We arrived in Auckland the weekend 22/23 of August.
My flight took almost 2 days and I had two stop overs, one in Dubai, the other in Brisbane, Australia. Exhausted we arrived in Auckland, where bilge rat's cousin picked us up with his car. Luckily we would be able to stay in his house for the first two weeks.
So the first two weeks in New Zealand, we spent exploring Auckland.
While Auckland is New Zealand's biggest city, it is not its capital, which is Wellington.
1.4 million people live in Auckland, making it also the most populated spot in New Zealand.
There is no subway or metro system, but we found the bus system quite convenient and affordable for our needs. It took us into the city center and back any time between 7am and 11pm.
City Center: Queen Street and K-Road
The center of the city is probably Queen Street, where most stores and restaurants are located. It's a broad street through downtown Auckland, which we went up and down several times. Also interesting is Karangahape Road (often abreviated K-Road), where you can find less expensive and more interesting stores than Queen Streets standard repository of downtown stores.
We quickly grew tired of Queen's Street, so we checked our Lonely Planet guide, donated by a good friend, for other attractions in Auckland.
|somehow with these flags and colors this museum reminds me of some particular German building|
We started by climbing up the hills of Auckland Domain and found the Auckland Museum on top. The museum hosts a large range of objects mainly attributed to the history and culture of New Zealand and the surrounding island states.
At ground level we learned a lot about the culture of the so called "Islanders", people inhabiting the islands located around New Zealand. There a sections about most island culture groups in the east pacific. You can follow a timetable when the islands have been populated and which language group is spoken there.
The second level focuses on New Zealand's indigenous people, the Maori. You can learn a lot about their history and way of living. There are big exhibits, like a accessible Marae (Meeting Hall) and smaller ones like cultural items. There are also some interesting photos that early Europeans made of New Zealand.
The third level tells tales from World War 2. We had no time to look at this exhibition, but it looked interesting and well made.
From what we have seen and read, Auckland Museum is one of the best museums in New Zealand, both of what you can see, as in how it is presented and the information you can get. We surely recommend a visit, when you are in Auckland.
We had some coupon booklet with free entrance for the sky tower sky deck in Auckland. Since we passed it several times walking up and down Queen Street, we decided to give it a try. You can find these kind of towers in many cities and there's nothing special or interesting about this one. Inside there was a little movie theater explaining the history or Auckland and the tower. The first part was quite interesting. At the ticket counter we found that to reach said sky deck, we would need to buy elevator tickets for 40$ before we could reach the deck. Well... so much for the sky tower. So we haven't been up, but we don't think it's worth the money. Have a look of it from the outside and if you want, watch the free movie inside.
That's about all we did in Auckland. Not too much, but then we also enjoyed the hospitality of bilge rat's cousin and had other tasks in mind, like getting a car...