After getting some sleep our first full day in Auckland had arrived. Our hostess decided to join us in our discovery of New Zealand’s biggest city, so she could give us some tips and pointers along the way. Our small big friend Jimi also came along for the ride!
We enjoyed strolling through the city centre, seeing the Civic Centre, the Auckland Tower and the harbour with some nice bistros and bars. In our opinion it wasn’t the most beautiful city we’d seen up to that point, but the company of Kolet and little Jimi more than made up for that. J
The next day we were on our own, but we got to use the second car of our hosts, which was again a nice gesture of people who only met us 36 hours earlier.
The Civic Centre
They gave us the advice to head out of the city in order to see a glimpse of the impressive New Zealand nature. Before we did that however, we first did a short tour of Auckland’s most famous aquarium, Kelly Tarlton’s. The underwater walkway was quite impressive, as were the big tanks filled with giant crabs. Unfortunately we were about done in a little under an hour, which we found quite short compared to the steep admission price.
After leaving Kelly Tarlton’s we headed west out of the city. We took Scenic Drive (which is actually the road’s name) in order to visit the little town of Piha on the west coast of the northern island. The weather was quite bad (our last day of that for quite some time to come, by the way), so it took us a bit of an effort to climb the Lion Rock. This lump of rock lies in the surf at Piha beach and is an important place for the Maori culture in this region. We couldn’t climb all the way to the top, about three quarters up the path was sealed off because of danger of falling rocks. The view from the point we reached was impressive as well, so no harm done… ;)
It was our last day in New Zealand, and in order to thank our hosts we invited them to come to dinner with us in a buffet restaurant. We had a nice evening but turned in early since we had a morning flight to catch from Auckland to the first of many island destinations. Fiji was waiting for us!