New Zealand Chapter: Auckland

It’s been months since I last went out of Malaysia for a vacation and this time, I chose somewhere closer to the South Pole: New Zealand!

My first stop was Auckland. For the next 4 days here I stayed in James Allen‘s apartment. The last time I met James was in Fukushima, Japan in 2008.

James, his wife Yuko and their kid Hanna moved here in April after the unfortunate tsunami and earthquake disaster hit Japan, not to mention the radiation leak in Fukushima that occurred as a result.

James had been really hospitable and generous while I was here; his apartment is smack dabbed in the middle of the city and most attractions were within walking distance. He also introduced me to some of the people he’s been working with on some really awesome Internet projects.

And guess who else I met?

I also met up with Delia while I was here! She and her sister Dulcie moved to New Zealand to further their studies since February this year. (I would later meet Dulcie in Dunedin)

So I finally caught up with Del months later. Meeting her was surprisingly convenient as her student’s apartment was about 15 minutes walk away; practically Queen Street connects everything here. LOL

But we sure did heck a lot of walking to find the Auckland Harbour Bridge! A nice gentleman offered to drop us there on the way. 🙂

We walked up and down the Harbour Bridge here. 🙂 It’s however comparably smaller than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Saw some people doing the bungee jumps; would had tried but cold weather really scared me let alone dipping into the freezing waters.

But hey, I did jump off the Auckland Skytower!

192 meters. Falling down at the acceleration of 85 km an hour. Totally exhilarating? Check this video out:

Too bad I couldn’t join any airsoft skirmishes, I must had picked the wrong weekend to come. The rugby world cup was going on and the All Blacks were to compete against the French team on Saturday. The weekend came to life and when the All Blacks won, the streets were high!

Even though there’s just slightly over a million population here in Auckland (4 million + overall in NZ) night life is big here over the weekends.

I made full use of my last day in Auckland by visiting as many as 3 tourist attractions on my own. First stop was the Auckland Museum.

Plenty of amazing relics, artifacts and things from the past. Learned the background of New Zealand and how it came about. Undeniably of course, my favorite wings within the museums are the WWI and WWII wings.

Next stop was the Auckland Zoo.

The zoo is huge, and I mean like REALLY HUGE! It was spring so some animals – notably the turtles – had been moved elsewhere. Some parts of the zoo were under renovation. Still, there was plenty to see.

Near the Auckland Zoo is MOTAT – Museum of Transport and Technology. Since it’s just a stone’s throw away, I went to check it out before it closes.

Visiting museums today really felt like going back in time. So I went through exhibits after exhibits, vehicles and aviators that blast from the past all the way through fairly recent history.

After spending a nice 4 days in Auckland, I caught the flight to the next destination further down south: Dunedin!

To Be Continued…