New Zealand – Day 2

WOW! We had so much fun today! We got our comfy sneakers on and walked down Parnell street to fetch a yummy breakfast, and then off to explore Auckland on foot. We ended up at a place called Dunk. YUM-O. We ate outside, and I had a vegetable quiche with a tomato compote. Becky was a rebel and had blood sausage and a fabulous coconut french toast, clotted cream and a lime/citrus jelly. What’s blood sausage? Don’t ask. I’ll tell ya what though, it’s damn good! Don’t knock it unless you try it! After breakfast, we walked down to the wharf, and kinda off the cuff, we bought ferry tickets and a tour of Rangitoto Island later in the day. After walking around the wharf a bit, we walked up to the Skytower (the UFO-looking building that you can see in the view from our room pic that I showed you yesterday). As mentioned, it is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Our ears popped as we went up the elevator. The view from the observation tower was AWESOME! Here’s a picture of Becky (yeah, she’s wearing her backpack on the front!).

What was really trippy was that the floor is GLASS in some areas. At first, I wasn’t freaked out by it, but then I started thinking, “What if the glass broke and I fell through?” EEK!
I slowly made my way to the non-glass floor as my spine kinda freaked out from fear of falling – lol. …Speaking of falling, get this… You can pay to walk on the edge of the circumference of the top of this building and/or bungee off of it!
We got our fill of crazy jumpers and fabulous views and took the elevator (which also had a glass floor!) back down to terra firma. We walked back down to the wharf, grabbed some Subway lunch, and hopped on our ferry to Rangitoto Island. Here’s what it looked like from out ferry boat, looking back at the neat ferry terminal:
We got to the island and climbed onto a trolley-like car that was being pulled by a tractor! We were taken around the whole island and learned of all the flora and fauna, and of course the history of the island itself. At one point, we stopped and could climb to the top of the island, which is essentially, the top of the volcano. It wasn’t the easiest climb, but we were up for it! The views were worth it. Those little tiny white dots are all sail boats. Sailing is really popular there and it was neat to see them all.
We had a lovely picnic lunch at the top and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and the spectacular views. We clambored back down to our “trolley” which took us to a field of volcanic rock.
After our tour, we caught the ferry back to Auckland. We began walking back to our hotel and explored some of the nooks and crannies of the Parnell district on the way back. Here’s Becky stepping her way down one of the cute alley-ways. 🙂
The picture to the right shows where we had dinner the night before (under the white awning). Right behind me is where had breakfast that morning. There are tons of neat restaurants, shops and galleries all around. It was a neat place!
By the time we made it back to our hotel room, we were BEAT! …and we were also sweaty and really dirty from all the volcanic dust at the island. We got cleaned up and went to the restaurant next door. I don’t even know what the name of it was, but it was somehow affiliated with our hotel. The food was actually

fabulous (the food is EXCELLENT in NZ, if you haven’t already gathered that!). We stayed at the BarrycourtHotel, btw. I highly recommend it if you are a frugal traveler. It’s clean, neat and the hotel staff was friendly and accomodating to our zillion questions. After our tasty dinner and wine outside, it was getting dark (it gets dark late…around 9pm at night!) so we went back to the room. Upon looking at the view from our balcony, we noticed the Skytower was lit up in different colors! It was to celebrate New Zealand’s national holiday Waitangi Day. What a beautiful site!
Tomorrow, we are checking out of the hotel and heading north the explore North Island. Mind you, Becky has been coughing like crazy since we arrived in Auckland….I hope she isn’t sick! More to come….
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