonight I’m packing and heading north from Auckland for a few days.