I’m back to posting about my short trip to New Zealand. The cruise ship is still on a general northeasterly direction from Akaroa and Christchurch and we reached Auckland. This time, the ship was able to dock next to the wharf and not require a tender.
I don’t plan to posting in chronological order so if it feels like I’m jumping from one part of the day, that’s probably why.
First of all, if you have never been to Auckland, you would be surprised that the western half is on a hill. It was a small climb to Albert Park in the morning. Not too bad if you are 1) a local; 2) used to hills or 3) full of boundless energy. Having been on a ship the last couple of days, walking is suddenly a necessity.
Second, there are lots to see, but the city is more spread out than you might think. The city has 1.377 million people spread out 419 square miles. The wharf might be docked in “downtown” Auckland, but to get to the zoo or other sites required a short bus ride. Because we had only seven short hours, a walking tour was probably best.
As you can see, the weather was very nice when we arrived at 8:30 AM or 9 AM and getting warm. You can see me enjoying the sunshine after sleeping poorly with a heavily snoring roommate but still having loaded up for a long day. My mom took this photo of me “resting”. 🙂
By 2 PM, the temperature was in the mid 80s F and the sun was shining. However, by 3PM, rain and heavy rain.
The picture above was Auckland’s famous Sky Tower and a whole bunch of rain clouds. I am no meteorologist, but when I see clouds that laden, shelter is the first thing on my mind. My mom and I had beaten the rain by going into a supermarket to load up with New Zealand goodies you can’t get in America. Like Tintams and New Zealand short bread. But unfortunately for us, the rain was still pouring down when we finished shopping and wanted to make our way back to the ship. It was only a half mile, but who wanted to make that dash in the rain?
That doesn’t mean the day was a wash (pardon the pun). While the weather was great, we actually spent some of it indoors ironically. We wanted to see the Auckland Art Gallery. They had some neat stuff including an exhibit from California where an artists decided to depict artistically 2 university classes – one from Stanford and the other from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Can you tell which photo is from which course?
I am not into art but sometimes I go just to see how a culture depicts itself. Art is just another form of expression. Sometimes a culture sees itself at rest and other times chaotic or dynamic. From what I can tell, and this is just me and if you get New Zealand art and people, don’t yell at me for being wrong. For one, they are fiercely proud of their European heritage as well as Maori heritage.
Everything is unabashedly bilingual. There are locals, immigrants, and of course, tourists.
As tourists, my mom and her friends were fine eating more Asian food to balance out the diet and mediocre Asian food on the ship. This is why for lunch we ended up at the Wong Kok Cafe in downtown Auckland. This is not surprising part. The surprising part is that I STILL can’t find this place on tripadvisor.com.
This restaurant is nestled near the Sky Tower which I mentioned before.
So did we go up? Nope; 29 NZD just to go up and take a look, but if you are eating at the restaurants up there, that fee is waived or included in the meal price. Since another heavy meal and possibly over priced was out of the question, probably next time.
Would I come back? Absolutely, if only to finish talking to the cute girl at the gallery; she’s an art student at a local university. We were talking about the two exhibits from California at the art gallery. She’s probably the person outside the tour group, or my mom’s friends, whom I had a really good conversation on this trip, even though it was only 5 minutes. 😦 All the more reason to come back.
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