Friday 12 November 1999
Highlights: America’s Cup yachts, Ferry ride, Looking 50 floors straight down from a Sky Tower glass floor, Auckland Museum.
First full day of the trip after a unexpected very hot night! I could barely sleep because my sleeping bag generates so much warmth. USA and UK winter weather later in the trip should mean this isn’t a problem, New Zealand however in summer is a little different.
I was the first up at about 8.30 am to find that it is bloody raining. Hostel’s facilities are first rate, warm shower and I was able to buy some strawberries for breakfast.
We converted some money and went off to visit the wharfs. We went on the ‘Coffee and Cookie’ ferry. Unfortunately because of the rain it was hard to see anything and the water was fairly rough. I took some photos of dormant volcanoes. It would not be very good to the local population if they actually go off in the future.
We saw the America’s Cup 2000 yachts. Looks like a very expensive ‘sport’, hopefully the Kiwis can hold onto the cup longer than us Aussies. The Cup runs from October 1999 to March 2000 so they were having preliminary races while we are here.
We went to the Sky Tower (and the Sky Casino). Tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Great views of the whole city plus there was a see-through floor at the top. Very weird looking down 50 floors to a certain death with seemingly nothing holding you up. Got a photo of the experience, I didn’t enjoy watching a kid jumping up and down trying to break the glass.
Jon won $20 NZ at the craps table. Kara lost about the same so the universe is in balance. I didn’t bother betting this time, Las Vegas will do later in the trip.
Finally we visited the Auckland Museum. The Maori artefacts were interesting but the War Museum was both brilliant and very moving.
They had a special Jewish section on World War 2, although I didn’t enjoy the anti-Christian messages (Christians did little to nothing to stop Hitler when he started) I was very moved. The museum taught me a few things about World War 1 and World War 2.
I did not know exactly how Hitler raised to power and New Zealand’s role in World War 1, in particular the Maori’s key battles and victories. Museum’s like this one are a must for all future generations. Lest we forget.
Unfortunately we had to leave the museum at 5 pm. Could have easily spent the whole day here.
Only other notable point was Kara beating Jon at the World Tour Uno Championships. This was made more interesting by the fact it
was supposed to be a strip game. Jon did not come clean at the end thank goodness!
Auckland is very weird for weather. It rains for 20 minutes and is then hot and clear for the next 20 minutes.