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Road Map

Road Map
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Using groceries from the Thames Pak 'n' Save and the little kitchen in our motel room, we prepared ourselves an inexpensive but satisfying breakfast. Then we hit the road back to Auckland.

Breakfast in Thames
Breakfast in Thames
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On the Road Again
On the Road Again
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Auckland is a big city. Though it's not quite on the scale of London or Paris or Tokyo or Mexico City, it is home to 1.5 million people, representing about one-third of the entire country's population.

Driving in Downtown Auckland
Driving in Downtown Auckland
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Downtown Bob
Downtown Bob
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In the 19th Century, Auckland was briefly the country's capital, but the government was moved to Wellington in 1865. The city is located on an especially narrow section of land, so it has two harbours, one facing east and one facing west. Boating is a popular pastime (Auckland is known as the "City of Sails"). The most noticeable landmark of the city is the Sky Tower, the tallest building in the southern hemisphere at 1,076 feet.

Sky Tower and TVNZ Building
Sky Tower and TVNZ Building
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Sky Tower by Night
Sky Tower by Night
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Ethnically, the people of Auckland have a combination of European, Maori, Polynesian and Asian backgrounds. There is a local train system, as well as ferry and bus systems. One bus route, called the City Circuit, loops around the downtown area and is free of charge.

Our plan for Auckland was to take advantage of the public transit and drop off our rental car to avoid rental and parking fees. This was complicated somewhat by a need to do laundry its much easier to move large amounts of clothing between a Laundromat and a hotel if you have a car. So we located a Laundromat (named "Suds the Laundromat", on Fort Street), where Nella was dropped off with the laundry, and the car was parked temporarily in a parking garage (there are a few in the downtown area).


Hanging Out at Suds

Hanging Out at Suds
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On completion of the laundry, the car was reclaimed, the laundry and family were loaded back into the car, the laundry, luggage and most of the family were dropped off at the hotel (the Crowne Plaza, on Albert Street), and the car was dropped off at the Avis garage, more or less within walking distance. Freed of our vehicular responsibilities, we collapsed in the hotel for awhile and then went out into the Auckland cold to look for dinner. The restaurants open at this hour tended to be on the pricey side ($20+ per person), but we eventually found a moderately-priced Chinese restaurant to our liking, not far from the Sky City hotel and casino, the home of the Sky Tower.

Sky City Hotel/Casino

Sky City Hotel/Casino
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The following day was to be our last in New Zealand, and we weren't sure exactly what we were going to do with it. But we resolved to start with a visit to the Auckland Museum.

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