Saturday, August 1, 2009

First full day in Auckland... Touring by Bus and Ferry

Managed a reasonably early start following breakfast at my B&B (simple options of cereals, white and wheat bread for toast, OJ and apple juice, instant coffee (UGH) or tea)... purchased a hop-on/hop-off, all day bus ticket for a bus that takes an hour drive around some of the sites with commentary as to what one might do while waiting for the bus to return in one hour if one hops off at any of the stops. (Note that summer time buses run every half hour which makes for shorter waiting times in between buses.)

As I am somewhat weary of playing tourist at this point (and feel a cold coming on), I opted to stay on for the circuit and then hopped a ferry to Devonport for another bus tour around that lovely little seaside town. After the ferry dropped me off, I had time to shop a bit as well as grab a bite to eat at a local café before hopping on another bus for a ride around the Devonport area with stops at a couple of the higher points of land for photo opportunities.

On my return to Sydney, I walked up Queen Street and turned onto Victoria Street to make my way to the Sky Tower... what an incredible structure from which to view the entire Auckland area as far as the eye can see! Had a lovely chat with a couple from the South Island while having a glass of wine in the Sky Café at the main observation level. We agreed that bungee jumping (which could be done from a level above where we were sitting) was not for us... but managed to catch some jumpers on camera while chatting.

What follows are some photos of today's adventures...
Auckland Skyline with view of Sky Tower
This was taken from somewhere on the bus ride around Auckland.

Rangitoto Island as seen from Devonport
This is as close as I got to Rangitoto Island, a 600 year old volcanic island guarding Waitemata Harbor. Seems that they are having an aggressive poisoning campaign at the moment in an attempt to rid the island of rats once and for all. Although it was perfectly safe to visit, the notion of them trying to get rid of rats put me off the idea of going there.

Looking toward Auckland from Devonport
The views from Devonport looking back toward Auckland City and its suburbs are quite lovely from various vantage points on our bus ride. (also note ferries coming and going)

Door sign above the doorway to the Department of Doing
No idea what this place is about... the Department of Doing in Devonport seemed to be closed and thus was not doing anything as near as I could tell!

Looking UP at the Sky Tower
It is quite dizzying to look up at the Sky Tower from down below.

Bungee Jumper paused at Observation Deck, Sky Tower, Auckland, NZ
I couldn't figure out what was going on at the observation deck... LOTS of people waiting in front of two of the many observation areas... then WHOOSH... here came a bungee jumper... pausing for photos in front of the viewing area. Seems this gal made at least three jumps while friends watched and waited for her to finish having adrenaline highs.

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