Around Auckland

Trip Start Mar 07, 2006
Trip End Jun 30, 2006

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Kia Ora from Auckland once again! I've spent the last two days exploring the city. Yesterday I jumped on a free city tour offered by Stray (they do this to get you to buy their bus passes, but there's no obligation... kind of like a timeshare free vacation to Vegas or something). Anyway, the bus tour went up to some of the interesting city spots, including Mount Eden. The views were quite nice.

Auckland's nightlife seems pretty vibrant on the weekends. Not realizing perhaps that it's actually tomorrow (compared to Ireland), they held Saint Patrick's Day a week early for some reason, with a big pub crawl last night and a downtown parade today on Queen Street. Go figure.

Today, I headed out to Parnell, which is an inner-city suburb full of quaint little shops, art galleries, craft stores, glass, jewellery, cafes and such. Very pretty. Very pricey. I visited the Auckland Museum, which is sort of an abridged version of everything. Ground floor tells the story of the Polynesian and Maori people, first floor is sort of a natural history museum, and the second floor is a war museum and memorial. There was also a performance of Maori song and dance, which contained all the made-for-tourist kitch you might expect and probably very little authentic Maori culture, but was fun nonetheless. This afternoon I visited the aquarium, which included live penguins in a simulated Antarctic environment. They're really kinda cute.

Tomorrow I'm off to start exploring the rest of the North Island. Later!
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