Our time here in Auckland has had many ups and downs, both literally and figuratively. The city is very hilly, so we’re getting some good workouts just walking around. It reminds me of Seattle. The weather has also been both good and bad. There’s a common expression in Auckland, “If you don’t like the weather here, wait ten minutes.” And it’s true! It can be warm, chilly, sunny, windy, partly cloudy, misting and raining heavily all within an hour. We’ve been wearing layers, but it seems like every ten minutes we have to stop and either put on our jackets or take them off.
On Friday we took a daytrip to Whaiheke Island, a 45 minute ferry ride from the city. The views were beautiful. I’m already really impressed with how pretty New Zealand is and we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet! We had great weather for a hike along the coast for about an hour, but then it started raining so we turned back inland. Then we went to Rocky Bay, a tiny peninsula of rocks jutting out from the sea. Our plan was to hike along a path to see an alpaca (the cousin of the llama!) farm, but the weather thrwarted those plans. After that we were both so cold and wet we decided to head back. We did more walking in downtown Auckland, where lots of fun bars and restaurants overlook the shipping docks. Unfortunately, everything here is expensive, so we weren’t able to actually go in any of these fun bars and restaurants.
Saturday we got up early and took a bus over to Mt. Eden, an old, dormant volcano in the city. We hiked up it and were rewarded with awesome views of the city. On the way back down we found the Coast to Coast Trail, a path that goes to the different highlights in town (kind of like the Freedom Trail in Boston). It took us to some interesting places, including the Auckland Domain (a giant park in the city that puts Central Park to shame), a greenhouse, a forest and the University of Auckland. I was just thinking how this was our most fun day of the trip so far when disaster struck: suddenly, Brad’s camera stopped working. We found the public library and the nice librarian there gave us directions to a camera shop. Long story short, the camera is broken, we need a new one and it is not included in our traveler’s insurance. Bummer.
Next up: Buying a new camera and driving on the left side of the road to the Coromandel Peninsula! Be sure to check out our photos of Auckland!