New Zealand Diary 17 June 2002
Balmain and Sydney city from the air

My first day in Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland is New Zealand's largest city by far.

The city stretches all the way across from the eastern shores of the Tasmin Sea on it's western edge to the Pacific on the east. There is a walk that you can do called the coast to coast walkway that takes you right through the city. The whole walk is 16kms. I didn't do all of it, but I did a fair chunk from Mt Eden, where I'm staying to the CBD and the northern shore. I started the walk at Mt Eden, a volcano (not that active when I went) right in the centre of the town. It's a bizarre experience climbing up and staring down into a grass covered crater.

Mt Eden with the city in the background.

From Mt Eden, I tramped northeast a kilometre to the War Memorial Museum. The museum is in the Auckland Doman, a large park that looks so English it's scary (especially as it was overcast, cold and windy when I went!). I spent a good couple of hours wandering around looking at Mauri artifacts, stuffed animals, war memorabilia and other bits and pieces. The thing that struck me about the Mauri items, as compared with the Australian Aboriginal things that I've seen was the intricacy and workmanship that went into making them. Everything was beautifully made - and a great deal of it was big; house posts, a boat to sit a hundred warriors were just a couple of exhibits that stuck in my mind. I didn't see anything of that level of complexity or grandiose size in Australia. These guys obviously had a great deal of time on their hands to make things!

From the domain, I traversed through the university up to Queens street, the shopping capital of Auckland. I desperately needed to pick up some warm clothes! A good few hundred dollars later and I'm kitted out - I may not be pretty, but I should at least be warm and dry! I cheated, and took the bus home after a quick look at the ocean. I didn't want to miss the football.

Let me know if the pictures don't work! - piccies don't work, sniff!

To tomorrow

Created by Dan Leigh /06/02