Last trip report, I spoke about going to Sydney, Australia. Sydney was the high point of the trip, but after a few days in Sydney, the next stop was the airport for a 3 hour hop to New Zealand. Logically, if I was visiting this part of the world, I figured that taking part of the trip to New Zealand would be ideal. Well, it would have been a better plan to split them up and give the countryside of New Zealand most of the attention.
First off, I wrote about transit yesterday and my love for getting around cities using rail. Rail tends to be the easiest to get around with, Sydney excels here, Auckland does not. Meaning that Auckland does not have a rail system, it's completely buses. Getting to and from the airport takes the better part of and hour... on an express bus. Wish this was better planned out there Auckland.
I only had a short period in Auckland, so I don't want to pass harsh judgement too quickly, but I found the city to be lackluster. The restaurants weren't as good as Sydney, the hotel was fine, but expensive, and overall the experience was a bit dull.
New Zealand is well known for their amazing vistas, mountains, lakes and so much more... but the city isn't particularly tourist friendly. There were some museums to visit, but I only made it to one. The sea port museum was actually pretty good, lots of great stuff on the New Zealand world cup sailing team. Check it out if you are int he city.
Another great place, the observation tower was fantastic. Glass floors in the elevator, in the tower and the view is so far above the rest of the city, it just gives one an amazing view that can't be beat. Go here without reservation.
It was a short trip to New Zealand, so this is a bit of a short review, but I do eventually plan to come back and explore the southern island, take a tour of the amazing back country splendor that New Zealand is so renowned for... but for the city side, I'd say skip this one, wasn't overly impressed.