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Friday, April 9, 2010

Auckland Harbour Cruise

I'm all sorts of out of order on my blogging! That's what happens when I forget to chronologically order them in Flickr & am multi-tasking life at a million miles an hour. Before our first full day tour, we had plans for the Sunday afternoon we arrived in Auckland.

We'd originally planned to go with Sail NZ and do a sail on one of the America's Cup boats, but due to a change in scheduling, we had to find an alternative plan. We decided to take a 2 hour ferry tour around Auckland Harbour with Fullers.

We caught a short cab ride down to the waterfront & enjoyed walking around the city for a bit. Lots of clean, new buildings that were fun to photograph.

We were starving & popped into a little cozy restaurant on the Quay called Cin Cin for our first New Zealand meal

I loved the architecture in the old ferry building & how they had transformed it into a sleek restaurant.

But we really picked the place for it's outdoor patio seating right on the dock where we could watch all the people coming & going from the boats.

Sitting there sipping on our white wine, we got an idea from all of the people coming on and off the boats...we saw a flyer for a wine festival in Devonport.

This was our view of the gorgeous water as we indulged in the first of many leisurely, wine-filled lunches on our trip.

There was a little bit of a boardwalk along the dock & we were entertained by the many interesting people out on a Sunday afternoon- tourist, families, couples, dogs, kids!

I loved this beautiful old building- I bet the views from the second floor dining are great too.

True to it's name as the City of Sails, we found lots of sailboats out enjoying the absolutely perfect weather.

As the biggest city in NZ, I imagine that Auckland probably has the biggest port & it's always neat to see all the containers stacked so neatly.

We grabbed some great seats up on the top deck to feel the wind in our hair, the sun our skin and see the gorgeous skyline of Auckland.

All the people taking pictures crack me up! There was a cruise ship in harbour with us that we passed on our way out & the Hilton hotel is adjacent to the docks and designed to look like a ship.

It's definitely an interesting hotel & I almost wished we'd stayed down there on the water, but I was trying to go for more "authentic" and original hotels on this trip instead of chains.

More al fresco restaurants on the water.

I'd highly recommend this short tour to get your out on the water & seeing some great view of the city.

I think this funky building was some sort of museum. We couldn't hear all the commentary very well on the upper deck & my memory is pretty sketchy to make matters worse ;)

This is me on my way to getting sunburned the first day! They aren't joking when they say the sun is stronger down there.

I might have to let H have a boat if we lived in Auckland.

Lots of people out enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Big boats, little boats...lots of sails.

Another small marina we passed on our way to the bridge.

The Auckland Harbour Bridge is a beautiful landmark and connects the city with the suburbs on the other side of Waitemata Harbour.

Anybody know why you'd store a boat under the bridge?

I think you can do bungee jumping off the bridge or take a tour like this group of people.

This was some type of factory...maybe sugar? I wish my memory was better.

We sailed under it and beyond for a few more minutes before turning around to explore the rest of the harbor.

I loved how the hills made for some dramatic cliffs down into the water & wonder if those people realize how cool their house is to be there.

This boat represents the whole New Zealand Navy. They are a very easy-going and peaceful people, so I guess they don't have much need for a big fleet- even though they have so much coastline.

What's this? A little party in Devonport.....we decided we needed to check it out.

I loved the contrast of the rolling green hills and beautiful trees to the colorful blue waters and the men out for a leisurely boat ride.

We crossed paths with a giant freight ship coming in and felt like miniature in size compared to him,

The ferry tour made a brief stop and we used the opportunity to sit since we'd been standing on the whole ride.

I think the stop was at Rangitoto Island and it was more of a nature preserver with not much gong on besides the great outdoors.

Back towards the city....anybody know what that giant round building would be? Some type of stadium or concert hall?

All in all, a great short trip to see the sights & bask in the amazing weather.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Ran 5 miles and enjoyed the sun rising over San Francisco Bay!

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