View of the Harbour Bridge from the Sky Tower
Bungee jumping. . . .and not by me
But first we went back to some of the places weâ€™d already been and had a chance to redo photographs or see things weâ€™d missed before. With the tour group we redid a visit to Kelly Tarletonâ€™s Underwater World, Parnell Village and the Auckland Museum. In the Underwater World, I continued photographing fish who seemed fascinated by my camera. One of the photos is of two fish but you really have to look closely to spot the second one.
In the Auckland Museum the Maori exhibit contains something called a Shark Caller. In the early 20th century, the Maori men would go into deep water and call sharks which were killed by hand for food.
A shark caller
In other areas of Polynesia
, young boys used Shark Callers in shallow water to draw in sharks so they could ride them.
New to us were Mount Eden and a sail on a 50 foot boat in the Harbor. Having a bus take us around made sightseeing so much easier; Mt Eden and its view of Auckland were just too far away to walk on our own. Mt Eden is another of the 42 extinct volcano cones within the city of Auckland. (Originally there were over 60 cones in this area but some of them were mined for the rock.) The sides are terraced, done by the Maoris as defensive measures to protect a fort they had built on the summit. I didnâ€™t see any traces of the fort but there is a Maori village nearby.
The sail was wonderful on a sunny day with a brisk wind and not something we would have done on our own.
Sailing on a 50 foot boat in Auckland Harbor
So far Iâ€™m very pleased with the tour.
Gordon Berger talked on the history, primarily the Maori history, of New Zealand. Recommended reading is a book by Michael King or a two volume work by Bellah (not sure of the spelling). My idea of research had been watching the movie â€śWhale Riderâ€ť before this trip.
Auckland has lots of bungee jumping opportunities and many people do it. In the short time we were there, we saw someone jump off the Sky Tower and the Harbour Bridge. The strangest jump opportunity was the only one I was fast enough to photograph - a reverse bungee. You sit in a ball shaped cage anchored to the ground while cables are hauled to the top of 2 towers and tightened. Pulled VERY tight. The ground anchor is released and youâ€™re flung skyward where you bounce around and twirl for awhile until they take pity on you and lower the cage to the ground.
We walked through the Maritime Museum with Alan and Sandie and then had a late dinner in the Orbit Restaurant on top of the Sky Tower. The food was good and the view, as the restaurant slowly rotated (one hour for the full circuit) was spectacular. The lights of Auckland spread for miles and the islands in the harbor were also outlined with lights.