Shackydudes on tour
Our first experience of an NZ traffic jam. Judging by the places we’ve visited so far, half of this country’s population has decided to move to Auckland. And with sandy shores, gorgeous sea views and a very cool marina alongside stylish apartments, a high rise business district and a few patches of decent architecture, it’s obvious why.
At the end of our second week, we really enjoyed this shift in gear from laid back rural to vibrant city life. That’s after we’d gotten over the shock of being thrust into the city and out again over the Harbour Bridge with the rush of commuter traffic.
We stayed on the tip of Bayswater in Greater Auckland and so got a full view of the city as we came over on the short ferry ride across the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The Sky Tower, which is 328m tall and looks like a needle, dominates. We couldn’t quite brave the jump off the 52nd floor here like some other crazies, but we did tentatively stand on the glass floors and look out of two observation decks which offer a 360degrees view of Auckland. My favourite cafe so far was up here – purely for the view and not the pistachio brownie, though it was delicious.
The Auckland Art Gallery, next to fountains and rose bushes in the Albert Park was a good stop in our walk around the city. But our favourite part was the waterfront, where we found a surprisingly colourful and arty industrial marina and enjoyed a glass of vino harbour-side, while fantasy purchasing plush yachts and sailboats.
Where we stayed – Auckland Takapuna Oaks, near quaint Devonport. A modern apartment big enough to live in, parking, free brekkie and free ferry passes. Plus a washing machine! Not exactly backpacking prices, but not too shabby for 65 sniffs.