Home > New Zealand > Last Kiwi stop – Auckland

Last Kiwi stop – Auckland

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

We planned in a day in Auckland, mainly to go up the sky tower and get a view from the highest point in the southern atmosphere. After a pretty miserable morning trying to wrestle with Indian Visa applications online, we catch a bus ride into town.




The journey through the bland bits of Auckland was memorable mainlyfor the incredibly rude and intolerant bus drivers, most of whom seem to be women in their late 50’s with serious bad attitudes – the poor guy in the wheelchair was clearly a complete pain because he wanted to —- yep, catch the bus. Disgraceful:  I may even go as far as to say they were ruder than the bus drivers in Buenos Aires, and that is pretty stiff competition.

Still, we suffer the 90 minute journey and hop off near the waterfront to make the fabulous maritime museum before it closes. Really, this museum deserves more than the hour we had, but it was still well worth it and soon the bus driver was forgotten, but we did decide that we would train back!

the sky tower with the glass bottomed lift!- click to enlarge

Given our impending packing for the flight the next day, we head straight up to the skytower and take the high speed glass bottomed elevators up to the viewing deck at 220m. The view is stunning, and it does not take too long before we are standing on the glass floors watching people jumping off the top in a sort of skydiving meets bungee jumping experience. You can almost smell the fear as they drop 10m, before they pause for 5 seconds and then let go………….

views of the races in the harbour

220m above the ground, the highest platform in the southern hemisphere

We did end up getting the train back, until it terminated at a random station because someone fell ill in one of the carriages. In the end it took even longer than the bus, some days the transport just conspires against you.

the train station was worth all the mucking around - like a scene from Batman

The next day we said goodbye to New Zealand, and there will be many fond memories. I think it is fair to say we needed longer – we probably only saw the top third of South Island for example – and with young children the more hardened attractions are not suitable or accessible, but I think it is a place we will return to one day. When we first arrived, we felt it was quite like another England, but as time progressed, we felt the indigenous cultural spirit more and the place became more intriguing and distant – it felt more foreign….. and I think in large part this is due to the mix that we struggled to understand but the Kiwi’s have clearly mastered – the difficult balance between Maori and the colonial cultures. We could not see how it could work so harmoniously, but amazingly it appears to.

To love NZ, you must love the outdoors – REALLY love the outdoors. I enjoy the outdoors – so probably not a candidate for emigration. (but they are looking for architects, engineers and doctors if anyone is interested)

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