New Zealand – Auckland

Auckland was the last stop on our New Zealand itinerary even if we did arrive a little earlier than planned.

We had booked a few nights up in the Bay of Islands further north, an area that is meant to be beautiful. But over the last few days we had been tracking Cyclone Gabrielle’s progress towards New Zealand and the predictions of where it might hit land.

So to be safe we cancelled our plans and headed to a hotel in Auckland assuming that would be the safest place for us.

This trip has taken us around the ring of fire, so we’ve seen Volcanos (active and extinct), visited earthquake museums, walked on glaciers and through geothermal parks, why not throw a cyclone in the mix too!

In the end we were very lucky, it passed us by with only a bit of wind and rain.

However, the cyclone caused 11 deaths and over $8bn worth of damage. We were lucky!

With blue sky arriving post the cyclone we headed out to see the city.

Auckland is set in two harbours and roughly divided into North and South. With a population of around 1.5 million, it’s New Zealand’s most populous city.

The waterfront area of Auckland is well developed, a big retail and business area runs back from the harbour.

The city is the most built up we have seen in New Zealand and its very cosmopolitan.

The city has some interesting buildings, some old and some quite modern too.

We spent some time with a friend who lives. there who kindly showed us around the city. We were lucky to see some places we wouldn’t have encountered if left to our own devices (thanks Brian!).

Harbour bridge view from Northcote

We went to the Auckland War Museum, set in a very impressive building in Parnell.

Its a nice museum with lots of interesting content in an impressive space.

We visited one of the older and more upmarket north shore towns called Devonport with its views back across the harbour to the city and it’s beautiful houses.

We also took a lovely beach walk along Milford and Takapuna beach. The water so clear blue, with wonderful views across to Rangitoto Island (yes another volcano)!

So that’s the last post for New Zealand, its been a fantastic journey.

Next stop is the Philippines…

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