After living in a tent for almost a month, a big city and a comfy bed were a welcome change. We spent two days exploring Auckland. The city reminds me a little of Portland, OR since it is surrounded by volcanic cones (i.e. Mt. Tabor back home). We hiked up Mt. Eden which last erupted 15,000 years ago. The top offered incredible views of downtown Auckland.
Hiking down from the volcano we happened upon a historic cemetery. The Symonds Street Cemetery was the first official cemetery in Auckland and dates back to the 1840s.
We headed down to Princes Wharf and took the ferry across to Devonport. The wharf houses the Auckland Ferry Terminal Building, built in 1912, and also The Cloud which is a temporary structure built for Rugby World Cup in 2011 in order for fans to gather and watch the games.
A fifteen minute ferry ride landed us in Devonport, a suburb of Auckland. We hiked up Mt. Victoria, another volcanic cone, to get a 360 degree view of downtown Auckland and Waitemata Harbour and the outer islands.
We spent part of our final day in Auckland at a bar watching the Cricket World Cup which is happening in Australia and New Zealand this month. Neither one of us had any idea what was going on – cricket is inexplicable to our baseball-oriented minds….we did figure out that a “six” is kind of like a home run…oh well, it was fun to watch anyway…
Our three and a half sunny weeks on the North Island were incredible. We are glad we spent time here instead of just visiting the South Island as originally planned. Now we fly to Christchurch where we will spend the next five weeks exploring the South Island. Fingers crossed for good weather, but I have a feeling we might get a little wet….