Saturday, July 31, 2010

We're in Auckland

Just checking in from Auckland Airport, after a day in the City of Sails. On the way into Auckland Airport, we used the new(ish) SmartGate system, which works for Australian and New Zealand passport holders, and is a set of automated kiosks that process your arrival, meaning that we didn't actually have to queue up at any point, except for the actual bag x-raying.

The Bonneville Run

We picked up a hire car from Budget at Auckland Airport, we were expecting a late model Falcon, but when we went to pick it up, the clerk informed me that the Falcon she had available was "a few years old" The Bonneville Runand so she was swapping it for a newer Commodore. The one we ended up getting was a pre-SIDI VE SV6, so not that new, but still a nice surprise for a rental car.

The first thing we did after leaving the airport was to work out how to get to Mount Eden, a volcanic mountain in the heart of Auckland, and we managed to get up the top just on sunrise. While it was a little chilly that early, we got a great view of the city of Auckland and I managed to get quite a few photos. Mount Eden is about the same height as the Auckland Skytower, possibly a little higher, has all the same views as the Skytower, is a lot less crowded and it's free. For my money, Mount Eden in the early morning is definitely a must-do activity if you get the oportunity, just watch out for joggers and bike riders on the twisty one way access roads.

The Bonneville Run

After leaving Mount Eden, we decided to try to find something for breakfast, and stumbled upon a nice little bakery in Auckland. We then did a bit more driving around checking out the scenery before making our way to the Auckland War Memorial and Museum. We spent almost 3 hours wandering around inside there before we headed off in search of something for lunch. We eventually found a Nando's and decided to have that for lunch as we wouldn't get the opportunity again for another 5 weeks.

The Bonneville Run

We then headed back to the airport, cleared security with only minor hassles, my second 'random screening' of the trip, I'm two from two so far, not that I mind if it keeps us all safe. I also had a small issue with my roller bag weighing in about 9kg's overweight (there's a 7kg limit on Air New Zealand flights) however with laptop and camera gear out of the bag (which you are allowed to do) the bag came in under weight and we could continue on our way, bringing us to where we are now, with me uploading photos and writing a blog post on the laptop while waiting to board.

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