After spending our first night in New Zealand in Pukekohe (near where we picked up the campervan), we spent some time in Auckland – the country’s largest city. It’s nicknamed ‘City of Sails’ – they say the city has more boats per capita than anywhere else in the world. Auckland has a beautiful waterfront, which is lined with yachts. We spent the first half of the day exploring the waterfront area.
There is a pedestrian bridge at Viaduct Harbor called Wynyard Crossing which connects the newly redeveloped Wynyard Quarter with the larger Auckland waterfront. The bridge is made up of two sections which lift to allow boats in and out of harbor (which seemed to happen about every 15 minutes).
The Wynyard Quarter is a reclaimed piece of land, part of which is being redeveloped into a mixed-use residential/commercial area. The first stage was completed in 2011. The redevelopment has kept the industrial port feel of the area, with old shipping containers repurposed into a visitor’s center and public toilet facilities.
At one end of the quarter is Silo Park. The silos formerly held substantial amounts of cement used for building the city. Now, Silo Park is home to a large free public space which hosts markets, live music shows, and an open-air movie theatre.
The Silo Markets were being held while we were there. We checked out the market stalls, then headed over to food stalls and food trucks that were selling all sorts of tasty items. We picked out some food and enjoyed a nice lunch in the sun.
Silo Park is also where we parked the campervan overnight. It was not ideal, but it was a convenient location and a popular spot among fellow travelers.
Later that afternoon, we headed over to Mt Eden, a large volcano just a short distance away from the city center. We walked up to the top, where we enjoyed 360-degree views of Auckland and its harbors. Within the summit cone is a large symmetrical crater that is 150 feet deep.
That night, we headed to Food Alley, a no-frills food hall in the heart of Auckland that serves up all sorts of ethic foods.
While we were in Auckland, we were able to find a place to watch the Broncos play in the Super Bowl. Although the game did not go as we had hoped, it was still fun to be able to watch it. Being in New Zealand, game time was noon on Monday. One thing we missed were the infamous Super Bowl commercials – all we saw during the game were local commercials. And, I’m sure we missed some really fun Super Bowl parties back home. Here’s to hoping the Broncos make it to the big game again next year!