New Country, Old Language

Auckland Travel Blog

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Auckland museum

Thank God. It was obviously sad to say goodbye to South America as it has been absolutely quality from the first day, but getting back to hearing and speaking English is very welcome. Just little things like asking someone where something is, or not having to communicate by pointing at things, seem like God-sends. I'm sure once it kicks in that I can't eat a banquet for a fiver any more or stay in a nice room for the same price I will start to miss it, but for now I'm welcoming in the familiar. And Auckland certainly seems familiar - the language, the shops, the brands, the cars, the streets and the fashions all remind me very much of England.

New Zealand has come around fast and we're perhaps not as prepared as we would like to be, not as prepared as we were for South America.

Maori carvings
Time has flown so it has creeped up without much warning. But with a quick blitz of the Lonely Planet and some websites at some must-sees, we've decided to extend our stay here by a few days so we can fit it in. Now 10 days has become 14, which gives us time to get up to the Bay Of Islands and see some of the highlights of the North Island's central part. Unfortunately, the South Island will have to wait as we don't have the time, and we are told, anyway, that much of the sights and scenery is similar to that of Patagonia.

Our flight here went as smoothly as could be expected, but the jetlag has really kicked in. A ropey night's sleep plus arriving at 3:00 their time has meant a very long day indeed.

The customs officers at Auckland were stringent. Kyle had to have her walking boots cleaned and my running joke to myself of putting 'entertainer' as my occupation on the country entry forms nearly backfired as I was asked what kind of entertainer I was.

Maoris (left and right)
I had to embarrasingly admit I was unemployed and I had put that to amuse myself.

As tired and as confused as we were, we avoided crashing out at the hostel and went to Auckland Museum. And it was well worth it. Set on three floors, it could really do with as many days to view it. On the bottom floor is a history of Maori culture, the middle floor concentrates on natural history and the top floor covers wars in New Zealand. The level of detail is absolutely fantastic and you can't really take it in when you're in a daze like we were. We were also treated to a 'Manaia Cultural Performance', which involved some Maori people giving us an introduction into some Maori songs and games, and a rendition of the famous 'Haka'. Kyle was even forced up onto the stage to take part but enjoyed it in the end.

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Auckland museum
Auckland museum
Maori carvings
Maori carvings
Maoris (left and right)
Maoris (left and right)
A Maori ship
A Maori ship
Maori carvings
Maori carvings
Kyle steals the show
Kyle steals the show
The haka
The haka
A boat
A boat
Auckland Hostels review
Fat Camel is an appropriate name - greedy, impersonal hostel that charges for the smallest extras. No window in room, boiling hot with a fan that didn… read entire review
Auckland
photo by: Fulla