Today started with a packing packing panic, after a 6am get up and early breakfast – until that was, Mark tried to book a transfer to collect the camper van and they called back to say that we were not meant to collect it till tomorrow!
So, plan B. what parts of Auckland have we not been and seen yet?!
We decided to go shopping, and hop on a red bus, to see what the other bits of Auckland were like. It didn’t really tell us anything that we did not already know, and all looked a bit the same, so we got back off, at the fish market.
It all looked a bit familiar down here, I realised I had run round this part of Auckland. There were a series of nice cafes and things along the waters edge, and in the events centre they were setting up the expo for their next event – the Auckland marathon next Sunday! There was a viewing platform at the back of the events centre which gave excellent views over the bay.
The ferry was only 11 dollars and went every half hour, so not long to wait. Sunny day today and the warmest it has been since we arrived.
On arrival, it became immediately obvious that this place was a complete contrast to Auckland city. A quaint seaside village with a few shops and some huge houses – where the locals retire to, and where the businessmen commute to work from, I would say.
It had a small high street row of shops, the usual you would expect in a seaside village, before the usual seemingly characteristic climbs up huge hills. We stopped off for lunch in what seemed to be a popular cafe – expensive but very nice sesame chicken salad, with carrot, avocado and ginger. We went off to tackle mount Victoria. Steep brutal short climb but worth it for the 360 degree incredible views of Auckland, the bay and the islands. This area was once well fortified because there was a gun up here on this mound. There was also runners and cyclists doing hill repeats on it – no wonder kiwi athletes are strong!
While we were here we decided to also walk to maritime park, another well fortified highspot, the headland. Lots of lovely coves and sandy beaches over here! The climb to the to of this one was as brutal as the last, perhaps not the best way to rehab a knee. We were rewarded again with incredible views in ever direction, as well as some old gunning placements and cave stores to explore, by the light of my iPhone torch!
Just as we were about to leave a car rolled up full of kids, one still in uniform. I am sure they shouldn’t have had their car here n the summit s close t the edge. Then it became obvious was was happening, they al got out bongs. Brilliant. We quickly left and walked back for a cuppa and the ferry back across.
Tiring but worthwhile trip over the water, glad we did it.