January 29th -Still in Auckland and Jean spent the morning clothes shopping while John exchanged more money. (ha-ha) The afternoon was a tour of the Waitakere Regional Park. We had great views of both the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean as well as a visit to a black sand beach and beautiful waterfall. Later in the day we visited a dense rainforest with giant ferns and the famous New Zealand Kauri tree. The stump we saw was over 1000 years old. Tomorrow we leave Auckland and journey down the North Island.
We arrived in Auckland on January 27th. It is a very interesting city with a mix of old and new architecture. The city is very clean and everyone seems to do a lot of walking and be fairly fit.There are very few overweight people like in the States and very few fast food restaurants, It is a harbor town with lots of sailboats and trendy restaurants along the seaport. We started our day with an Auckland city tour visiting places like Parnell Village, Domain Park and Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter (great look at live penguins). During the afternoon we made our own agenda by taking a ferry over to Devonport and going up in the 722 ft Sky Tower. People actually pay to jump off this building so John and I were able to capture a few good shots. This tower is the tallest in the southern hemisphere with the next tallest being the Eiffel Tower