Kayaking, Penguins & Mussels
Auckland Travel Blog› entry 22 of 23 › view all entries
It's my last day in New Zealand and I planned to make the most of it. I started with a quick breakfast at White in the Hilton, then headed out to meet David for some sea kayaking on the Auckland Harbor. We rented the kind of sea kayaks where you sit on top of the boats and they are virtually impossible to tip over. It was a beautiful day on the harbor -- with lots of sailboats around us, both small and large. We went quite a ways up the shoreline along Tamaki Drive in the Mission Bay area. I did not see much sea life out here, but there were a lot of sailboats and people to watch. After our kayaking was done, David did a half mile swim in the bay, as he was training for an upcoming triathlong. We had a coffee and a sweet roll after he was done swimming.
David had to head back to Hamilton after a couple of hours, so I bid him farewell and had some time to explore alone. I went to Kelly Tarleton's Antarctic Adventure, which was in this same area. It is certainly no SeaWorld, but it has some interesting exhibits with penguins and then also a lot of aquarium exhibits with sharks, eels and rays. I particularly liked the rays -- they are so elegant as they glide along in the water. The eels are rather eerie -- I remember David telling me that the original fish in the Waikato River were mostly eels until the Europeans introduced trout into the area.
Next up was looking for a place for a late lunch. It took me awhile to find something interesting but finally I stopped at a little Greek taverna called Kahve and had my last fix of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels and a glass of Seresin Sauvignon Blanc.
From there, it was back to the hotel for a quick shower, a last minute pack up and then off to the airport for my flight back to the States. I flew back on Qantas direct to Los Angeles. Departure was at 7:40 pm on the 10th, and I landed at LAX at 10:30am on the 10th. Don't you just love going back in time? I actually like the schedule for these trans-Pacific flights in that you have time to actually get some sleep and you arrive feeling somewhat refreshed.