Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I arrived in Auckland to start off 5 weeks in the south pacific and the flight over was the first highlight. I used frequent flier miles book business class flights from SFO to Auckland aboard Qantas. The Qantas flight took off at midnight for Auckland and started off with a glass of champagne. The first thing I noticed about business class were the enormous seats, which reclined, folded, and expanded to my delight. My legs, when fully extended, did not come close the seat in front of me. Despite the late hour, the flight featured a full meal of sea bass with sauteed eggplant, salad with fresh mozzarella, and a glass of white wine. And afterwards, dessert of course. In the morning breakfast did not disappoint, and I arrived in Auckland a happy traveler.

On my first full day I took a 20-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland to Rangitoto island. Rangitoto is a small volcanic island that is believed to be extinct today, but had erupted as recently as 600 years ago. While only 10km outside of central Auckland the island seems worlds away. The island is a covered with a mix of barren volcanic fields and dense forests. Various trails lead through these landscapes and up to the summit, 260m above sea level. The view from the top is stunning and features the entire Auckland region and beyond.
Lava fields, forest, and downtown Auckland from Rangitoto

The next stop was the Auckland museum. The museum sits high atop a hill in a large park overlooking Auckland and the harbor. The museum has a mixture of Maori culture and history, New Zealand natural history, and wartime history. The museum was the perfect size, interesting, and not overwhelmingly large in size.
A Maori storage house in the Auckland Museum

Another day trip led me across the harbor to the neighborhood of Devonport. The five minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland leads to a charming seaside suburb with victorian architecture and a great view.
Auckland from Devonport

Claire graciously hosted me in her flat in Parnell, a short walk from the CBD and most of the best sights in Auckland.

No comments:

Post a Comment