Sign in or Create your own Travel blog
Select Location: 

View Entire Trip

Share |
    

Tuesday 12 Feb 2013
Auckland, New Zealand

Volcanoes in Auckland

Right, I need to get the hang of updating this more often, but the free wireless options are less common in New Zealand than in Burma so far.  I am waiting for a bus and I have half an hour, so here's a quick update of the last week.

 

I got into Auckland late Saturday night (9th Feb, Happy Birthday Zandy) and stayed at the airport Holiday Inn, courtesy of my HI points.  It was a very welcome King sized bed in a room all of my own and I loved it!  After a lazy start on Sunday I made my way to Queen Street and found James waiting for me at the bus stop.  Lovely to see him looking so relaxed and happy after the last couple of years of crazy work hours he's been putting in. (For those who don't know, James is a uni friend who has just moved out here from the UK.)  He took me to Burger Fuel for an amazing cheeseburger - it was the best burger I have had in years!

We spent the afternoon wandering around the Viaduct harbour area and catching up.  While waiting for the swing bridge to open, we noticed a small brightly coloured boat with a circus sign on the side, so sat down with the gathering crowd on the quayside to watch.  15 minutes later, we were very entertained by a french couple who performed a 20 minute routine of acrobatics, comedy and twirling from long ribbons (a la Cirque du Soleil) suspended from the rigging.  They were brilliant.

The next couple of days were quite gentle, but welcome after the running around of the last 3 weeks.  James and I went to the Auckland museam, intending to see the Maori exhibits, but actually far more impressed by the volcano exhibition.  As the Auckland area is built on over 50 volcanoes, it's a pertinent subject. The exhibit went through all the science stuff in a very accessible way - not too dumbed down, but full of good examples and explanations. The best bit was a simulation of a house being hit by a volcano blast wave:  A mock living room (think Ikea showroom) with a picture window looking out over the bay.  The TV came on and started news reports of volcano activity and interviews with an expert.  As he explained what could happen, the image in the picture window changed to show a volcano spurting up out of the bay.  As the pyroclastic cloud rolled closer and closer to the window, the floor began to shake and grumble before giving a final big crash and the lights went out as the cloud 'hit' the house.  Well worth a visit.

The next day, Tuesday, we got the ferry over to Rangitoto Island and climbed a volcano.  The island is a perfect cinder cone left by the youngest volcano in the area - a baby at only 6-700 years old.  From the grey volcanic sandy shore, we walked up through low shrubland amid great piles of pumice and old broken lava flows.  James pointed out a lot of native and non-native plants, including my first introduction to the beautiful SilverFern, symbol of New Zealand.  As he tried to remember all the latin names and families, I was content with terms like 'Fern' and 'Tree' and just enjoyed the scenery.

The path got steeper and the plants got taller, until we were climbing up through more of a jungle, accompanied by fantails and hearing the elusive Tui (a bird with two voiceboxes that sounds like R2D2 to me!) The views at the top were stunning in all directions.  We had lunch and did a circuit of the sunken crater, before heading back down through some lava tunnels.  Taking a torch is definitely recommended.

A lovely few days :o)

0 Comments for this Travel blog entry

Zobeedoo's Big World Adventure, Part I

Travel blog by zobeedoo

Marahau Bridges, Abel Tasman

Marahau Bridges, Abel Tasman


The first part of my trip will take in South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia. I'm looking forward to seeing new places, revisiting some old places as well as meeting friends and family along the way.

visitors: 253,627

Currently in:

Orchard Road, Singapore

Buy this Blog on CD!  More...


Makes a great gift for anytime!

Photo Album

  • Sailing on...

    Auckland

    New Zealand

    Sailing on the Breeze
  • Flying from...

    Auckland

    New Zealand

    Flying from Singapore to Auckland
  • Sailing on...

    Auckland

    New Zealand

    Sailing on the Breeze
  • Sailing on...

    Auckland

    New Zealand

    Sailing on the Breeze