Trip Start Mar 12, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2012

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What I did
Judge's Bay

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The weather in Auckland has taken a turn for the worse, and yesterday it was non stop rain. As much as I didn't want to go out and get wet, I made myself walk up to Mt Eden in the afternoon, which I had been planning to do anyway (but in nicer weather). It was a spectacular place, but it was rather hard to appreciate it when I was soaking wet, and almost being blown over from the wind! The views of Auckland are fantastic, as is the volcanic crater, and probably much more enjoyable on a better day.

When I woke up today, it was still raining, but I had planned to go to out whatever the weather, so dragged myself out of bed and into the rain. I caught the bus to Parnell, which is one of the oldest areas of Auckland, with lots of heritage buildings. When I arrived, I walked down to Judge's Bay, the last inland bay in Auckland. It was a lovely peaceful place, and I was the only one there, so I just sat a while and watched all the interesting birds, which posed for pictures very nicely! As I was sitting there the rain stopped, and the sun even came out, which brightened my mood quite a bit. After sitting in the bay for a couple of hours, I climbed up the hill overlooking the bay to St Stephen's Chapel, built for the signing of the constitution of NZ's Anglican Church (1857). It was a very small, whitewashed chapel (locked unfortunately), with a little graveyard surrounding it, full of the gravestones of the colonialists who had settled there. 

After that, I headed off to see two old buildings; Ewelme Cottage and Kinder House. Unfortunately, both were closed, but they did look nice from the outside! I then quickly popped in to St Mary's, a wooden Gothic Revival church, where Sir Edmund Hillary's state funeral was held. 

Finally, I went to the Auckland Museum, and it was well worth the visit. The Mauri treasures are extraordinary, especially the 50ft war canoe and the meeting house, which you are allowed to enter. I also liked their natural history exhibit, with stuffed examples of all their native birds, including the rare kiwi! Another favourite was the volcano section, including a simulation of what it would happen in there was a volcanic eruption in Auckland. They had a cast from Pompeii of an adult male who had sunk down against a wall, covering his face from the ash and fumes, which was really striking.That's another thing I'd like to see in the future - Pompeii! 

Also did a bit of family history whilst I was there, and discovered some interesting information about my New Zealand relatives! 

So I am now sitting in a cafe on Parnell Road, making full use of the free wifi! Tomorrow - Rangitoto!  
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natalie bruff on

bring me back a mask like that for my collection i blooody love it

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