A Travellerspoint blog

Perspectives on Auckland

Saturday 26th September 2015

sunny 17 °C

A good nights sleep did wonders for our morale and we woke up really looking forward to our day in Auckland. One of the things that I was hoping we might be able to do was to go on a sailing trip from the Maritime Museum. We tried booking on the Internet, but given that we were trying to do this last minute in the end Nigel rang them and secured the last two places. We hadn't got any food and so we had to forego breakfast for the time being, hoping we would be able to get something down by the Marina. We left our hotel and walked the mile and a bit, conscious that the walk which was downhill all the way would mean a bit of a hike back up. We got down to the museum and collected our tickets for the boat trip and then went into their waterside restaurant and bar called The Crew Club. We explained that we were pushed for time and ordered some brunch. It became clear that we were not going to get our food in time. In the end we spoke to the manager who said that we wouldn't need to pay for our coffees (or the food which was in the process of being cooked) and suggested we came back later when "they would make sure we had a lovely lunch". We decided to go with that and went to get on board our boat the Ted Ashby.

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Departure was delayed a little awaiting for the firing of the midday cannon which was done with great anticipation but not much spectacle. Once the crew had manoeuvred the boat out of the harbour, with help from some of the passengers, the sails were raised.

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Sadly there was not enough wind for us to travel without engine power. We travelled the short distance downstream under the main Auckland Bridge, and could see some brave/ foolish souls bungee jumping underneath.

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The particularly intrepid jumping low enough to have a dunking in the river. The crew then turned the boat around and tried to catch enough wind to be able to have us fully under sail, but sadly we moved not much more than a few feet so we had to revert to engine power again. Being on the boat gave us a great view of the city skyline and it was lovely being under sail even if we did need a bit of assistance.

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Once we returned to the harbour we went and had a delicious lunch at The Crew Club. We weren't sure what if anything they did to make up for the brunch issues, but we were happy with the meal and service, and left feeling full and pleased we had given them a second chance. We hadn't yet had a look around the Maritime Museum so we took the opportunity to do so and really enjoyed the exhibits relating to both the early Polynesian settlers of New Zealand and those that came out from Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Having seen the city from the water we also thought it would be good to see it from the air. We had booked a "dessert table" at the Sky Tower for 10pm, the only type of table they had left, but decided it would be good to go up in the daytime as well. The tower is 328 metres tall from ground level to the top of its radio mast and as such is the tallest man made structure in the Southern Hemisphere (Melbourne's Skydeck at 285 metres does has the highest public viewing point though).

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As is the way with these attractions, the Sky Tower has its own unique features including the sky walk and the sky jump. The latter involves jumping off the tower from 192 metres above the ground in an upright position (no bounce back up as with a bungee). Watching people falling past the windows from the observation deck was scary enough for me.

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We ended our time up the tower in the cafe/ bar having a cocktail and watching the sun go down.

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We made the walk back to our hotel to relax for a while and then got ready to go back to the Sky Tower for our desserts. Included with our table reservation was the opportunity to go back to the observation deck and see the views after dark.

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We then went to the revolving Orbit restaurant where we had a glass of champagne each, then I had a delicious chocolate dessert and Nigel had the cheeseboard all finished off with an Irish Coffee. The food was delicious and it must have been about 11:30 by the time we got the taxi back to our hotel. It had been a great evening at the end of a lovely day.

Posted by Gill's Travels 13:12 Archived in New Zealand Tagged bridges buildings new_zealand

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