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Oct 27

Auckland – By cab to the Sky Tower

Heading for Auckland! By now we dare to drive on the left in the city by now and we want to see more of it. Besides, we have to go for the spare tyre and hope to be refunded adequatly for all that trouble we've had with the car. We arrive at Britz / Maui in a good temper which doesn't last for long because we have to waste our time here for 5 hours. They give us the runaround and wear us out – with the result that we agree to a refund for 7 days and two nights on the camp site which is ridiculous because they don't pay the 49 € per day we had to pay for the car. All in all we get NZ$544 cash, they make the corrections for of the car's problems and the costs for the old burst tyre are generously “discharged”. We expected them to be more responsive, because we had to waste our holidays time on their defective vehicle. But then, after 5 hours, we don't want to discuss it anymore and we just want to get out of there. I think they are normally quite successfull with their runaround tactics and bank on it. Oh how much I would've preferred to spend this time at Karekare Beach.

Finally escaped from the office and head for a camping site southly of the Harbour Bridge: Fernz Lodge which isn't easy to find. At the moment they're doing some construction works and they have no showers or toilets, but at least there's a dump station and so we don't mind because we're self contained with the campervan. As always our welcome is very friendly. We aren't keen on searching for a carpark downtown so we allow ourselves a taxi and get off right in front of the Sky Tower. That's pure fun and the first highlight of the day :-)

Sky Tower in Auckland Sky Tower · more Auckland pictures more pictures

We let ourselves drift through the streets without having any plans or destinations, the way we like it to do when we arrive in foreign cities. Spontaneously, we arrive in Queen Street and explore some side streets. But it's 7 pm by now and most of the shops are closed. Nevertheless, the city is lively and colourful, thousands of impressions fly past. A group of street musicians are drumming loudly a modern, fast rythm. A cluster of people gather around them, celebrating. Pedestrians pass by in cheery spirits. We have a Mac's Gold in an Irish pub and then go dining near the harbour in a restaurant called Pompino. Today we treat ourselves really well and order green lipped mussels in chili sauce and then delicate lamb coins, mmmh.

Queen Street in Auckland Queen Street · more Auckland pictures more pictures

As it's getting dark we go up the Sky Tower which is shining violet tonight. The elevator goes pretty fast, it needs just 40 seconds to the observation deck at 186 m and causes changes in ear pressure. From there we see Auckland glistening beneath us. Standing on the glass floor is strange. From the highest mailbox of the southern hemisphere we send our postcards to the other side of the world. Then we move up to the smaller sky deck at 220 m, you can't go any higher. It's a special moment. We are the last visitors this evening and there's no one except us on the deck.

Sky Tower in Auckland Sky Deck · more Auckland pictures more pictures

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