We arrived in Auckland, at sunrise on Oct. 18 after a comfortable twelve and a half hour Air New Zealand flight from San Francisco. We caught the city "Air Bus" to the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Since we were able to check in early, we settled right in. The view from our balcony gave us a good orientation to the city. This photo of the Sky Tower, the local landmark, was taken from our balcony.
We both slept on the flight over and were anxious to start our sightseeing so we walked to the waterfront, from here ferries depart to numerous islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Auckland's nickname is the City of Sails.
At 328 meters tall (over 1,000 feet) The Sky Tower is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. On a clear day you can see over 82 kms (51 miles). First opened on August 3,1997, it is Auckland's most prominent landmark. www.skytower.co.nz
Our first destination was the Maritime Museum.
The city "Link Bus" took us to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, in the Domain, a city park. This museum houses the artistic legacy and cultures of the peoples of the Pacific. Te Toki-a-Tapiri, the last of the great war canoes, is 25 meters long and was quite impressive.
The craftmanship was very detailed, and carried out in stone as well as wood.
------------ Wellington, New Zealand's Capital ------------
Sculptures in the park areas along the waterfront are plentiful in Wellington. Everything seemed more relaxed here than in Auckland.
Next--> Christchurch and Kaikoura, South Island
This Black Billed Gull is one of millions in New Zealand.
The Te Papa Museum, New Zealand's national museum, has an outstanding Maori collection, plus displays depicting the rich natural and cultural history of New Zealand. Click here for more photos and a web link to the Museum