Typical, after a cloudy start, it’s a glorious sunny day in Auckland, wall to wall blue sky, as we pack and prepare for our long long trip back to the UK, 29 hours on a plane.
We checked the bags in at the hotel after check out, then took a walk to the Auckland museum. It seemed a simple trip down a few streets, 20 mins on foot, however it didn’t work out like that. We seemed to end up in the middle of the university of Auckland campus, fine arts department, passed a man doing a huge tree stump sculpture, and ended up at a dead end. 45 minutes later we finally found our way to the park, or ‘domain’ as they seemed to call it. The museum was a grand building that stood at the far end of the park, overlooking the harbour. We had actually seem the building from Devonport on the other side but didn’t realise at the time what it was. We seriously underestimated the place, because it was quite simply vast. The ground floor told of Maori and surrounding islands culture and origins, the second floor was birds, nature and dinosaurs and the top floor was the war. It’s a shame we couldn’t stay longer because it was really interesting, I don’t know why we hadn’t thought of it before. I am going to have to read about Maori culture now, because it was amazing the crafts and tools they made with their bare hands. There are pacific islands that I didn’t even know existed, how isolated! I can’t believe how small Samoa is, and how brilliant and famous they are for rugby, for example.
On the nature floor we learned about how New Zealand was formed, almost sunk back into the ocean, then was re-formed out of volcanoes again. I didn’t even know that a volcano erupted near Taupo not many months ago. The fact that the country is purely built from volcanoes makes its very unique and beautiful landscape.
We were able to sit in a mock up living room, and a volcano alert report came on the TV, and we were looking out if a ‘window’ at Auckland harbour. They simulated a volcano eruption down to the flickers, shakes, blackout, then the ash and molten rock rushing towards our ‘window’ – it was really cool to experience it. Imagine living on a volcano made island!?
The war floor was moving, I didn’t know that so so many people from New Zealand had died in the war, and New Zealand weren’t even involved.
There was one wall panel that remained blank. It simply read ‘let these panels never be filled’
A beautiful woodland walk back through the park (remarkable, you wouldn’t think you were in a city centre!) took us back to the hotel. 90 minutes left so we had a hotel restaurant lunch and savoured our last few hours of warm sunshine.