Our first day back on our own and we headed into Auckland. To get to Auckland from Hamilton we took the Naked Bus which is New Zealand’s version of the Mega bus in England, so cheap no frills. We figured that it would be cheaper to pay for the travel into Auckland from Hamilton than to stay in Auckland for a night. Having booked our ticket online yesterday, we arranged to get on the bus at a tiny bus stop just outside of Hamilton called The Base – it was kind of in the middle of nowhere like a lot of NZ appears to be with so much countryside. Lynda dropped us off and the bus only took two hours to get to Auckland.
Auckland was buzzing with all the Rugby World Cup activity; down at the the Queens Wharf, a Fanzone had been set up with a huge rugby ball which housed a show, a huge arena to watch the games and a new building call The Cloud which was showcasing the best of New Zealand’s business inventions.
Inside the cloud was great with a huge HD screen showing a show reel of some of the products on display in the room. We filmed a small section of the film.
We had a look around the exhibition and John managed to get a picture with a rocket jetpack. He was very impressed.
Round by the bar was a replica of the Webb Ellis Trophy which we got a very awkward photo with.
After walking around the exhibition we then headed up to the Auckland War Memorial Museum (www.aucklandmuseum.com). To get up to the museum which is located at Auckland Domain we took a free tourist bus which took ages and were the only people on the bus. It was the first day the tourist bus was running and it was driven by a Scottish fella who had brought the bus all the way from the UK.
The museum was a mix of Maori culture, the history of Auckland, natural history and the wars New Zealand participated in.
John’s favourite part was the animals, which included a blowfish and a weta. A weta is an insect only found in New Zealand. We had heard about them before and were looking forward to seeing one, thankfully this one was dead and in a glass cabinat!
We headed back to the city on a local bus and grabbed a snack of Sushi from the shopping centre near to the bus stop. It was amazingly cheap compared with at home in England. The store called St. Pierrer Sushi (http://www.stpierres.co.nz) offered a box with 8 pieces of sushi for around £2. Considering in England it’s around £2 a piece I was in heaven. We bought 3 boxes to eat on the bus home.
We caught the bus back to Hamilton and were picked up by Lynda. We had a nice evening family meal with wine and then to bed in the nice comfy room!
Lynda and Mike live in the middle of nowhere and it’s difficult to get into the town without a personal driver so most of our evenings were spent just chilling it at their home. We don’t mind though. It’ll probably do us some good resting a bit after our 3 and a half month trip in South America. Once again, I shall reiterate how nice it feels to be living in “a home”!