Exploring Auckland

Kia Ora Dad,

So today started slowly. I didn’t wake up until 9am! Got to love jet lag. I got up and went for breakfast, came back to my room and the next thing I knew I was waking up again! I don’t think I have ever done that. 

I eventually got out to explore Auckland. First stop was the sky tower! It is right outside my hotel so it seemed the obvious place to start. I found out there is a rotating restaurant on one of the top levels, but when I tried to book it they were full. They did explain though there was a cafe which I could go to one floor below the viewing platform. I bought a ticket so I could return in the evening, with the plan of seeing Auckland in daylight and then again at sunset and grab something to eat for dinner while I am watching the sun go down. 

The view was pretty spectacular. The city is great, massive green spaces and a huge harbour with a few high rise buildings in the centre. The sky tower also offers a sky walk and a base jump. I was tempted until I saw the prices. Decided as I have done similar things before I could let it go. 

Back down for the tower I walked along to the harbour. You would have loved the harbour. Boats, ships and catamarans all lined up in the dock, and a handful of very beautiful looking seafood restaurants. It was somewhere you would have insisted on eating, but the restaurants were definitely not in my budget! 

I walked along the harbour until the harbour ran out, looking at all the pretty ships along the way. From there I walked back towards the city, going down a road that seem to deal solely in boat parts and fishing equipment. Best bit had to be a boat shed. It was basically a shelving unit for boats! About 6 levels high, with the stop levels having speed boats and the bottom levels more fishing boats. I have never seen anything like it, a boat multi storey car park! 

I spent the rest of the afternoon walking through streets and parks. The green spaces are great, and people actually use them. Groups of people, all seemed to be locals of all ages just sitting, or playing cards, or playing music. The atmosphere was great, and people walk past and actually say hello; not experienced that in a while! Walking around you don’t even really feel like you are in a city, there is space, it is clean and the air does not feel polluted like in other cities. I have not seen one scrap of rubbish, or graffiti anywhere. 

As the sun was starting to set I made my way back to the sky tower. The view at sunset was even more amazing. The sun set just to the left of the harbour bridge over the water. I sat for about an hour and just watched the sun dissappear. 

Watching the sun I had a very strange thought, as I was sat here watching the sunset, was someone at home watching the sunrise at the same time? Weird hey?!

Well once the sun had gone I figured I would go and get something to eat in the cafe….. nope. Closed for a private function. Would have been nice to be told that this morning! Never mind – I had another plan.

You see, in the same complex as the sky tower is the casino. Well it would be rude to not go and have a look. Now I was a bit concerned about being allowed in. Scrappy t-shirt and walking boots are not exactly smart dress, but I saw no signs about a dress code. I got on the elevator and went up to the entrance. There was a huge body guard standing there. Here we go I thought. I started walking towards the Dorset when he of course stopped me. I waited for him to say I was not dressed right, but no. Instead he asked to see my ID! Yep, I got asked for ID to get into the casino. Now I know I look like a child with my hair chucked up and a backpack on, but really?! I just laughed and showed him my drivers licence. He had a chuckle to myself and stepped to one side to let me through. Most of the casino was $5 minimum bet, so I would good – I’ll save it for Las Vegas. But I did get dinner in there. Cheapest and best meal so far! The rugby was also on, with a crowd of people surrounding it. Watching Kiwi’s watch a rugby match is the most entertaining thing I have seen in Auckland. They were squirming in their seats and ducking with every tackle. 

Well back to the hotel now in an attempt to beat the jetlag. Don’t really want a repeat of this morning. The Irish pub down the road is in full swing! St. Patrick’s Day today, and amazingly the Kiwi’s seem to take it more seriously the the British! Party scene has been going on all day! 

Meeting the tour tomorrow night too! It will be refreshing to have some company.

Night Dad x

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